Saturday, June 24, 2023

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 505

As promised, here's another installment of Lawrence's thoughts on his preferred fountain-pen-&-ink matchups (what he calls "Lavalife and pens" lol ).

This review is Part 6 of Lawrence's series and features sepia/brown inks; it continues on after part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4 and part 5, all posted here on our blog.

(all text + photos courtesy of Lawrence ~ please click on images to enlarge)

"This batch of ink is what I call the “Belle Epoque” group. This is because it is all based on my Waterman Elegance Ivory – the pen that started this “high end” pen fever in me. This pen had this Art Nouveau feel to it and the sepia / brown inks work very well to keep this mood going. The moment I saw the pen, I wanted to use a sepia / brown ink with it.
So. in a way. this is like my Syrah pen group, as it is based on wanting to match a single pen with a particular ink, sort of like “Syrah group lite” LOL.

This pen took three tries from Amazon to get to the one that wrote well enough for me, but I had already acquired the ink while waiting for it; I ended up getting Sheaffer Skrip Brown from Perks:

This is pretty “bright brown”, almost orange, but it dries to a more subdued brown, which is fine. It matches the Elegance very well, as the pen is ivory with gold accents. The Elegance is not a pen that I use often; it is more of a “appreciate its visual awesomeness” kind of pen for me. So, to make sure that this brown ink got used in some way, I did have a whole bunch of pens try it out. And surprisingly this ink group works with quite a few of my pens. Technically, of course, it will work with my black grail pens…but those pens tend to stay with the red inks.

The pen that worked very well colour-wise with this ink is my Montegrappa Ducale Brown Emperador. This pen writes a bit on the dry side with this ink, however, so I may end up getting a “wetter” brown ink for it. But I like the colour combo so far. Occasionally this pen uses black, but brown/sepia is its colour of choice for the time being.

Another Waterman pen that I have is the Carene. It is one of my non-black grail pens and it uses mainly black (instead of red) obviously; however it looks fine with this Sheaffer Skrip Brown. And the Carene writes very well and seems to work with almost any ink I give it. The Carene is one of the few pens in my collection that has two steady matching ink colours from different ink groups: black and brown (menage a trois….yes, tres tres French) .

The other pen in this “two-timing” category is my vintage Lady Sheaffer (I guess it is a Sheaffer, so it matches). This pen is usually in my black ink group, but sometimes I don't want this pen to be so “serious” about things and so the Sheaffer Skrip Brown is a good one to lighten things up a bit, and it works very well with the gold patterns on the pen.

My twin Faber Castell Basics (medium and fine ) sometimes use this ink as well. These are gray / silver pens that normally belong to the blue nostalgia group, but the brown ink looks extra vibrant with these pens somehow (maybe because the pens are sort of “grayish” and so their colours don’t interfere with the ink’s…not sure…but I like the effect).

The other Faber Castell I have that uses the Skrip brown is my Faber Castell Ambition Pearwood. I don't use this pen as much due to the section being a bit uncomfortable for long writing sessions, but when I use it I tend to use blues and I probably will put this pen in the blue ink category; however, the “orangey” colour of the pear wood matches the ink very well.

I did want to look for more brown inks for variety, and I came across J. Herbin’s Cacao du Bresil. It is kind of brown, gray, and bronze. It has a murky mix of colours depending on lighting and what not, but I categorize it under the brown category  I mean the name translates as Brazilian Chocolate....right?)

This colour looks great with my Elegance, but because it has this grayish almost metallic look to it, the ink actually works with many of my other pens as well. The Ducale uses this ink more than the other pens in this group.

 The other pen that uses this colour is my Kaweco Brass Sport. The metallic feel of the pen works well with this ink.

Finally, another variant of the brown ink group I got is my Montblanc Petit Prince Sand of the Desert (limited edition). I got this ink as a gift with my purchase of the Little Prince Solitaire. I had a choice between a lighter brown (I think it is called The Fox) and this darker brown version.

As the lighter version sort of resembles my Sheaffer Skrip Brown, I chose this darker brown instead. I have not really used this ink yet and so I’m using this post as an opportunity for first time unboxing LOL. As with all typical higher-end inks, the packaging is pretty nice with all the matching “whatevers” that it needs to have. This ink will work with my Little Prince Solitaire (and with most blue coloured pens I would think), but, for now that particular pen is using a blue-green ink. Perhaps when I’m ready to use this brown ink I will have the Little Prince Solitaire use it."

