Monday, May 31, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 204

Now, here's a vintage fountain pen that might look familiar if you've been following our virtual "show & tell" closely -- we posted its look-alike (belonging to brand-new VPC member Grant) two weeks ago here :) The lovely example featured today, though, belongs to longtime member Christopher...

(photo courtesy of Christopher ~ please click on image to enlarge)

(Above): Christopher's sage green Sheaffer Admiral Snorkel with open 14k gold unmasked nib. Christopher says the fountain pen came "in perfect working condition."

Our thanks to Christopher, as always, for sharing his latest vintage find with us!

Now a word about colours...
The Sheaffer 'Snorkel' fountain pen came in thirteen different colours (actually, sixteen, if you include the brown desk pen, the clear demonstrator and the two shades of burgundy). Among the "standard" colours, the least common are: Vermilion, Fiesta Red, Mandarin, Peacock, Periwinkle and Fern Green (one of our members brought his Fern Green 'Snorkel'  to a meeting a few years ago--it's in the fourth photo down in this old post). The most common ' Snorkel' colours are: Black, Gray, Burgundy, Pastel Blue and Pastel Green. The Sage Green and Buckskin Tan colours fall in the middle, in terms of scarcity (source). Whatever the colour of your Sheaffer 'Snorkel', may you enjoy using "the most complicated fountain pen ever designed"

Take care,
~Maja


       (Sheaffer Snorkel Pen Commercial with Vivian Vance - 1953 - YouTube link)

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 203

 Stuart's latest visit to the Vancouver Pen Shop (which is now open 11:00 am to 5:00pm, Monday to Saturday) yielded a couple of interesting pen-related finds...

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

Stuart: "I picked up a Parker Jotter FP in orange with a stainless steel cap, a very appealing daily-user pen.The Jotter FP’s come in the same bright colours as the BP’s, and I liked the orange best."



"I bought the Jac Zagoory pen-holder I’ve long admired, the “4th. Monkey” - Write No Evil! The pen-rest is very cool, and carries a great message. I think the Taranis (the Sheaffer 'Taranis' fountain pen above) goes beautifully with it!"


Congratulations on these two great new acquisitions, Stuart, and thank you for sharing your newest finds with us! 

Note: The Vancouver Pen Shop is undergoing some renovations and, according to Stuart, have a bit of a sale going on (they're clearing out some older stock). If there's something specific you're looking for, you can contact the the friendly folks at the shop via Facebook Messenger (link to their Facebook page here), or give them a call at (604) 681-1612. 

Update: according to their FB page, the Vancouver Pen Shop will be closed June 14th, 15th, and 21st, 22nd due to renovations (new flooring being put in).

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 202

Back we go to vintage with this classic Parker fountain pen model belonging to Christopher...

(photo courtesy of Christopher ~ please click on image to enlarge)

Christopher: "This is a Parker Emerald Green Streamlined Duofold Jr. that I picked up about two months ago and, surprisingly, had a full Lucky Curve uncut feed. Admittedly when I got it, I was not familiar about how to reset a full uncut Lucky Curve feed with the nib. But it wasn’t that hard once you have both items cleaned and ready to reinsert. The feed gets loaded in to the section from the back and the nib on top of it from the front. I have an original Parker fitting block which was a birthday gift from Chris and Mark. So with that tool I can reset the nib to original Parker specs. But once the pen was restored, serviced and inked - Wow what an incredible writer. The nib has so much welcome flex it is just a joy to write with. Can you beat a vintage Parker?" 

Many thanks to Christopher for the photo and write up about this lovely vintage fountain pen!
To see more of Christopher's vintage Parker Duofolds, you can check out these older posts from our virtual show & tell:
Parker Streamlined Duofold Chinese Red Senior pen & pencil set
Parker Duofold Jr. in the Chinese Red Hard Rubber - various models,
-Parker Short Ribbon Ring top Streamlined Pastel Lady’s Duofold
-Parker Duofold Streamline Senior in Lapis

Christopher: "This is a Parker Emerald Green Streamlined Duofold Jr. that I picked up about two months ago and, surprisingly, had a full Lucky Curve uncut feed. Admittedly when I got it, I was not familiar about how to reset a full uncut Lucky Curve feed with the nib. But it wasn’t that hard once you have both items cleaned and ready to reinsert. The feed gets loaded in to the section from the back and the nib on top of it from the front. I have an original Parker fitting block which was a birthday gift from Chris and Mark. So with that tool I can reset the nib to original Parker specs. But once the pen was restored, serviced and inked - Wow what an incredible writer. The nib has so much welcome flex it is just a joy to write with. Can you beat a vintage Parker?" 

