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The Ideal Or Iconic Vintage Pen

vintage pen flex knowledge base obnubilator waterman red ripple

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#1 willard

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 23:25

Hello,

 

This is my first post in the Pen History forum.  I hope it is at the right place.  This may not be clear, as it's a meandering post, a post that has been prompted by a conversation I had with obnubilator via PM.  He of course agreed that I post it.  Since it's a conversation, I will to preserve a conversational tone.

 

***

 

This conversation started because I was reading one of obnubilator's Classifieds ad, and thought of sending him a note of appreciation:

 

Hello,


Just a note to let you know that your ads are, as always, a joy to read. One day I might bite at one of your offers, but right now I got to pay for that Edison I just bought. There's also the fact that I know nothing of vintage pens.

What would be your suggestion as an ideal vintage pen?

 

Since the question was quite open-ended, I received a question in return:

 

Thanks willard, glad you like them.  As far as the ideal vintage pen..... it depends on how you want to use it, and on how much you want to spend.

 

I then tried to clarify what I meant, at the expense of getting away from the first question, and at the risk of exhibiting more ignorance than might have been required:

 

Well, I thought we were into vintage pens were for flex nibs.  While I appreciate my Snorkel, it's still just a very good XF pen.  We can buy Japanese pens like that.

 

I know there are good Waterman nibs, but I have no idea what is the best flex nib.  Or what is a good flex nib.  All I have is writing samples like what I can see in your ads.

 

eBay is insane: everything gets traded at any price.  The knowledge base that justifies all this is far from obvious to me.  And I say that as someone who does online research in my work.  

 

In any case, my question was about what you would consider the main archetype, the main icon of vintage pens.  What is the dearest pen in your collection?

 

 

The idea of an archetype conveys better what I had in mind.  As a pen nut, I try to gather pens that can be used as an outline of the history of pens.  Since I have not infinite resources, I tend to focus on what's considered the most iconic, although I do have pet pens that do not fit this bill.

 

obnubilator's reply is what prompted me to write this post:

 

There's other reasons than flex to be into vintage. In fact I'd say it's pretty certain that the majority of vintage collectors don't care about flex. I have several buyers who only want Account, Rigid, Manifold, etc nibs....stiff.

 

If flex is the objective, it's nevertheless the case that a pen which is perfect for Spencerian is going to be terrible for copperplate.

 

Flex is complicated and has many parameters: How much variation, how much pressure to achieve a given distortion, how fast do the tines rebound, what is the shape of the curve when you graph pressure against constantly varying elasticity, then there are a lot of other factors which are equally important to the process and the product, such as how fine are the hairlines, how scratchy or smooth is the nib, are there flat spots, how does the flow keep up with the flex, etc....all of these attributes are important, all are a bit challenging to convey accurately without some way of defining terms, which has its own pitfalls, for example few people have an intuition for foot/pounds per square inch......the angle at which you hold the pen with respect to the paper, the amount of rotation that you use or don't use as your wrist travels laterally, and many similar factors, have complex multidimensional interactions that can make the nib that works great for you an unpleasant chore for me, and of course vice versa.....

 

You can't acquire the knowledge base without hands on experience...that's literally why I started selling pens. I've been able to try many hundreds of old pens over several years, without spending any money (though time is a totally different matter.) And the net result of all this experience is that I avoid talking about flex much, because I don't want to oversimplify, and it's hard to find the time and words to do it justice.

 

All quibbling aside, the iconic pen for me would probably be a Waterman's red ripple #7 with a "black" keyhole nib.  :)

 

I'm sure I'll never see one.  

 

But my approach to pens is a little unusual:  I don't really have a collection; I just have a couple of pens that I use for a while, then replace. Right now I'm liking a beat up old bhr Belmont.

 

yours,

 

 

So, besides an answer to my naïve question about flex pens, we have a suggestion of an icon of vintage pens.

 

The Waterman Red Ripple #7.

 

This answer led me to search for a video.  Here's one:

 

 

***

 

The conversation continued, but I'd rather stop here for now. This kind of conversation ought to take place more often, in my opinion.  If you like it, I could post some of the follow-up, although it got into a tangent.