Lawrence, thank you so much for the great review and the wonderful photos that accompanied it so well!

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 504

As promised, here's Christopher's review of the UK Waterman '502' fountain pen he brought to our last meeting!

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

Christopher writes: "British vintage fountain pens are not impossible to come by, especially if you live in a part of the British Commonwealth. Still, I was smitten when I saw the finish of this Waterman 502 when it came into my possession. A mixture of pearl and greys make for one beautiful plastic finish on any pen, but when you make it a Waterman from just after World War II, and add to the mix an incredibly flexy Waterman Ideal No.2A 14K Gold nib, it all adds up to a tremendous ‘Wow’ factor.

And it doesn’t stop there, because all of the fittings are 14K Gold Filled and the pre-war Waterman clip just an outstanding design. This is a boxed lever filler with a very thin cap band lending to its overall conservative but smart design. The barrel end is semi round-ended, but the top of the cap is crowned with 14K Gold Filled clip rounded inset rivet. And the barrel proudly sports the imprinting WATERMAN’S, Made in England. Otherwise the nib is supported on a black feed inserted into a black grip section. This pen posts at a full 6 inches, but caps back to a pocketable 5. All in all, a great pen and a welcome addition to my vintage pen collection."

Many thanks to Christopher for his review of this fine vintage fountain pen. We'll be posting another entertaining installment of Lawrence's pen & ink match-ups on Saturday, so stay tuned for that...

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

June meeting photos!

Many thanks to everyone who came to our June meeting (at the Kitsilano branch of the Vancouver Public Library) on the 15th. We had fourteen members in attendance, including two newcomers (Asifa and Harris). Our thanks also go out to Christopher for donating the Cross Soft Tip 12K gold-filled pen which Chris M. won as a door prize! The primary theme for our June meeting was Vacation Pens & Ink (which 3 fountain pens and ink you’d take with you) and, as usual, our secondary topic was Newest Pen-Related Acquisitions.

Since it's related to vacations, I thought I'd kick off this meeting report with a photo of an elegant old postcard that Stuart found while cleaning out his storage unit...

(all photos by Maja ~ please click on images to enlarge)The postcard was sent from Antwerp, Belgium in 1908 (!) to Stuart's maternal grandmother in Canada by a friend of hers who’d travelled to Europe. The recipient's address takes up most of the other side of the postcard, so the sender's message was written on the front. There’s no slick, glossy paper to deal with, as you do with modern postcards! (I tend to write them with ballpoints ;)

Here's a pen accessory that instantly caught my eye during the meeting---a gorgeous handmade leather three-pen case belonging to brand-new member Asifa! The case was handmade in Turkey by Galen Leather.

Inside the case are Asifa's three vacation fountain pens peeking out (left to right) - a Lamy Safari in "Strawberry" (one of the 2022 'Safari' colours), a Faber-Castell 'Loom' in "Plum", and a TWSBI 'Swipe'.

Now, here's a fountain pen you don't see every day....

It belongs to another brand-new member, Harris, and it's his Pilot 'Custom Urushi', the largest of the Pilot 'Custom' family (there's a good comparison shot of the Pilot 'Custom' models here). I believe it's currently the largest fountain pen in Pilot's lineup (ie. not including the Namiki-branded models) -- an impressive writing instrument that's also a wonderful writer.

The pen is made of Japanese ebonite, hand-finished with pure urushi lacquer that's applied in layers --over a period of several weeks or even months-- a painstaking process expertly done by Japanese maki-e artisans. The lacquering technique used for this Pilot model line is Roiro Urushi, a black urushi lacquer.

The Pilot 'Custom Urushi' has a huge 18K gold two-tone nib (seen above). In the comparison photo I mentioned earlier (this one), the nib appears to be 25% larger than the Pilot 'Custom 823' nib, and about 40% larger than the nib on the popular Pilot 'Custom '74' fountain pen.

More lovely black fountain pens belonging to Harris! These two handsome Italian-made OMAS fountain pens are the iconic 'Paragon' old-style  (a faceted pen), and the equally-iconic '360' (a triangular pen) below it.

That's Jerred's new Delta 'Unica' Limited Edition in orange celluloid (made exclusively for retailer Goulet Pens) in the photo above. Jerred recently acquired this eye-catching Italian-made pen from a member of the Calgary Pen Club. The PenBBS '268' fountain pen below it is Jerred's choice of vacation fountain pen. It's a clear demonstrator vacuum-filler that has an ink shut-off valve,  a very useful feature if you are traveling by plane (where air pressure changes might cause ink leakage).

