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Unusual Waterman Fine Silver Overlay Eyedropper: 416V


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14 replies to this topic

#1 oyang

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 07:08

Hi All,

I thought I would share this pen with the Waterman junkies because it is probably unique. I got it on eBay years ago fairly cheaply, because the pictures were poor and it was described as having a broken #4 nib (if I recall correctly). The proportions looked odd to me, and the nib looked way small for the pen, so I took a chance and bid on it.

It arrived with a very loose undersized off-brand combed feed and a broken too-small nib. It was marked 999/1000 fine silver and had a sterling clip-cap. When I tried a Waterman #6 nib and feed, they fit perfectly. I compared it to a fine silver Waterman 416 I had, and the sections were interchangeable threadwise, but this pen had a shorter section (and barrel). The cap from the regular 416 and this pen were the same diameter, but again this pen had a shorter cap.

It had no number on the posting end, so the "416V" is my made up description of what it is (obviously there was no 416V, or any eyedropper V length except perhaps the VPs): an early fine silver 416 except much shorter than regular version. I showed it to Mike Fultz, who was intrigued and said he believed it was made to order by Waterman, and that he had occasionally seen a few short versions of Watermans that seemed to be special order. He said these were not marked with a model number in his experience, like this one.

So, the pictures speak for themselves; enjoy.

Otto

Attached Images

  • Pic2.jpg
  • Pic1.jpg


#2 bbbiswas

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 08:12

Hi All,

I thought I would share this pen with the Waterman junkies because it is probably unique. I got it on eBay years ago fairly cheaply, because the pictures were poor and it was described as having a broken #4 nib (if I recall correctly). The proportions looked odd to me, and the nib looked way small for the pen, so I took a chance and bid on it.

It arrived with a very loose undersized off-brand combed feed and a broken too-small nib. It was marked 999/1000 fine silver and had a sterling clip-cap. When I tried a Waterman #6 nib and feed, they fit perfectly. I compared it to a fine silver Waterman 416 I had, and the sections were interchangeable threadwise, but this pen had a shorter section (and barrel). The cap from the regular 416 and this pen were the same diameter, but again this pen had a shorter cap.

It had no number on the posting end, so the "416V" is my made up description of what it is (obviously there was no 416V, or any eyedropper V length except perhaps the VPs): an early fine silver 416 except much shorter than regular version. I showed it to Mike Fultz, who was intrigued and said he believed it was made to order by Waterman, and that he had occasionally seen a few short versions of Watermans that seemed to be special order. He said these were not marked with a model number in his experience, like this one.

So, the pictures speak for themselves; enjoy.

Otto


Probably this pen is not a custom made. I have seen this version of Waterman being listed by many in Ebay. So there are plenty of them. I also bought one such pen from Ebay. Everything is identical to this pen except that my pen has a screw-on cap (with clip). The threading for screwing-on the cap is not on the barrel but on the front part of the section. Although I had fear that section may unscrew from barrel while opening the cap. But fortunately it has never happened.

#3 oyang

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 18:20


Hi All,

I thought I would share this pen with the Waterman junkies because it is probably unique. I got it on eBay years ago fairly cheaply, because the pictures were poor and it was described as having a broken #4 nib (if I recall correctly). The proportions looked odd to me, and the nib looked way small for the pen, so I took a chance and bid on it.

It arrived with a very loose undersized off-brand combed feed and a broken too-small nib. It was marked 999/1000 fine silver and had a sterling clip-cap. When I tried a Waterman #6 nib and feed, they fit perfectly. I compared it to a fine silver Waterman 416 I had, and the sections were interchangeable threadwise, but this pen had a shorter section (and barrel). The cap from the regular 416 and this pen were the same diameter, but again this pen had a shorter cap.

It had no number on the posting end, so the "416V" is my made up description of what it is (obviously there was no 416V, or any eyedropper V length except perhaps the VPs): an early fine silver 416 except much shorter than regular version. I showed it to Mike Fultz, who was intrigued and said he believed it was made to order by Waterman, and that he had occasionally seen a few short versions of Watermans that seemed to be special order. He said these were not marked with a model number in his experience, like this one.

So, the pictures speak for themselves; enjoy.

Otto


Probably this pen is not a custom made. I have seen this version of Waterman being listed by many in Ebay. So there are plenty of them. I also bought one such pen from Ebay. Everything is identical to this pen except that my pen has a screw-on cap (with clip). The threading for screwing-on the cap is not on the barrel but on the front part of the section. Although I had fear that section may unscrew from barrel while opening the cap. But fortunately it has never happened.


With all due respect, you don't know what you are talking about, and you might want to be sure you are right before you post that someone else is wrong.

SCREW CAP short versions (52V, 54V, 56V) are common without overlay; with sterling overlays 452V, and 412VP, 414VP are the only ones that I know about, all in standard patterns. If you don't know the difference between those pens and this pen, the you might want to do some reading especially before you comment about whether something is common or rare. If you think a fine silver #6 size slip cap overlay pen in a short version is the same as a sterling standard filigree #2 size screw cap.... Saying that those pens are the same is like saying an early Bugatti is the same as a Prius, because both have 4 tires and doors.

