Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 217

If you're a regular reader of our little virtual "show & tell", you might have noticed all the wonderful Delta fountain pens that Jerred acquired since the pandemic. Well, here's one you've likely never seen (or even heard about) before. It's a real oddball of a fountain pen made by a company that was known for its unusual designs...

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

Jerred: "This is a Delta 'La Palancola (pah-LAN-coh-lah)'. Despite the rather musical sounding name, 'Palancola' is an Italian term for a type of construction sheet metal piling. The somewhat more common name is 'Larssen sheet piling'. This is a type of stamped metal structural support first invented by Norweigan engineer Tryggve Larssen in 1902, and first produced in the form that inspired this pen in 1906. It is commonly used all over the world for retaining walls, cofferdams, and structural supports, especially for water features. Why Delta decided that this was a suitable inspiration for a fountain pen is a mystery to me."


"The way that the Delta 'La Palancola' presents this inspiration is in the heavy, bronze cap. The cap is made in the form of two pieces of Larssen piling attached back to back, with the bulge present in the original design used as space for the pen to screw in."


"The cap on my model shows the oxidation on the cap one would expect from bronze, and I cannot determine if it was initially polished or if the pen was intended to be sold in this fashion. As far as I can tell the cap was *not* meant to be used as a stand, as there is an inset logo in the cap that protrudes slightly, causing the cap to be unstable when standing upright."

"Oddly enough the cap actually screws to post on the back of the pen, as can be seen in the picture above. As you could well imagine, the pen is so back-weighted in this configuration that it's difficult to write with."

"According to the listing from which I bought the pen, this model was made-to-order in a limited run, and not intended for general sale. There is an edition number on the tail of the pen, and my model shows '20/100'. This is probably why information on this model isn't generally available."

"Outside of the extremely strange cap, the pen is rather attractive. The body and grip are made of a chip cellulose acetate with a dark, blue-black background and chips of red, blue, yellow and orange mixed in. The pen also has an enameled body engraving with 'Delta - Italy', 'La Palancola', and 'Special Edition'. There is an inset logo on the cap of the pen, but I can't begin to understand what it's supposed to represent. This logo is also present on the nib."


"The nib for this pen is also pretty special as it is solid titanium. It sports a rather intricate engraving of the logo also present on the cap, as well as 'Ti 22' and M for medium. The number 22 corresponds to the atomic number of titanium on the periodic table. Outside of this pen, I know of only one other Delta model that uses titanium nibs, the Titanio. The nib is on the softer side and is an extremely wet writer, as was often the case with early titanium nibs. It's reasonably smooth, and has slightly odd feedback compared to gold and steel nibs. I've made the conscious decision not to tune the nib on this pen as it's really more of an exhibit piece than anything I would likely write with."

"To put it mildly, this is a pretty unique pen."

It definitely is....and thank you, Jerred, for sharing it with us :)

Monday, June 28, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 216

A couple of days ago, we posted the first of Christopher's recent vintage acquisitions---a lovely Parker 'Vacumatic' Shadow Wave fountain pen---and promised that we'd post his other finds without any further ado, here they are!

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

Christopher: "The second addition (to my collection) is yet another old store stock Waterman’s Taperite Crusader original boxed set. I enjoyed inking up the fountain pen and being the very first user. The finish is a deep rich burgundy complemented with a gold over aluminum with silver banding. The 14K gold semi-hooded nib lives up to Waterman’s fine nib perfection and the year of this set is around the time that Waterman bought out their nib jeweler, Aikin Lambert, after a long-standing relationship. And my I add that unlike the Parker 51, the Waterman semi-hooded nib option allows this particular fountain pen to have some welcome flex."

"The box outside is finished in a pebble tone silver with gold Waterman branding and also houses the Waterman Taperite ephemera, a little ruffled but still in very good nick. Am I pleased with this set? Should you ask and right into my collection with no hesitation."

