Monday, November 30, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 113

Earlier this month, we featured René's Sheaffer 'Imperial II' Deluxe fountain pens in our virtual "show & tell". Today, we're shining a spotlight on some later Sheaffer Imperials, also recently acquired by  Rene....


René: "The Sheaffer Imperial series was a follow up to the PFM (Pen for Men) series from (mostly) the 60s, and the white dot part of the series (Imperial IV to Imperial VIII, the Imperial Triumph and Masterpiece) even carry over the same nib design from the PFM. "

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

 


 "The Imperial III (shown above & below), however, was not a white dot model and did not have the iconic diamond "Imperial" nib, but, instead, a silver-palladium small Triumph (conical) nib with partial gold plating. It shares a body design with the Imperial II, but the Imp II doesn't have the partial nib plating and has a metal cap, instead of plastic with a metal cap ring.

 


"As I'm trying to complete the Sheaffer Imperial series (except maybe the solid gold Masterpiece, which would be too painful for the pocket book), I ran into this Imperial III pen and pencil set for a good price. It's basic black in colour, but the gold plating on the nib really makes the pen look very elegant indeed."

 


 "It's a touchdown filler, is in good shape, and is (mostly) functional. Oddly it only draws water/ink consistently when the piston is in one particular rotation position - but at least it does work.
"

 


 "The pencil works also, and the case is in excellent shape."


"The Imperial III essentially resembles the Imperial IV, except for the lack of the white dot on the cap and the different nib.

I also acquired a later model Imperial VIII (in photo below), which is essentially an Imperial IV with a gold tone cap. As I understand it the early Imperial VIIIs (pre-1964?) have gold-filled caps, while later ones are just gold-plated. Mine is gold plated and has some plating loss which isn't really easy to see, as well as a few small dents."

 


"The Imperial pens I have so far, all are Touchdown fillers. (Photo above- from top to bottom): Imperial Triumph (I got from Jerred), Imperial VIII,  Imperial IV, Imperial III, and Imperial II Deluxe.

 I'm still looking for an Imperial I (all plastic, including the Touchdown shaft, with a "Skripsert" nib), and an Imperial VI (like the Imperial IV, but with a steel cap and gold-tone clip). Imperials V and VII don't exist for some reason."

For more information on the early Sheaffer Imperial lineup, René recommends this article on PenHero.com: Early Sheaffer Imperials 1961-1962.

For a comprehensive reference list of all the Sheaffer Imperial models made, go to The Sheaffer Imperial Family of Fountain Pens article on the excellent SheafferTarga.com website.

What a handsome collection of Imperials! Many thanks to René for the excellent photos and informative writeup on these classic Sheaffer fountain pens :)

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 112

 Back to vintage pens we go with these two recent acquisitions belong to Christopher...

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

Christopher: "The first is an unusual Parker Parkette Deluxe with a Jeweler’s band. This evidently is somewhat rare because the Deluxe was sort of an economy line which sported all steel over the more expensive gold ones. This is a well-appointed Parker pen because the imprinting on the barrel is embellished with a silver colour. On top of the jet black it just stands out and looks ever so smart. This is a slender sized model with an ink view window. The window has turned red with age but in no way does it take away from the pen."

 


  Christopher: "The second item is a very rare grey/black and pearl finished Parker Parkette set in the larger standard size. Grey is a very rare colour in this line of Parker pens. It should be noted that there were only two sizes available in the 1938 Parkette Deluxe model. What is also very attractive are the stacked coin cap bands and all the fittings on this pen and pencil set are 14K Gold filled. Evidentially Parker went to a whole new design on the deluxe Parkette in 1938 which included the rounded top flat arrow cap clip."

"I personally like the standard size which really sits nicely balanced once posted in the hand. The Steel nibs for these Parkette Deluxe last model in plastic fountain pens are not outstanding but responsible and I personally like the fact that Parker chose to mark them Parkette and also put a date code on them."

Many thanks to Christopher for sharing his lovely vintage finds with us!

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 111

From their official website:

With a rich history spanning over 50 years, Buchan’s Kerrisdale Stationery has been the go-to stationery store for generations. From collectibles, to toys, to Instagrammable party supplies, Buchan’s has everything you need when looking for that special gift. (Even if it’s for yourself. We fully support that too.)

I've been doing more online shopping than usual this year due to the global pandemic, so I was pleased to see how many new pen-related items were added to Buchan's online store when I checked it out last month. I ordered a Retro 51 rollerball from their web store for free in-store pickup, but couldn't resist buying a few other items while I was in their shop. Here's what I got.... 

