Royal Sovereign Briton

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. []
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8 Responses to “Royal Sovereign Briton”

  1. Lisa says:

    very nice thanks for sharing

  2. Gunther says:

    The design of the pencils and the cardboard box is great – thank you for showing! What does the logo stand for?

  3. Matthias says:

    Thanks! The logo is a lion – a national symbol of Britain. Royal Sovereign used it often. You can also see it in the lid of their pencil sets (see first picture here).

  4. Sean says:

    Very interesting, and I agree with Gunther about the packaging.

    So far we have a “Briton” pencil ostensibly made in Britain; an “American” pencil made by Eberhard Faber in America, too. Memm, do you know of a “Deutsch” pencil made by a German company? And by extension, a “Français”, a “Nihongo”, an “Aussie”, a “Norsk”, a “Dansk”, a “Svenska”, a “Русский”, and on and on? :)

    Sounds like a collecting opportunity.

  5. kevin says:

    great article and photos.

    (on a side note don’t get me started on maped pencil sharpeners which have proliferated in Australia in the last couple of years – so many varieties metal, plastic, on and on – and all 5 that i tried are absolute and utter rubbish).

  6. Matthias says:

    Sean, Aussie sounds good. There’s a popular shampoo here in the UK called Aussie. I’d definitely buy that 8^)

    Kevin, Maped also now seems to be in most shops selling stationery in the UK, Germany and China. They really got into all the supermarket supply chains… I haven’t tried to many of their products yet, but I was lucky in so far as the few Maped things I tried were average (instead of rubbish).

  7. Sean says:

    The fourth sharpener of the apencilypse:

    “I looked and beheld a pale sharpener, and the name that rode upon it was Maped, and Hell followed with it.” :)

  8. Matthias says:

    Hehe, luckily mine was only average and not apencilyptic 8^)

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