Friday, July 14, 2023

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 508

Here's a weekend treat for you--- Christopher's informative write-up (with lots of photos :) on his gorgeous vintage Wahl-Eversharp set!

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

(the background image in the photo above is from the second Chicago World's Fair, held from 1933-34)

"One of the most outstanding vintage writing instrument designs has to be the Wahl Eversharp Doric. I feel that the Wahl Eversharp company got it right with their prior Equi-poised model too, but then to take this outstanding line of pens and mechanical pencils and streamline them, plus add 12 vertical facets to the barrel and caps, just put the delicious icing on the cake. But their new Doric-branded line of pens and mechanical pencils, introduced in 1931, was not the glowing success that the company expected. Nor was it as successful as the Equi-poised model had been. At the height of the Great Depression, pen buyers of the day were just not eager to fork out as much as $7.50, let alone $10 for the top Doric model, even for such an outstandingly attractive line of writing instruments. Still, the line did keep a struggling Chicago company afloat.

Along with the design, the Wahl Eversharp company came up with a very catchy set of names for the different colours of their Dorics - names that were unique and at the same time, exotic. If you leaned toward red, there was the Doric ‘Morocco’ pearl finish, or if green was your favourite colour, then you would be taken with the Kashmir Pearl or Cathay. It all added up to a line of pens and mechanical pencils that more currently and most certainly are at the top of any vintage pen collector’s want list. And at the beginning of the 1930s, it was also the height of the Art Deco movement. So, to embrace this art form fashion, the Wahl Eversharp company gave each pen and mechanical pencil a truly Art Deco design banding.

Personally, I ran across a matching pair of the Wahl Eversharp Doric Junior pens in the delicious Morocco colour, and jumped on the opportunity to acquire them immediately. A year later, an opportunity to pick up a similar Standard Size Doric Morocco matching box set presented itself. Having too many of more or less the same Dorics, I let one of the Junior lovelies go and added the other to the Standard set. The marriage seemed to work well, and at the same time, just looked outstanding in the original Doric display case.

The fountain pens in both sizes are lever fillers, with the standard size model having the interesting option of an adjustable nib. The Morocco colour finish just takes these writing instruments to another level, and having the matching mechanical pencil sure helps to round out the set.

As for writing with the fountain pens, both nibs have very satisfying flex and the design of the presentation packaging could not be better. Each and every time I dig this set out to write with the pens, I am truly blown away. I could not ask for a better example of the very best of what the Wahl Eversharp pen company was all about, and are extremely happy to have this fine set in my vintage pen collection."

Our thanks to Christopher for sharing these wonderful writing instruments with us!  Don't forget about our July meeting on Thursday July 20 at a new location--the Terry Salman branch of the Vancouver Public Library! (full info here)

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