 (please click on images to enlarge ~ note: filter used for photo editing due to lack of sunlight :(

(top to bottom) Dip pen holder with Speedball nib, Schneider 'Ceod Classic' fountain pen, Schneider correction pen, Schneider royal blue ink cartridges and Retro 51 'Tornado' "Ace of Spades" rollerball   (British candy "props" purchased elsewhere ;)



My Schneider 'Ceod Classic' fountain pen came with a pack of six Schneider royal blue international-sized ink cartridges and a (appropriately-named) "Corry" correction pen -- a double-ended pen with a chiseled liquid "eraser" tip on one end, and a fine blue marker on the other (more on that further down this post). All this for just $14.99, a great price for a German-made fountain pen (actually, everything in the little writing kit was made in Germany).

The 'Ceod' is made of thick, glossy plastic with subtle curves (that don't show up in my photos--sorry) and is fitted with a large, springy-but-sturdy metal clip. The barrel is long enough for the pen to be used unposted, but if you prefer posting it, it works very well that way too (and it's nicely balanced, posted or unposted). On the Schneider website, I see that it's also available in black, but I only saw the white model at the time of my store visit.

It's a very light pen and I suspect (based on the graphics on the correction pen...and the fact that the pen even comes with a correction pen) it was meant for younger students. With its clean lines and contemporary design, though, I think it would also appeal to adults, and wouldn't look out of place in a modern office.

The triangular ergonomic grip (which looks bluish in the photo above but is actually a light grey colour) is comfortable to hold and is very smooth, which makes for a highly-pleasant writing experience. Aesthetically-speaking, the stainless steel, iridium-tipped nib is a bit small for the pen, but it lays down a nice line, writes smoothly and has no startup or skipping issues. 

Back to that correction pen ....

Schneider "Corry" correction pen (which reminds me a lot of my Lamy ink-x ink eraser)

Let's see it in action now...

(Above: Writing sample using the Schneider royal blue fountain pen ink supplied with the pen)


(Same writing sample, but with Schneider "Corry" correction pen's "eraser" end used)

I think it does a pretty good job of covering up the ink...

 

(Same writing sample but with Schneider royal blue fountain pen ink used over the erased word)

I didn't expect this to actually work, given that the eraser liquid would likely obscure the fountain pen ink (as it should... lol), but I thought I'd give it a try anyway...

 

(Same writing sample with Schneider "Corry" felt-tipped marker used over the last word)

Definitely some marker "feathering"going on, but at least you can write over the part that was erased...

 

I love the cheeky litle "Ha!" word balloon above the smiling stick figure on the barrel...

 

Now for the other stuff I bought.....
The Retro 51 'Tornado' "Ace of Spades" rollerball above was the only item I ordered online from Buchan's website. It's a great rollerball that uses a Retro 51 capless rollerball refill that has a one year "cap off" drying time (ie. the refill shouldn't dry up in less than a year after it's uncapped). Keep in mind that's one year from the date the refill was installed in the pen, though -- if you buy an older model Retro 51 rollerball, the capless refill in it might be dried out already. Happily, you can also use Parker-style ballpoint refills in these pens :)

The dip pen I bought in-store at Buchan's (shown above) has an attractive swirly orange-red design and is very light in the hand. Unfortunately, I don't know the manufacturer as there is no company name/model name/model number written on it anywhere. At $7.99, though, I thought it was a good deal. The nib on it cost only $3.99 and was bought separately from the pen.

 

 
 
Currently fitted with the steel Speedball A-3 nib I bought at Buchan's, the dip pen lays down a nice, very broad italic line, and will likely be used to write Christmas/New Year's greeting cards this holiday season. I just need to find the perfect ink for the job...

Many thanks to Buchan's for their excellent customer service and to Yugo for the ink samples (not pictured). Buchan's is a great stationery store (with free customer parking in back!) but it's nice to have the option of shopping from the comfort of your home by visiting their online store at https://www.buchanst.com/

~photos and review by Maja

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 110

A couple of weeks ago, we featured a vintage Pelikan fountain pen (a very nice 70-year old Pelikan '400' model) owned by honourary VPC member Glenn in Australia. Today, we're shining a spotlight on a brand-new Pelikan he just got a few hours ago!

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


                                                      
(the excitement builds...)

 

                                                              (nice packaging!) 

 

 And here it is!