 

Finally, at least for now, obnubilator has expressed his intention to start to blog about all this "in a more organized and thorough way", as he says.  I wished him good luck and told him I could give him a hand about the information architecture and a minimalist approach to design.

 

Cheers,

 

w


Edited by willard, 14 April 2014 - 23:33.


#2 kestrel

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 01:16

You will get a lot of different answers on this.  My big three would be (in no particular order):

 

Conklin Crescent.  Unique filling system, one of the first if not the first self-filling pens.  Conklins were my gateway drug into vintage pens and, although I love my Enduras, the crescents are more iconic.  Conklin Toledo nibs can be (and usually are) wonderful.

 

Parker Duofold in the appropriate size for your hand.  THE iconic pen, in my not so humble opinion, is the Senior Duofold in RHR or Permanite.  Great writers and hold a ton of ink.  Very nicely balanced in my hand.  Which brings me to...

 

A Sheaffer's Balance, again in the size to fit your hand.  Elegant design, beautiful lines, gorgeous plastics and very nice nibs.  No other pen in my collection feels better or fits my hand better than a Senior or Oversized Balance. 

 

At any given time at least one of the above is in my rotation.

 

Others will chime in with their choices.  All will have merit but these three are my favorites.  Enjoy the hunt and the discovery.


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#3 Wahl

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 16:39

Conklin Endura Senior

 

Waterman Patrician

 

Wahl Eversharp Oversize Gold seal Personal Point / or...Doric Oversize

 

Parker Duofold Senior

 

Take your pick.....



#4 willard

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 17:29

> Take your pick.....

 

Yes, Wahl, but how?

 

Except from videos of pen reviews and reading the Classifieds section of our wonderful site, I have little means to do so.

 

About the only thing I know is this page:

 

http://www.richardsp...=xf/2008/03.htm

 

Here's the list:

 

Eversharp Skyline

Sheaffer Balance

Waterman Patrician

Sheaffer Snorkel

Wahl metal pens

Parker Vacumatic

Parker 51

Wearever Pacemaker

Parker Striped Duofold

 

(Thanks for your suggestions and your explanation, kestrel!)

 

This is why I got myself a Snorkel, which I liked a lot for a while, and a Parker Juniorette, which I resold as it's smaller than a Pelikan M200.  Perhaps I should continue with a description of my own quest, but that will lead us elsewhere, and I might start a new thread instead.  For the moment, I like that people are giving different answers. 

 

Keep them coming!

 

w


Edited by willard, 15 April 2014 - 17:36.


#5 willard

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 17:45

I should also note that I've never seen any discussion of that article by Don Fluckinger here.  For instance, his top vintage pen list looks quite American centric to me.  Fluckinger is perfectly entitled to prefer the pens he prefers, of course.  Nevertheless, the more top X lists by many people in the know we have, the merrier I will be.


Edited by willard, 15 April 2014 - 17:50.


#6 DanDeM

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 19:09

Before there was celluloid an iconic pen might look like this Wirt.

 

fpn_1334613274__wirt_mop_1.jpg

 

With the introduction of celluloid I would think a pen like this Moore Tuscan

 

fpn_1391214669__moore_l-94_tuscan_-_7.jp

 

By the '40's they all started to look alike.

 

I know, I know, just kidding.


Edited by Blotto, 15 April 2014 - 19:11.


#7 proton007

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 03:18

Willard,

You need to settle on a criteria for selecting iconic pens, because usually everyone has different and often personal reasons for choosing a pen.

 

For instance, I often like to look at the 'uniqueness' of a pen and then consider it to add to my collection. This uniqueness can come from it's overall design, the materials used, the filling system, and the nib type.


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#8 Wahl

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 17:44

> Take your pick.....

 

Yes, Wahl, but how?

 

Except from videos of pen reviews and reading the Classifieds section of our wonderful site, I have little means to do so.

 

About the only thing I know is this page:

 

http://www.richardsp...=xf/2008/03.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It takes time, Willard, took me about 30 years to come to this list, and I still can´t choose a single one.