For his vacation ink, Jerred said he'd take some Higgins 'Fountain Pen India" Non-Waterproof Black (ie. washable) ink, available from Michael's craft supplies store for less than $7 CAD (Note: make sure you get the one made for fountain pens as there are other Higgins inks that are /not/ made for FPs)

Here's a handsome new acquisition that new owner Hadi said he'd be taking on future vacations-- a CONID 'Minimalista' Bulk-Filler
! It was made in Belgium by CONID, a small subsidiary of a company called Komec that designed and made machines for the pharmaceutical industry (Komec was later acquired by a Swiss multinational called Lonza). Hadi said the demand for this pen was very high, as only a small handful were released (they sold out very quickly).

Three great modern German fountain pens that Stuart would take on vacation-- his "Graf von Faber-Castell 'Guilloche' model in "Gulf Blue", his Montblanc '146' and his Lamy '2000'.

Stuart's Montblanc '146' is resting on a notebook that he recently bought at the Vancouver Pen Shop--a Penmanship Notebook by the Unemployed Philosophers Guild (photo of notebook's interior here

My own three travel fountain pens (L-R)---Ensso 'Piuma Pocket' fountain pen made in Ultem (a very durable plastic used in the aerospace industry), a red-orange Jinhao '100' (whose nib I swapped out for a steel Knox nib), and a brushed stainless steel Waterman 'Graduate'.

The ink I'd take on vacation is my Noodler's Black (shown above, and inside the Ensso pen, too) because I love doing crossword puzzles and Noodler's Black dries quickly and doesn't feather on newsprint.

Some of my newest acquisitions (L-R): an ebony wood Jinhao '9056' fountain pen, a taupe-coloured Sailor 'Lecoule' fountain penin "Safari Gray" bought at Nikaido in Steveston (Richmond), a Retro 51 'Honey Bear' rollerball and two ballpoints --a Lamy 'Xevo model in burgundy, and a chrome Sigma 'Olympian' chrome silver ballpoint that my Dad recently gave me :)

Julienne selected two fountain pens that are great choices for vacation pens because of their high ink capacity--her grey Opus 88 'Demo' demonstrator and a Mooonman 'C1' clear demonstrator!

Above: Julienne's "Mature" ink made by Wearingeul, a Korean company that claims to "re-interpret(s) novels and poetry with colors"; this particular ink was inspired by the novel 'Demian' by Nobel Prize winner Hermann Hesse. Julienne also showed us her very cool Wearingeul Lit. Collection Wonderful Wizard of Oz Spell Book inks, complete with bottles of Glitter Potion that you can add to the inks.

This pretty pen roll belongs to Joie and it has some of the fountain pens she said she'd take on holidays with her -- a Pelikan 'Pelikano Up' in "Champagne" colour (the second pen from the left), a Lamy Safari in 'Neon Lime' (I think that's the's the pen in the middle of the photo...obviously lol), and a Pelikan 'M205' in Aquamarine.

Kelley's trusty black Pilot 'Falcon' fountain pen and her uber-cute Fountain Pen Revolution 'Himalaya V2" (version #2) in "Candy Pink".
Kelley said she likes using Noodler's "Rome is Burning" and Platinum "Sepia" inks in her pens, as well as inks by Organics Studio.

Kelley likes to sketch on vacation, too, so she brings along this mini paint kit (shown above), as well as a water brush.

Christopher showed us a couple of nice vintage fountain pens and a ballpoint he likes to take on holidays (top to bottom of photo)--a Parker 'Jotter' ballpoint in the ladies' size, his Parker '51 Vac Demi' fountain pen and his Parker 'Vacumatic' Slender fountain pen in "Emerald Pearl". Christopher said he takes some Diamine "Meadow" ink with him on vacations, as well as his Visconti Travelling Inkwell.

The pen at the very bottom of the photo is a new acquisition of Christopher's -- a vintage Waterman '502' that we'll be featuring in the next blog post.

Like Christopher, Chris M. also travels with a couple of "non-fountain" pens ---this Montblanc rollerball engraved with his name on it (classy!), and a full-sized Parker 'Jotter' ballpoint (not pictured). As for vacation fountain pens, his lovely Pilot Custom 74 in "Wine Red" (not shown here, but photographed at our February 2023 meeting) would be Chris' first choice.