  Glenn: "The first new M400/405 since the Stresemann in 2016, the gently refined colour scheme of the Pelikan M405 Silver-White is somehow slightly more understated than that of the M605 White Transparent; that’s not a complaint, merely an observation. I can imagine it appealing to Elsa in 'Frozen'

 

 "Despite pre-release concerns that it does not have an ink window and that it looked more opaque than its larger cousin, the clear bands between the silver stripes are just that, clear, and there will be no problem seeing the ink. I say ‘will be’ because it only came today and I’ve yet to fill it, but I did hold it up to the light (not a stain and shining bright… old UK Surf washing powder advert.) Which reminds me, I note that some Pelikan fans have expressed concerns that the white will indeed stain, but to date I’ve not had that problem with my others, and I don’t anticipate any problem now."  

 

  "The design recipe is classic M405… palladium trim in all the usual places and a rhodium plated, 14k gold nib. It isn’t everyone’s proverbial cup of tea, but I like it. I would have preferred a B nib, but it wasn’t offered by my local B&M store, which I wanted to support, and the price was right." 

 What a gorgeous fountain pen! Many thanks to Glenn for photographing his new Pelikan as soon as it arrived (just in time for today's "show & tell) and for sharing his thoughts on it!

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 109

A few weeks ago, Stuart sent in some photos of an interesting item he acquired on eBay...

(all photos courtesy of Stuart ~ to see super-zoomed-in versions of the images, left-click on a photo to enlarge it, then right-click & select "view image", then left-click again)

 


Stuart: "I just snagged something cool on eBay - a Sheaffer Student Handwriting Kit, from the late 50’sIt comes in an envelope with one of Sheaffer’s cartridge school pens of the time, a pack of Skripsert cartridges, and a guide to developing better handwriting. "

 

 "I think they sold for about $1.00- you sent the money and a coupon.  Not a bad value because the pens were actually priced at $2.95 and the ink cartridges at .49 cents! " 

 

 "This set has never been used - the cartridges are dried up but that’s not a problem - and the whole thing is in good shape.  I knew about these and was hoping to find a good complete one... It’s a cool item, and hard to find."

 


Some schools have dropped cursive handwriting from their curriculums, but this vintage Sheaffer Student Handwriting Kit is a reminder of how seriously it was taken back in those days. You don't see kits like this very often, so many thanks to Stuart for sharing his find with all of us!

~Wishing students, educators and support staff all the best as our province enters the latest phase of the COVID-19-related lockdown ~ Many thanks to front-line and essential workers everywhere who continue to provide essential services during this global pandemic ~ Stay safe, everyone!

Friday, November 20, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 108

If you've been reading our pen club's blog since we started our virtual "show & tell" back in April, you'll have noticed all the the wonderful vintage fountain pens René has acquired. The pair below is no exception...

Sheaffer Imperial II Deluxe

René: "A funny thing happened while I was trying to complete the Imperial line collection. I bought a restored Imperial II Deluxe from eBay and was waiting eagerly for its arrival. Then we went on vacation north of Nanaimo and stopped by an antique store in Coombs, where they happened to have a few vintage Sheaffer pens available. One of the two pens I picked up was... an Imperial II Deluxe - functional. The one I ordered from eBay came the day after we returned. Funny that."

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

"The Imperial line of pens first came out at the end of 1959 (supposedly 1961, but I have confirmation from someone who bought one in Dec. 1959), and replaced the now much sought-after (hilariously named) PFM (Pen for Men) pens. Personally I prefer the sleeker, slimmer Imperial pens, which are more affordable anyway, but I digress."

 


 "The first Imperials came as Touchdown fillers, and the numbering system reflects the precursor PFM pens. The line went from the all plastic (including the Touchdown piston - but not the nib, of course) Imperial I to the Imperial VIII (plus the gold-filled Imperial Triumph and the solid-gold Masterpiece), but for some reason skipping Imperials V and VII. 

The iconic "Imperial nib" was installed in the IV upward, but the nibs of the I, II, and III were different. The II and III came with silver-palladium mini-Triumph (conical) nibs, with the III having it with partial gold-plating."



"The Imperial II has a plastic body, with the Triumph style, unplated, nib, and a brushed steel cap. The II Deluxe was apparently a later addition from 1973 onward, after Sheaffer did some shuffling of their lines - the main difference I can see being the white dot added to the clip (the Imperials I to III are not white dot models, IV onward were white dots)."

"The Deluxe I bought off of eBay is a blue one, used, but in excellent shape. The one from Coombs is a black one, still functional and in rather good shape, but the nib shows some brassing and some minor etching damage of some sort on it. The nibs and mechanism are still otherwise in good shape and are functional. The blue Imp II also has a blank price sticker on it (shown in photo above)."