 

Now, a good way is to attend penshows, where most sellers will allow you to handle them and even write with them.


Edited by Wahl, 17 April 2014 - 17:45.


#9 Cepasaccus

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 10:05

The archetype of a vintage nib is: "diverse", i.e. what made the nib in the past so special was the great choice you had! I do have a user guideline from when there were already ball pens. The standard nibs (pens) were there: Fine, Medium, Broad, Stub, SSO (Oblique), TUP (Smooth for lefties), Flexible Fine, Manifold. Additionally there were Shorthand nibs, Extra Broad, Account, Extra Fine, Fine Oblique, Medium Oblique, "etc.". I am sure that the shops there allowed to test a nib before buying it, not just a few test pens like in the Montblanc store and then you get something else. Here in this forum is the story of HP Lovecraft buying a new fountain pen, which took hours.

 

As to the overall look ...

The archetypical look before WWI was a hard rubber eyedropper filler pen similar to a Lamy cp1. Long, thin, the end a bit thinner for posting the cap. Mabie, Todd & Co. pens are like this. Mine is capped 170mm, posted 198mm and 8.5mm thin, but weighing only 6.8g. Also Onoto plunger fillers. Mine is nearly exactly the size of a cp1.

A bit later was IMHO The Archetypical Pen a hard rubber Waterman's Ideal 52 or the eyedropper filler version 12. The size 2 is very common today. Size 7 like in the movie is a very rare pen.

Also very typical and a bit later then the 52 were the Sheaffer and the Parker (i.e. Duofold) flat top types. There are so many in very different colours. The lifetime warranty pens normally come with nails.

Then there are the safeties which are actually my favourites. The archetypical safety in German around 1930 was a size 1 or 0 pen. These made by Montblanc, Astoria, Goldfink and many more looked and worked very similar. Also the Waterman's Ideal 4x pens are very common.

After this I am not so sure. The Parker "51" is certainly a very important pen which influenced a lot of others. The German Democratic Republic had a 61-clone named Markant 65 Exquisit. One reason that I am not so sure about 1940s and later is, that I am not so interested in this time, but also that there are big regional differences. Parker Vacumatic is much easier to get in UK than in Germany.

 

Cepasaccus



#10 willard

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 01:06

Thanks, Blotto, proton007, Wahl, and Capasaccus!  

 

I like all your answers, and taken together I like them even more.  This is somewhat of an open question, as you may guess.  There's no good answer, and there are many ways to interpret it.  An ice breaker, so to speak, that may serve many purpose, even none at all, as conversations don't have any definite end.  

 

Perhaps we can use it so that we could start organizing something that could be called a knowledge base, which is something I did a bit in a previous life.  Think of the responses as a stock of prototypes from which we extract properties.  An iconic pen should be a pen that has the most prototypical properties. For instance, I could tell from your responses that an iconic pen could be

 

- "the perfect pen to hold the hand":  weight, girth, length, balance, etc.

- "a good technical solution": filling mechanism, new material, etc. 

- "unique": a synergistic combination of properties

 

The creation of such a knowledge base cannot without difficulty be done without the input of the experts, ranging from judgements to justifications.  And that's notwithstanding how we can relativize such research by time, region, era, type of fan, etc.  This relativization would give us a category system that would be quite robust and really natural to explore, as it comes from expert themselves.

 

Of course, I'm not saying that I'm willing to build all this.  For now, I'm more interested to collect good examples of iconic pens, a good variety of ways to interpret the question, and above all sexy pen photos!

 

***

 

The Habs are leading 2-0 and I want to watch the end of the game, so I only have time for a few quick questions:

 

1. What are safety pens?

2. When does the vintage era end?

3. Which movie the size 7 comes from?

4. Are the "Lifetime warranty pens" the Sheaffer Balance?

5. Am I alone in thinking that the P51 should not be classified as a vintage pen?

 

Wish the Habs luck,

 

w

 

PS: Sorry if I'm reinventing the wheel here.  I have not looked at books.  This is an advantage if you want to reach a classification using empirical means.


Edited by willard, 19 April 2014 - 01:08.


