Saturday, May 30, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 21

More of René's newest acquisitions---two TWSBI 'Eco' fountain pens (one in bright yellow and the other in glossy white with lovely rose gold trim & nib):

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

René:"I had the TWSBI Eco RG held for me from last year at the Vancouver Pen Shop, and I finally picked it up recently, and, while I was there, I decided to pick up the yellow one as well. The RG is a beautiful pen with rose gold trim and it has a beautiful rose-gold toned nib as well, in medium. I had some major skipping problems with the nib initially, but Shannon at the Shop mostly fixed it (it only skips rarely now)."

"I didn't expect to like the yellow Eco (yellow is my least favourite colour), but something about this one really clicked with me, so I picked one up anyway, in fine. The yellow is the special edition colour of the beginning of the year."

Our thanks to René for sharing his recent purchases with us! (he sent us some more photos of new fountain pens, which will be posted here in June :)

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 20

Back to vintage pens we go now! This newest acquisition belongs to Christopher R. and it's a vintage Webster flattop fountain pen:

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

In his own words:"While doing my due diligence on the Webster Skyrocket (which I did bring to one of our past meetings for show and tell), I discovered that Webster was not the company which made these Webster pens, because they were in fact, house brand pens produced by the National Pen Company out of Chicago for Sears Roebuck. Much like Parker producing some of the Diamond Metal pens also for Sears. What I did not know at that time, was other than the leading pen manufacturers like Parker, the National Pen company did produce quality fountain pens as well as the lower grade third tier contenders."

Christopher's memories of seeing pens in a well-known department store:"Although it was quite a while ago, I do remember going to the local Sears Roebuck department store, which was about 20 minutes from my grandparents house in Short Hills, NJ. I guess the reason why this has stuck in my mind, is due to the fact that my stepgranny, Martha, always would buy me the breakfast cereal of my choice. But I should add that these cereals were not my favourites because of how good they tasted, but more for the premiums that were inside. Sometimes they were plastic toy soldiers, sometimes they were these small underwater bathtub toys like plastic submarines or navy divers, propelled below the surface by baking soda. I just loved these toys, wrapped in clear plastic bags located deep in each box of cereal. But the good news was that the manufacturer usually advertised what kind of premium was inside the boxes, on the outside of the box. But it was on one of those shopping visits to Sears that I also recall seeing their pens. Now to this, what I remember was that the nicer pens were on display for sale in revolving countertop cabinets, while the cheaper pens were in clear divider trays, with maybe twenty or thirty pens in one slot. At the front of each slot was the price and you could just take any one of these pens and bring it up to the checkout to buy. I also remember how nice the attendants were to kids back then. In some of the places that my grandfather took me to, while we were in New York, they would give me a sucker. Definitely a different story these days!"

He continues: "Anyway, back to my Webster. I was surprised with both the quality on the Webster Skyrocket and now on this Webster Big Red. The Webster is longer than both my other senior Big Red style pens. And I should add that my Parker Big Red is a Canadian Parker and somewhat longer than the US one Chris and I picked up back East and sold (see photo below). It is also a tad longer than my Big Red Eclipse also shown in the attached photo of the three pens."

"The actual length (of the Webster) posted is 7 inches, capping back to 5 ½ inches. It’s funny, but when I see these pens together, I realize just how much I like Big Reds! Otherwise, this pen really falls under the quality banner from the National Pen Company. In fact, it took to polish like nobody’s business. The fitting are definitely 14K Gold filled and the big Warranted nib, having knocked it out to clean and polish, is most certainly also 14K gold with good flex and my what a great writer! So overall a pen well worth adding to my collection and I will be using it in my pen line up for next week."

Many thanks to Christopher for sharing his memories and pen photos with us!

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 20 (update!)

A day after sending me photos of his new find, Christopher sent me this email and the photo below:

"I do have a final note regarding this Webster ‘Big Red style flattop. For one, I did not tell you that I replaced the cap band on this pen. The original band was not a perfect fit. It seemed to have been applied upside down, so that the curved in end, which should have been on the bottom open end, was at the top. This left a small misfit re the space at the open end, between the plastic cap and the cap ring. It bugged me so much that I tried to reverse it, but it was even worse, with a bigger gap between the band on the plastic cap, at the top of the band. Fortunately, I had just the right size replacement, which fit both perfectly and correctly. Plus, like the original, it was 14K Gold filled. Hmmm, I think that the original cap band probably was lost and whoever had this pen after, just applied another band which didn’t stay on unless it was mounted incorrectly."

