Fountain Pen Restoration

Spors Dice Pen Research

One of my favorite posts was one I wrote on September 17, 2008 titled (and linked here) Spors Fountain Pen Entertainment Center.  Not because the pen is a fantastic and valuable pen, but just that it was fun to share what a surprise it was when I opened the pen up to clean the compass and the dice fell out.  At the time, I ran the pictures by some other collectors and no one seemed to recall any such pens.

Below is a picture that appears in that post, showing the compass removed from the cap-end, with the enclosed dice falling out.


I recently purchased an old SPORS mail order catalog from 1933, in hopes that it would have some information on this pen. Below is a photo of the cover of this mail order catalog, produced by the Spors Company, of Le Center, MN.


When I got to page 23 I was rewarded with a lineup of these Japanese imports, which includes this pen.  You can also see a standard crescent filler, similar to the one restored in my post of February 13, 2008, Made in Japan.


Here is a close up of the advertisement showing the dice stored under the compass.


And here is the specific wording promoting this version.  Interestingly, the compass is the selling point, with emphasis placed on it being removable and worn separately.  I am not sure why you would be attracted to this and it is quite amusing.  Still no mention of the dice other than in passing.  At least I was able to find them in this catalog which narrows the age of this pen to near 1933.


Addendum:  Spors catalogs are quite entertaining to the pen collector.  In a separate location of the catalog you can see where they used pens to promote other products. (Or was it the other way around?).  This $.49 deal was quite a package ~ Perfume, Face Powder, Crystal Necklace, and Pen/Pencil set.  The catalog contains many more of these mix and match deals aimed at retailers, as well as the general public.  Mr. Spors was a master at mail-order and sales.


Part of Fountain Pen Restoration is the placing of the fountain pen in history. The discovery of this catalog finally allowed me to place this curio pen near 1933.


December 1, 2009 - Posted by | Spors |


  1. […] here to read the rest: Spors Dice Pen Research « Fountain Pen Restoration Tags: 2008-titled, entertainment, spors, spors-fountain, wrote-on-september « […]

    Pingback by Spors Dice Pen Research « Fountain Pen Restoration | Pen Portal | December 2, 2009 | Reply

  2. I recently purchased a Justrite pen with the same compass and dice in the lid. Unfortunately only 3 dice, so no Zahtzee for me. Lever says “Made in Japan” and nib is Royal 14K plated.

    Comment by Ward Buelow | June 15, 2013 | Reply

  3. Hey Phil, if you’ve still got that catalog I’d like to know if it shows any “Put and take” pencils. The subject came up over at Leadhead’s today and John Hubbard pointed me to towards this article. Also, take a look at this article and see if this is the Spors logo:

    Comment by Jon Veley | November 12, 2014 | Reply

    • Jonathan,

      Sorry to take so long to get back to you. Just got home from a trip.

      I spent some time going through the two catalogs I have from Spors (dated 1933 and 1935). He marketed some unique pens and pencils, often referred to as Spors, though as you know he imported these from Japan and Germany. The dice and Compass are very prevalent in many of his pens and pencils of this period, but I have seen no documentation of the Put and Takes. This is not to say that they were not marketed by him, but that my catalog collection of his stuff is limited. I suspect that a further investigation of later catalogs would be required to rule out him as a distributor. He did stop importing from Germany and Japan as WWII arrived when the US Government started watching his movements due to having relatives in the German Army (info confirmed by his son).

      Here is the only Spors logo that I have that is similar to the one in your earlier article. Not a perfect match, but very close…. The material of your pencil in the “Have You Seen Me?” post looks very much like that found in so many of his pens and pencils.

      It may have been imported and sold by Spors, or perhaps made in Japan and imported by someone else. Sorry I can’t be of more help.

      Phil Munson

      Comment by PKM | November 12, 2014 | Reply

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