I first met the late and great Philip Poole when I visited his shop in Drury Lane during my lunchtime in the early 1960s. Philip Poole was known internationally as ‘His Nibs’, not only because of his unique collection of pen nibs, associated equipment and ephemera, but his unmatched knowledge of the subject. Philip began with a shop in Drury Lane, which was the subject of many articles in magazines and once used in a period film. Philip moved to Cornellison’s in Great Russell Street, where he worked until his death in 1999. He was a founder member and long-term chairman of the Writing Equipment Society and on the committee of the Museum of Writing. He had been approached by numerous universities and museums worldwide with a view to purchasing his collection but, as with the Cole collection, he wished it to remain, specifically, in England. After his death a small number of his more valuable items were stolen. In order to prevent further loss and to conform to Philip’s wishes that his collection, as with the Cole Collection, formed part of the family inheritance, the Cole Collection purchased the more valuable of the remaining items, which included the 1840 ‘Bird nib’
The Poole family then donated the remaining pen nibs (over 100,000 in total) plus the artefacts and ephemera to the Museum of Writing, .The Poole family's generosity and that of Doug Skerritt (see elsewhere) added to the Cole collection has made the MOWRC one of the world.'s most comprehensive writing related collections.


  • Philip Poole
  • Alan E. Cole/MOW