Great photo of a great-looking vintage fountain pen and pencil set! Thank you, Christopher, as always, for your contributions to our virtual "show & tell" :)

If you're interesting in finding out more about the various Waterman 'Taperite' models (yes, there was more than one!), there's a great article on here.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 215

Longtime VPC member Christopher recently acquired some more vintage writing instruments and was kind enough to send photos and write-ups for our club's website. We'll post them here in two separate blog posts, starting with this wonderful vintage Parker 'Vacumatic' fountain pen....

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

 Christopher: "The first (new acquisition) ticks all the vintage pen collecting boxes for me. It is a 1938 Shadow Wave Juniorette which I just got recently. The first box that this pen ticks is that I am the first user and subsequently the pen is newsstand mint. The second box is that the transparency is a ten out of ten. In fact, so clear that you can see your fingerprints through the barrel! Yet another box ticked is the fact that it is date-coded the first quarter of its release and, in turn, has the Vacumatic lockdown filler that was only available for about 7 months before Parker changed the filler and went on to their Speedline. Another box ticked is the feed which is imprinted with the ‘W’ to denote a wide ink channel (over the accountant’s feed marked ‘A’, which is by no means my first choice). But may I also mention the Vacumatic arrow nib which ticks my box again, being nice and flexy. And finally, the clip is the first quarter release wide feather that definitely does deserve a final box tick."

"Yes, this pen is for me fountain pen perfection and I just love the fact that it is old store stock and that I am the first and original user! Oh and just to put a little more icing on the Parker cake, the cap which should be opaque, according to the records, is also transparent!!!"

Many thanks to Christopher for sharing this wonderful new vintage find with us! We'll feature the other items he recently acquired on Monday (June 28) here on our blog.

 For more info on the Parker 'Vacumatic' lineup, check out this excellent article by Richard Binder.

Friday, June 25, 2021

More Summer Reading!

(write-up & photo courtesy of Stuart ~ please click on image to enlarge)

Stuart: "Here’s my Summer reading! It’s Japanese, 1000 years old, and written by a woman of the Imperial court. This translation was the first into English, originally published in the 20’s and 30’s."

"The story focuses on Prince Genji, son of the Emperor by one of his concubines. Genji grows up to be impossibly handsome and to have many love-affairs, one with his own stepmother! In many ways it seems like a modern narrative - intimate in its focus, and delving into the thoughts and feelings of the characters. I don’t know if anyone in the West was writing anything comparable at the time. It’s 1100-odd pages, so it’s a leisurely read, but it holds your attention. I’m about 300 pages along, so I may have it finished by August!"

"The pen is my Blue Splash Pilot Vanishing Point. One of the fascinating things of the book is the importance of writing - characters are forever sending each other poems with significant meanings, and the quality of people’s handwriting is given great emphasis. And the papers used also! So writing, the ability to do it beautifully, was a prized thing in the Imperial sphere. BTW, the capital of Japan at that time, and for centuries after, was Kyoto. I don’t think Tokyo became the capital until relatively recent times."

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 214

This next write-up is courtesy of our newest member, Anthony, who recently acquired a beautiful Pelikan fountain pen...

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

Anthony: "This is the Pelikan Celebry P570, launched in 1997. While most pens offered by Pelikan use a built-in filling system, the “P” in “P570” means “patrone,” German for “cartridge.” I found my pen at Peyton Street Pens in Santa Cruz, California. The price was $110 usd, a reasonable for this pen in near mint condition with original box. When I received it and examined it, I was pleased to find that it was difficult to tell that it wasn’t new. There was a small amount of ink residue in the feed which I flushed out with the aid of a "pear" bulb and flushing cartridge (A flushing cartridge is an empty cartridge that has no seal at the end opposite the feed, it’s open at both ends to allow it to be used as an aid when flushing the feed with a pear bulb. That way you don’t push the bulb up against the delicate feed opening. Some penmakers ship their new pens with a flushing cartridge installed, and an ink cartridge in the barrel."


