Saturday, April 17, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 182

Today's featured acquisition is a beautiful vintage Waterman Nurse’s set (consisting of a thermometer case, matching fountain pen and matching mechanical pencil) belonging to Christopher... 

(photo courtesy of Christopher ~ please click on image to enlarge)

Christopher: "I picked it up downtown from a dealer who has, on occasion, done me proud with the odd point. When I got the set, the boxed was trashed and in need of a lot of TLC. Fortunately, over the years I have had a lot of experience restoring vintage collectable and antique item packaging. As for the pen, it required a replacement nib which I nabbed from a duplicate Waterman nurse’s pen, resacking and a good polishing. The thermometer was in good shape and correct for the vintage and the pencil was news stand mint." 

 Many thanks to Christopher for sharing his lovely set (and great photo :) with us! I did a bit of digging and found an ad for a different version of a vintage Waterman's Nurse's set:

(advertisement from a May 1942 Saturday Evening Post of a Waterman Nurse's set consisting of two fountain pens and a matching mechanical pencil----see detail below---click to enlarge)


The Nurses' set in the ad above consists of a mechanical pencil and two slightly different fountain pens  - "one for day and one for night". It's hard to see, but one pen has a black band near the top of its cap and the other has a red band. The pen with the black band was meant to be filled with black ink and used for charting patient notes during the day, while the other pen was to be used with red ink for night charting by the nurse.

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Thursday, April 15, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 181

Today we're featuring a handsome, affordable fountain pen made by Osprey Pens of California--the Osprey 'Scholar'--purchased by Stuart from the Vancouver Pen Shop last month ...

(all photos courtesy of Stuart ~ please click on images to enlarge)

Stuart: "Here’s some shots of my Osprey.  I like it very much - nice writer and comfortable in the hand."

  "And I like the way the brand name is rendered on the clip, bold and classic!"


"This pen may be as close as I ever get to a vintage Parker Duofold.  They are pricey!"

According to their website: "The Osprey Scholar was created in honor of the American School System. Machined from solid Acrylic rod stock, it is designed to be a rugged and dependable fountain pen for students and professionals! Available in many vibrant and classic colors, the Scholar has a long and slender feel. It scores well in stress, crack, and drop tests due to its solid construction. This fountain pen was designed to keep writing for decades with minimal maintenance." The site also notes that the first batch of Scholar fountain pens was created in 2016 for a class in California :)

 Stuart--many thanks, as always, for sharing your newest acquisitions with us on our blog!

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 180

A few days ago, I got an email from VPCer Andy with an update regarding his Kaweco 'Dia2' fountain pen's nib. Here's Andy's email and the photos that accompanied it:

Hello pen friends.

As discussed in our last VPC Zoom meeting, I was not too pleased with the number sized nib on the Kaweco Dia2. It sported the stock 060 Kaweco nib/unit as on all their Classic, Sport, and Al / AC Sport models. This Dia2 is a full sized, classy looking pen which deserves a much more proportional nib to go with it.

(all photos courtesy of Andy ~ please click on images to enlarge)

(Looking sharp my friend....Get ready for a nib transplant!!!) 


$35 CDN from Beaufort Inks in the UK.

 A drastic difference in size with the Bock having much larger shoulders and a longer length. The nib unit is identical in size and thread as the stock Kaweco N060. 


The Bock feed is also different and I particularly like this design pattern of the fins.

The stock Kaweco nib/unit. 

And voila....we have successful pen surgery.

It looks and feels completely different. With that little extra length, I find writing more comfortable and precise. 


The Bock nib is smooth and is light to medium wet. I love the Kaweco fine nib which was exactly how this Bock wrote as demonstrated here in my writing sample.

It all worked out great and that's all for now folks.

Take care and see you on the 15th.


Great to hear that Andy managed to find a nice-looking replacement nib that's more in proportion to the size of the fountain pen...and for a good price, too :) Many thanks for sharing your "nib surgery" story with us, Andy!

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 179

A few items I purchased in the last few months, each costing $15 or less...

(photos by Maja ~ please click on images to enlarge)

(Fun fact: 2021 marks the 80th anniversary of the very first appearance of Wonder Woman and the 60th anniversary of Batgirl's debut).

