Yes, it’s been a while, I know. Life has a way of being, well, life. But I have 19 new pens posted, and about 30 more (mostly Sheaffers…) still to come. That still leaves roughly 30-40 more as yet unphotographed, even without the folio of nearly 100 Chinese pens I picked up along the way. No, I will not be cataloging all of them! Perhaps I can get some photos of the lot.
In this update, several Conklin and Monteverde pens appear, along with a couple Deltas, a few miscellaneous brands, and two stunning custom pens from Atelier Lusso. I have photos ready of several more vintage odds and ends, and roughly 20 more vintage Sheaffers ready to post. Yet to be photographed are three Benus, and a handful of others from Lamy, TWSBI, etc.
There are also probably a couple dozen inks I haven’t swabbed yet, and a bunch of seals and….*sigh* See you soon, I hope!
So I won’t lie – one of my ‘grail pens’ was the Delta Dolce Vita. From the first time I got my grubby paws on a Fountain Pen Hospital catalog, I fell in love with that radiant orange, and the contrast with it and the black and silver cap & trim. From there began a quest for orange pens, since I could not afford a Delta. (Still really can’t afford the one I’d love, but there’s a lot of pens like that….)
Funny thing is, turns out that orange, black, and silver look is pretty easy to find. Below are (and I’m not telling you the order they’re in!) A Delta Dolce Vita, a Conklin ‘Orange Nights,’ a custom-made Atelier Lusso with sterling fittings, and a no-name Chinese (I’m assuming) pen that came to me in a batch lot, but I’m guessing could not have cost more than $10.00. Can you tell which it which?
Unless you know each pen intimately, it’s tough to tell, isn’t it? They all have clips and clip bands which sit below the top of the cap, they all have a silver trim ring at the end of the barrel, on what might or night not be a blind cap, and then there’s the lovely gleaming marbled orange resin! It’s not easy! OK, here’s the real order:
The 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?
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….
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!
|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.
|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!
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.
|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!
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.
|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:
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)!
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:
On the ‘Other Pens” Page:
On the Project Pens Page:
I have just added several new pens to the Miscellaneous pens page:
In the near future, I plan to go back and expand the description of each instrument to include more of a review as well as a basic description. (The fact that this will give me an excuse to ink up and test all of my pens has nothing to do with it! 😉 I also have about a dozen new inks to get on here as well. Check back soon!