#11 Cepasaccus

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 11:47



- "the perfect pen to hold the hand":  weight, girth, length, balance, etc.

- "a good technical solution": filling mechanism, new material, etc. 

- "unique": a synergistic combination of properties

 

The first two criteria are very personal or fashion dependent. See how many answers people get when they ask what pen to buy. One finds a pen slippery, the other well balanced. Some want cartridge fillers, other change them to eyedropper fillers, while at other times people would have been happy to convert eyedropper fillers to cartridge fillers. About "unique" it is probably easier to get an agreement, e.g. that the Pilot Vanishing Point is an unique pen most people will probably agree. Perhaps also the Onoto plunger fillers. The "51" in its time, afterwards due to copies probably not.

 

2. When does the vintage era end?

 

For me the change from vintage to modern is around the 1950s, perhaps 1960s. Around this time there seems to have been a change in the nibs, perhaps due to the ball pen.

 

5. Am I alone in thinking that the P51 should not be classified as a vintage pen?

 

The "51" ... is ... halve vintage. 45 and 61 is for me definitely not vintage.

 

Cepasaccus



#12 DanDeM

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 18:03

Willard:

 

Seems to me, by definition, if something is unique it can't be iconic.

 

As for Safetys...
Safety is a term widely used by pen makers around the start of the last century. It was

intended to convey that when carrying the pen, it would not leak -- a common problem

with eyedroppers that had caps that could/did slip off when the pen was in a pocket.

To mitigate the issue, pens were made with screw caps -- a solution that didn't always

work. Around 1910 a better, but more complicated design emerged, in which, after filling

the pen with an eyedropper, the nib was retracted into the barrel and a seal closed the

ink supply, eliminating all possibility of a leak. To write with the pen, the nib was extended

(by rotating end of the barrel.)

 

Many were very pedestrian Black Chased Hard Rubber, but some were spectacular like

this Continental Safety that uses the Waterman system.

 

fpn_1364062789___cntntlovrly_2.jpg

Richard Binder offers excellent descriptions of the various systems used by the more

prominent makers of Safetys -- Waterman, Moore and Aurora, but there were other

makers who developed and patented their own systems. Here's an Advertisement

from Paul Wirt announcing a system he developed in 1910.

 

fpn_1364062717__wirt_safety_ad_12.jpg

The principle of sealing the ink supply to prevent leaks is still in use today by some

Japanese makers of eyedroppers like Danitrio.

 

This is a very abbreviated recap of the subject -- a fascinating part of pen history.



#13 Wahl

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 16:57

Vintage...that is a big issue amongst collectors, as there are many opinions. To me it would be 1940, and as the Parker 51 came out in 1941, it is then the first modern pen.

 

Size 7 is a nib size, and no, this is not a standard, as manufacturers sized their nibs differently. But anyhow, it is a large nib by any standard.

 

Several manufacturers offered a "Lifetime Guarantee" on their pens, but yes, there are two Sheaffer models known as Lifetime, the Flattop and the Balance.



#14 willard

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 01:28

Wow, thanks for the responses!  Have a few minutes to clarify what I'm looking to do with my question (before the next period).  Will try to provide some quick clarifications.  I'll try to wrap up in another comment.  

 

So here goes:

 

1. What about the relativity of the criteria?

 

The first two criteria [feeling in the hand and technical realization] are very personal or fashion dependent.

 

I agree.  To mention these criteria matters insofar as I am seeking to establish the properties that an icon should have.  Let's call them the iconic properties.  So the point is to start with experiences of pens, analyze properties, and distill the iconic ones.

 

There's no reason to believe that we need to search for a categorical solution.  As long as it's robust enough to capture the experts' knowledge, it's good enough.  This task is oftentimes so difficult as to kill many ontology projects.  

 

Hence the need to try to pick a set of icons first.  Once we get some icons, we can stop.  I like scalability.

 

2. What about the eras?

 

 To me it would be 1940, and as the Parker 51 came out in 1941, it is then the first modern pen.

 

I like this idea, Wahl.  The idea to declare the P51 a modern pen has merit if we want to classify pens according to their design.  If we compare it with the Aurora 88 or the Lamy 2000, we see some similarities, e.g. minimalism, and also some differences.  To me, the Parker 51 has a golden age feel to it.  