I got this cute superhero-themed pen roll from a Canadian seller on etsy. Actually, that's not 100% true--it was advertised as a crayon roll. The roll isn't really made for longer writing instruments--they stick out and the roll lacks a flap to protect them from accidentally sliding out. It can work for shorter (<5 inches) pens or pencils, though, and if you slide a piece of fabric behind the items and fold it over, it'll cushion them and help prevent them from falling out. So why did I buy this roll if it wasn't really made for fountain pens? Well, I liked the design of the material, and it only cost $7 CAD including shipping! The seller still has some for sale here.

The white fountain pen in the photo above is part of Sheaffer's 'Calligraphy' line, the descendants of the popular Sheaffer 'No Nonsense' pens which first came out in 1969. This pen came as part of a "Mini Kit" with three different italic nib-section units (in 1.0mm, 1.5mm and 2.0mm nib widths) and four Sheaffer ink cartridges (in blue, black, red & green). The pens are ultra-light (12 grams, without a cartridge) and come in an assortment of attractive colours. They can be bought individually without spare nib unit(s), or in a three-pen "Maxi Kit". Their steel nibs lay down very crisp italic lines, so they're not the best nibs to use if you write quickly as their sharp edges might catch on or dig into the writing surface. The barrel's inkview window is very useful in letting you know if you're running low on ink, but it's actually a cutout, so you can't use the pen as an eyedropper-filler. Still, at $14.99 CAD (from a local Staples store), it's a good deal for a pen that'll instantly improve your handwriting.

The bottom pen needs no introduction---it's a Parker 'Jotter' ballpoint, a new addition to my ever-growing 'Jotter' collection. This white example came via and isn't part of any special edition series. It writes well, it looks good... and it fits in the crayon roll (yay!)

The middle item is a lead holder made by Art Alternatives that I purchased at Sublime (a small local art supply shop) on closeout for $9.99. It holds 2.0mm leads using a three-pronged drop clutch mechanism and is comfortable to hold, thanks to its knurled metal grip section. The barrel's material (described by the company as "heavy-weight plastic") seems quite sturdy, too. I hadn't heard of Art Alternatives before, but Opus stores are currently carrying a lot of their products. I noticed that the lead holder's packaging mentioned that Art Alternatives is "an employee-owned company", and on their website it says: "Our mission is to make artistic expression affordable for anyone who feels inspired to do it!". I think both of those things are pretty cool :)

~Photos & write up by Maja ~

Friday, April 9, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 178

A couple more of Christopher's newest acquisitions, and the story behind them...

 (photo courtesy of Christopher ~ please click on image to enlarge)

Christopher: "I ran across a set of Sheaffer Sentinel Ballpoints, which belonged to two gentlemen who founded a jewelry store, which is still running. Both are long gone since their business was established at the beginning of the 1930s, but their names remain imprinted on these two somewhat matching Sheaffer ballpoints. 

There is something rather special about one of these pens and it was Rene who lent credence to that. The Sheaffer Sentinel model was one of their White dot line of pens, but one ballpoint is missing the White dot. Also, Sheaffer placed a tiny bump at the top of their ballpens from that period to identify them as ballpens (to differentiate them from their fountain pens); this tiny indicator, although apparent on the one White Dot pen, is missing on the ballpoint without the White dot. Otherwise, as you will see, the pens are identical. 

The brother who put his name on their jewelry shop also has his name personalized on the White Dot pen with the tiny clip bump. So, Rene figured that a Sheaffer salesperson visited their jewelry shop with samples and the one brother got the non White Dot, bumpless dealer’s salesperson prototype sample, while the other got the full meal deal. Regardless, and once restored, they are a very attractive related set."

What a handsome pair of vintage ballpoints! Around 2013, Sheaffer came out with a new 'Sentinel' ballpoint. That pen, however uses a "click" mechanism and somewhat resembles a Parker 'Jotter', so there is no mistaking the two Sheaffer 'Sentinel' ballpoint models :)

Our thanks to Christopher for sharing his new finds with us!