Many thanks to Christopher for the photo and write up about this lovely vintage fountain pen!
To see more photos of Christopher's vintage Parker Duofold fountain pens, check out these older posts from our virtual show & tell:
Parker Streamlined Duofold Chinese Red Senior pen & pencil set
Parker Duofold Jr. in the Chinese Red Hard Rubber - various models
Parker Short Ribbon Ring top Streamlined Pastel Lady’s Duofold
Parker Duofold Streamline Senior in Lapis

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 201

And now for something completely different...

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

Jerred: "This particular pen is the Delta WE Aromatherapy. The WE stands for "What Else?" and to be honest, I'm not entirely sure what this is supposed to mean. The other pens in the "What Else?" collection had little chili pepper charms that screwed into the clip, meant as a charm to ward off the Evil Eye."

 

 
"The Aromatherapy series is a little different. Instead of a chili pepper charm, the pens carry a small wood diffuser in the clip."

 

"The pen also includes a bottle of scented aromatherapy oil as well as spare diffusers and holders should one become lost. It's an... interesting pen, to say the least."



"The pen itself is made of an orange-veined, dark brown acrylic and is the "energy (soil)" model. It's one of Delta's smaller models, and has their classic hand-carved sterling cap band and 14kt, #5.5 sized nib. The nib is, as is often the case with Delta's later pens, a lovely writer.

Unfortunately the box I received was for the "harmony (sea)" model, and thus contains the wrong accessories. That said, the fact that I was able to get a bottle of the oil at all is rather rare."

 


"The pen also comes with an instruction manual and some rather amusingly translated promotional materials."

"As always, Delta's design philosophy was just a little bit different than anyone else."

Another handsome addition to Jerred's Delta pen collection (and a very interesting one at that :) Our thanks, as always, to Jerred for his great photos & write ups about his newest acquisitions!

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 200

Since April 2020, I've been posting our members' newest acquisitions on this blog every other day like clockwork, and I can't believe we're already up to post #200! Wow, that was fast...

And speaking of fast...here's Trevor's newest pen-related acquisition...

 Obsession, Passion, or Dysfunction?
By Trevor Johnson


"Anyone who has known me for a while learns that when I’m into something, I’m REALLY into it. Whether it’s toys, or shoes, or guitars, or cars, or pens, I tend to find a corner of it and latch on. For example, I have a love of Japanese made Ibanez guitars from the late 1980s. At one time I had 25 of them, mostly from 1986. Lately, that latched interest has been Italy. A couple of years ago, and especially since the pandemic has provided more “free” time, I have taken to Italian wine, like Ruffino Moscato d’Asti, and Roscato Rosso Dolce. I’ve been working on perfecting my pasta and sauces, I’m considering learning to speak Italian and of course, as I have since I was a boy, I love Italian cars, especially Ferrari. Being of modest means like most of us, my ownership of Ferrari has been limited to models and licensed products, so I have Ferrari Puma shoes, Bburago die cast models, Lego Speed Champion Ferrari sets and the latest add…a Sheaffer Intensity Ferrari Fountain Pen:

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

"I had seen some Ferrari branded pens on Facebook Marketplace and considered them but found that they just weren’t interesting enough. Researching them online, I found that they were an off brand, poorly made/reviewed and pricey. So I moved on and kind of forgot about the idea for a time. Fast forward to April 2021. With the expectation of a pretty nice income tax return and bills caught up, I decided to treat myself to a new fountain pen. Something nice. Something elegant. Something that would look great in my collection along with my Parker Urban in Vibrant Magenta .

I wandered around Amazon as I typically do, looking at Parker, Cross, Waterman, and other fine brands when my mind drifted to those Ferrari pens. “There must be better ones!” I thought. So I looked and sure as rain in Vancouver, Sheaffer Ferrari pens. Gorgeous! Red, Yellow, Black, Chrome! So many to choose from! But then the sticker shock… $150 to $300ish… I was brought quickly back to Earth. As I’m scrolling, I spot a lone White model. $38? Really? Listing shows one left… In the cart… I almost start second guessing it. I don’t even know why. You’d think it was a no brainer. Part of that journey was also to find a nice black ink. So I left it in the cart and started looking at ink. A few minutes later I found a nice black from Diamine and put it in the cart too. That’s when I remembered “Only one of that pen left! Better snag it!” Did the check out and the 1 left became “We will let you know when we have a delivery date.” What?! That’s dirty pool… Thinking I can cancel if I can find it elsewhere, I soon realize that it was half the price of regular, and some of them even get up to $130. I decide to be patient.

