Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 224

Today's featured item is the newest addition to Jerred's amazing Delta fountain pen collection!

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

Jerred: "This interesting little pen is a Delta 'Astra'. Unlike many other pens made by Delta over the years, the Astra very clearly takes its design cues from vintage pens, notably 1920s-era Parker pens like the Duofold Jr. and Lucky Curve. Like those pens, the Astra is made of ebonite (hard rubber), has a flat top design, and a double cap band. It also has a fairly intricate blind engraving that I've highlighted in the picture below. Ebonite was not a common material for Delta to use in pens, but it was used in a few other models such as the Roma Imperiale as well as the 'Return to China' set that commemorated Hong Kong's return to Chinese rule from the British. The particular version pictured below is polished black ebonite, but the Astra also came in green swirl and red wood grained ebonite as well. The Astra was released in 1995."
 

"Another interesting feature is that the Astra is a lever-filled fountain pen. Believe it or not, Delta made lever-filled pens on a regular basis and it was a point of pride for the company. There are a number of Delta 'Celebration' series pens (their top finish for limited edition sets) that are lever-fillers, and they were made right up until the company went out of business. Unfortunately, Delta also had a habit of making their lever-fillers little bit difficult to use as the nail knicks were often just a bit too small. Unfortunately, this also extends to the Astra; the lever is usable, but somewhat fiddly."

"The pen comes with a Delta early #4 sized, 18k gold nib with the stylized "D" logo. The nib has a bit of give to it despite being relatively small, and it's a lovely writer." 

As always--our thanks to Jerred for his fine photos and write ups about his newest finds :)

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