Friday, August 28, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 66

A few days ago, honourary VPC member Glenn from Australia was kind enough to send photos of his newest acquisition. Glenn had also purchased the silver-plated version of the pen, and it arrived a few days later, so he sent the photos and text below. Both are lovely examples of the Parker '75' (which was first introduced in 1963) - a classic that many consider the last vintage/first modern fountain pen...

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

Glenn: "This latest acquisition is a French made Parker '75' in silver plated/CT Prince de Galles pattern, with 14 kt fine nib, slim aerometric converter, a standard dished barrel tassie and a fairly rare opal cabochon on the cap. The pen’s in excellent condition, apart from needing multiple cycles in the ultrasonic cleaner to clean out the old ink."

"It’s quite a challenge to find any additional information. Although there is no date code on the cap, Lih-Tah Wong dates the Prince de Galles pattern from 1976, which is consistent with the plain, white-metal section band."

"I hoped the cabochon would help confirm the production date, but provides only a photo without further information, and doesn’t mention it at all. The opal is a beautiful blue & green with a flash of red; my photo, unfortunately has reflections in it, but the colours are well represented. "

  "I presumed it’s not a solid opal, because one displaying those colours would be rather valuable, so it is more likely to be an opal triplet. I’m glad I don’t have to dunk it in the ultrasonic cleaner like its GP sibling last week, because triplets are not waterproof and it would be ruined. (An opal triplet is composed of a thin slice of crystal opal sandwiched between a transparent top and a backing made of black potch or man made resin. Older style triplets have quartz or glass caps to protect the triplet, but today plastic resin tops are used.)"

Glenn concludes: "And thank you Maja, for these additional leads. A FPN conversation from 2013 confirms that the cabochon is indeed a triplet, sold as a reasonably priced accessory by Parker Australia for customers to dress up their pens, perhaps for gifting: The few pens found in the available sources are in different patterns/finishes and made in France & USA, not just those “made” (assembled) in Australia, but because opal is our national gemstone, one seller thought the cabochons might be intended to mark our Bicentennial in 1988 - Personally, I think that 1976 is way too early for that to be reasonable, so the more general marketing strategy does seem most feasible."

It was a pleasure doing some "pen detective" work for Glenn :) Many thanks to him for sharing his recent acquisitions with us here on our pen club blog, and to all the other VPCers who sent in their contributions for our online "show & tell". Cheers ~Maja

No comments: