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 Early Sheaffer Imperials 1961-1962

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

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