09 May 2011

Public House

For Suomi-san who introduced me into the Stephens’ world.

Despite my years in Glasgow, I am not a pub-goer. But it seems to me that all English/Scottish/Irish pubs seem to be one and the same, endlessly repeated. And given their otaku mentality, some of the best examples might be in Japan—look for a home-made haggis in a pub in Scotland, as I saw in Yokohama!

The ad...

...and the "Irish" public house.

Anyway, one of the key elements in a pub is the decoration. Vintage ads are always present together with a profusion of wood panels and indirect lights. This Madrid “Irish” pub, though, has very English ads—the long gone Stephens’ ink.

Stephens' inkwell together with the box of the model 56 pen. Photo courtesy of Grafopasión member Mr. JLML.

Another old ad of Stephens' ink. Photo courtesy of Grafopasión member Mr. JLML.

The Stephens’ company was the leading company in ink production in Britain after the 1837 patent for a permanent ink, filed by the founder Dr. Henry Stephens. The company really succeeded when at his death, his son Henry Charles Stephens, also known as “Inky” Stephens, became in charge. The company only started producing pens well into the twentieth century. Not many models they made, and there are arguments about their actual value, but there are some avid collectors of Stephens’ pens.

(Parker 21, black – Senator Regent Royal Blue)

Bruno Taut
April, 2011
[labels: tinta, Stephens']

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