During what seemed like an eternity between ordering and receiving, I took the knowledge of Enzo Ferrari used purple ink in his Montblanc fountain pen when signing deals, very well documented surrounding the Ford/Ferrari merger that was being discussed in the 1960s, and figured maybe I could find some of the same one he used… no… searches of blogs, fountain pen enthusiast and Ferrari enthusiast forums only found speculation. The only thing that I could really find was that it was a French made Violet that was brought in once per year by a small pen shop near the Ferrari factory. They would acquire a litre of it to gift to Mr. Ferrari. The shop is still there, but the staff don’t have a record of what it was. I figured, as tribute to the man who made the cars that captured my heart, I would at least use a French Violet ink, so I bought a bottle of Herbin Violette Pensée. I was ready!

Finally on May 12, 2021, I hear what sounds like a dirty gym bag being hurled at my door and 2 solid knocks. I open the door and find 3 Amazon pouches on my doorstep. Ooh! It’s like Christmas! I grab the parcels and rush back inside. I opened the pouches… First I find a Parker Jotter in Royal Blue I snagged for Shanin. Every time my Jotter folder is open she comments on the Royal Blue being her favourite. Now she has her own. (I’ll get her into this obse.. er.. hobby eventually). Second Pouch is a pack of Silk handkerchiefs. Very nice. Allergy season is upon us, can’t be too prepared! The third pouch… a beautiful Red Box with the Prancing Horse Emblem:


"Inside the cardboard is a vinyl covered gift box in the same red with the same emblem. Wow. I’ve seen fine jewelry that doesn’t come in a box this nice. I open the hinged box and am greeted with the dazzling white lacquer and chrome trim of this Sheaffer. The clip adorned with the same Ferrari crest. The chrome trim around the base of the lid proudly states Scuderia Ferrari. With trembling fingers I lift the pen from its bed of velvet. It's heavy. 40 grams according to my kitchen scale. The cap is 17 of those."




"The feel in the hand is superb. It’s balanced, so the weight doesn’t bother. I filled the included converter with the Herbin ink (It also came with 2 ink cartridges, blue and black Sheaffer Skrip) and gave it a try. The medium nib is smooth and not too wet. When posted, the pen becomes back heavy, so I won’t be using it that way."



"I must say I am impressed with the modern Sheaffer pens I’ve been getting lately. As a long time NoNonsense user and someone who leans towards “They don’t make them like they used to” in some ways, I have been pleasantly surprised. I will definitely be keeping my eyes open for more Ferrari Sheaffers. Another win for the collection!" 

 
Congrats on a great deal, Trevor! Many thanks for sharing this handsome acquisition (and the story of how you acquired it) with all of us :)

Friday, May 21, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 199

Today's newest acquisition is another great vintage Sheaffer desk belonging to Stuart!

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

Stuart: "Here’s some shots of the desk-set that arrived from Colorado. Needless to say, I love it!"

 

"The base is bronze with sterling silver trim. In the August 1941 Sheaffer catalog (ed. note: pg. 21 of catalog + scan at the end of this blog post), one of the ones in the reference you sent me, it’s listed as set R425 BAGDW, and sold for $15.00."

 

"The pen above is the one the set came with - it’s a Touchdown filler, but not working."


Stuart: "I’ve equipped the set with a TD Triumph pen (shown above), which fits the socket perfectly."

"This is an impressive set. The finish shows oxidation to the silver, and patina to the bronze, which is to be expected after all these years. If the open-nib pen is original to the set, it may be from the late 40’s, so the base may have been offered for a number of years. So another wonderful addition to my collection!"
 

Here's Stuart's desk set in the 1941 Sheaffer catalog he referenced in his write up--it's the middle desk set in the bottom row (click on image below to enlarge):



 (scan courtesy of Pen Collector's of America Reference Library)

As always, our thanks to Stuart for sharing his latest finds! There are scans of many other old pen catalogs here on the Pen Collectors of America (PCA) website. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 198

Earlier this week, we featured one of Christopher's lovely vintage Parker 'Duofold' fountain pens on our blog. When I posted his review, I forgot to mention that this year marks the 100th anniversary of the 'Duofold', a classic fountain pen that made a big splash with its bold two-colour (bright red and black) design when it hit the market in 1921.

A very brief history of vintage 'Duofolds':
Early 'Duofold' fountain pens were initially full-sized button-fillers made of red and black hard rubber, but smaller 'Duofold' models (e.g. the "Duofold Jr" & "Lady Duofold" ringtop) quickly followed in 1922. Around 1925, Parker switched to using celluloid material (Parker's name for the DuPont celluloid they used was called ‘Permanite’) for the 'Duofold' and subsequently, more colours were added to the lineup. In 1929, the 'Duofold' was redesigned with tapered ends and dubbed the 'Streamlined Duofold'. Eventually Parker stopped producing the 'Duofold' in the U.S, but production of the pen continued in the U.K and Canada well into the 1940s.

The modern 'Duofold;
The year 1987 saw the arrival of the first modern 'Duofold'. It was called the Duofold "Centennial" model (named in anticipation of Parker's 100th anniversary in 1988) and was followed by the slightly-smaller-but-noticeably-thinner Duofold "International" model in 1989. Both models were initially produced at Parker's factory in Newhaven, U.K, the site of Parker's headquarters. The earliest examples were made in three colours - black, marbled blue and marbled maroon. Parker took a great deal of pride in the production of their newly-resurrected flagship model (from Parkerpens.net): "It was to be the most modern fountain pen to date. With a ten day computer-controlled manufacturing process, and made from over 130 components, it was subjected to 100 quality tests."

A few months ago, I was lucky enough to buy a used "International" model from Doug Vicary (a longtime pen seller on Pentrace who posts as "Doug") for $145 USD including shipping. Meet my new Parker 'Duofold' "International" fountain pen....

(photos by Maja ~ please click on images to enlarge)


The pen & its original packaging. The presentation case is one of the heaviest non-wood cases I've ever owned.

 


 It does a great job of cushioning this little beauty, though, which arrived in excellent condition, as promised...

 

 

Data for the Parker 'Duofold' "International fountain pen ca. 2000:
(my model was made in 1997, but it's from the same generation)

Capped Length :                     13.2 cm

Posted Length :                      16.4 cm      

Barrel Length:                       12.4 cm (includes nib length)

Barrel Diameter:                   1.19 cm

Barrel Diam. at threads:     1.09 cm

Pen Weight:                           22.25 grams (with empty cartridge)

(data courtesy of this useful document )



My particular Duofold "International" is a "Mark II", which came out in 1996. It has "MADE IN U.K." very faintly stamped on its barrel (just below the lower barrel ring) and a date code of "IIIP", which indicates it was manufactured in the first quarter of 1997. It was made at Parker's factory in Newhaven, a small ferry port just east of Brighton. In 2010, the Newhaven plant was shut down, and production moved to Nantes, France. Happily, the 'Duofold' writing instrument line is still in active production as of this writing.

 



Although it's not one of the colourful modern Duofolds, I think it's a very handsome (and well-proportioned) fountain pen, with its classic 'Duofold' styling, iconic Parker 'Arrow" clip, glossy black exterior and shiny 23K gold-plated trim. Like other modern (non-metal-bodied) Duofolds, it was made from a solid block of hand-cast acrylic, and finished by hand.

 


You can use it posted, but it's long enough (for my hands, anyway) to use without its cap on. Its section does taper down from the barrel threads, so that's something to keep in mind if you grip your pens further down the section (vs. at the barrel threads like I do, in this case). 

 


I love the design of its two-tone 18K gold "banner" nib (which was only made from 1993 to 2006). The nib (a Fine) has zero flex to it---it's been described as nail-like--but I wasn't surprised about this as I'd done some research before purchasing the pen from Doug. 

 Note: The nibs on the Duofold "International" models (like mine) are markedly smaller than the nibs on the larger "Centennial" models, so that's one way to tell the two pen models apart. If you don't have the luxury of seeing the two models side-by-side before buying one online, there's a video on YouTube with a very handy tip on determining which model you're looking at (skip ahead to the video's 5:30 mark if you just want to hear the pertinent information). 



Another look at the presentation box, which came with an instruction booklet, as well as a Parker "Platinum Club" membership booklet (more on that below). Modern 'Duofolds' are all cartridge/converter-fillers, but mine didn't come with its converter (this was noted in the sales description). The box did contain two Parker ink cartridges with the Parker name in gold letters on them - classy!

As a member of the Parker "Platinum Club", you were entitled to: a complimentary nib exchange (with your choice of fourteen different nibs, including ten non-standard nibs such as italics & obliques), a worldwide full lifetime warranty (ie. for the lifetime of the original owner), and free annual cleanings and servicing (you had to ship the pen to Janesville, Wisconsin, but it would be sent back with a free ink refill pack -- membership has its privileges, lol).

Membership in Parker's "Platinum Club" also entitled you to a complimentary monogrammed cap tassie. I love the coin-like Duofold "banner" tassie (which complements its "banner" nib) that came with my pen ... and apparently many other Duofold owners did too, because I couldn't find a single photo of a 'Duofold' with a monogrammed tassie online! Go figure.

To mark the 100th birthday of its flagship pen, Parker recently released a limited edition (LE) set of three 'Duofold' fountain pens in the three original colours - "Big Red", Black, and Lapis Lazuli. The price? The equivalent of $1200 CAD per pen, and a lot more for the set. Non-LE Duofolds cost considerably less...but they're still quite pricey, so if you want to save yourself some money, try to track down the earlier versions made in the late 1980s/90s/early 2000s. 

If you want to try a vintage Parker 'Duofold' fountain pen, there are plenty to be found on the secondary market (eBay, etsy, Newpentrace.net, FountainPenNetwork.com, et. al.). Keep in mind that unless they've been restored, early 'Duofold' pens are going to need a new ink sac. Yes, that restoration service adds to the final cost of the pen, but I think a vintage 'Duofold' deserves to be in every fountain pen lover's collection :)

~Photos and review by Maja ~

Monday, May 17, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 197

About three weeks ago, we got an email from Grant, a customer of the Vancouver Pen Shop who was looking for some assistance in getting a vintage pen up and running again. Grant's email began in familiar fashion: "Many years ago, my father gave me his Sheaffer fountain pen..." He explained that although the pen appeared to be in very good condition, it couldn't take up water or ink. Knowing that a picture is worth a thousand words (or even more, when it comes to identifying a mystery pen :), Grant included the two photos below in his email::

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

(Above: The Sheaffer 'Snorkel' fountain pen in question--which, it turned out, is an "Admiral" model -- and Grant's 2018 Montblanc LeGrand fountain pen in platinum above it)

 

(Above: the Snorkel Admiral's 14K gold nib and metal sac protector tube with snorkel attached)

There were fourteen different 'Snorkel' models made; some came with open nibs like this one, others sported Sheaffer's famous conical Triumph nib. Nib materials included 14K gold (monotone or two-tone) and Palladium Silver.

I wrote back to Grant, identified the make and model, and steered him towards some pen repair resources after he said he'd like to try replacing the Snorkel's ink sac himself. Not long after receiving my reply, Grant asked how to go about joining our pen club; he's now the newest Vancouver Pen Club member :)

Welcome to the club, Grant, and many thanks for sharing your pen photos!

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 196

 Back to fountain pens we go now....

This one has a long but interesting story, spanning nearly a decade, from Eastern Canada to the West Coast, and it belongs to avid vintage pen collector Christopher. The supporting characters in the tale are Christopher's wife Chris and his father-in-law Alf. But enough of my preamble, let's let Christopher tell the story...

(photo courtesy of Christopher ~ please click on image to enlarge)

Christopher: "In late May of 2012, Chris and I headed East to visit her Dad. Now, I should explain that Alf, her father was also a collector, but of vintage metal button hooks used in the lacing up of 19th century lady’s shoes. So almost as soon as we arrived, he wanted to take us around to his local antique haunts and to a huge Eastern flea market where he was sure Chris could find the vintage commercial perfume bottles she was collecting at that time and for me, of course, vintage fountain pens. I don’t think that it was anything more than a couple of days that we were not browsing those shops and on the weekend heading out to this huge flea market. But as much as Alf felt we could make a day of it, at 87 unfortunately, he just wasn’t getting around that well and tired very quickly. So when we arrived at the market, just the walk from our car to the confectionery inside the gates had him wanting to sit down and rest."

"Chris suggested that I go and see what I could find but be back at the confectionery within 25 minutes. So I put one foot in front of the other in quick order because the flea market was about the size of three football fields, filled with row after row of hundreds of dealers tables. Fortunately, on the third table into the first row, I spotted a Parker Streamlined Duofold Chinese Red Senior pen & pencil Set, which brought me to an abrupt stop. I knew the clock was ticking so I quickly asked for the price. The dealer’s wife told me $175. Now I should mention that although I was rather flush when we first headed out that morning, I had found and bought items at the antique shops Alf had taken us to earlier. So all I had left in my pocket was a C note and that is what I offered her in return. She mulled it over with her husband and came back with a fixed price of $125 for the set. I asked them to hold it and Chris came to my rescue with the difference. I was so excited even though we had to head back to Alf’s apartment. He was admittedly exhausted, but Chris took my pen set and put it in her purse for me to check out when we got back to our hotel later."

"Needless to say, I was up in the wee hours the next morning and discovered to my dismay in checking out the fountain, that it had a very small chip on the open end of the cap. Still a good buy, but very disappointing. Well, when we got home I looked into having the cap fixed but in the end just stowed the pen in my pens case to get sorted out at a later date. So it sat until earlier this week."

"About three weeks ago, I bought a lot of pens, and amongst them was what I was hoping would be a Senior Duofold in the Chinese Red. Twice I had bought lots before, thinking I had scored a Senior, only to find that it was a Junior. The sellers were not pen people and were not able to qualify my interest but for the rest of the vintage pens evolved in these lots, it was in both cases worth taking a chance. Anyway, the package of pens arrived earlier this week and when I opened it, what should roll out but yes, a beautiful streamlined senior Chinese Red Duofold just missing its clip. I was so pleased and able to just move the clip from the chipped cap one to this pen, that had just arrived. My goodness Maja, it was even the same year."

"But there was one concern and that was the nib. It looked at first like a Parker Vac nib and the bad news was that I had cannibalized the chipped cap pen for its nib and feed for a Lapis Duofold Senior I had bought in parts from David. But, as it turned out, I was wrong about the nib. In around 1940/41 with the growing interest from Parker customers to have their pen nibs replaced, the company produced an official factory replacement nib in somewhat of the design of their current Vacumatic one, but with a different shape (narrower) and with the arrow imprinting having a different configuration. Also, on the heel was engraved an R for replacement and a star to honour the Parker Duofold warranty if this factory original Parker nib was applied by either the company repair shop or a Parker authorized dealer. Parker also replaced the old style Spearhead Duofold feed with their more modern Comb feed because they felt it was a better option. My new Duofold had this replacement feed but with an A imprint to signify that it is an Parker Accountant’s nib and feed. And once I had serviced my new addition and inked it, it was definitely a pen for an accountant and perfect for my journal entries."

"This brings me to the last point regarding this lovely pen, its dating. Regarding that gone is the Parker ‘Lucky Curve’ imprinting, and the imprinting in this case is referred to as the small imprinting. But if this imprinting has the word ‘Duofold’ in the center of the top line in a larger font, the pen dates to 1929. But if it has the word Parker repeated twice on that top imprinted line with the second Parker in place of the word Duofold but also in the larger font, the pen (my pen) dates to 1930. There is no imprinting on the pencil, just the Pat. Date reference at the top of its clip. So there you have it and I will be using this brilliant Chinese Red Parker during the week to come!"
 

Many thanks to Christopher for sharing his beautiful vintage finds (and pen-hunting story) with us! Christopher told me his write up could be trimmed down, but I left it intact as I love hearing how people acquired their pens :) 

There's an excellent article written by vintage pen expert David Nishimura on replacement Duofold nibs (such as the one on Christopher's pen) called "Replacement Duofold arrow-imprint nibs" (link to article). For more information on the vintage Duofold (including info on the two barrel imprints referenced in Christopher's write up), check out this page on Parkerpens.net. 

Best of luck to everyone with their own pen-hunting adventures!
~Maja

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 195

Although we're primarily a fountain pen club, we also welcome fans of other writing instruments. I've been a ballpoint fan all of my life, and this particular model caught my eye after I read about it on Tony Fischier's excellent Parkerpens.net site:

(all photos by Maja ~ please click on images to enlarge)

 It's the Parker 'Dimonite', and it was only produced for three years (2002-2005) so I don't think it's as well-known as many other Parker models. Because of its relatively short production run, 'Dimonite' pens and pencils seem to be a bit harder to find and/or go for a premium on the secondary market.

I acquired the Violet and Ochre ballpoints (the top two pens in the photo above) on eBay for a reasonable price from German eBay seller Rolf Thiel ("missing-pen" on eBay) a few months ago. I loved the design, the weight & feel of the pens (they remind me of their successor, the original Parker 'Urban' ballpoint) and that lovely dark brushed metal trim, so I kept an eye out for the other colours...



One day while trolling eBay, I saw that Shawn Newton of Newton Pens was running another set of charity auctions for his Newton Pens scholarship fund , and one of the auctions was for a 'Dimonite' ballpoint and mechanical pencil set in Carbon. I put in a low bid and (as the lone bidder) I won it! The set arrived, safe and sound, in the Parker box shown in the top photo. I don't believe this is the original box for the set (I think it's a clear, see-through plastic box) but it did a great job of protecting my set on its journey from Hot Springs, Arkansas to Vancouver :)



The 'Dimonite' lineup of writing instruments consisted of a ballpoint, pencil and gel pen (no fountain pens, unfortunately) and was available in five different finishes--Violet, Ochre, Carbon, Prussian Blue and Blue Mint. I love how the dark metal trim complements the Violet and Ochre pens shown above...


 

 Side note: the model name 'Dimonite' is a reference to Parker's patented gold-plating process of the same name that was introduced in the early 21st century. The plating is an alloy comprised of 50% gold and 50% titanium that was used on some Parker 'Sonnet' and 'Insignia' writing instruments. 



(It's not the patented Parker "Dimonite" finish, but I love that dark, brushed-metal trim...and yes, the metal trim is darker on the Ochre and Violet pens than on the Carbon set...)

At 34 grams, the 'Dimonite' isn't a light ballpoint, but I love its heft and balance. It's solidly made of matte plastic and heavy, brushed stainless steel. According to my measuring tape, it's 13.4 cm/5.25 inches in length -- longer than a Parker 'Jotter' ballpoint, but slightly shorter than the 'Jotter XL'. One little feature of note - it does make a rather loud clicking noise when you click it; you can actually hear the spring inside the barrel compressing and decompressing!

The mechanical pencil has the same weight & length as its ballpoint counterpart and features a retractable nose cone (so it won't accidentally poke you when the lead is withdrawn). It also has a retractable eraser hidden in the clicker, which lessens the chances of losing the clicker cap when you want to use the eraser. The pencil takes 0.5mm leads and the 'Dimonite' pens take Parker (or "Parker-style") ballpoint refills or Parker Gel refills.

Many thanks to Shawn of Newton Pens and Rolf of missing-pen.com for their excellent customer service, and to Tony Fischier for his write up on the 'Dimonite' model (and other Parkers) on his Parkerpens.net website. Update: Earlier today, I ordered a 'Dimonite' ballpoint in "Blue Mint", so only one more colour (the "Prussian Blue") to go! ;)

~ Photos and review by Maja ~

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 194

 To paraphrase the Joker, "Where does he get those wonderful pens??"

I'm talking about VPC member Jerred and his amazing collection of  Delta fountain pens, which includes this gorgeous example:

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

Jerred: "This brightly colored fellow is a Delta Galleria (Gallery). The Galleria series shares the same shape and size as the Delta Dolcevita series of pens, but instead of using Delta's signature cracked ice acrylics/celluloids, the Gallery series uses swirled acrylics instead. They are otherwise very comparable with similar caps, body sizes, grips, and nibs."

"The original Galleria series also used Delta's carved, sterling silver cap band instead of the engraved or laser etched cap bands present on later models."

"This particular pen uses a bright, swirled acrylic with yellow as the dominant colour, with elements of black and orange. It also uses Delta's excellent clutchless piston mechanism, and a yellow-tinted ink view window integrated into the body, just above the grip section."

"My particular version comes with a steel nib, though they were also available at various times with solid 14k gold as well as "Fusion" nibs. As is often the case with Delta's later pens, the nib is a lovely, smooth writer."

In January, we featured the newer version of this fountain pen -- Jerred's Delta 'Nuova Galleria' ('New Gallery') -- here on our blog (link). Our thanks to Jerred for sharing these gorgeous Italian fountain pens with us!

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 193

~ Happy Mother’s Day to all moms, everywhere, for everything you do! ~ 🌷

 
In the previous blog post, we featured Christopher's full-sized Sheaffer 'Balance' Standard fountain pen. It was one of two vintage pens he'd restored and added to his collection. As promised, here is the other one...

 (photo courtesy of Christopher ~ please click on image to enlarge)

Christopher: "The other pen leans more to the feminine, as a Sheaffer Short Slender Balance and when I picked it up, both the cap ring and clip had been blackened. I have actually come across this before, especially with Sheaffer pens from the war period and the blackening was always professionally done. I am wondering if this was, in fact, a Sheaffer option for customers or done by the Military? Still, maybe not the best but definitely not my taste and with this particular point removed the blackening and underneath found the 14K Gold fittings were absolutely mint!"

"As for the overall plastic finish, well, Marine Green is one of my favourites and add the striated - Wow. So after giving this pen the once-over plus a good polishing, I inked it with the newly released Sheaffer Peacock blue and have been applying to my journal with great success."

What a lovely pen! Thank you, Christopher, for sharing yet another wonderful vintage find with us :)

Friday, May 7, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 192

A fountain pen with a timeless, elegant design - the vintage Sheaffer 'Balance'...

(photo courtesy of Christopher ~ please click on image to enlarge)

 Christopher: "Finally, two more pens I have just restored and added to my collection. The first, a Jet Full Sized Sheaffer Standard Balance, was a pen which I was going to sell. Still, after restoration and serving, the application to paper stock has just sold me personally. There is a noticeable difference between the full sized and the slim Standards. In fact, like the Montblanc 146, it really is a more practical pen for general use."

"I have found that a lot of the bigger vintage Sheaffer points tend to be of the more clerical type with an accounting lean toward the fine and harder nib. I guess that Sheaffer was most interested in the office workers in the 1920s and 30s. This pen has just such a smooth ink laydown and ever so consistent line. The quality is available as well, with 14K Gold Filled fittings to boot. Just love this pen and have including it in my pen round up for this week."