(~click on photo to enlarge~)

"But that was not the only concern I felt I had to deal with regarding this pen. I think I mentioned that it had a big 14K Gold Warranted nib. And that the nib seems to be both a good writer and with responsible flex. Still, on studying this point, there seemed to be something off about it! First of all, on closer inspection, about 85% of the tipping was gone. And it seemed like the proportions of the nib were wrong. The tines looked to short in proportion to the nib’s shoulders. Then I noticed the imprinting. It looked scratchy and unprofessional. The engraving was uneven. It matched another Warranted nib I compared it to in font and placement of the text, but just did not look like the manufacturer’s engraving. My feeling is that the previous owner, reground the nib but in doing so, lost the imprinting. Then replaced it with his own copy."

"Fortunately, I had another Warranted 14K gold nib, at one size bigger (a No.6) but in mint undiddled with condition. So I applied it to this pen, and now can say the pen is 100% restored. Not that the original nib cannot be used, since it writes beautifully with responsible flex but my replacement now only looks correct and writes well but has almost twice the flex. I think I should write a book.....’Confessions of a pen restorer’! I know it would be super boring but at least it would illustrate that I am discerning about the pens I restore."

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 19

Today's "show & tell" item is a modern fountain pen desk set made by the Platinum pen company of Japan, purchased by Stuart since our last pen club meeting:

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

In his words: "Here are my pics of the Platinum set, I’m very happy with it. I love the square pen-socket, very cool and elegant. "

Stuart continues: "The nib is good, a Japanese Medium so leaning to the Fine side. The pen is comfortable and not too light. I forgot to get a converter with it, so I’m using the black cartridge that it came with - ho-hum but adequate for now."

This marble desk set was also made in green marble. Both the green and white marble were used in the production of single- and double-desk sets. These marble sets are not to be confused with the much-lighter Platinum single- and double-desk sets made of ABS plastic.

Our thanks to Stuart for contributing to our virtual "show & tell". Not many writing instrument companies are still making fountain pen desk sets, so it's good to know that they're still out there.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 18

Now, onto a couple of really nice fountain pens belonging to VPC member Louise, who wrote and said: "I’ve been following the Virtual Show and Tell and I got a couple of long-awaited pens the other day!"

(all photos by Louise ~ please click on images to enlarge)

"The first was the PenBBS 492 “Year of the Rat”. It’s a magnet filler demonstrator with rose gold trims, which is a first for PenBBS. It’s got an F nib on it. It’s a numbered edition, another first for PenBBS, as far as I know."

"They took the rat motif seriously, as there are three on this pen: one on the top finial..." on the cap band...
... and one on the tail end. It also came with a matching ink well, which certainly increased shipping prices! I’ve since filled with Ferris Wheel Press Lady Rose."

"The other pen is another Leonardo Momento Zero. This time in Sorrento Blue. I find the material pretty interesting because the pink/purple veins are only really visible in good lighting. Otherwise, it’s a dark blue and grey pen. Pretty neat! It’s got rose gold trims as well."

"I got a broad nib on this one which I had ground to an architect by Fontoplumo’s mysterious nibmeister. It’s a lovely writer."

For a demo of the PenBBS pen's cool magnet-filling mechanism, check out this YouTube video. Many thanks to Louise for sending us photos of her newest pen purchases and telling us a bit about them :)

Friday, May 22, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 17

Next up---Jerred's Delta fountain pen (ca. 1980s) , a pen he calls "one of the weirdest Deltas in my collection... and it wasn't made by Delta."


Read on...

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

Jerred: "This slim little pen is one of the strangest Delta pens in my collection... and it wasn't made by Delta. I have not been able to find out who actually made the pen, but from my research it seems to be German in manufacture. I've also seen this same pen sold under both the Senator and Reform brands. The pen seems to date from the early 80s, so it's entirely possible that this is one of the first, if not THE first pen that Delta sold."

