Inherited vintage fountain pens
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  1. #1
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    Inherited vintage fountain pens

    Mrs-ish mconlonx recently rediscovered these two beauties, which we grabbed while cleaning out her grandmother's house.

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    The one on the left is an Eversharp with lever ink refiller, and on the right is a Parker with some kind of mechanism under the cap on the back end.

    I like watches but I am totally out of my league with pens.

    Someone tell me I have the equivalent of an OG Rolex GMT Masrer-I here...
    QuartzCrisis likes this.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Inherited vintage fountain pens

    Nothing that good but a couple nice pieces.

    The Eversharp is a Skyline, in one of the more common configurations...burgundy with GF cap. Nice pen from the 40's, altho not a personal favorite. The shape's a tad odd...and with the GF caps, they don't balance well posted, IMO.

    The Parker is a Big Red Duofold from the late 20s, looks like. It's a button filler; press the button, sac gets squeezed a bit, draws in some ink. Takes a fair number of presses to fill.

    Both are fairly common, made in significant numbers, but also iconic pens for their day. Both are well worth sending in for a thorough cleaning, almost certain re-sac, and probably a bit of polishing up on the lever box and button filler.
    Simon likes this.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Inherited vintage fountain pens

    Lovely
    I am huge fan of the Big Red and have used them for years - amazing when you think they are 80+ years old
    Is there any writing on the side still visible? You can put a little powdered chalk/talc on it, blow it off and it will sit in the stamping and make it legible
    does it say Lucky curve? USA? Canada?

    I think the Big Red is the equivalent of the Rolex sub - only worth 1/100th the value
    "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose" Jim Elliot - Missionary, Martyr

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  5. #4
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    Re: Inherited vintage fountain pens

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon View Post
    I think the Big Red is the equivalent of the Rolex sub - only worth 1/100th the value
    Wouldn't go that far. If they're in really good shape, they're worth a fair bit...but if mostly worn imprints, they're just very common. Even in period, you're competing against Balances, Waterman 5x and 9x, and the 5 and 7 are around the same period with the colored nibs. Parker nibs are sound but not, IMO, particularly better than, say, Sheaffer or Waterman's non-flex nibs. (Flex nibs...different story, but also different price bracket.)
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    Re: Inherited vintage fountain pens

    Fair point - although they are actually very uncommon in the UK - I was actually thinking in terms of original marketing strategy with both priced just outside what folk would justify on such items - so though both were not real 'luxury' both were/are very aspirational - also both garnered social cache & cult status - the Rolex is an icon and the Big red was an icon - most people now recognise a Rolex, back in 1930 in the USA most would recognise the Big Red.

    I prefer the vintage Waterman's and have many - I think they were often better made than parker, and agree their nibs are superb - I have a magnificent 100yr oversize writer; a sublime flexy red ripple no7, and gone but not forgotten, a legendary turquoise n gold Patrician which I used to write with but flipped in a trade for a very rare couple of Conway Stewarts, my main collecting field.
    "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose" Jim Elliot - Missionary, Martyr

  7. #6
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    Re: Inherited vintage fountain pens

    A Senior Duofold, from what I can find online, ran $7 at intro. Waterman's Cardinal Red...which was a bit of a premium...the 54-size shows as $4.50, in a catalog at archive.org. Sheaffer Balance was a tad later...end of the 20s to 30s...but they were 9 and 10. Somewhat surprisingly, the Patrician was only $10.

    So the Duofold was in line with the other name brands' premium pens. I wouldn't equate any of these with a Rolex of today; the premium on Rolexes has just skied. A Duofold was, what, 5-7x the cost of a Wearever...but a Rolex is 15x the cost of a Hamilton. And I'd argue a Wearever is closer to a Seiko 5 than a Hamilton...in which case the comparison is that much worse. There's plenty of solid watches out there for around, say, 1000...my Ming 17.06 Copper was 1250, IIRC. A Rolex OP 39 gray market is still 5K...and a Sub *starts* at 10K. So, the Duofold's premium amounted to a few hours of work...but a Rolex would be measured in weeks.
    The truth is rarely pure and never simple.

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