You can't see the nib on this checkered Jinhao 'X750' fountain pen, but Amy added some noticeable flex to it, using a Dremel tool. Well done, Amy!

Amy also worked on the Medium steel nib on Marisa's TWSBI Eco fountain pen (not shown) and reground it to a Cursive Medium. Marisa said she'd take her trusty Sailor fountain pen and some J. Herbin ink on vacation (sorry I didn't get a photo of them, Marisa :/

This is Luc's Opus 88 'Omar' demonstrator fountain pen, which uses a "Japanese-style" eyedropper-filling system to minimize the chances of the pen leaking or drying up. Although the 'Omar' model is a large pen, it's very comfortable to hold and use. It's filled with an aptly-named (for our meeting theme) ink called "Road Trip" ink by Standard Bindery, a stationery store that was located in Brisbane, Australia (now permanently closed).

Luc also showed us two more fountain pens (not shown in my photos) that he'd take with him on vacation--his equally-aptly-named Traveler Company's brass pocket fountain pen, and his TWSBI '580'.

Some vintage pens and pencils (all restored by longtime Vancouver Pen Club member Christopher) that he brought to sell after our meeting!

Christopher has been repairing & selling vintage pens and pencils for several years now, so if you are interested in his repair/restoration services (or wish to buy or sell pens), here's his contact info: 


Thanks again to everyone (new members and old) for coming to our June meeting, and bringing some nice pens and inks for us to see and talk about :)

~Blog post by Maja~

Sunday, June 18, 2023

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 503

~ Happy Father's Day to fathers everywhere around the globe! 👔 ~

Here's the second part of our "Parker Weekend" ---a review of another great Parker fountain pen Christopher recently acquired --a timeless classic ... the amazing Parker '75'!

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

Of all the Parker 75 models, the Cicele finished ones are my favourites. Years ago, I was fortunate enough to pick up the Insignia Cicele but the Sterling Cicele finish 75 just seemed to be at arms length until the other day. These are truly fine Parker pens, both in finish and in quality. They also have an adjustable nib which can be adjusted to the writer's hand, with a dial in gauge around the metal top of the grip section. The pen originally came with both an ink cartridge and converter option, and can I say enough about the lovely 14K gold nib, I think not!

But the sterling silver finish of this pen, with a boxed grid pattern, was made even more attractive by the Parker factory by applying the grid pattern of lines over a smooth pure high-grade sterling silver. And to further accent this finish, the factory applied a special satin in the line cracks to heighten the design finish effect. As the treated pure silver ages, the finish becomes even more attractive.

To complement this, the fittings are 14K Gold filled and both the cap and barrel have kind of a stacked coins flat end. Between the cap and the barrel is an attractive banding, marked ‘Parker’ in a large font, then ‘Sterling cap & barrel’, and below,’ Made in USA’. That leaves the Parker arrow clip, which is long feathered and quite elegant. This is truly a beautiful Parker pen and well worth adding to any vintage pen collection, especially mine. 

Our thanks to Christopher for his review! The next blog post will be a review of our June meeting, so watch this space :)

Friday, June 16, 2023

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 502

Many thanks to everyone who came to our June meeting last night! I'll post a report (with lots of photos) early next week. In the meantime, enjoy this "Parker Weekend" featuring two reviews of Christopher's recent finds made by the Parker pen company (thank you, Christopher!).

First up --- a sometimes overlooked gem -- a handsome English Parker 'Duofold' fountain pen:

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

 When is a Parker Maxima not a Vacumatic? This is elementary -- when it is a British Maxima Duofold.

Still, on first glance. it had me fooled. Granted, it had the overall size of a North American Parker Maxima and what looked like a first generation North American wide feathered Parker arrow clip. But otherwise, it sported the banding of a Parker North American Major model, introduced in the second generation. Then there was the fact that this pen was a single jewel, which was part of the third generation. And unfortunately, that is just the beginning because, in removing the barrel,, it revealed an extremely large ‘Aerometric’ filler, reminiscent of the Parker 51. Even the filling instructions were imprinted on the metal filler sleeve just exactly like the Parker 51. Finally, in removing the cap, atop a substantial grip section was the most magnificent Parker 14K Gold arrow nib, a dead ringer for any Parker Vacumatic, North American or British. In fact, the country of origin was inscribed directly below the company name. But stranger still was the number 50, below both the company name and country the pen hailed from. The truth of the matter, as I was to discover, was that Parker in Britain numbered their streamlined Duofold pens on the nib, with 50 being the number designated to the largest model, the Maxima.