"The engraved logo is certainly the first logo that Delta used on their pens. The other truly strange thing is just how slim this pen actually is - the pen is 6mm wide at it's widest point, including the cap. This puts it in the same range as the Sailor Chalana and Aurora Marco Polo, and the only converter I could find that would fit is the converter made for the Sailor Chalana."

(As an aside, I suggested to Jerred that Elysee might be the manufacturer---they were a German pen company that was around in the 1980s and made quite a few slender fountain pens)
In any case, I love a good mystery, so many thanks to Jerred for sending us photos of this one!

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 16

Back to featuring fountain pens again now---three, in fact (plus a matching mechanical pencil). They're some of René's recent finds, so I'll let him tell the story....

"In early March, before the pandemic hit in earnest, we went to Victoria for a music festival. I took the opportunity to visit Mike Case (who lived very near where our hotel was!) to get a replacement for the Sheaffer 444 nib unit that I broke. We chatted, and I picked up a few pens and a mechanical pencil from him (why not?), all restored."

From top to bottom:

(~All photos by René ~ please click on images to enlarge)

"Esterbook Purse Pen, peacock blue (1960s). ($20!) This is from the second generation set, which do not have the pale, pastel colours of the first. The purse pens were smaller than the J pens, which they were related to, and made of flimsier plastics, so cracks aren't uncommon. This one has small cracks on the cap lip, but is in otherwise good shape. It also has matching pale blue jewels. The nib is a #9788, flexible medium (semi-flex, really), which I have never seen before."

"Below that is a Canadian Sheaffer Balance pen and pencil set (#300 is marked on the pencil, but not the pen - not sure what that means) in beautiful gold and black stripes, from the late 30s - early 40s. It is a non-white dot set. The Balance comes with a 5-30 ($5, guaranteed for 30 years) duo-tone gold nib in a firm fine, and a visulated section. I am having flow issues with the pen (the nib keeps drying out while writing for some reason), which I'm hoping to get looked into sometime."

"Finally, a Canadian Waterman 3 in lovely green pearl pattern with red spots (like my grey and red-spots Waterman 94, but green) from the 30s. It has a Canadian Waterman #3 flex nib. It has some hard-to-see but significant melt-marks on the barrel, the lever is stiff, and the clip isn't usable as a clip (it comes off if pulled too hard), but is a beautiful writer."

Congrats on these really nice vintage finds, René, and thanks for sending us your photos and descriptions of them!

Monday, May 18, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 15

Ok, it's not a fountain pen but (a) I'd had my eye on this ballpoint ever since I saw it at my local Staples over two years ago and (b) it's my birthday today (+ it was a gift from my Dad :)

Meet my newest acquisition--Maja's Cross 'Botanica' ballpoint in the "Daylily" pattern!

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

From "Inspired by the beautiful floral patterns used in henna designs, Botanica is sure to captivate. Eye-catching colors are used to artfully illustrate three lush floral designs on pearlescent ivory lacquer. Tendrils of deep-etched metallic highlights bring the layers together, creating an element of depth and dimension. Like nature itself, Botanica is at once elegant, whimsical and boldly original."

It truly *is* a beautiful writing instrument (my photos don't do it justice), with its dazzling floral design and 23k gold-plated trim and inlays. The 'Botanica' comes in two other designs---the "Purple Orchid" and "Red Hummingbird Vine", but those models have silver-y trim, not gold. It's also available in fountain pen form in what is essentially a very fancy Cross 'Century II' model. The 'Botanica' isn't an inexpensive ballpoint (Cross' MSRP is $151 CAD; Staples and others sell it for less), but I don't know...I just can't stop staring at it...

Measuring just under 5.5 inches in length and 1.01 ounces (28.6 grams) in heft, it's a nice size and weight. The center ring/cap band with the Cross logo (seen above) is made of textured metal and some users have reported that this has caused some discomfort while writing with the pen for long periods. I tend to hold my pens a bit higher up the barrel, though, so it didn't bother me, but it's something to take into account if you're thinking of getting one. At slightly more than 1 inch in diameter, it's a slimmer ballpoint---another thing to take into consideration. Like all Cross ballpoints, the 'Botanica' only takes Cross' proprietary refills (although those made by Franklin Covey will fit, too). Mine came with a Cross Medium black ink refill.

