Thursday, October 13, 2022

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 430

Here's another vintage find from "The Big Four" vintage pen companies (Parker, Wahl-Eversharp, Sheaffer and Waterman) recently acquired by Christopher!

(all photos courtesy of Christopher, except where noted ~ please click on images to enlarge)

Christopher writes: "Admittedly, I have been after something along the lines of a vest pocket pen for quite some time. So it was just brilliant when I stumbled on what turned out to be a Parker Jade Duofold 1932 Vest Pocket pen and pencil set in beautiful and restorable condition. Actually, I spotted the mechanical pencil first, but not being that familiar with the pencils in the Parker Vest Pocket Duofold line, passed on it. Deeper into the cache of vintage writing instruments, there was the most lovely little jade vest pocket Duofold fountain pen. Quite honestly, I could not get the payment out of my wallet fast enough and had a smile on  my face, until the thought occurred to me close to half way home, that possibly that little mechanical pencil I had been looking at, was actually the mate for the pen I had just bought. So back I went and, sure enough, when I married the pen and pencil once again, it equaled a fine Parker Duofold vest pocket set. But from here on, in things regarding this set just got better and better!"

"For openers, the fountain pen in this fine set sported three 14K gold filled cap rings with the middle one being a tad wider then the ones on either side. This designation meant that the pen and pencil were from the 1932 ‘Special’ Duofold series. Adding to that was the fact that although the nib on the pen was small, it did offer a good bit of flex. As for condition, other than a wee bit of discolouration on the fountain pen’s barrel, the overall view was near mint. This was a short ribbon ring top set, but I read that sometimes these writing instruments came with both the ring top and a cap clip (note: see photo directly below). Although and evidently, one of the concerns regarding the vest pocket fountain pens is the tiny pressure bar. Due to its small size, if there is any rust sometimes the corrosion renders the bar damaged and thus unusable. Plus, replacements can be a challenge to acquire. As a Duofold, the filling system is the button type but I was fortunate in that other than a wee bit of surface oxidation, which was easily removed, the pressure bar in this case was not in bad shape."

(Above: a collection of 1930's Duofold Vest Pockets ~ photo courtesy of

"Once both pen and pencil had been restored and serviced, I decided that the set needed an appropriate case. Now I have found if you are at a loss for a vintage manufacturer’s pen case, often a period jeweler’s case will do nicely. Jewelers back in the day often used their own branded store pen cases as a finishing touch to sell writing instruments. Again, I was lucky because Chris my wife had just the jeweler’s case to complement my vest pocket set. Still, I did not want to include the set paperwork that I had in the wings, to sit on top of the pen and pencil in the case. So while installing the tie down cording in the box insert, it was elementary to just add a pull out cloth tab and stick this paperwork under the insert. Fortunately, the beautiful deep purple satin lined case, complete with the jeweler’s branding was also dated in the early 1930s."

"And as small as the vest pocket pen is, it posts at 4 ½ inches to sit comfortably in hand but caps back to place in a suitable breast pocket or the likes of at 3 ½ inches. It should be noted that the shorter ring tops pens were often bought by men for either the vest pocket or to attach to a pocket watch chain.

Although I do not have a pocket watch chain currently, I do have a number of suitable breast pockets which definitely can accommodate these fine items."

As always, our thanks to Christopher for his photos and reviews of wonderful vintage finds like these!

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