"I used a Schmidt K5 converter and loaded the pen with vintage – and discontinued Sheaffer Skrip Peacock Blue, one of the shades of turquoise I really like. I came across a blog discussion with Teri Morris, the owner of Peyton Street Pens where she mentioned unearthing a stash of vintage Sheaffer Peacock Blue cartridges. Cheekily, I asked her to send me some along with the pen. She readily obliged – I like the generosity of sellers that add treats into pen packages. Always a pleasant surprise, even if it’s just two Jolly Ranchers candies – my favorite is Watermellon flavor by the way! The pen is a joy to write with for several reasons: the weight and solidity of the brass from which it’s made – it balances perfectly in my hand (I don’t post), the wonderfully smooth Pelikan steel F nib, the bright turquoise ink in the pen, and the medium-wet flow. Not yet sure if the flow is an attribute of the feed design, or the ink. The nib is a “western” fine, an F leaning very slightly to M. Most of my other “fine” nibs are a tad narrower. But then, most of my other pens are Rotrings :.)"

"The Celebry was made until 2005, so locating new-old-stock is not difficult, finding mint in box at a reasonable price requires patience. The Celebry was available with nib widths EF, F, M, B, and OB. Celebry colours were Coral Red, Cobalt Blue, Fern Green, and Terra Black. The previous incarnation of the type was known as the New Classic, and only offered with gold-plate trim, less attractive to me, it had a narrower straighter barrel, in line with the other minimalist designs of the period (Rotring Esprit for example)."



                                                                         Rotring Esprit

Our congratulations to Anthony on his new fountain pen, and our thanks to him for the review!

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Summer Reading

"A 1964 reissue of one of the classic sci-fi novels paired with a Sheaffer Skripsert Deluxe school pen in Buckskin Tan."

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

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 213

Today we're featuring Graham's lovely Nakaya 'Neo Standard' fountain pen!

He ordered it several months ago, but since Nakaya pens are all custom-made, it took about three months for it to arrive here from Japan. His particular 'Neo Standard' is the Shobu (purple urushi) model, and it came with a ruthenium Medium nib and clip. 

From (Nakaya's exclusive North American retailer): "This exquisite shape in this rich color suggests understated strength.  In European culture this color has long be associated with royalty. In Japan is is seen as elegant."  

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

(from "Heavy decorative rice paper, a solid softwood shipping box, and an attractive fabric pouch add to this pen's presentation value. Sensible and elegant packaging has always been a hallmark of the Nakaya brand."

(from "This is a subtle and considered shape that is hand-crafted from solid hard rubber. Notice the long tapered tail of the barrel and how this shape continues toward the front of the pen as well, down to the flange of the gripping section. The extra long section offers a comfortable grip for the fingers making it a favorite with calligraphers and people who spend hours writing. It also fits perfectly at the back of the hand and into the web between thumb and first finger. There is no need to post this cap."

(the Nakaya nib is imprinted "Nakata", the family name of the pen's manufacturer)

 Measurements & Specifications (from

Clip With Clip
Cap Type Threaded
Closed Length 5.9"
Postable Not Postable
Barrel Length 4.5"
Section Diameter 0.4"
Cartridge Capacity 1.5 ml
Converter Capacity 0.5 ml
Ink Capacity 1.5 ml
Filling System Cartridge-Converter
Pen Weight 28.5 g
Barrel Diameter0.6

This isn't the first Nakaya fountain pen we've featured in our online "show & tell"--we posted photos of Melodie's lovely Nakaya 'Decapod Twist Writer' model in July 2020 (link). Many thanks to Graham for sharing this virtual unboxing of his gorgeous fountain pen with us! :)

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 212

 ~ Happy Father’s Day to all dads, everywhere, for everything you do! ~ 💙

Today we're featuring the latest addition to Jerred's amazing Delta fountain pen collection...

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

Jerred: "This lovely pen is a Delta Serena. The Serena was, at one point in time, Delta's entry level pen before being supplanted by the Unica in that role. Despite its station at the bottom end of Delta's lineup, the Serena still uses a high quality, turned acrylic. The red pen shown here is one of the three basic colours, and it was also available in black and blue. There is also a rarer green acrylic version that was made for the Oro Bianco men's store in Japan."

