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Élysée

A little-known brand, at least in North America, Élysée was a short-lived brand produced by a German jewelry firm called Dummert.  This firm had been founded in 1925 by Paul Dummert, and dabbled in pens as part of their overall business in what appears to be a fairly minor way.  The firm ceased to exist in a physical sense in 1945, during the bombing of its hometown of Pforzheim, although given the paucity of gold available under the Nazis, the bombing was probably more of a final insult for the goldsmiths than a catastrophic blow.  It took seven years to rebuild under the direction of Paul’s son Reinhold.  The rebuilt Dummert apparently never quite grew to the dimensions it had attained prior to the Second World War, and was bought in 1970 by watchmakers Benzinger and Klein; whether these folks were connected to the current watchmaker Benzinger I cannot say, but the Pforzheim location is suggestive.

The name Élysée was not applied to the company’s production until 1980, at which point they had been making similar metal-bodied lacquered pens on behalf of other brands for about five years.  There are intimations of distribution deals with Mont Blanc, and it may be that Dummert was convinced of the possibilities of selling pens as fashion accessories; they had long experience in the latter, after all.  Most of Élysée’s output was in the form of relatively high-end gold-pointed pens, and it seems all of it was the lacquered metal bodies they’d started with; this was in keeping with the fashion in fountain pens of the time.

Apparently understanding the fashion accessory side of the equation was insufficient preparation for getting involved in writing instruments at that time.  The line was taken over by Staedler in 1991, and folded in 2000, which seems to indicate that setting up a line of pens merely to make money off them is not the high road to riches.

The company’s trademark is a heavily stylized capital D, harking back to the original Dummert mark, a simple copperplate monogram.

Models I’ve examined:

Alphabetically By Date
  • c. 1980 – c. 1990

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