Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 314

Today we're shining a spotlight on not one but two vintage fountain pens recently acquired by Christopher! Both fountain pens were made by an American pen company founded in Chicago in the mid-1880s...

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

Christopher writes: "I was not familiar with the Grieshaber company or their line of pens, but recently I had an opportunity to get up close and really have a good look at several. The first, which I will describe now, is a Circa 1900 Lady’s short ribbon ring top eye dropper, sporting two 14K Gold Filled decorative barrel bands. 

This got me thinking of a much similar pen, the Parker number 6 from the 1894 period. What is more, and as it turned out, there is evidence that the Parker company made pens during this early period for the Grieshaber company in exchange for the Grieshaber high quality gold nibs. Both the Parker number 6 and this lady’s Grieshaber were made of the same black chased hard rubber, but along with the ring top on my Grieshaber cap is a rather attractive nickel plated accommodation clip. So back in the day, as a lady, you could hang this pen from a elegant silk ribbon around your neck like jewelry or clip it into a pocket if you so desired. For posting at a full 5 ¼ inches, this lady’s Grieshaber has a short indented barrel end which the cap can be slipped over. Still, when capped back responsibly, it has a reasonably short and pocketable length of 4 ¼ inches. 

As for application to paper, the original Grieshaber gold 14K Gold nib is a joy to write with, but does tend to offer more of a fine line. In turn, I was very happy, once restored and serviced, to add this fine pen to my collection."

Christopher continues: "The second Grieshaber fountain is a much larger pen measuring a full 6 ½ inches posted, but capping back to a tad over 5 inches. Unlike the lady’s ring top, the Black Hard Rubber is void of any chasing. It is a lever filler model with 14K Gold Filled fittings. The lever is actually very slim and elegant with a round flat ball end. The cap is quite long and flat topped but sports no banding. The 14K Gold Filled clip tapers to a round ball end and is vertically branded with the company’s name and place of origin, Chicago. The Grieshaber Company moved away from the eye dropper fillers in 1920, adopting the lever filler as a better option for their customers. And again it was rumoured that the Parker company was still and definitely involved in the production of this pen. 

But I have saved the best for last since the real beauty of this piece revolves around its nib. Saying that, the 14K sold gold point to my mind is not original, but an early Warranted replacement. Not a large nib, by any means, but the most glorious writer with a generous amount of impressive flex. So much so that after restoration and servicing I was just blown off the page with the way the nib performed. So, to sum up, a most attractive quality produced early vintage pen with a nib that few pen collectors would pass up on. It will be in my pen round up for this week and, in turn, making its way into my collection to be used many times in the future."

Our thanks to Christopher for sharing his new-found vintage treasures with us; we'll be featuring another vintage acquisition of his on Friday, so stay tuned!

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