"The acrylic is very lovely and feels of good quality in the hand and it's not totally opaque, as when the pen is viewed with a strong backlight some translucency is visible. The Serena comes with gunmetal plated trims and a gunmetal plated, metal grip section. I believe the plating is done in ruthenium. One common problem with this model is plating loss, and this is visible on the cap band in two of the pictures provided.

One odd thing about the Serena is its ability (or inability) to use Schmidt converters. Despite ostensibly being a full-sized pen, the standard Schmidt K5-type converter will not fit as the converter is just a bit too long. To get around this, Delta actually shipped these pens with a converter with the top portion of the piston knob filed off. The company probably could've saved a lot of time and effort by just making the pen 3-4mm longer."

"This pen came with #6 sized, stainless steel nib, again plated in ruthenium. The Serena has a somewhat unique engraving pattern (shared with the Unica), which is quite a bit different than most other engravings on Delta nibs. I'm not sure why they did this, though the general pattern does pop up on some other pens, notably later variants of Journal fountain pen. My pen came in broad, and it was a lovely writer out of the box."

What a beautiful fountain pen! (I love how the gunmetal trim contrasts with the bright red acrylic material) Our thanks, as always, to Jerred for sharing his newest acquisitions with us!

Friday, June 18, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 211

And now - Stuart's new vintage Esterbrook DB-117 desk set in "Sea Green"! The desk set spent a few days stuck in the Windy City before arriving in Vancouver, but it finally got here, safe and sound. Without further ado, here it is...

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

Stuart: "Here’s the long awaited arrival - an Esterbrook wedge desk-set in mint green! It’s in great condition, though I swapped in another, matching pen that works, as the set’s own pen has a petrified sac. Also, its taper doesn’t want to screw back in all the way, and I haven’t forced it. The taper has a black band at the end, which I haven’t seen before. Another great catch for the collection!"

"The working pen is fitted with a Relief 2314-F stub, with a Fine point."

"I think I got the Relief stub at Van Pen - they have (or did have) a small stash of old Esterbrook points. It’s a cool nib and worth looking for if you like Estie’s."

Stuart has a very similar vintage Esterbrook desk base that was featured here on our blog a few months ago (link), but that one was a model DB-114. Aside from its colour (black), that DB-114 looks very similar to the minty green DB-117 desk set in this blog post. The DB-114, however, has more ridges and only came in one colour (Black) whereas the DB-117 came in several colours (Sea Green, Pearl Gray, Florentine Blue, Rouge Red and Walnut Brown). There's a scan of a 1957 Esterbrook desk set pamphlet in the PCA Reference Library (scan here - see pages 5 & 6) that shows the oh-so-subtle difference between these two models.

Congratulations to Stuart on another find, and our thanks to him for sharing it with us!

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 210

From China, we're off to the Land of the Rising Sun, courtesy of Andy & his new fountain pen!       


It’s a short day for me, pen friends, and I’d thought a review would be good right about now!

I would like to share with everyone a popular pocket carry pen of the shorter and higher Pilot grade.

The Pilot Elite 95s....(s stands for short...I made that up)

Like the pen itself, this will be a short one!"

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

"I have been quite fond of this short guy.

It’s their most affordable 14k gold nib pen at the moment and, hopefully, shortly a new model might be released.

With the summer days coming and I’m pretty much in shorts 24/7, I’d thought a nice gold nib pocket carry was in order.

This short burgundy barrel looks deceiving but it is not. "

"The pen itself might look short, but in a short bit of time, I’ll show you something neat and not short."

"What is revealed is a short barrel accompanied by a long grip section.

Seem oddly short?"

"But voila!

When capped on the short barrel, this pen becomes full sized.

The balance when writing is nothing short of a wonderful writing experience."