Slip cap eyedroppers do not come in a short version, much less a #6 size, much less an overlay, much less a fine silver overlay. This pen is unique; the pens you are talking about are common.

#4 oyang

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 18:24

"The threading for screwing-on the cap is not on the barrel but on the front part of the section. Although I had fear that section may unscrew from barrel while opening the cap. But fortunately it has never happened."

P.S. I have no idea what you mean by the above. I've never heard of a Waterman with the cap threads on the section. That would be a ridiculous design. If you have such a pen, please post pictures and show me the pen that is the same as mine, except for the threads on the section!

#5 Scrawler

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 20:09

Thank you for posting these images for us to enjoy. I imagine this is a circa WWI pen. I am curious about the colour. Is the colour represented in your images accurate, or is it an artifact of the lighting? I also find it interesting that this is not Sterling, but almost pure silver. Have you had any problems with tarnish?

#6 oyang

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 20:21

Thank you for posting these images for us to enjoy. I imagine this is a circa WWI pen. I am curious about the colour. Is the colour represented in your images accurate, or is it an artifact of the lighting? I also find it interesting that this is not Sterling, but almost pure silver. Have you had any problems with tarnish?


The color is fairly accurate; the rubber has oxidized a bit and turned a dark chocolate. The silver was polished when I got it, unfortunately; I actually like having original patina.

Waterman used fine silver for its overlays only very early; these were actually done by electroplating and then cutting out the filigree (sometimes you can see knife marks on the rubber from this process). Each was done individually, so the patterns can vary a lot. They are marked "999/1000." These were earlier than WWI, I believe pre-1915 for the most part. Definitely fine silver tarnishes easily, more so than sterling.

Fine silver overlay Watermans tend to command a premium because they are early and individualized, usually double or triple their sterling overlay counterparts.

#7 bbbiswas

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 05:53

"The threading for screwing-on the cap is not on the barrel but on the front part of the section. Although I had fear that section may unscrew from barrel while opening the cap. But fortunately it has never happened."

P.S. I have no idea what you mean by the above. I've never heard of a Waterman with the cap threads on the section. That would be a ridiculous design. If you have such a pen, please post pictures and show me the pen that is the same as mine, except for the threads on the section!


You are right. I mistook the black resin tapered front end of the barrel to be part of the section. Nevertheless the photo is attached. My benefit from your reply is that my fear of section unscrewing has now gone. Thanks.

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#8 oyang

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 17:15


"The threading for screwing-on the cap is not on the barrel but on the front part of the section. Although I had fear that section may unscrew from barrel while opening the cap. But fortunately it has never happened."

P.S. I have no idea what you mean by the above. I've never heard of a Waterman with the cap threads on the section. That would be a ridiculous design. If you have such a pen, please post pictures and show me the pen that is the same as mine, except for the threads on the section!


You are right. I mistook the black resin tapered front end of the barrel to be part of the section. Nevertheless the photo is attached. My benefit from your reply is that my fear of section unscrewing has now gone. Thanks.


Your pen is a 472; these are less common than the equivalent slip cap eyedropper, the 412, but the same filigree pattern in sterling. The material is black hard rubber; resins were not used in that period. The raised threads are typical for this design. These were sold overlapping times with the lever filling versions; the equivalent of yours in lever filling design is the 452. Yours is a very nice example; I personally like the initials, as well as names on pens. They give it character.

The short version similar to this pen is a little earlier, the 412 VP (vest pocket), which is also a screw cap eyedropper. It's transitional, so they still used the "1" for eyedropper, before they started using the "7" for screw cap eyedropper. Those are much less common, but as you pointed out, not rare. That pen also has the same filigree pattern in sterling silver as yours, which is the standard filigree pattern used up through the lever filler series (e.g. 452). As far as I have seen, the VP series came only in 412 and 414 sizes, although I could be wrong there. I've not seen anything bigger.

My pen posted here is far earlier, in fine silver and with a slip cap. Yours probably dates from circa 1920-1925, whereas this pen is probably anywhere from 1895-1915. Unfortunately the original nib and feed were gone when I got the pen; the nib imprint and feed style would have been helpful in a more precise date.

Otto

#9 Procyon

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 19:22

Otto,

Thanks for showing your pen! I have never seen one of these, and I am sure that is true for most of us here on FPN. I started to reply to the guy who claimed these were plentiful on eBay, but you did a fine job of it, and I agree completely with what you said. Any fine silver Waterman overlay is fairly hard to come by, especially one as unique as yours.

