General update

I know it’s been over a year since I updated this. In part, it’s because Ive been working hard on developing a database to run the pen indexing part of the site. The blog part works beautifully, but adding every new pen by hand not only got unwieldy to do, it made for page that took way too long to load. So that’s been in progress. Ideally, I hope to offer more ways of viewing the pens you’re interested in, such as brand, nib, filler, date range, maybe even by color. But there are very few non-commercial packages to do this, so learning to construct it has been quite a battle. I think I’ve got the hang of it now, so look for things to start going live soon. At this point, it is mostly the (monumental) task of manually re-entering the info for each and every pen I own. Yikes! (There aren’t really any free tools for doing that either, I’ve looked!). So far it’s looking pretty good though! You can see what the new database driven pages will look like on the bottom left, where there are a few pages labeled (BETA).

Once it’s done, I will be adding a LOT of new pens and inks, several repair updates, and maybe even a page for all the vintage pencils I have also accumulated. So stay tuned!

New pen cabinet, and new pens coming soon

It’s been a busy summer, so I haven’t updated as much as I should. There’s a new batch or pens coming soon, as well as some long overdue ink swatches.

Meanwhile, I offer for your viewing pleasure these shots of my new pen cabinet (or curio, I suppose). The case itself came from my cousin, in a fantastic trade for a couple of pens.

pencabinet3pencabinet2

pencabinet1

(click to enlarge, of course!)
tinyrule

A Bit of a Mystery…

UnionThe pen is huge, with a gorgeous woodgrain ebonite body, a big ball-ended clip, and a big, smooth, wet 14K Warranted #8 nib. Not much flex, but it writes like silk. The section has a couple of dings, indicating the sac was changed (or someone tried to open it), but otherwise, it seems to be in amazing condition.

The cap reads “(The) Union.” The clip reads “Union” with “LM” in a circle on the rounded end of the clip. And of course, the nib reads as any Warranted nib would. (All images will open larger)

And that’s it. No barrel imprint, nothing. According to Richard Binder’s reference pages, Union was a sub-brand of Morrison, but the pens he describes look nothing like this one. However, it looks an awful lot like the pens here on this FPN thread: Diamond Point.

One fellow who collects pencils mentions a pen marked similarly, which seems to have been made by Diamond Point. (The entry is HERE, but beware, he refers to the pen part of the set as “one of those pesky pens I don’t collect,” so watch your blood pressure…)

So, pen maniacs; what do you know? Ever see a pen like this before?


UnionClip Union-lever

 

tinyrule

First Batch of Pen Boxes are Ready

The cigar boxes I snagged a while ago have finally begun their transformation into stylish pen boxes! I have about six more to do once I get appropriate colors in the edging material to match both the box and the liner.

If you look at the black and red boxes in the front, you’ll see a band of red inside; that is a soft foam strip that helps keep the tray liner in place, provides a ‘bumper’ for any pens that might get jostled out of their grooves, and makes the whole think look more ‘finished.’ The red one in back (which is a stunning box; the photo doesn’t show enough of it to see here) has a red liner, but the red foam looks muddy next to the brilliant red liner, so I’m going to put a black band in that one instead. I have boxes with liners in blue and burgundy as well.

I’ve been using a couple of these myself, and they are great! I’ll be finishing the next batch in the next week, and posting them for sale soon. Drop a line if you’re interested!

penboxes

tinyrule

For Sale: Laban “Nouveau” Set

Laban Sterling “Nouveau” FP/BP set in a gorgeous Art Nouveau pattern.

($175, negot.)

Converter fill (included). Steel Nib, B

I don’t know the exact model designation, and was unable to find this set online. The closest I found was the Maya (retails for about $180 for the FP, $130 for the BP, give or take depending on currency and such). It’s similar in looks to the Labrados, but I don’t think that one is sterling, and it looks like the black is enamel. I didn’t find this pattern in any case.

This set is definitely silver (and it does tarnish over time as one would expect), but I can’t tell if it’s a true overlay. The set is in near mint to fine condition. The only mark on the set is a small ding on the end of the BP (see photo). Close examination shows a few ‘drawer wear’ scuff-type marks, but they are not visible without magnification. I honestly don’t know much about this set, other than it’s a lovely writer, and the BP has the original Laban-branded refill, which writes (black).

I’m asking $175, but happy to entertain other offers, since I don’t have more details. Drop me an e-mail on the Contact Page if you’re interested!

Laban-1


Laban-6nibs Laban-5nick Laban-4all Laban-3Plate Laban-2nib

I’ve revamped the site again!

