Next up on my Esterbrook nib list is the Esterbrook #2048 Flexible Fine. At least that’s what is says on the box along with “Flexible Writing”. I’ve seen the nib referred to as an extra fine. The nib is clearly thinner than other Esterbrook fine nibs so calling it an extra fine seems accurate , even if the box and Esterbrook literature I’ve seen disagrees.
I’ve also seen the nib referred to as a “falcon” and a “falcon stub”. I can’t say my nib looks or writes like a stub so I think any reference to this being a stub nib is wrong. As for the “falcon” this has to do with the appearance of the nib and is based on their dip pen heritage. There’s the Omega like shape around “Made in the USA” and the curved profile of the nib. Personally, I like the design.
The Esterbrook book by Paul Hoban refers to it as “shaded writing from a 1955 re-new point list which calls out the flex. The Hoban book also identifies the feed (on my particular nib) as the “final design” from between 1950 – 1971. A catalog reproduction from 1938 or 1939 (or later) in the same book lists the nib as “Flexible, Fine, Falcon shape. For general clerical and office use.”
Flexible nibs are almost entirely lost on me, but the 2048 does have some flex to it. It’s a steel nib so there is some limits to its flexibility.
The nib is a bit more expensive than the 1xxx nibs I’ve reviewed so far. Anderson Pens has it listed as in stock for $25. I only found one on eBay. It was new old stock (NOS) and had a buy it now price of $75. The nib seems to be rather scarce at the moment. (The price discrepancy is why I always check Anderson Pens first since they have the widest selection all at a fair price.)
The nib is extremely nice to write with, even if I don’t fully appreciate the flex. The flex gives it a a little bit of spring even if I don’t try to do actual flex writing. It doesn’t feel like a nail. There’s a good flow, even with a light touch. The light touch also puts down a consistently thin line. I also just like the look of the nib’s long taper to a point. It’s unexpectedly smooth for such a thin nib without any added tipping material. I do have a bias towards thin nibs like this so take that into account.
It’s a nice nib which will be a regular in my Esterbrook rotation.
The photos are with Iroshizuku Yu-Yake ink in the pen. It’s been carried and used so there’s ink on the pen. The lightness of the color makes it look like staining or corrosion but the nib is quit clean and shiny.