Monday, November 27, 2023

A lost treasure found

Our November meeting topic was "Fountain Pens Marketed to Specific Genders" and Christopher brought the fine example that's featured in today's blog post! The meeting was very hectic and I didn't have a chance to photograph it, so I'm glad he sent in this blog post because it's a great story. Our thanks to Christopher for sharing it with us!

Christopher writes:

"In 2010, in my early days of vintage pen collecting, I was visiting Vancouver Island on business and with a wee bit of time to spare, visited a used book shop. Since I had attended a boys’ prep school in my more formative years on the Island, my intentions for visiting this book haunt was to see if they had in fact, a school year book for the period I was in attendance at the school. This they did have, but the book store attendant was good enough to inquire if there was anything else I was interested in. With this, I asked him if he had any books on old writing instruments and in particular fountain pens. “No”, was his answer, “But I do have a cigar box with a few old pens in it.” To which I asked him if these old pens were for sale? He then turned and disappeared into the catacombs of his book shop, then returned with a colourful box which had definitely held cigars. This he passed on to me with the comment, “If you want to buy just one pen from this box, my price will be twenty five dollars. But if you see virtue in several, my price would be fifteen dollars per.” Well it was truly a surprise when I opened the box because of the nine pens made available, there wasn’t one that could be overlooked. Still I had visited the Antique Mall on Fort Street and bought a old Meccano outfit, so I really have to admit that I wasn’t flush. Still, I selected five of the nine which included a beautiful seemingly old store stock Parker 75, 23K Gold plate over Sterling, An equally mint Parker VP, a Parker 51 Vacumatic with a sterling silver cap band Circa 1943 -also unused- and best of all, a Sheaffer PFM III in blue and finally a PFM IV.

Years later-- in 2012--  regarding the introduction of a new Sheaffer line up, Patrick the importer of Sheaffer pens into BC (who was also the brother of Richard, the owner of the Perks stores) attended a Vancouver pen club meet at the Cambie Street location. During the meeting I showed Patrick my PFM IV, and he was so taken with it that he gifted me the Sheaffer inlaid nib in store advertising counter top display piece. Needless to say, I was thrilled. Well when I got home I wanted to stow my PFM, but did not have a proper box for it so I simply put the pen in the Sheaffer inlaid nib display box and put it in a safe place in my study. So safe, in fact, that for years I just could not find it. Then the other day while digging out a vintage 1930s Meccano manual in the back of the drawer, there was the box with the advertising piece and my Sheaffer PFM. But to my total surprise it was not a PFM IV but a PFM V! And in the same mint shape as those vintage treasures I picked up with it on Vancouver Island many years ago."

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

"So, a quick overview of this PFM. Well it has a Gold filled cap and clip with the Sheaffer white Dot designation. The cap is also vertically lined, but a second type with the lines not extended. The barrel and grip section are jet black and inlaid into the section is a beautiful 14K Gold nib. There is also a 14K Gold filled cap on the end of the barrel and the Main pen cap sports the date inscribed as 1960. This a big pen with a equally big Sheaffer Snorkel filler which is in good working condition. If you like big pens, this one sure fills the bill. Hopefully I will not misplace it again and go on to use it often."

Info about our December meeting will be posted here by the end of this week!
Have a good week, everyone!

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