Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – September 8, 2019

Not much fountain pen usage this past week. But an interesting thing happened on the way to seeing if I can use a few vintage pens as daily writers. I found that I love using them. So much so that my three Sheaffers (only two are actually vintage) were moved into my primary pen case so that they are always with me. The Sailor Pro Gear Regency Stripe and King of Pen were put in the secondary pen case and were ignored all week. The stub nib on the Legacy isn’t a daily writer for me, but it’s a nice change of pace.

Could I cross the Rubicon by selling off those to Sailors to focus on Sheaffers? Probably not. But if the Sheaffers keep my interest, I could see not using several of my modern pens and having current favorites fall out of favor with less use. Or, I could get tired of the Sheaffers.

The two Sheaffer Triumphs are solidly built, I have no concerns about them traveling in my briefcase/computer bag. They travel in the Nock Co Burton (from the Pen Addict 2019 Kickstarter) which is usually in the Nock Co Lanier, but will sometimes be moved to another bag or used on its own. I like the design slightly better than the A5 case that came with the Lanier. For one thing, it has slots for pens. For another, it has a bit more padding.

Links

REVISITING THE WANCHER DREAM PEN URUSHI FOUNTAIN PEN | The Pencilcase Blog | Fountain pen, Pencil, Ink and Paper reviews // I have little interest in adding new pens these days so typically skip reviews. But, long-term experiences still get my attention.

Quest for Perfection: My Search for the Best Burgundy Ink — The Gentleman Stationer // Montblanc Bordeaux is my favorite, by far, and I still have 4 1/2 bottles left. That’ll carry me for a while. I’m committed to always have at least one pen loaded with that ink. I also agree with his top three choices, although maybe swap #2 and #3, depending on my mood.

Ink – Goodwriterspens’s Blog // The only old ink bottles I have are a few bottles of Sheaffer ink. I do share the affinity for green ink. My second favorite color family, behind burgundy.

The Gimborn 150 Master: A Pelikan By Another Name « The Pelikan’s Perch // Another obscure (at least to me) bit of history from The Perch.

Stationery In Real Life: Making Do | From the Pen Cup // More real-life stationery stories.

UKFP Uncapped: 7th September 2019 | UK fountain pens // I enjoy reading posts about what people are interested in. This is the third “Uncapped” post and I’ve enjoyed all three.

Off-topic – The Photography of Margaret Bourke-White – The Atlantic // I recognize many of these iconic photos, never realized they all came from the same photographer.

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For Sale – Vintage Esterbrooks (nibs optional)

The vintage Esterbrooks are too thin and light for me to use comfortably for any extended writing on my part. Now that I have modern (and bigger) pens that can use my Esterbrook nibs it’s time to release my vintage Esterbrooks back into the wild.

There’s no boxes or paperwork included. Nibs are optional and available at an added cost. The pens are in excellent condition.

Shipping in the U.S. is $7.90 (small flat rate box) for as many pens as will fit in the box unless otherwise noted. Payment is via PayPal Goods & Services and ships only to addresses in the PayPal payment. Sorry, no international shipping for these pens. U.S. based forwarding services are OK as long as the address is in your PayPal payment.

Prices are firm, although multiple pen purchases won’t increase shipping costs as long as they fit in the box. Unlike my other recent sales, there’s no quantity discount for the Esterbrook pens.

The first firm “I want it” gets the pen and I’ll send a PayPal invoice, questions will not hold a pen. Contact me using the contact form on this page, or email me at ray[@]fpquest.com (remove the brackets).

These prices are for the pen only, no nib, no boxes. Nibs are optional and there’s a selection below. All pens have been tested and are in excellent working condition, but any restoration would have been done in 2013 or earlier.

Please request but pen number (1,2,3,4,5) to avoid any confusion.

1. Esterbrook Model SJ in Dubonnet Red (aka Red), no nib, excellent conditions – $25.00 (SOLD)

2. Esterbrook Model J in Dubonnet Red (aka Red), no nib, excellent conditions – $25.00

3. Esterbrook Model J in Foliage Green (aka Green I), no nib, excellent conditions – $25.00

4. Esterbrook Model J in Foliage Green (aka Green I), no nib, very good condition, the one flaw is that the clip is slightly crooked so appears off-center – $20.00

5. Esterbrook Model J in Fern Green (aka Green II), no nib, excellent conditions – $25.00

Nibs (Optional)

Nibs are only available with an Esterbrook pen purchase and only one nib per pen. Quantities are limited and first-come, first-served. All nibs are used, no boxes included. I’ll install the nib in the pen unless you request otherwise.