Anyway, really enjoyed seeing it. :thumbup:

Regards, Allan
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#10 oyang

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 02:20

Otto,

Thanks for showing your pen! I have never seen one of these, and I am sure that is true for most of us here on FPN. I started to reply to the guy who claimed these were plentiful on eBay, but you did a fine job of it, and I agree completely with what you said. Any fine silver Waterman overlay is fairly hard to come by, especially one as unique as yours.

Anyway, really enjoyed seeing it. :thumbup:

Regards, Allan


My pleasure! I'm glad you liked it. I have a few unusual pens that I will share over time. I've been a pen recluse for a long time; I've collected about 20 years, but stopped attending pen shows about 10 years ago.

Otto

#11 Vintagepens

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 02:55

Awesome pen, Otto!

I've been trying to catch up on sharing some of my more interesting items, too, mostly via my pen blog.
I've also been spending some time working on untangling Waterman chronology lately. What I've found regarding overlays has been incorporated into this page. It is still very much a work in progress, but I hope you find it interesting. Note that Waterman had stopped making fine silver overlays by fall of 1908.

By the way, bbbiswas's Waterman is too early to be a 472. I'd peg it as a 412 POC, with the raised threads and the early clip. The picture looks to have been stretched somewhat during resizing, making it look slenderer than it undoubtedly is.

#12 bbbiswas

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 05:42



"The threading for screwing-on the cap is not on the barrel but on the front part of the section. Although I had fear that section may unscrew from barrel while opening the cap. But fortunately it has never happened."

P.S. I have no idea what you mean by the above. I've never heard of a Waterman with the cap threads on the section. That would be a ridiculous design. If you have such a pen, please post pictures and show me the pen that is the same as mine, except for the threads on the section!


You are right. I mistook the black resin tapered front end of the barrel to be part of the section. Nevertheless the photo is attached. My benefit from your reply is that my fear of section unscrewing has now gone. Thanks.


Your pen is a 472; these are less common than the equivalent slip cap eyedropper, the 412, but the same filigree pattern in sterling. The material is black hard rubber; resins were not used in that period. The raised threads are typical for this design. These were sold overlapping times with the lever filling versions; the equivalent of yours in lever filling design is the 452. Yours is a very nice example; I personally like the initials, as well as names on pens. They give it character.

The short version similar to this pen is a little earlier, the 412 VP (vest pocket), which is also a screw cap eyedropper. It's transitional, so they still used the "1" for eyedropper, before they started using the "7" for screw cap eyedropper. Those are much less common, but as you pointed out, not rare. That pen also has the same filigree pattern in sterling silver as yours, which is the standard filigree pattern used up through the lever filler series (e.g. 452). As far as I have seen, the VP series came only in 412 and 414 sizes, although I could be wrong there. I've not seen anything bigger.

My pen posted here is far earlier, in fine silver and with a slip cap. Yours probably dates from circa 1920-1925, whereas this pen is probably anywhere from 1895-1915. Unfortunately the original nib and feed were gone when I got the pen; the nib imprint and feed style would have been helpful in a more precise date.

Otto


Hi Otto,
I am amazed. You know so much about these vintage pens. I wish I also knew so much.
The details you have given are really very very important for pen lovers. Thank you for the same.

#13 oyang

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 22:00

Long time no see David.... Of course you are right; I didn't pay attention to the raised threads.

Thanks for the interest in the pen, all. As I find time, I'll try to dig out other interesting items to post.

Otto

#14 oyang

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 07:31

Awesome pen, Otto!

I've been trying to catch up on sharing some of my more interesting items, too, mostly via my pen blog.
I've also been spending some time working on untangling Waterman chronology lately. What I've found regarding overlays has been incorporated into this page. It is still very much a work in progress, but I hope you find it interesting. Note that Waterman had stopped making fine silver overlays by fall of 1908.

By the way, bbbiswas's Waterman is too early to be a 472. I'd peg it as a 412 POC, with the raised threads and the early clip. The picture looks to have been stretched somewhat during resizing, making it look slenderer than it undoubtedly is.


Hi David,

Thanks for the useful links.

I just posted another early overlay, which I'd be interested in your opinion about. Was this a catalogued model? Unlike the fine silver, this one is sterling and appears standardized rather than hand-formed.

http://www.fountainp...n-but-sterling/

#15 Vintagepens

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 18:04

I've posted a bit directly in the other thread about your filigree.
It does appear in advertisements, alongside fine silver filigrees, but it's worth noting that prior to 1908 Waterman didn't issue big comprehensive catalogs. The catalogs that were published were small affairs, really just booklets showing a very limited selection of what was on offer. So I'd say this filigree pattern was a standard offering, even if it wasn't listed in a catalog (to my knowledge).

As for how much hand work went into these, that's a good question. Even the trefoil vine pattern filigree overlays display a lot of hand work, not just in the engraving, but in the cutting out as well. I think the big difference was that the cutting out on the fine silver pens was done on the pen itself, whereas on the later pens it was done on a mandrel. If the pattern was not die-cut, it was at least possible to use stencils, so greater standardization and rapidity of manufacture.