Saturday, February 6, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 147

At the end of this blog post from a few days ago, I listed some tips on hunting for vintage desk sets. One of the tips was watching out for mismatched desk bases and desk pens. I did, however, concede that this type of mismatch might not necessarily bother everyone. Stuart's beautiful vintage Sheaffer fountain pen desk set --featured in today's post-- is a great example why...

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

Stuart: "Yesterday the Sheaffer desk set from Pendemonium came, and it’s a beaut!  The onyx base is lovely, and the pen is a nice writer, very Fine point and smooth.  I like the three gold bands decorating the barrel, very elegant.  It’s a handsome set and a nice compact size. It’s a marriage, with a 40’s base and an older pen decorated with three gold-filled bands."


"The nib is a Lifetime, with a serial number, something Sheaffer apparently did for a while and then gave up as the paperwork involved in recording all those numbers became too cumbersome!"

"The hard-rubber taper is slightly warped from age; the material ages differently from the celluloid of the pen barrel. There’s also a shred of label on the bottom felt of the base, but nothing can be read of the very faint printing that shows a little."


"I suspect the socket of the set the 3-banded pen originally came with also had three bands, as the drawing (see below) shows. But my set is a marriage, so the later-production socket has one wide band. The swivel fixture is the same - Sheaffer must have used that part for decades."

"If the base dates from the 40’s, the original pen was likely a vac-filler or lever-filling.  The Touchdown system didn’t arrive until 1949, apparently. The base's decal reads “Sheaffer’s”, so it’s right for that time"

(Drawing by Fred Plewa ~ to see enlarged image, left-click on drawing to enlarge, right-click & select "view image", then left-click again.)

Mismatch or not, it's a lovely desk set, and our thanks to Stuart for sharing it with us :)

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