Friday, January 7, 2022

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 308

....and from Lawrence's modern Parker to Christopher's vintage (actually, antique) Parker we go!

In Christopher's words:

"I have often felt that the vintage pen collector purist misses out on some really nice and fascinating pens. But, at the same time, I also feel that a vintage pen’s history can leave lots of room for exceptions. Case in point is this Parker Jack Knife short ribbon ring top which just came my way. Truly an exceptional pen regarding its condition, but probably would leave a lot of pen collectors scratching their heads. Still, in taking a good look at this piece and considering the Parker history, it all seemed to make perfect sense to me. First off, the barrel, cap and grip are Bakelite which tends to have a distinctive high gloss sheen over the later plastics. A space age material supplied by the Dupont company which Parker branded Permanite. Possibly the Bakelite was not as stable as what Dupont had been developing in the way of plastics but, nevertheless, George Parker realized that plastic was going to take over the age-old hard vulcanized rubber moving into the future. Still, as a header and footer on this fine Parker Jack Knife pen, both the cap screw and the blind cap are in the black hard rubber and probably old factory shelf stock. The cap is void of a band but, like the first Duofold Parker pens, not unattractive. The button filler originally introduced by Parker in 1915 is such an impressive filler, tucked neatly away when not in use under a tapered but flat bottom ended blind cap. This pen measured six inches posted from stem to stern, but caps back to an extremely pocketable five and three quarter inches.

I was told that the ring top pens were just as much men’s as they were ladies', but for their length. The longer ring tops were definitely for the fairer sex and were acquired with cloth ribbon to be hung as jewelry when not in use around the neck. The shorter ring tops often hung from watch chains off gentlemen’s waistcoats or were neatly tucked into vest pockets where their size was just not an issue."

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

"Finally, this leads me to the one feature on this pen which might stump the purist, for the black Bakelite grip section sports a Parker Vacumatic ‘Slender’ 14K gold arrow nib. But is this nib incorrect for the pen? Well, if the original owner dropped this pen, damaging the nib, and in doing so returned it to the Parker Company at a later date for sorting out, if a Duofold nib was in fact unavailable, I am sure Parker would have just replaced the damaged point with whatever was of similar quality but available at the time. This could also apply to a pen repair shop or jeweler who had to turn to Parker at the time for a suitable nib. So, the way I look at it is the Vacumatic nib in this pen is just part of its history and with that perfectly expectable. And my what a fine writer this nib proved to be. Just enough flex to satisfy and definitely a very smooth line on paper.

So in turn this pen is becoming a part of my collection and in my view rightly so."

Christopher, many thanks for sharing yet another wonderful vintage find with us!

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