Made in Great Britain

Old and new left-hand friendly stationery from Staedtler

It’s International Lefthanders day this weekend. For more than 40 years this day has been observed on 13 August.


In my wife’s photo above you can see two Staedtler items for left-handers. Yes, that left-handed Metro pencil is apparently made by Staedtler UK in Pontyclun. They also made pencils for Berol and Chambers in their Pontyclun factory (You might remember the 2014 La La Land post with Chambers pencils and the 2013 Berol post).

You can read more about the notebook used in the photo in Pencil Talk’s latest blog post and more about Helmut Hufnagl in this Insights X post and more about the left-handed rulers in another Insights X post.

Diamine’s Enchanted Ocean 1

An ink sample I got from Scribble.

Not any blue, but an Enchanted Blue

..but not any Enchanted Blue, this is the Enchanted Ocean.

It combines the seriousness of a blue-black ink and the joyfulness of Hello Kitty merchandising, which means that you will be embarrassed to take it out at work as well as feeling awkward taking it out at a children’s party, too.
Diamine Enchanted Ocean
Photographed against the light to make the sparkles more obvious.

Diamine Enchanted Ocean

Royal Sovereign Briton 8

Royal Sovereign Briton

I have touched on the complicated history of the Royal Sovereign Pencil Co in a previous blog post. Today I want to show another pencil made by Royal Sovereign: the Briton.

Royal Sovereign Briton

To put this pencil into context: it was made in the early 1970s, i.e. after Staedtler’s partnership with the British Royal Sovereign Pencil Company started in 1960 and after the owner or Royal Sovereign, the Charnaud family, offered Staedtler their shares in 1966. I guess there’s a chance these pencils were made on the same machines as the early Staedtler Tradition pencils shown here.

Royal Sovereign Briton

The Briton pencil was available in five different degrees: 2H (yellow), H (green), HB (red), B (light blue) and 2B (dark blue), but towards the end of the Briton line, before it was replaced by the Staedtler Tradition, only the HB and B pencils were still in production.

Royal Sovereign Briton

Just like the earliest Staedtler Tradition pencils, it has golden lettering and was pre-sharpened on the right side. This means that the text is upside down if you hold the pencil (the normal way) in your right hand.

Royal Sovereign Briton

The Briton is easy to sharpen and erase. Sharpening was tested using a Maped Metal sharpener, made in Suzhou1, near Shanghai.  In terms of darkness, the lead produces a line similar to modern Staedtler pencils but feels a bit scratchier. It is definitely a good all-round and everyday pencil.

Royal Sovereign Briton

I would like to thank mrsnuffles for telling me which other Briton degrees were available at the time.

  1. That’s one of the nice things in Chinese supermarkets: the label on the product or shelf will tell you which city a product is made in. []

Pencil Paraphernalia and a Pretty Pencil Pin Pendant 3

Today: pencil paraphernalia and a pretty pencil pin pendant.

My wife bought them for me last year in the Cumberland Pencil Museum shop.

Derwent Zincwhite

Pencil keyring and fridge magnet

Derwent Zincwhite surface

A closer look at the surface

If you have seen this year’s first Faber-Castell newsletter1 these two items might remind you of the fountain pen our favourite count2 received for his 70th birthday: the pen’s barrel looks rather similar3. Just like the Derwent pencils these two items are made in the North of England. The company behind the fridge magnet and the keyring is Zincwhite from Huddersfield4.



  1. If you haven’t seen it yet: You’ll also find an article about our pencil community’s own Sean, who is the man behind Contrapuntalism and The Blackwing Pages, in the newsletter. []
  2. Usual disclaimer as mentioned previously: He is not really a count. According to Part 2, Section 1, Article 109(2) of the Weimar Constitution privileges based on birth or social status and titles of nobility were abolished in the Weimar Republic in 1919. Graf (Count) is just part of his surname. In reality no one seems to care about this rule though. I assume this rule hasn’t been broken in the latest book about Faber-Castell, when his wife is referred to as Gräfin (Countess), because adapting the “surname” to the gender of a person seems to be permissible. As you can see, the whole issue is rather complicated. []
  3. …but is probably made from Castell 9000 pencils []
  4. I certainly won’t be able to mention Huddersfield without mentioning that Professor Sir Patrick Stewart is Chancellor of the University of Huddersfield. []