"And that wonderful signature Pilot gold nib writing experience is possible with this finely tuned not so short nib. 

That is the short end of this review and I hope everyone’s day isn’t too much LONGER. 


Many thanks to Andy for the great photos and another fun pen review! :)

Monday, June 14, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 209

From Europe to Asia we go now, with a handsome Chinese-made fountain pen that Jerred recently acquired...

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

Jerred: "This is a Moonman M800.  This pen bears a striking resemblance to a few Italian made fountain pens, notably the general shape and the clip with a rolling wheel.  It most resembles the Delta Journal or Leonardo Momento Zero, but the shape really isn't identical to either.  The M800 comes in a number of different colours, pictured here in a swirled blue turned acrylic.  The pen is also slightly translucent when held up to the light. Construction wise, the pen is also a bit different than the Journal or Momento Zero, in that the section is underlaid in brass instead of the acrylic sections of the former pens.  Thankfully it doesn't copy the 'fake piston filler' removable blind cap of the Journal or Momento Zero, which is a positive in my opinion."


"This pen is available with a Moonman-branded #6 nib or Bock #6 fine nib for a relatively reasonable price premium.  I purchased the version with a Bock nib, and it was quite a good writer out of the box."

A bit of pen-related trivia---according to, Frank Dong's informative blog on modern Chinese pens, "...the Chinese name of the moonman means “the last craftsman,” not “the man on the moon.” Our thanks to Jerred for his ongoing contributions to our virtual "show & tell"!

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 208

Today we're shining on spotlight on a beautiful modern Italian fountain pen belonging to Jerred - another fine addition to his Delta fountain pen collection...

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

Jerred: "This is a Delta 'Circle of Life' (CoL) fountain pen. The CoL is a turned acrylic pen that comes with seven inlaid silver rings on the body (the cap rings are, as far as I know, not silver) seen here in dark red/burgundy."

"According to the bits of press release that I've found, the circles are meant to represent the continuing cycle of evolution of life on earth. I'm honestly not sure what that's supposed to mean."

"There is another pen in Delta's collection called the 'Charles Darwin Evolution' that uses the same body shape and inlaid rings, but uses chip acrylics instead of the solid acrylic seen here. I was under the impression that the Evolution predated this pen but, in fact, the CoL predates the Evolution by a few years. Apparently Delta liked the design so much they decided to use it again."

"The pen comes with a #6 sized rhodium plated 14k nib. The nib also has a heart-shaped breather hole. As was often the case, the nib was a lovely writer." 

Jerred - many thanks for the photos and write-up about your beautiful new writing instrument!

Thursday, June 10, 2021

National Ballpoint Day 2021 !

Yes, it's National Ballpoint Day today, so I thought we'd celebrate it by posting photos of some ballpoints pens -- both modern and vintage -- belonging to our members!  

Brand-new Vancouver Pen Club member Linda D. kicks off the celebration with her lovely group of colourful modern ballpoint pens:                            

( ~ please click on photos to enlarge ~ )

Linda says the pens are (R-L): "...a Retro 51, two Recife pens, a cute 'stubby' from Target in the US and a sweet small pen from the Remarkable Dog in West Van that sadly no longer exists." I asked Linda about the Remarkable Dog as I hadn't heard of it before, and she said it was a coffee shop (where dogs were welcome :) that also sold some lovely gift items.

From moderns to vintage we go now, courtesy of longtime VPC member Stuart....

Stuart: "The four blingy clipless Parker Jotters are two models of the Princess series from the late 50’s, a late 60’s Tiara, based on the Jotter mini, and a Debutante."


Stuart: "The gold and black enamel Debutante reminds me very strongly of the Lady Sheaffer Paisley, with a similar pattern in the same colouring and material. The pink and blue Princesses make me think of Indian clothing and styles."


Stuart: "The little Tiara is cute and sooo retro! It takes the standard Jotter refill. I’m happy to report that the Princess models have gone up in price since I bought these a few years ago! Tiara’s don’t seem to go as high."