A little further history, if you will. The Parker Maxima Duofold was introduced in the United Kingdom in 1958, while the Senior model Duofold was being phased out. The Maxima was by far the largest model. but at a costly 50 pounds sterling, a very expensive proposition for the average pen purchaser. Subsequently, with the addition of rather a short production run, today the Parker Maxima Duofold is far from a common fountain pen.

There is very little else I can relate about my Parker Maxima Duofold, other then it came in a brilliant jet black with 14k Rolled Gold fittings. The huge nib writes so well that it will be a vintage pen that will see a lot of use at my end. The filler holds as much ink as the size reflects and the overall condition has to be very fine to near mint. Finally, to give an idea of why this pen is branded maxima, could be because it posts at a full 6 ¾ inches and still holds a good size capped at 5 ¾ inches, a somewhat longer proposition than the North American Parker Vacumatic Maxima. I find myself saying, “How do I love this pen? Let me count the ways!”

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Reminder -- meeting tomorrow! (Thursday June 15th)

Don't forget our monthly pen club meeting on Thursday June 15 at the Kitsilano branch of the Vancouver Public Library from 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM! (*click here for detailed information, including our meeting topics*).

Questions? Contact us at
Hope to see you there! (no RSVPs needed :)

Monday, June 12, 2023

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 501

And now, a review of another modern pen inspired by a famous location in a major European city--Christopher's new Parker '88' fountain pen in lacquer blue!

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

Christopher writes:
"I was not familiar with the Parker 88 fountain pen until recently. It is a pen with a lot to say for itself. Actually, it's a French design for Parker in England, with a definite European styling. Strangely enough, the concept comes from the famous French Place Vendôme Square in the city of Paris. Dating back to the 18th century-- the 1700s-- Napoleon himself erected a column to commemorate his victory at Austerlitz in 1805. This pen mirrors everything about this French column, save the statue of Napoleon Bonaparte at its top. The Square is the home of the world's greatest jewelers and, indeed, a tribute to this fine Parker pen. The Parker 88 was introduced in 1987, but Parker found more marketing merit in a double digit model name, so the 88 became the branding of choice. Still, in 2004, the 88 became the Rialto, named for a district in Venice, Italy. Basically, it's the same pen, which carried on quite successfully, until Parker discontinued it in 2007.

The general make up of this pen is quite different and, at the same time, equally attractive. The long cylindrical design is complemented with a high luster lacquer finish. The deep mirror luster is achieved by layer upon layer of coloured lacquer being applied to a base metal, such as copper or brass. This gorgeous finish is duly complemented with 14K Gold filled fittings. Both barrel end and cap top have a round flat 14K gold filled disk, inset into their surfaces. The ring cap clip is a very long feathered Parker arrow design and between the cap and the barrel is a banding with the UK, country of origin, imprinted around it. There is also a thinner banding near the end of the barrel. The pen had a somewhat long matching grip section sporting a 14K Gold Parker nib. This nib is about 50 percent covered with a black inset tube that is part of the section. 

Needless to say, the pen is a superb writer and extremely smooth and consistent in the laying down of ink on paper. Since the original filler was not available, I purchased a converter which handles the filling responsibly. This pen posts at 6 ¼ inches onto a special posting peg at the end of the barrel, but it caps back to a very reasonable 5 ¼ inches that suits me just fine. I have to ask myself, what is there not to like about this brilliant Parker pen? Not really anything to keep it out of my vintage pen collection."

Our thanks to Christopher for this review, and all the other reviews he's sent in over the past 3+ years :) We'll be featuring a couple of other reviews of his (two more Parkers--one vintage and one modern-ish) later this month!

Saturday, June 10, 2023

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 500

(Wow, we're up to post #500 of our virtual show & tell!)

Happy National Ballpoint Day!

I thought it only fitting to post a review of a ballpoint today, so here’s a review of a special (to me) Italian-made ballpoint that I bought online recently -- my Delta 'Via Veneto' with platinum-plated sterling silver trim !

There's a bit of a story behind the pen (actually, two stories), so I hope you'll indulge me....