 

(above: the Touchdown mechanism extended and partially taken apart to show what's inside)

For more information on the early Sheaffer Imperial lineup, René recommends this article on PenHero.com: Early Sheaffer Imperials 1961-1962

Many thanks to René for his informative writeup and lovely photos of these great vintage pens!

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 107

Today's newest acquisition is courtesy of VPC member Armando! Here is his writeup....

THE SONNET GAMBIT 

Siegbert Tarrasch, considered to be the Master of Chess, once said: "Chess, like music, like love, has the power to make people happy". 

(please click on images to enlarge)


Can we say the same thing with a fountain pen? 

In my opinion, the answer is yes, we can. 

Introducing the Parker Sonnet ....

When Geoff Hollington created the Parker Sonnet, he intended it to be the classic Parker, a truly timeless product. He went for a really well proportioned cigar shape, clear but updated arrow clip, a generously sized nib, and from the engineer's perspective, state of the art writing experience. Many models and designs have been created in the Sonnet series since 1994. 

 

The Sonnet featured here is the model with the chiseled sterling silver finish, the Sonnet Ciselé in 18k gold nib. The pen is hefty, given that it is sterling. Holding the pen gives the impression that it is durable. Posted or unposted, the pen has nearly perfect balance and sits in the hand well. Whilst this pen is quite old (1995, based on code IIT on the cap), it still looks great after years of use. The silver has developed a patina which adds to its character. 

 

Writing with the pen gives a hint of a feedback, but not scratchy. The 18k gold gives it some spring. I am using the Waterman Blue Black ink, and it pairs very well with the pen. 

In closing, I can say that when I ordered the pen, I had some concern due to its age (approx. 25 years), and not being sure of the condition. However, when I unboxed it, saw it, felt it, inked it, and wrote with it, the first word that came to mind was:   CHECKMATE!!!

 Armando, congratulations on your beautiful Parker Sonnet fountain pen---a true modern classic---and many thanks for the great photos and entertaining review :)

Monday, November 16, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 106

A few weeks ago, longtime Vancouver Pen Club member Christopher sent me an email asking for my assistance with a mysterious vintage fountain pen he'd recently acquired....

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


In Christopher's words: "This pen came into my collection the other day and for the life of me I have no idea who the manufacturer is or what era it is from? As you can see, it is a bulb filler covered by a long shiny black blind cap, and may I add, of considerable quality. The barrel supports a very large ink view window, which has a spiderweb pattern etched on the surface. The section is the best shaped one for my fingers yet. The cap has the most beautiful mottled red pearl and black finish topped off with a black cap screw which secures an even more attractive clip. The clip is also imprinted ‘Refograph’ and looks German 1930s in its design. Beautifully finished and shaped. There are also three distinctive cap bands the middle one being wider. All the fittings are 14K gold filled. But I have saved the best for last. The tiny nib, a Warranted one, is of super high quality and definitely 14K gold. And I would have to add that this little beauty is a semi broad with more flex than can be imagined. I took the liberty of an educated guess as to the dating as mid 30s. Actually I have had several 1930s German Reform pens and their clips were somewhat similar to this one."

 I did some digging and found reference to Refograph fountain pens on FPN (Fountain Pen Network) in a discussion about Hungarian fountain pens, so I sent the information to Christopher. He thanked me and sent me a photo of another wonderful Hungarian fountain pen (a Gracia)  that he owned....


 Christopher: "I only have one other Hungarian pen and it is a beauty. What I did learn about this other Hungarian fountain pen was that yes it was made in part, in Hungary but jobbed out by the Hunt Pen Company in the US in the late 1930s. But what really sold me on this pen was the Parker Arrow clip. That, I was told, was applied by licence so it has the Parker stamp of approval. With some of the people I have talked to, who have this pen, theirs even has a Parker nib from that same late 30s period. Evidentially, also approved by license. But I am challenged to exchange the nib in mine for a late 30s Parker one, because my nib has the Hunt Company branding on it."

You don't see very many vintage Hungarian fountain pens around (well, not in this part of the world), so many thanks to Christopher for sharing these two beautiful examples with us!

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 105

Today's newest (pen-related) acquisitions "show & tell" features two Eversharp desk sets belonging to Stuart...