Esterbrook #1550 Firm Extra Fine (3 available): $5/each

Esterbrook #1551 Firm Medium (1 available): $6/each

Esterbrook #2668 Firm Medium (3 available): $7.50/each

The first firm “I want it” gets the pen, and I’ll send a PayPal invoice. Contact me using the contact form on this page, or email me at ray[@]fpquest.com (remove the brackets).

Some Vintage Parkers are still available for sale and I reduced their prices. I’ve also added a Conklin (Modern Crescent Filler) and a couple Pilot Vanishing Point Limited Editions to the For Sale Page.

 

Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – August 25, 2019

Photo of three Sheaffers added to the rotationAs mentioned in last week’s trail log, I wanted to ink up some Sheaffers and start using them. I was a bit disappointed as all my Balance Oversize pens needed new sacs. I knew I had several Sheaffers needing sacs, I didn’t realize it was every Oversize that I own. So I had to pick from my other Sheaffers.

I picked two vintage Triumphs and a more modern Legacy 1 with a stub nib. The Legacy I is a touchdown filler, the more recent type that’s removable, so a cartridge can be used. It was filled with P.W. Akkerman Dutch Masters Steenrood van Vermeer ink.

Both Triumphs and use Sheaffer’s vacuum-fil plunger filling system. I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed the conical “Triumph” nib, and my previous disappointment vanished. The Triumph Lifetime has an extra-fine nib and was filled with Montblanc Bordeaux ink. The Triumph Sentinal has a fine nib and was filled with R & K Blau-Schwarz LE (Blue-Black) ink.

Even though I recently refilled my Fisher of Pens, Hermes I flushed it out. Not due to any problem, but it’s been very hot recently and I didn’t want to risk leaving the pen in a hot car, which meant it would sit home unused (it’s too long for either a shirt-pocket carry and for the case I’m currently using). My Montblanc Ultra-Black was written dry and returned to the case. It was replaced in spirit (meaning I enjoy the nib but it’s completely unsuitable for everyday use by me) by the Legacy I.

Links

Esterbrook Pen Nooks: bringing some pizzazz to pen storage | UK fountain pens // These are a different style than I typically see, I find them intriguing. I’m not in the market for any pen cases, but if I was I think I’d pass on these unless I wanted them for desk-bound storage.

canetas e coisas: MOONMAN // I don’t pay too much attention to pen reviews or announcements these days, mainly in order to avoid temptation. Bit Moonman is a name I’ve been seeing more and more. So I searched Amazon and fount their most expensive pen was about $35. No wonder they’re so popular (apparently). Nice pen.

Which Pen? – Goodwriterspens’s Blog // I’m trying to thin my accumulation, but one pen? But she has a point. I have to agree that the nib is a big factor for me too.

It’s A Spanner! It’s A Wrench! It’s Pelikan’s Vintage Nib Removal Tool! « The Pelikan’s Perch // More good Pelikan information from Joshua.

Off-Topic – Hasbro Now Owns Death Row Records – Stereogum For some reason this struck me as both wrong and interesting.

Vintage Parkers For Sale

As much as I like the celluloid used on these vintage Vacumatics, I haven’t been using the pens, so I’ll be keeping my favorite and passing the rest along to more appreciative homes.

There’s no boxes or paperwork included.

Shipping in the U.S. is $7.90 (small flat rate box) for as many pens as will fit in the box unless otherwise noted. Payment is via PayPal Goods & Services and ships only to addresses in the PayPal payment. Sorry, no international shipping for these pens. U.S. based forwarding services are OK as long as the U.S. address is in your PayPal payment.

Prices are firm, although multiple pen purchases won’t increase shipping costs as long as they fit in the box. Plus I’ll take 5% off the pen prices if you buy two or more at one time.