So, how does it write? Well, it's a ballpoint, so I didn't get any line variation (lol), but using this lovely, well-balanced writing instrument is a real joy.
Thanks for the great gift, Dad!

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 14

From the unusual to the familiar... Meet Stuart's new Lamy 'Safari Candy' in "Mango" !

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

From Lamy's official website: What brings as much joy as a bagful of colourful candies - and without the sugar hit? The new Special Edition LAMY safari candy. The fresh trio, composed of violet, aquamarine and mango, is reminiscent of pop art, fruit sorbet and sugar icing.

Wow. Does that sound yummy or what??

Stuart purchased this pen from the Vancouver Pen Shop (which has been open throughout this pandemic) a few weeks ago. He writes: "As you can see from the pics the colour rocks, and I found an ink to go with it very well!"

I asked Stuart about the finish and he wrote back: ""The finish is matte. It’s a great cheery colour. "

Aside from the nib and feed, the entire pen (down to the spacer ring) is the same colour; Lamy refers to this as a "tone-in-tone concept". A lot of thought went into the design of the Safari writing instruments, which have been in continuous production for 40 years. The Safari is well-made and reliable---a great pen to carry around (its ABS plastic material is very durable) and use in the classroom or office, so get yours today! Not a fountain pen fan? It's also available as a ballpoint or mechanical pencil :)

Stuart, thanks as always, for contributing to our pen club meetings' "show & tell", as well as this online version!

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 13

The next pen-related item in our virtual "show & tell" is a very unusual-looking fountain pen owned by Jerred---the Delta 'Fluida':

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

In Jerred's words: "This particular oddball of a pen is called the Delta "Fluida". It dates from the early 2000s, and it shares design details from a few other pens that Delta sold at the time such as the Y2K and the Mini Trend. The heavily curved and flared barrel, however, is quite unique. Also, as far as I can tell it serves no practical purpose - even in the smallest hands, the curve does not sit in the webbing of your thumb. The pen is made of anodized aluminum, and my particular example is in light pink."

"The nib was a remarkably nice writer out of the box,. Uncommonly for Delta, the nib does not have a logo or pattern on it."

Many thanks to Jerred for sharing another interesting find with us!

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 12

From one Limited Edition to another! This fountain pen belongs to VPCer Armando, who wrote: "I'd like to share with the club my latest acquisition since our February meeting---
Parker Duofold Senior 125th Anniversary Limited Edition fountain pen":

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

"In its celebration of 125 years of unique craftsmanship and design innovation, Parker released in 2013 the Duofold Senior 125th Anniversary Limited Edition Fountain Pen, a sumptuous and bold pen available in only 1,125 pieces worldwide."

"I got number 0539. The nib is 18k gold, Fine. The trim metal is silver plated. The material is Precious Black Resin with Silver Plated Casing."

"I haven't inked it yet, and probably will not do it. I just dipped it in ink and signed my name to see how it writes. It writes nicely and smoothly. Will wait for a special document to be signed so I can use it again."

Congratulations on your stunning new fountain pen, Armando, and thanks for sharing your new acquisition with us!

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 11

VPC member René always has some interesting pen-related acquisitions to show at our pen club meetings. Since our last meeting in February, René (who came up with the idea for our virtual "show & tell") acquired a lot of new pens and sent me photos of them. I wasn't sure which photos of his to post first, but René made it very easy for me, later saying "No problem with the order of posting them, but maybe the 2K next, whenever that can be. I'm kinda proud of that one. :-)"

I, too, would be proud to own the "2k" he mentioned, so without further ado, here it is --- Rene's 2019 Lamy '2000' Bauhaus Limited Edition fountain pen:

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

In his words: "This is the 2019 Lamy 2000 Bauhaus Limited Edition to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of the Bauhaus art and design movement. Though the Lamy 2000 is technically a post-Bauhaus design (so I read), it is a descendant of the movement, and reflects the ideals of the design philosophy - the synthesis of elegant modern design and functionality. Unlike the regular Lamy 2000, it is deep blue, with the edition number on one side of the clip, opposite the Lamy name."
"It comes in a large, square box with a very thick journal and a booklet with the Bauhaus history in it, as well as the matching edition number near the back."
"The last picture is a colour comparison with the standard Lamy 2000. It is an edition of 1919 (the year of the birth of Bauhaus), and mine is #1449. (For those of you who are math nerds, 1449 = 3*3*7*23.)"

