Ancora is one of Italy’s original fountain pen manufacturers, and like the others, its early years are not well documented. The founder was Giuseppe Zannini, and the company was certainly in business by the early 1920’s. Zaninni and his son operated the firm until after WWII. There are apparently no surviving catalogs, price lists, or other documentation about early Ancora pens, and even their model numbering was opaque. What is known is the pens: Ancora made exquisite overlay safety pens which are very rare today. In the 1930’s they produced pens that clearly emulated Parker Duofolds, but with Italian styling in the celluloid. With thanks to Leticia Jacobini’s research, we know that the early 1930’s featured the Duplex line, in a range of sizes, patterns, and in both lever and button-filled models. The early 1940’s saw the Dama, a faceted pen, and the round Maxima, both in ringed celluloid and exquisite colors.
After WWII had ended, Ancora brought out the Lusso line, in a varying colors and patterns, but generally these were piston pens, some with wonderful transparency. Following the Lussos, the Calamus was of similar construction, but with a smaller, tubular nib. Many had beautiful gold caps setting off the ringed celluloid.
Ancora apparently ceased operations in 1975, but is now again in operation, independently owned.