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An Enormous Stephens Royal

Posted by Kevin Randle on

I saw this Stephens Royal at a pen show and, as I'd never seen on before, felt obliged to buy it.  I find it hard to resist very large vintage pens anyway and this is so 'different' that it was a 'no-brainer' as I believe the expression goes.

At first sight I thought 'Waterman's', my eyes are rubbish and I fixed on the clip.  The clip is clearly stamped 'Stephens' but there is a French connection, the imprint is worn but it does say 'Stephens Royal. Made in France', along with a patent number.


When posted the Royal is an impressive 16.8cm. in length, only a tad shorter than a Parker Centennial but the Royal's capped length is a full 2cm. greater than that of the Centennial.

The question of whether Stephens actually made their pens, assembled them from parts made elsewhere, or had the pens made by another company is not fully answered but there is no doubt that Langs of Liverpool played a big part in the production of some of Stephens pens.

This pen, however, was made in France.  It appears that Stephens had set up a manufacturing company in France around 1930.  Stephens are known to have had some sort of relationship with Waterman, however, and the distinctly 'Watermanish' shape of the clip may raise some questions  The stud filling system with a captive blind cap, as on this pen, was patented in 1935 but the shape of the Royal suggests 1940s.  I'll continue with the research, one of the most enjoyable aspects of pen collecting.





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