Spencerian 1 v4 gray

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Spencerian logo5.jpg
Spencerian 1 v4 gray
Manufacturer Perry & Co. for
Spencerian Steel Pen Co.
Nib No. 1
Descr. College
Tip F
Markings Exterior
Mark 2 Nº 1
Spencerian 2 Version 4 gray - top view, with ruler

Described in contemporary advertising (Zanarian) as: "Spencerian Steel Pens. No. 1 (College). A pen similar to the Zanerian Ideal and Gillott's No. 604." Another advertisement (Digital Commonwealth) offers this description: "Point fine; used by the best penmen in U.S. and Canada." A Spencerian sample card (see Smithsonian Libraries Exhibit on trade literature) included a sample of the #1 College Pen among 11 samples--listing it as a "Extra fine point, double elastic action. The elastic action of this pen cannot be surpassed." Another Spencerian sample card included the #1 College Pen among 26 samples. It is included in the section of the card for Fine Pointed nibs.

College or Double Elastic? As noted, contemporary advertising and sample cards consistently refer to the #1 as the College Pen. However the boxes in which #1 nibs were sold just as consistently refer to the #1 as the Double Elastic Pen.

The Blam Nib site points out that the Spencerian #1 is considered one of the Joe Vitolo's Dream Points. While there is controversy over choosing any nib as the "best," there's no question but that the Dream Points are rare, coveted by many, and hard to find.

The Vintage Nibs blog (Spencerian #1 page) provides information that helps date the individual nibs in the collection. Specifically, nibs marked ENGLAND were produced before 1930 (and are highly regarded). Nibs marked MADE IN ENGLAND were produced after 1930 and are less-highly regarded. (Unmarked nibs? Not sure)

The Blam Nib site says that The Spencerian Steel Pen Co. was formed In 1858 as a subsidiary of the Ivison Phinney Publishing Company, later known as Ivison, Phinney, Blakeman, & Co., and finally in 1869 as Ivison, Blakeman, Taylor, & Co. The New York City-based pen company (Spencerian Steel Pen Co.), was a pen distribution company that purchased its nibs from an English manufacturer, having no factories of its own. The Spencerian pens were made in Birmingham, England, by Sir Josiah Mason for Perry & Co. This explains why many Spencerian nibs have markings for both New York, N.Y. and England.


There are six distinct versions of the Spencerian #1 College Pen nib in the Chappy's Nibs collection:

(These version names are defined for this collection alone, and are not necessarily industry-wide terms.)

The nib pictured below is Version 4 gray.


Click any image for a full-resolution photo: 1650 x 480. The image with the ruler is 2300 x 1196.

Spencerian 1 v4 gray - top view
Spencerian 1 v4 gray - side view, upper
Spencerian 1 v4 gray - side view, lower

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