hese leather pouches from the 1930s were made to slip into ladies handbags. On the reverse side of the pull-out section that holds the pen and pencil is a mirror for 'powdering shiny noses'. Both the Dinkie pens and Duro-point pencils are "ring-tops" that enable them to be suspended from a silk lanyard if so desired.
his pouch contains a "Harlequin" ring-top pen and pencil set, bearing a gold imprint of a sprig of Rosemary and the words "Rosemary That's for remembrance". I understand that these pens and pencils were manufactured shortly after the first world war (WW1), probably by several manufacturers in Britain, with the profits being devoted to help the war-widows.
nd why the name "Rosemary"? No its not somebody's French girl friend "Rose-Marie", but apparently rosé meaning dew, and marinus - of the sea, namely dew of the sea. This plant grows wild around the Mediterranean coasts and the story goes that during harvest season its fragrance drifted out to sea and could be smelt by the fishermen bringing in their catches after a long night's haul. Rosemary is supposed to possess many qualities and is the subject of legends dating to the time of the ancient Greeks who wore it as a head garland before exams because it has the power of improving memory (that's for remembarance)! For readers who are lawyers: Rosemary used to be sprinkled round the seat of the Judge so as to stifle the smell of the prisoners. For entomologists, Rosemary has always been known for its insecticidal properties, and it is now being more thoroughly investigated in the search for non-toxic botanicals as alternatives to the synthetic insecticides. Rosemary also symbolises love and fidelity, strengthening love-bonds and expelling bad spirits. Michael Wright sent me this quotation from Hamlet, Act IV sc. v; Ophelia, hardly surprisingly, has gone mad, and is handing out herbs: "There's rosemary, that's for remembrance; pray, love, remember: and there is pansies, that's for thoughts."
What a name for a pen!
y most beautiful Rosemary is a casein pen commonly called "Grey Jazz", which fancifully describes a greyish swirl with red orange and yellow swirls built-in. The material was used quite frequently by Conway Stewart in the 30's, and AFAIK this pen too was made by Conway Stewart. I consider this as one of the most interesting, beautiful and love-bonding pens in my collection.
astly, my favorite pouch is this Military Pouch from WW2. It was clearly made by Conway Stewart for the army. Who was "Kempson NX 54614 A.A.O.G."? Who knows where its been and what stories it has to tell? The pen is a No. 477 which is an unusual number, and it came from Australia. You might like to read "A Conway in Action" by John Haynes (Journal of the WES no. 58 Summer 2000) A moving story about his father and his CS 226 during WW2.