(We'll be featuring the other pen Christopher restored and added to his collection on May 9 :)

Many thanks to Christopher for sharing this classic vintage Sheaffer fountain pen with us!

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 191

And now, more Delta goodness, courtesy of Jerred! Today's featured new acquisition is this '70s-inspired Delta fountain pen, in a colour which I love....

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

Jerred: "This fountain pen is part of Delta's "Anni Settanta" line. This was a line of pens designed by Delta with the stated goal of bringing to mind the design ethos and colors of the 1970s. 

 This is the second fountain pen I've purchased from this line, the first fountain pen was the "Mini" pen that I've shown pictures of before. I said at the time that I was unsure if there was a "full size" fountain pen in this lineup, as information is very difficult to come by. As it turns out, there definitely was a full sized pen, and this is one such example in a very 70s burnt orange colorway."

"Compared to the mini version, the full sized Anni Settanta is longer and slightly thicker, and has a different finial. The clip is also quite different. The sections between the two pens are identical, as is the #5.5, steel nib." 

"The nib is marked as a medium but writes on the finer side, but is quite smooth and overall a pleasant writer."

Many thanks, as always, to Jerred for his contributions to our ongoing virtual "show & tell":)
(VPC members: if you have any new pens/inks/paper/accessories you wish to share, please email them to me and I'll post them here on our club's blog. Thanks in advance! ~Maja)

Monday, May 3, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 190

Our last in-person meeting was held in February 2020 and the meeting theme that night was "Multi-Coloured Fountain Pens". The theme was suggested by Candice who brought some eye-catching pens for the topic, including a couple of shimmery, iridescent ones. She'd said she'd purchased them from AliExpress.com for very little money, so I ordered a Yiren '405' fountain pen in a yellow-green colour. 

It wrote fairly well for a pen that cost $9.99 USD, but I didn't plan on buying any more (even though they came in several different colours) ... until I spotted these three Yiren '405' fountain pens for a great price on eBay a few months ago.

I placed an order and got all three  for $7.89 USD, including free shipping! 

(all photos by Maja ~ please click on images to enlarge)

The fountain pens look metallic, but they're actually made of a very light plastic and spray-painted (?) to create that cool gradient effect. The pens are feather-light -- 14 grams with an empty converter in place -- and yes, they are Lamy 'Safari' clones (or "tributes", as some pen folks call them)...

 

The pens post easily and are the same size (posted and capped) as "the real thing". They all came with a generic plastic ink converter (with a red turning knob - a nod to Lamy's proprietary converter??) that fits my 'Safari' fountain pens, but not quite as snugly as a Lamy converter. Not surprisingly, the Yirens also take Lamy ink cartridges. There are some notable differences between the Yiren '405' fountain pens and Lamy's 'Safari', though ...

...such as the fact that the Yiren pens are only coloured on the outside. That came as a huge shock to me... but what was I expecting from a pen that cost less than $3 USD ?!?!?

 

 

All three Yiren pens have a plastic finial that is very similar to the Safari's, but it lacks the tiny hole in the center of the cross that the Safari finials have. The '405's barrel bottoms (not shown) are very similar to a Safari's, but the Yiren's have a small circular indentation in them. 

 

Although I referred to them as "clones" earlier, there is no mistaking the pens for a Lamy product, as the Yiren brand name is clearly imprinted on the barrel end.

 

 
                            

The '405's steel nibs are all iridescent (aren't they pretty?) and have "YIREN" and the nib width ("EF", in this case) stamped above the company name...

 


...and yes, the Yiren nib fits perfectly on my Lamy 'Safari' pen! (above)



 (photos of the three Yiren '405' fountain pens and the green-yellow '405' fountain pen I bought in early 2020 from a different seller on AliExpress.com)

Interestingly, the yellow-green '405' pen was a much better writer out of the box- the other three all needed some minor nib-tweaking to increase their ink flow and smoothness. Also, the finial on the yellow-green '405's' cap was completely different-- a slightly-convex black plastic disc with a raised image of  stylized chrysanthemum (?) on it.

In summary: If you're looking for a great writer out of the box, I would not recommend the Yiren '405' fountain pens I bought recently. If you happen to get one that's like my smooth-writing yellow-green '405', well, "Yiren luck"! 😉 

All jokes aside, even if you get a '405' that needs some minor nib adjustments, you likely won't have spent a lot of money acquiring it...and they're great pens on which to practice your nib-tuning skills!

~Photos & write up by Maja