No 10 4


A few days ago the UK’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, reshuffled his cabinet. This kind of event is one of those rather rare occasions when you can see the government’s nice pen trays in the news.

I first noticed these pen trays when I watched the original House of Cards TV series from 1990. This led me to looking into this and I found out that the real life pen trays are very similar.

Have a look at Tony Blair’s cabinet table in 2001.

Blair's cabinet table in 2001. Picture © Getty
Blair’s cabinet table in 2001. Picture © Getty

The highest resolution photo of the cabinet table I could find was from the Jewish Chronicle. Below is a magnification of the pen trays. The pencils look similar to the Shaws pencils used for voting in the UK. By the way, the Lamy Al-Star (or is it a Safari?) is not Theresa May’s but Hilda Worth’s.

The pen trays under Theresa May. Picture © The Jewish Chronicle

If you want to see more of these pen trays, here they are…
under Boris Johnson
under David Cameron
under Tony Blair


The images in this blog post have been taken from the sources acknowledged under the images. I believe that the use of the images shown in this blog post falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.


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4 thoughts on “No 10

  • memm Post author

    It does like a bit like the one on my desk. The one on my desk is from Graf von Faber-Castell, from times long past when they were still affordable and it actually looks much more sophisticated than the one from No 10.

  • Stephen

    Very interesting! The red cases and binders used by the UK cabinet have long been an interest of mine (and I know I’m not alone).

  • Ruurd

    Ah! I’m spotting a Safari on the picture from the pen trays during Mrs. May. Upon closer inspection it turns out that they are in fact pencil trays, not pen trays. Amazing.