Stuart: "The last shot is of four of my regular Jotters: An unusual and lovely shade of blue, not sure of the date; a vibrant yellow with a bit of orange in it; a funky tomato red; and my first Jotter, bought new some time in the 90’s, with a dark green barrel."

Stuart's not the only Parker 'Jotter' fan in our club--here are some photos of Trevor's ever-growing Jotter collection (and some other nice ballpoints belonging to him)...

(above) Trevor's Jotter Originals

(above) Trevor's Jotter Originals 2020 Pastel edition (minus mint green 😔)

(above) Trevor's Jotter "London Architecture" ballpoints in (Red) Classical, (Black) Postmodern, (Bronze) Gothic and (Sky Blue) Modern designs.

(above) Trevor's Jotter London collection - (L to R): Victoria Violet, Royal Blue, Portobello Purple, Kensington Red, Bond Street Black, Chelsea Orange and Waterloo Blue.

(above) Trevor's Parker Jotter Premiums - Carlisle (top) and Oxford Grey Pinstripe.

(above) More of Trevor's Parker Jotter Premiums - Bond Street Black Gold and West End Brushed Gold.

(above) Trevor's Parker Jotters in brushed stainless steel, often referred to as "flighters".

(above) Trevor's Fisher Space Pen

(above) Trevor's Paper Mate 'Profile' ballpoint

(above) Trevor's Sheaffer 'Imperial' ballpoint pen

(above) Trevor's Sheaffer 'Sentinel' ballpoints

Trevor isn't the only Sheaffer 'Sentinel' fan---I love them, too:

The Sheaffer 'Sentinel' (not to be confused with the vintage Sheaffer fountain pen model of the same name) is a really nice ballpoint that's just a tiny bit longer than the Parker 'Jotter' but noticeably thicker. I got the three brightly-coloured ones at Walmart for less than $20 each a while back, but I haven't seen them there lately; you can still find them at places like Amazon, though.  The brushed stainless steel one was actually a recent purchase via ; I ordered the pen online and picked it up at my local LD a couple of hours later (I just checked their website, and it's on sale for $21.74 now!)

(above) A couple of Gry Mattr ballpoints in "Cool Grey" (top) and "Warm Grey" I acquired from a local Staples store during the pandemic. The pens are made of wood and enamel and have a roll stop instead of a clip. They write very well, feel good in the hand, and were a bargain at $12 each.

...and yes, I love Parker Jotters, too! This is my collection as of February 2021 (I've acquired a few new ones since then) and it includes (bottom row, L-R): two Parker 'Jotter XL' ballpoints in "Monochrome Rose Gold" and "Alexandra Grey", a yellow and sterling silver Jotter I wrote about here, and three groupings of the London-themed series of Jotters (you can see them better in Trevor's photos above). The red Jotter-like ballpoint in the upper-right corner is actually a Jotter "clone" I bought in Havana, Cuba in the late 1990s.

(above) Photo of some of his Parker 'Jotters' sent to me by my pen friend Rick M. from the London Pen Club when I mentioned that National Ballpoint Day was coming up. Rick said: "I may have an issue with Parker Jotters. This is what I found in my home office not too long ago. There's more in the car, at the pen desk, in drawers.  For me the perfect ballpoint." I asked Rick if I could include his photo because it's a great collection and it includes a very early 'Jotter---the red one on the far left. The earliest Jotters had a trough-shaped clip and were made of grooved nylon, not the smooth plastic material that is now used in their production (Update: Prompted by Rick's comment, I did some research and found out that there is some debate as to when this changeover from ribbed nylon to smooth plastic took place--1955 or 1956---so I changed the text above from "first year Jotter" to "very early Jotter". The very first Jotter arrived on the market in 1954--that much we do know).

And on that note, I'll end this blog post by sending our thanks to Linda, Stuart, Trevor and Rick for sharing their ballpoints with us on National Ballpoint Day -- your photos were all very much appreciated :)

Use your ballpoints in good health, everyone!