Thursday, October 1, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 83

 Continuing our online "show & tell" with another British writing instrument, specifically René's Parker '88' fountain pen... 

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

René: "Like cars, the Parker 88 was actually released in 1987, but was a "1988" model, and was named as such. It was modeled after the Parker Vector, and was renamed the "Rialto" in 1994, the name the model is now more known as." 

"The basic design is quite uninspired, really, just a plain, slim brass cylinder with enhancements and a small, almost semi-hooded steel, and a sleek, but basic, long arrow clip. It was first introduced in the UK before it was released in the North America.

This particular model, however, is a pre-Rialto, a UK-made, top-of-the-line 88 labeled the "Place Vendôme" line, after the square in Paris, meant to reflect elegant European designs. The barrel and cap are partially encased in a 22-karat gold-plated steel column with a Corinthian design, and the pen sports a 22-karat gold plated steel nib." 


"Though the burgundy/gold Place Vendôme existed from the beginning until 1992, before the 88 became the Rialto, the medium nib, inscribed with the Parker name, indicates that this one dates from 1989 at the earliest. The Place Vendôme originally sold in the US at a price of $135 (though another source said, $80)."

"I haven't inked it and tried it yet, so I can't say anything about its performance yet, but it seems to write smoothly (without ink - it came with a cowled aerometric converter). Despite the very simple design I do find that the gold plating appears to be quite thick (no sign of plating loss, even after polishing) and the combination of the sleekness of the cylinder, the gold overlay, and the burgundy end sections make for a very elegant writing instrument, and I can't stop looking at it.

Many thanks to René for the photos and background info on this handsome fountain pen!

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