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Last Updated: Monday, 25 October, 2004, 17:38 GMT 18:38 UK
Pitman gold pen sold for hundreds
Gold-nibbed pen and portrait miniature
The purchaser of the pen said he would use it for shorthand writing
The gold-nibbed pen used by shorthand pioneer Sir Isaac Pitman has been sold at auction in Bath for more than 700.

The pen belonging to Sir Isaac, who lived in city, was valued at between 80 and 120 by Bonhams auctioneers.

It was part of a sale of items from his home in Bath's Royal Crescent and the Pitman family home of Eastcourt House near Malmesbury, Wiltshire.

A Bonhams spokeswoman said: "The sale was well attended and we had phone bids from as far afield as Singapore."

The pen was bought by Commander Peter Duppa-Miller, who lives in the city.

"He said he would most probably try to use the pen to write in shorthand - and longhand," the Bonhams spokeswoman said.

Sir Isaac, who lived from 1813 to 1897, developed a form of phonographic shorthand, which has since been adapted for languages around the world.

It has been widely used by secretaries and journalists.

A rare first edition of Sir Isaac Pitman's Stenographic Shorthand, from 1837, fetched 763 at the auction.

A portrait of Sir Isaac in a 19cm gilt brass frame, sold for 2,115.

A manuscript volume containing copies of personal and business letters written by Sir Isaac in "phonography" between 1839 and 1843 was bought by archivists at the University of Bath for 2,115.

The items were among 300 lots of furniture, rugs, ceramics, works of art and other collectables, sold by Sir Isaac's four great-granddaughters.

"We expected a great deal of interest, particularly as he was such a well-known local figure, but I have to say the sale exceeded our expectations," the Bonhams spokeswoman said.

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