I know, I just rebuilt this website, and I was really pleased with it. But I’ve been getting back into tinkering with my collection again, and doing some repairs, and adding a bunch (too many, really), of new pens…. My “News” page was getting way too big. I looked for some kind of blog extension that I could embed into the site, to no avail. So now I’m running the entire kit and caboodle (what does that mean, anyway?) via WordPress.

I don’t think I did too badly keeping the look and feel of the old site, and it’s running a little fast and leaner, too. So please, look ‘er over, kick the tires, see if I’ve missed anything!

And stay tuned: I have over a dozen new pens to add, and several new inks, including three from a brand that’s new to me: Callifolio out of France….

tinyrule

Two ‘franken-pens’ and a repair spree…

I’ve been on a bit of a repair spree lately, and here are the results! First three repair job are: an Arnold, an Eversharp Skyline, and a Wearever 2-in-1.

The black Wearever 2-in-1 was a real wreck, and it had been languishing in a box of parts for years. On a whim I dragged it out, and after a serious cleaning, and a new sac, it’s turned out to be a wonderful little pen! The nib (basic steel, once gold-plated) is far smoother than it has any right to be! And it cleaned up to a really smart, sort of deco-looking piece.

The Brown Skyline was pretty basic: new sac, a good cleaning and a polish. It’s provenance however, is more interesting. I found it, or rather its parts, in a $5 jar of assorted pen parts (mostly old ballpoints). What’s more, there was an extra nib, feed & section unti in the jar….

The Arnold, however is where things got interesting. It, too had been languishing for a few years, as the nib was pretty much hopeless. But it’s such a gorgeous body: look at that silver and crimson stripe! I fiddled with the nib, seeing if I could smooth it out, but it was really too far gone. THen I got to wondering…. I had that extra Skyline nib unit… Well, the nib was the wrong size for the feed, but, the section was almost a perfect fit. A bit of light sanding, and the Skyline section fit like it had always been there. A good polish all around, and my stylish Arnold now sports a lovely, smooth, 14K Eversharp nib!

march1-repairs arnold-sky
Left: Three of my repairs: Brown Eversharp Skyline, Black Deco Wearever Two-in-one, Arnold/Skyline Right: Closeup of the Skyline nib, feed & section on the Arnold pen. Looks perfect, doesn’t it? (Click to see larger images)

My next repair was another happy coincidence, of sorts. You may recall back in December I picked up a mixed lot of Sheaffers, including that fabulous Jade Flattop? Well, in that lot was a second Jade Flattop, badly discolored, and lacking a cap. It had a huge, gorgeous 14K nib, though, and I resolved I’d find a cap for it. Well, I sort of did….

Just the other day, I snagged another eBay lot (I am hooked on those batch lots – dangerous stuff, but then again, they’ve yielded some real prizes!). This lot had a couple of Sheaffer vac-fillers: a brown striated Balance and a brown Tucky, a green Lambert-Aiken, and a big black and pearl lever fill Balance completely without innards.

balcase balrescue
Left: The pretty rough Balance body (shot from the eBay listing) Right: A new pen, the restored Balance barrel and cap, and the section & nib from the discolored flattop. (Click to see larger images)

Of course, it wasn’t long before I thought of that big fat gold nib looking for a home… and once again, by happy coincidence, it fit with only a quick sanding of the nipple to match the taper of the Balance. The barrel was a real mess to clean, though; the sac seemed to have burst and adhered to the inside of the barrel in a crusty, inky, mess. Yuk! But after a pretty intense bout of poking and scritching, a new sac, and a thorough polish, I have a fantastic pen!

tinyrule

Nabbed a rare Sheaffer Skyboy, a few lovely pencils, and bought a few pens from friends.

This month’s acquisitions include a mini Sheaffer flat-top, a Wearever flexy-nibbed pen in what can best be called ‘tiger stripe,’ purchased form a friend on FPN on Facebook. Locally, I found a trio of lovely mechanical pencils, and a really lovely and rather rare Sheaffer Skyboy.

newFeb27 skyboy-fixed1
Right: Mismatched Sheaffer pen & pencil set (pen is the Skyboy), a grey & cherry Majestic, a rose & black candy-stripe no-name, and a green marble Wearever. ON the left, is the fully restored Skyboy. Click the image to see it bigger!

The pencils are lovely; the pinkish one has a red lead, which is quite unusual, and all three (four counting the mismatched striated Sheaffer) are in beautiful condition, with really gorgeous colors. I don’t know how the Sheaffers ended up as a set; not only is one the Skyboy and the other is marked Sheaffer’s on the clip, but the pen is white-dot and the pencil is not. But both are lovely pieces, so I’m glad to have them!