 

I'm sure we can add pens to this comparison.  This is where I need the experts' take. In any case, deciding to stop around the 40s creates a clean cutoff, although there's no need to be stiff about that.  As long as we get to the iconic pens, I'm alright with anachronism.  From a design perspective, it seems to me that the P51, the Aurora 88, and the Lamy 2000 were all in their own way anachronic.  Perhaps there's something iconic about that.

 

3. What does iconic mean anyway?

 

>  Seems to me, by definition, if something is unique it can't be iconic.

 

This point has merit, although I dare believe that Audrey (Katharine too, raorrr) Hepburn and Marlyn Monroe are still are cultural icons, as they become a part of our culture to represent something greater than their historical character.  The uniqueness they have does not prevent them to be touchtones in our archetypes of women's beauty, a beauty that every women share.  Perhaps my French-speaking brain is programmed to find all women beautiful... B-)

 

This example reminds us that there are many iconic beauties.  Perhaps this plurality is even necessary.  We like to have choices.  For every Mont Blanc snob there's a Pelikan geek.  (Not all MontBlanc fans are snobs, mind you: I like you all.  My point here, besides having a little fun with our prejudices, is to underline that these two may have iconic elements.)

 

If we want something like a more pointed definition, but then I would have to dust up my semiotics, which is far away in my mind:

 

Research also found that, as airline industry brandings grow and become more international, their logos become more symbolic and less iconic. The iconicity and symbolism of a sign depends on the cultural convention and are on that ground in relation with each other. If the cultural convention has greater influence on the sign, the signs get more symbolic value

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semiotics

 

Seen under these lights, the term "icon", as I considered it, becomes a "symbol" by its uniqueness.

 

So point taken.

 

* * *

 

OK.  The third period has begun.  I'll comment further another time.


Edited by willard, 21 April 2014 - 01:29.


#15 Cepasaccus

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 19:42

>> The first two criteria [feeling in the hand and technical realization] are very personal or fashion dependent.

> I agree.  To mention these criteria matters insofar as I am seeking to establish the properties that an icon should have.  Let's call them the iconic properties.  So the point is to start with experiences of pens, analyze properties, and distill the iconic ones.

> There's no reason to believe that we need to search for a categorical solution.  As long as it's robust enough to capture the experts' knowledge, it's good enough.  This task is oftentimes so difficult as to kill many ontology projects.  

 

Regarding "the perfect pen to hold in the hand" and "the good technical solution" it should be possible to describe the hand properties and the advantages and disadvatages of the technical solution.

 

Regarding the first property: It seems people want to post or not to post. A short pen can be terrible to hold unposted. And a top heavy pen might be terrible posted. Or a pen might not suitable for posting. There is the section form (round, triangular, straight or convex/concave shaped, thin/thick) and its material (metal, plastic, rubber, ...). How is the cap capped? There are these pens where caped the cap does not distiguish much from the rest of the pen. These have a step where the cap closes. I can't say how comfortable that is as I don't like how that looks and hence have no such pen.

 

For the second property the filling system is important. I think that it can be looked at independent from the pen. A classification is AFAIR in the Pen Repair book. Self-filler and Non-self-filler. As a self-filler the piston, pluger, ... and so on. (Is the cartridge filelr a self-filler?) Each type has some advantages and disadvantages. Is the pen material something, which breaks easily when the pen is dropped?

 

From this information at least a pen database could be build for people to decide what to buy. "I want a cartridge filler where I can post the cap, but still the pen should be small for my small hands, and I don't like rubber sections" or something like that.

 

Do I understand you correctly, that an icon is for you a pen, which is known and is associated with a whole category of pens? Like a "51" for all pens with a hooded nib?

 

> I like this idea, Wahl.  The idea to declare the P51 a modern pen has merit if we want to classify pens according to their design.  If we compare it with the Aurora 88 or the Lamy 2000, we see some similarities, e.g. minimalism, and also some differences.  To me, the Parker 51 has a golden age feel to it.  