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 177

If you've been following our ongoing virtual "show & tell", you might have noticed all the new pens Jerred has added to his Delta fountain pen collection. The fountain pen we're featuring today, however, is not a Delta but, rather, an elegant modern Pilot fountain pen Jerred recently acquired...

 (all photos courtesy of Jerred ~ please click on images to enlarge)

Jerred:  "This is a Pilot Grandee Urushi. The Grandee was a long-running model in Pilot's product lineup, and was a mid-range gold-nibbed model that would be similar in placement to the Custom 742 or 912 today. The most common models of the Grandee were made of lacquered brass, but there was also a variant made of wood. They were all quite thin pens overall, and were available as fountain pens, ballpoint pens and pencils. It is common to find the wood and standard lacquered Grandee pens in two-piece sets."

"The particular model here is coated in Urushi lacquer. Urushi is a natural, hard-wearing lacquer that was originally used to protect wood and ebonite products. Urushi often commands a hefty premium over other finishes due to the complicated and time-consuming process required, as every individual layer of lacquer needs to be fully cured (~24 hours) before another layer of lacquer can be applied. The Grandee Urushi was considered a premium finish in the Grandee lineup, and was manufactured during the entire life of the Grandee model which stretched from the 1970s into the 2000s."

"This particular Grandee Urushi is a later model variant, and somewhat uncommon. The most common Grandee models (Urushi, wood, or otherwise) use smaller "clip on" style 14k nibs as well as a split clip. This variant uses a larger nib that wraps almost all the way around the feed, and a solid, hinged clip with "Grandee" stamped into it. The date code for this particular nib is visible in the pictures provided, giving a manufacturing date of May 1992. There are also variants of the Grandee with inlaid and "toenail" style nibs."

"Being a premium finish in the Grandee line of pens, the Grandee Urushi is much less common than other variants and generally commands a higher price. If you're looking to purchase a Grandee Urushi, check the pen over carefully: All Urushi-coated Grandee pens will be labelled as "Urushi" on the pen body, normally just above the cap band. This labeling is shown in the pictures included."

(top: Pilot Grandee Urushi model; below: Pilot Deluxe Urushi)

"There is no directly comparable model in Pilot's current lineup for the Grandee, but the Grandee Urushi itself is comparable to the Pilot Deluxe Urushi, which is currently Pilot's entry-level urushi pen. Both pens are relatively slim, made of brass, and are lacquered on the cap, body and grip section. A picture above is provided for a comparison.

The nib on this particular pen is in Fine, and is a lovely writer."

Length Capped: 133MM
Uncapped: 120MM
Width at Widest Point: 10MM
Grip: 8.5MM

As always, our thanks to Jerred for sharing his recent finds with us via his photos and write ups :)

Monday, April 5, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 176

My new Swiss-made Caran d'Ache '849 ballpoint in the "chocolate" design, along with some Swiss-made chocolates (and two non-chocolate bunnies :)

(~please click on images to enlarge~)

I purchased the ballpoint from La Couronne du Comte's online store in the Netherlands and got it for an excellent price. I opted to get the unboxed version of the pen as the boxed version--though attractive--cost an additional 12 Euros.


The '849' is an iconic writing instrument, instantly recognizable by its hexagonal shape. This pocket-sized all-metal ballpoint was first made in 1969, and comes in a wide variety of colours and designs for every taste. 

A word about refills...

Although it comes furnished with a Caran d'Ache "Goliath" ballpoint refill, the '849' also accepts the (less-expensive) Parker-style ballpoint refills that are available in most stationery stores. An even less-expensive alternative is Caran d'Ache's own "Swissride" ballpoint refill. Though longer and skinnier than its 'Goliath' refill counterpart, the 'Swissride' refill fits perfectly inside the hole of the ballpoint's internal "clicker" mechanism. I got my "Swissride" refills from Nikaido

in Richmond for a very reasonable price.


This is my sixth '849' ballpoint and it likely won't be my last -- they're attractive, durable, and
well-made writing instruments that feel good in the hand, despite their smaller size. I have heard that Caran d'Ache will be releasing a larger version of the '849' ballpoint in the near future, though. Stay tuned!

~Photos & write up by Maja ~