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 :)

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