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Thread: Tolkien's pen

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    Senior Member oldstoat's Avatar
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    Default Tolkien's pen

    Here's Tolkien discussing and writing Elvish- any idea what he's using? It would have been in England in the late 1960s, though the pen looks older.
    https://www.facebook.com/BBCArchive/...352293766/?t=7
    Some days, it's hardly worth chewing through the leather straps....

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    Default Re: Tolkien's pen

    The grip looks like a Parker Duofold, but without seeing more of the pen, it could have been anything. For instance, the grip looks like this Mabie Todd "Swallow", although Tolkein's pen has a two-toned nib. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Mabie-Todd-...sAAOSwuGZavkMq

    Or this M-T Swan: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Serviced-Ma...QAAOSweWBau3e2

    I'll guess that Tolkein is writing with Parker Blue-Black ink.

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    Default Re: Tolkien's pen

    Line variation is used in that beautiful handwriting. I am glad that he didn't use a ballpoint.
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    Default Re: Tolkien's pen

    Quote Originally Posted by penwash View Post
    Line variation is used in that beautiful handwriting. I am glad that he didn't use a ballpoint.
    I guess we learned a rule: "You can't write elvish with a ballpoint!"

    I noticed the line variation, which suggests a somewhat-flexible nib, maybe a medium.

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    Default Re: Tolkien's pen

    Quote Originally Posted by welch View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by penwash View Post
    Line variation is used in that beautiful handwriting. I am glad that he didn't use a ballpoint.
    I guess we learned a rule: "You can't write elvish with a ballpoint!"

    I noticed the line variation, which suggests a somewhat-flexible nib, maybe a medium.
    It didn't look like he was having to put much pressure on the nib to get a fair degree of line variation. Quite flexible I'd say.

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    Default Re: Tolkien's pen

    Definitely not Mabie Todd.

    The section looks like an Onoto to me. Difficult to be sure but the section seems quite short so perhaps a 4601 or 3050. Many Onotos had nice flexible nibs

    Cob
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    Default Re: Tolkien's pen

    What a beautiful language to write! My husband could get around in Elvish (although he was much more comfortable in Oracle) but I never saw him write it. Not a database kind of language...for that you’d probably be better with Khazad.

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    Default Re: Tolkien's pen

    Hard to tell. Really could be anything. BHR pen with a gold nib.

    I also don't think this is a flex nib but a stub or italic. There is not visible flex to the nib nor any hand movement that implies downward pressure. I would bet that this pen has an italic nib.

    Tolkien was a philologist with an emphasis on Old Norse and Old English (his earliest work included a translation Beowulf). As such, the scripts and texts he would have drawn inspiration from would have been broad-edge scripts. This, paired with looking at the Elvish Script, leads me to believe that it is being done with an italic nib, not a flexible one.

    Edit to add: you can see when he starts the second word that he achieves a broad line on an upstroke going in an arch from lower right to upper left and still creates a thicker line. Not possible with a flex pen. Seen at 18 seconds.
    Last edited by AzJon; April 7th, 2018 at 10:08 AM.

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    Default Re: Tolkien's pen

    Quote Originally Posted by AzJon View Post
    Hard to tell. Really could be anything. BHR pen with a gold nib.

    I also don't think this is a flex nib but a stub or italic. There is not visible flex to the nib nor any hand movement that implies downward pressure. I would bet that this pen has an italic nib.

    Tolkien was a philologist with an emphasis on Old Norse and Old English (his earliest work included a translation Beowulf). As such, the scripts and texts he would have drawn inspiration from would have been broad-edge scripts. This, paired with looking at the Elvish Script, leads me to believe that it is being done with an italic nib, not a flexible one.

    Edit to add: you can see when he starts the second word that he achieves a broad line on an upstroke going in an arch from lower right to upper left and still creates a thicker line. Not possible with a flex pen. Seen at 18 seconds.
    Quite observant. Thank you.

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    Default Re: Tolkien's pen

    Quote Originally Posted by AzJon View Post
    Hard to tell. Really could be anything. BHR pen with a gold nib.

    I also don't think this is a flex nib but a stub or italic. There is not visible flex to the nib nor any hand movement that implies downward pressure. I would bet that this pen has an italic nib.

    Tolkien was a philologist with an emphasis on Old Norse and Old English (his earliest work included a translation Beowulf). As such, the scripts and texts he would have drawn inspiration from would have been broad-edge scripts. This, paired with looking at the Elvish Script, leads me to believe that it is being done with an italic nib, not a flexible one.

    Edit to add: you can see when he starts the second word that he achieves a broad line on an upstroke going in an arch from lower right to upper left and still creates a thicker line. Not possible with a flex pen. Seen at 18 seconds.
    I agree with AzJon. I've used an Osmiroid for years, and recognize those strokes. Of course, I've never tried writing in Elvish...
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    Default Re: Tolkien's pen

    Was it ever sold at an auction? I reckon someone would pay a small fortune for that pen.

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    Default Re: Tolkien's pen

    Supposing it WAS just an Osmiroid?
    My other pen is a Montblanc.

    And my other blog is a tumblr!

    My eBooks. Because why not.

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    Default Re: Tolkien's pen

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor Kenshin View Post
    Supposing it WAS just an Osmiroid?
    You can see from the nib that it's not. But if it were, and you had a provenance proving it had been Tolkien's, then I imagine it would still go for a decent price.
    Last edited by calamum; April 23rd, 2018 at 01:30 PM.
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    Default Re: Tolkien's pen

    Quote Originally Posted by calamum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor Kenshin View Post
    Supposing it WAS just an Osmiroid?
    You can see from the nib that it's not. But if it were, and you had a provenance proving it had been Tolkein's, then I imagine it would still go for a decent price.
    I can't get the video image big enough to actually see the nib.
    My other pen is a Montblanc.

    And my other blog is a tumblr!

    My eBooks. Because why not.

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    Default Re: Tolkien's pen

    Quote Originally Posted by aaronp View Post
    Was it ever sold at an auction? I reckon someone would pay a small fortune for that pen.
    You might check with the Marion E. Wade Center, at Wheaton College, IL. The archive holds the largest collection of Tolkien and Lewis papers and some of their physical property, such as their desks and other items. Tis a cool place.

    https://www.wheaton.edu/academics/ac...rs/wadecenter/
    Last edited by dfo; April 24th, 2018 at 08:04 PM.
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    Default Re: Tolkien's pen

    Turns out he used a dip pen for most of his work. Here is a link:
    http://www.quora.com/Who-has-the-fou...d-of-the-Rings

    No mention of the FP he used tho.

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    Default Re: Tolkien's pen



    From The Lord of the Rings. Pelikan M100N fine point with Noodler's Antietam. Pelikan Souverän 800 with Pelikan brown. Sheaffer Touchdown fine with Sheaffer green.
    Last edited by Chip; July 17th, 2021 at 07:56 PM.

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