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



 Stuart: "It’s a restored Eversharp Skyline desk-set, the pen in the beautiful dark Maroon they were using at the time, and a lovely green onyx base, darker in hue than the Sheaffer ones I have made from the same stone.  The pen has a Medium nib, and is a nice writer with a well-defined line, classic Eversharp.  Oddly, in the eBay description the seller said the base is glass!  I’d think the veining would indicate that it’s stone - glass only has veins after it’s hit by a hammer :)"


Stuart continues: "Again, I’m struck by the resemblance between the Skyline socket and pen, and the giant raindrop at Canada Place (ie. this one) . Using the Skyline cap as the basis of the socket design was a smart idea, it works beautifully, and makes for a distinctive socket, some are generic looking.  Anyway the entire pen-and-socket unit has a unified visual flow that most desk-sets don’t have, making for a striking overall look.  It’s more organic design-wise."

He concludes: "I’m very pleased with this, and now have a total of three Skyline desk-sets, counting the stray base that came as an extra with a Sheaffer set I got last year!" (photos of Stuart's two other Skyline desk sets here)

 

...and here's the other Eversharp desk set that Stuart acquired this fall:


Stuart: "It’s another Eversharp desk-set, a more economy type one with a base covered in leatherette and a pen with a smooth XF nib.  

 

"I like it, not sure of the date, 30’s-40’s, same feed as the Skyline." 

In addition to being useful and handy, a desk set can be an attractive complement to your work space. Vintage desk sets are available all over eBay, but keep in mind that the fountain pen desk pens might need to be restored, so bid accordingly. An alternative option - some companies, like Sheaffer and Parker, made attractive ballpoint desk sets, many of which take modern ballpoint refills.

Many thanks to Stuart and everyone else in our pen club that's contributed to our online "show & tell". Keep those photos and reviews coming! :)

Stay healthy!
~Maja

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 104

...and now a little something from Down Under---a vintage Pelikan 400 fountain pen belonging to honourary VPC member Glenn G in Australia...

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

 

Glenn: "I have just received a very early example of a Pelikan 400. The key features are: 

  

-Black stripe pattern, produced from 28 July 1950 until early 1956
-Plain cap band, discontinued mid-1954
-Barrel end stamped ‘Gunther Wagner Pelikan.’ 

 

-Friction fit ebonite feed, discontinued in August 1950

 

 -Nib size M engraved on filler knob
-Black piston seal, replaced by clear seals from 27 November 1953


 - 14kt ‘script nib’, fitted until December 1954.

From the above, the pen appears to date to the single month (at most) between the introduction of the colour in July and the discontinuation of the friction fit nib in August 1950."

References: https://www.pelikan-collectibles.com/en/Pelikan/Models/Revised-Piston-Fillers/400-Basis/index.html and especially Joshua’s article at https://thepelikansperch.com/2019/03/05/pelikan-400-fountain-pen/ , both accessed 26 October 2020.

Many thanks to Glenn for sharing his photos and research on this classic vintage Pelikan!

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 103

From one classy black pen to another -- Lawrence's beautiful new Montblanc 'Heritage Rouge et Noir' black fountain pen!

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



Lawrence : "This pen was unique due to it being one of the smallest with a built-in piston.  Most modern pens in this size are usually of the converter types." 
 


"The design of this pen is unusual too, apparently it is vintage Montblanc style.  The Montblanc logo is coral / white (instead of black / white), and there is the Montblanc name written on the cap in script form."
 

 
 
 
 
"It is sort of like a small version of Montblanc's Agatha Christie writer's edition pen (it reminds me of it), although apparently I've read somewhere that the snake clip design has been around longer and pre-dates the Agatha Christie. The snake design is present also on the nib itself. "


"The medium nib that I initially got had a case of baby's bottom but the fine nib which I eventually got wrote well.  As with most of my black pens, this usually is used with red inks. It is not very finicky and works well with different brands that I use: J. Herbin, Graf von Faber-Castell, and Montblanc.  The nib, because of its smaller size, is also a bit stiffer than the larger MB's that I own.  The nib actually feels like a Faber-Castell / Graf von Faber-Castell nib in terms of stiffness; the R et N actually writes like them too."   

 


 "The size may be small for some people, but I grew up with my vintage Parkers which are very close to this size.  The cap can be posted, but I don't really do it. Not sure if the finish might scratch.  And instead of precious resin, it is precious lacquer in this case. Not sure if there is a difference (maybe the barrel is metal and coated with lacquer?)"

What a stunning homage to one of Montblanc's very first fountain pen models!
Lawrence - many thanks for sharing your photos and thoughts about it with us :)