The Skyboy is a bit special, however. Introduced in 1940, the Skyboy was marketed as specifically designed to perform under the harsh conditions of air travel, hence the name. History doesn’t say much about that ability, but it ws a nicely made pen, comparable with the higher range pens of the time. It’s a white dot pen, with a pretty good-sized Lifetime 14K nib, and not suprisingly for a Sheaffer, writes beautifully.

What makes these unusual is that the very next year, Sheaffer changed the Skyboy line from the firm ‘radius’ clip to the military over-the-top clip, meaning this particular model was made for only one year!

Look for all of these pens, a few Asian pens I decided to take a chance on, plus a new page just for pencils coming up soon. Also appearing in my next major update: a new Skyline just off the repair pile, a Wearver 2-in-one pencil/pen hybrid, also just restored, and some creative parts-swapping in the name of repairing the Arnold. And for some reason, I never got round to photographing, or even inking up my Visconti Renbrandt Callligraphy, so look for that one too!

And I have discovered an entirely new line of inks: Callifolio from l’Artisan Pastellier, and of course I had to grab a few. Trust me that the moment they arrive they will be opened and tested, with swabs appearing here soon after!

tinyrule

I scored a delicious lot of Sheaffers!

I just nabbed a batch lot of Sheaffer pens on eBay. It was a risk (always is, right?) but there was one gem in the lot that I knew, the moment I saw it, was worth the price of the lot. As it happens, I got a few other real gems, too! But the undisputed king of this batch is the Jade Sheaffer Flat-top.

SheafferLot2 SheafferLot
The Sheaffer Jade is in the middle. You can see the discoloration these pens usually suffer in the one right next to it,which was once the same color! Click the image to see it bigger!

Jade celluloid pens are known for their vulnerability to the discoloring effects of rubber or latex off-gassing. The pen right next to that glorious green one shows the very same material that has discolored. That’s the much more common condition of Jade pens from this era. How this one escaped discoloration, I don’t know, and how the fellow in eBay was willing to sell the lot for less than $100 I don’t know either, but I am so glad for both!

There are some other real treasures in this batch, though! From L to R:

  • Ballpoint with the ‘reminder clip.’ Needs a refill, but in good shape. (Not like I need ballpoints, but it’s a nice example.
  • Fineline by Sheaffer (1950s). Fineline was one of Sheaffer’s sub-brands. It’s clearly a low-budget pen; it’s light and feels plasticy, and has a pretty basic steel nib. Again, in good condition.
  • Sovereign II Tuckaway. (1946-47) This little beauty has a touchdown filler that needs some TLC, but the barrel clarity is fantastic!
  • Sheaffer Jade Flat top, white dot on top of the cap. (1913-28) Outstanding color! Huge 14K nib that is smooth, but doesn’t have much tipping left. Seems this pen was both well used, and well cared for!
  • Another Flat top (1913-28) , heavily discolored, and lacking a cap. Another gorgeous nib, though. If I can find a cap for it, I’ll fix it up as a user-grade pen.
  • Gorgeous Carmine Craftsman (1939-40s). I have always been fond of the Carmine Striated Sheaffers, but this one absolutely gleams! Arrived in perfect writing trim, with healthy sac and needing only a cleaning.
  • Also gorgeous Carmine Balance pencil. (1939-42) Not white-dot, but a lovely piece. (At this rate, I may need a page just for all my Balance pencils!)
  • Another Carmine, but this one seems to be a ‘franken-pen.’ The cap doesn’t thread properly, so I suspect a mismatch. Too bad, as both are lovely. The Carmine color and the ‘streamline’ or ‘radius’ clip, put it between 1939-42.

All in all, a very good haul! Look for these on my Sheafffer page as I get them restored and photographed (with better photos than these phone pics)!

tinyrule

12 new pens added

Finally got my new pens added. Since it’s crazy cold, I couldn’t photograph them outdoors. Sadly, my camera simply does not like shooting indoors, even in bright natural light, so this batch is not quite as good as I’d like. But, they are up!

On the Sheaffer Page:

  • Sheaffer Midsize Balance Ebonized Pearl
  • Sheaffer 100 Red

On the ‘Other Pens” Page:

  • Pilot Metropolitan Purple Leopard
  • Vintage Golden Rule in BHR
  • Conklin LE Crescent Rose Gold Demonstrator
  • Conklin Crescent Mark Twain Zebra
  • THINK Gatsby Havannah
  • Vintage Wahl GF with14K flexy nib
  • 2 Gorgeous Waterman Kultur Reflectis, one iridescent blue/green, the other iridescent golden red
  • Waterman Phileas Black

On the Project Pens Page:

  • “Band O’White” BHR with 14K flexy nib

tinyrule