Friday, August 13, 2021

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 239

From vacation-inspired pens to birthday pens! Today's blog post features some lovely writing instruments that longtime VPC member Christopher recently received for his special day...

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


Christopher: "Admittedly, for years I avoided retaining every Wearever pen, something I felt (from past and more current advice) was sensible. Turning the clock back to the 1950s, Wearever pens were commonplace in most retail outlets. Cheap and often found to leak, they were not pens which I remember with any sort of fondness. More currently, in chatting with other collectors, I was warned that investing in a Wearever pen was not something done with any hope of future value. Still, and suddenly in the now, Wearever pens started to be both popular and sought after. The truth of the matter was that Wearever made so many different models over the years that some were actually real eyecatchers. In turn, at the end of the 1930s, Mr. David Kahn the founder and commander-in-chief of the Wearever company, made a firm decision to formally go after the upper-end pen market. Starting during the war in 1940, in support of this interest to capture the quality pen market, he developed a small number of models which were simply amazing. The best of them at that time was the Pacemaker.

Kahn was a known copier and in this case he selected the Parker Duofold button filler with its brilliant vertical lined Laidtone finish. Although soon to become the Parker Duovac with a Vacumatic filler, Kahn stuck with the simple, less complex, and reliable Parker style button filler for his Pacemaker. To this, he added a high quality Button filler pressure bar and topped it off with a clear ruby red plastic button, over Parker’s plain Jane brass one. The clip was much more similar to the Parker Duofold’s and straight tapered, plus--just to be on the safe side-- all the fittings on his Pacemaker were 14K Gold filled. But where I see a sheer stroke of economy was in the Pacemaker’s blind cap. Kahn’s company, with the war effort, was making the tire valve caps for the US Military jeeps and he simply used a barrel end thread that would accommodate these valve caps as blind caps for the Pacemaker. The molds were already standing so the cost saving was impressive.

With all this in mind, it was not hard for me to just have to have a really good Wearever Pacemaker set for my collection. Thankfully, a perfect example surfaced, finished in the emerald and pearl with jet vertical lines and coming to me in the most brilliant clear plastic display box (Wearever imprinted on the lid). Needless to say, I was delighted to find a set as such seemingly old store stock with the pen in very fine unused condition. And when inked, a terrific writer with its solid 14K gold nib coming out in front. And yes, this is one of only three Wearever pens to sport a real 14K sold gold nib. Of course, it made it even more special to get this set as a birthday gift from my wife, Chris."

"One vintage point which had not found its way into my collection was the Targa by Sheaffer. And I guess part of the reason was I just never seemed to find one which I really liked. There was something about the clip which needed to be matched with a finish that I felt complimented the clip design. Well, wouldn’t you know it, as soon as l laid eyes on the Targa 1000 in brilliant mirror steel with a matching polished steel nib, I was sold. This pen set as shown ended up as a birthday gift from my daughter, Claire and son-in-law Jamie and could not be more welcome in my collection."

"Years ago, Mark Harcourt called me over to see a big pen collection he had just acquired. What impressed me right off the bat, was the good number of Parker pens involved, along with a large original Parker display case. I ended up with a Parker ‘First Year’ Jotter prototype, but there was a small number of another Parker pen I had never seen before. As it turned out, it was the Parker 41. In the years that followed, from time to time I would think back to those 41s, but other pens seemed a lot more important. Besides, I was busy building a Parker Vacumatic collection and that really was on the forefront. But in checking back more currently, I was amazed to see that the prices on the Parker 41 had skyrocketed since that day at Mark’s. Needless to say, it was imperative that I check that Parker 41 box in my vintage pen collection and it was none other than my good friend Rene from our pen club who came to my aid.

I was really blown out of the water with a lovely, very fine condition Turquoise 41 as his birthday gift. I can say nothing but good things about this pen, which I now have in hand. Equipped with the same terrific special Parker 8-metal alloy nib, which may I add writes as smooth as glass, the pen feels every bit as comfortable as any of my Parker 51s. Equipped with an Aerometric filler in good working condition, I keep turning back to the brilliant finish, which is hard to miss. The cap is brushed steel and sports a Parker arrow feather clip, held in place with a jet black cap jewel. This pen is a real winner in my books and many thanks Rene." 

Happy belated birthday, Christopher, and many thanks for sharing these thoughtful gifts with us! 

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