Writing samples for Parkers up for sale

Parker 1939 Blue Diamond Vacumatic Maxima, Golden Pearl w/Gold Trim (14kt gold Fine nib) – Celluloid varies, very worn in spots, vibrant in others. Gold trim. This was restored in 2013 and has seen little use since then. $125 plus shipping.

Parker 1944 Blue Diamond Vacumatic Major, Golden Pearl w/Gold Trim (14kt gold XXF nib) – Celluloid is in excellent condition with good transparency and no ambering. This was restored in 2013 and has seen little use since then. $100 plus shipping.

Parker 1945 Striped Duofold Senior, Red/Gray Striped w/Gold Trim (14kt gold V-Design nib)Good transparency although there is some ambling visible when held to the light. This was restored in 2013 and has seen little use since then. $150 plus shipping. (SOLD)

The following pen leaks and is sold “as-is”:

Parker 1928/1929 Duofold Senior, Duofold Orange w/Gold Trim. Dual Bands w/Flat Top (14kt gold fine nib)PEN LEAKS – sold as-is. The pen does take in ink and will write, but the ink leaks from around the nib making it messy and unusable. $90 plus shipping. (On Hold)

Saying Goodbye: Deep Cuts

Five Sheaffer fountain pens being soldIt’s time to get back to work thinning my accumulation. Once I got rolling earlier this year, it was pretty easy to let go of the pens. While I did pull one back after listing it (the Pelikan M101N Lizard) I have no regrets or sellers remorse for any of the other pens that left my accumulation. It’s time to go deeper and get rid of pens that were part of two “protected” groups: Sheaffer fountain pens and vintage fountain pens.

I protected the vintage pens for two reasons. The biggest reason was that I expect them to be harder to price and sell than my modern pens. I told myself that the main reason was that I like the idea of the fountain pens as a bit of history, even if I don’t use them. While that’s true, I only have a tiny part of history, and I’d rather have pens I will use. The good news (for me at least) is that I have very few vintage fountain pens with features that would keep me from using them, such as being too thin. The bad news, again for me, is that I did, and still do, have some gorgeous Sheaffers that are just too thin for me to use comfortably for anything other than a quick note. Most of these are already sold.

The intersection of those two groups, vintage Sheaffers are still mostly protected although a couple being sold qualify as vintage. My birthday is how I define vintage. I’m not vintage, therefore a pen born on the same day (or later) is not vintage, but a pen made the day before I was born is vintage. Sheaffer PFM I fountain pens straddle the vintage/not-vintage line, although from what I’ve in some research is that most were made before I was.

I picked five Sheaffer fountain pens to rip off the band-aid and return some Sheaffers to the wild. The picks are:

  • A PFM I in blue was a natural choice. I have two PFM I fountain pens with the same nib and writing characteristics. I’m keeping the green one.
  • Both my Sheaffer Crests with Laque finishes (one red, one green). These are gorgeous pens despite having gold trim. They’re too thin for me to use for any length of time. It’s tough getting old.
  • A Sheaffer Targa with a green Lague finish. Like the Crests it’s gorgeous, has a lovely nib, and is too thin for me to use comfortably.
  • The fifth pick is a Sheaffer Snorkel. Like the Crests and the Targa it’s too thin for my use, and even lighter than the others which makes it even worse for me.

The pens with the Laque finishes are the real test for me. The pens are gorgeous, as beautiful as my Balance II’s and much more durable. Plus they have lovely nibs.

For the non-Sheaffer vintage pens, it was much easier to choose. Rather than picking ones to sell, I picked the ones to keep. More specifically, I picked three to keep. I’ll keep two Esterbrooks. The Esterbrook $1 Band-less pen was my first Esterbrook, while a dark blue Esterbrook J was my first Esterbrook restoration. Both are too thin and light for extended use by me but have a certain sentimental value. While I’ll be using my Esterbrook nibs in modern pens I do want to keep a couple of official vintage Esterbrooks around for testing, so it might as well be these.

The third vintage keeper will a Parker Blue Diamond Maxima with Silver Pearl celluloid and nickel trim. I love the celluloid on these pens and prefer the aesthetic of this model over the others that I have.

I’m hoping to spend some time listing more pens to sell later this week. I’m in the frame of mind to take a hard look to determine which pens I really like and will enjoy using. It’s time to start making some deep cuts, and the five Sheaffers were the beginning.