Lastly, René adds: "The Vancouver Pen Shop held the Bauhaus Lamy 2000 for me from last year and I decided to pick it up recently to help them out with my business and I want to encourage others to help them out as well if they can."

René - thank you for all your contributions to our pen club "show & tell", both online and in-person!

Friday, May 8, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 10

Several days ago, new VPC member Lina sent our club some photos of her new acquisitions and an email saying "I was craving some line variation in my pens so I purchased 2 new pens [one was the new Conklin fountain pen that was eventually featured here]... Another pen I also recently bought is this Sailor 'Fude De Mannen' ":

(all photos by Lina ~ click on images to enlarge)

Lina:"A very affordable and reliable pen that provides great line variation with its high angled “Wakatake” nib (nib angle 55°) for fine lettering."
"It takes a bit of practice to get used to varying the angle in which I write to get the line thickness right, but I quickly got used to the nib and it writes very smooth and very wet."

Many thanks to Lina for the photos and mini-review of this interesting new fountain pen!

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 9

....and now for something completely different---Stuart's new vintage Sheaffer desk set:

(all photos by Stuart ~ click on images to enlarge)

Stuart: "The set came from an eBay dealer in Columbus, Ohio. It’s a Sheaffer Touchdown pen, so end of the ’40’s-early ’50’s. The base is black glass with the gold-plated metal star motif in the centre. The pen’s restored and writes a Medium-Fine line, very smooth. I like it, it’s a simple and elegant set, and the star is something I hadn’t seen before."
"One detail I’ve noticed - the clutch ring on the pen has screw threads to secure the pen inside the socket, but the socket does not have threads. Whether this indicates the base is older than the pen or not, I don’t know. The pen’s a perfect fit for the socket in any case. "

Thanks for sharing this great find with us, Stuart! (to see more of Stuart's vintage Sheaffer desk sets, click here, here and here)

Monday, May 4, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 8

Vancouver Pen Club newcomer Lina is looking forward to attending her first meeting, but in the meantime, she sent these photos of her lovely new Conklin 'Duraflex' Rose Gold Limited Edition fountain pen for our virtual "show & tell":

(all photos by Lina ~ click on images to enlarge)

Lina writes: "This rose gold is a Goulet Pens exclusive, and each pen is individually numbered out of 1898. 1898 is the year the company was created. It is manufactured in Asia, assembled and distributed from Canoga Park, California, and pays tribute to its roots with a “Toledo, Ohio” engraving on its nib."
"This is my first limited edition pen and I've been enjoying the nib quite a bit. It's not super smooth, but it has a nice flex and is very wet."
"It came with a free Monteverde ink and I chose the Supershow Teal":
A big "Welcome to our club!" and thanks to Lina for the photos and background info on this cool-looking Limited Edition!

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 7

Today's virtual "show & tell" is courtesy of Jerred, who recently acquired another Italian-made fountain pen, the Delta 'Activa':

(all photos by Jerred ~ click on images to enlarge)

In Jerred's words: "This pen is the Delta Activa, from Delta's 'Hitechdesign" line. I've not been able to find out if there are any other models in this line, but the I've been able to narrow down the date to the early-to-mid 1990s."

He continues: "This particular model is one of the top finishes for this model, with a sterling silver cap, sterling silver grip, green resin barrel and 18kt gold nib. The pen is well-balanced when unposted, and the nib is really nice."

Our thanks to Jerred for sharing another interesting find with us! I hadn't heard of this particular Delta model before, so I was intrigued when he emailed me about it. I've always found our pen club meetings to be very educational as well as fun, so I'm glad we have a chance to learn about some lesser-known fountain pens via this online show & tell :)