c1600 Elizabethan Silver and Inlaid Silver on Wood Nib Pen


A very rare fine quality early nib pen in very good condition.

Ageing a piece like this is difficult, but the construction and style puts it in the Elizabethan or early Jacobean period, say 1600 to 1625. The pen is made of a dark wood, like walnut or briar, but has too fine a grain to be oak. The wood has been turned and cut so that there is a ball and cube shape, alternating along the length. The wood has been further decorated by the addition of inset silver wire. Finally, both ends are finished in silver. A point at the top end and a nib holder at the other. The nib is also made of silver and has a short and broad tip, probably for large calligraphy.

There is so little written about early antique nib pens, because the traditional quill has been a very versatile and cheap form of writing implement. There are very few examples in museums. The construction and decoration of this pen shows that it belonged to a person of substance.

Size: 22 cm (8 5/8 inches)
Weight: 23 g