When I was 16, my Mom and I went to Rome on a short holiday while we were visiting relatives in a bordering country. I'd never been to Rome before, and neither had Mom, but she really wanted to see the Via Veneto, a luxurious street in the Eternal City made famous by Fellini's film "La Dolce Vita" (another Delta model name!). Though we saw many other sites during our stay in Rome, the Via Veneto was the first touristy place we visited, and Mom (who was a big film fan when she was younger) was very excited about it. I had a great time with Mom in Rome, on a trip I'll never forget.

Fast forward to last month, which marked the fifth anniversary of Mom's passing
I wanted to commemorate our "Roman holiday”, so I went hunting online for a Delta 'Via Veneto' writing instrument. The fountain pens are very expensive, but I found a reasonably-priced ballpoint on the Spanish online marketplace Todocoleccion

I'd never bought anything from that site before, but the pen was listed as being in excellent condition and priced at 59 Euros (a great price, considering its original suggested retail price was $195 USD) plus 18 Euros for registered mail shipping to Canada. My only concern was that the seller had stated in the listing that he wanted the payment in the form of a bank transfer. Bank transfers can be risky because they can't be recalled. The seller's feedback was very good, though.... and I really wanted the pen, so I sent the money to him via bank transfer (and here's a tip: my bank charged me a $6 CAD fee when I did the bank transfer myself online; if I had done it in person at the branch, the bank fee would have been A LOT higher). 

After I paid for the pen, I waited for a reply from the seller (knowing it would take a few days for the bank transfer to go through) ... and then I got a tracking number---yay! After a couple of weeks, the pen arrived safe and sound -- in the box shown-- with its warranty card included. The card was stamped by the pen store in Madrid at which the ballpoint was originally purchased, and the purchase date - "14.1.12" (which is either January 12, 2014 or January 14, 2012 - Spain uses both formats) -- was hand-written on it.

Now, let's take a closer look at the pen!

(all photos by Maja ~ please click on images to enlarge)

The pen was, indeed, in excellent condition ... and it looked fantastic! I don't think the box it came in is the original box (apparently, those had the words 'Via Veneto' on them), but it's a genuine Delta box, with a very soft lining that cushions the pen inside very well.

The pen measures approximately 13.8 cm in length, and has a maximum barrel diameter of 13 mm (near its top), gently tapering down to 11 mm at the gripping area. It weighs 28.3 grams and has a nice heft to it, but it's very well-balanced in the hand. The pen uses a twist mechanism and takes a Parker-style refill.

(I realize the camera isn't the kind that Italian paparazzi used in the 1950s, but it's vintage and it reminds me of the type of camera I used in Rome :)
The ballpoint's platinum-plated sterling silver trim is very shiny and complements the bright, glossy red of the pen very well. There's also a red version with gold trim, and a black version with the same two trim options.

In addition to ballpoints, the model also came in rollerball and fountain pen forms, which had MSRPs of  $225 and $425 USD respectively---very expensive for the time (and still very expensive). I don't know the exact year in which the Delta 'Via Veneto' line was launched (one auction site said 2007??), but it's a real challenge to find any of the pens for a reasonable price now as they were discontinued several years ago.

The lower part of the pen's barrel has the words DELTA ITALY VIA VENETO and the Delta logo tastefully engraved on it. The engraving is on the side of the barrel opposite the clip, so it's unobtrusive.

I'm glad the clip doesn't have any engraving or ornamentation on it; I think it might take away from the simple elegance of the pen's design...

Both the white cap top (inset with a small medallion with the Delta logo on it) and the white cap band are made of a material called Galalith. Although they have a ribbed appearance, these adornments are perfectly smooth and have an amazing depth to them.

Galalith is an interesting material, a synthetic plastic manufactured by the interaction of casein and formaldehyde. Also according to Wikipedia, Galalith is odourless, insoluble in water, biodegradable, non-allergenic, antistatic and virtually nonflammable. 

Although it cannot be moulded, it can be cut and dyed very easily. In the past, it was used to make Art Deco jewelry pieces, as well as things like knitting needles, umbrella handles and pens, but its current use is mostly in the production of buttons.

I love writing with my Delta 'Via Veneto' ballpoint! It's a wonderful writing instrument that reminds me of our great trip to Rome, and it also reminds me of Mom herself, because it's classy, beautiful and elegant ... like she was 😊.

I hope you enjoy writing with your own ballpoint pens on National Ballpoint Day. Whether they have sentimental value or not, use them in good health!