 

I am not familiar with the "51", as it is rather uncommon here in Germany. I have just one I got from the UK. I think the influence in Germany was much less than the 61. Even the GDR had their 61-clone. The "51" is IMHO from the gold fountain pen age, but it anticipates the ball pen age. My "51" has a nail nib. My question to the more "51"-savy: Were the types of nibs available for this pen less then for the vacumatic and other pens at that time? Or did I just get by chance a nail and there were really all types are mostly more flexible nibs available? Because for me the nib is the most important thing on a pen - the difference between "yes it writes" and "yes, it is exciting to write with it". That is one rough indication of modern or vintage (but not the only one).

 

Cepasaccus



#16 Wahl

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 14:22

I have never seen a flexible 51 nib, and doubt it exists, due to its geometry. You do get the "nail" feeling if you use a fine nib, which most have, however, if you write with a medium or broad, then it can be a quite pleasant experience.

Of course, nothing to compare with a Duofold nib from the 20´s ;)



#17 willard

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 23:26

Hello again,

 

I might as well continue using a Q/A format.

 

4. Do you want a database of specifications?

 

From this information at least a pen database could be build for people to decide what to buy. "I want a cartridge filler where I can post the cap, but still the pen should be small for my small hands, and I don't like rubber sections" or something like that.

 

That would be a great idea!  What I'm looking for though, I now see in retrospect, is from a design perspective.  And from a design perspective, such a solution is tougher to implement that way. People would rather sift through a catalogue and pick what appeals to them.  Then they'd look for reviews to get user experiences.  Just like we do with any product nowadays.

 

Imagine a user in front of a screen with four pens (borrowing Richard Binder's history pages):

 

- an hard rubber eyedropper filler pen from pre WWI, say Cepasacus' Wahl;

- a Crescent-filler from the 20s;

- a celluloid flat-top from the 30s, like a Waterman 52;

- a streamlined pen from the 40s, say an Eversharp (assuming we exclude P51s)

 

The user then has to click on one of the pens.  If he picks on a Waterman 52, then he gets to choose another list with lots of different flat-tops.  And so on and so forth until the user chooses the most appealing pen for that user. Now, imagine that, instead of having users, you have experts. Instead of having an organized database, you have a big bags of photos of pens.  The implicit task, then, for the experts, would be to classify the images of pens in a way to reach the first kind of databases.  

 

Another task we can imagine is to prompt the experts into explaining what are the properties of the pens that stand out.  That way, we could slowly and surely build a database of design properties, just like the first one.  So instead of going top-down, we build bottom-up. This kind of empirical guesswork is common for complex tasks, e.g.

 

https://cours.etsmtl...a_MOE_TNN00.pdf


It's not an ideal example, but that's one I'm sure everyone can download and read.  My point is to illustrate the fact that it's possible to discover criterias that emerge from a classification task.  We're far from this kind of work, of course. This is the main reason why I'm asking for examples.  The task can become daunting, so daunting we might stop after having made a list of icons.

 

***

 

While surfing into Richard Binder's site, I've stumbled upon this quote:

 

In comparison with many other Waterman models such as the 52, Waterman’s Nº 7 is relatively uncommon, and for many collectors it is almost a Holy Grail among pens. But most seem to concentrate on the “Ripple” pens, collecting as nearly full a set of nib colors as possible. (Although attempts have been made to pass off faked White nibs, no authenticated example is known to exist.) Few collectors opt to seek out all the variations of this iconic pen, yet there is much to appreciate in the various celluloid models, and much to challenge the collector. Assembling a type collection might be less expensive than gathering a set of nib colors — but it would not necessarily be less difficult.

 

My emphasis.  On another page, Binder calls the Wearever "the iconic third-tier pen".  As you can see, the word "iconic" does seem to have a specific function without being defined in a crisp manner.  

 

Also note that his perspective is from the American market.  I'd be interested to know which regional variations there are among experts' tastes.


Edited by willard, 24 April 2014 - 23:29.


#18 Prince Kumar

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 06:12

Hi to everyone. Well talking abouut vintage pens the first thing that comes to my mind is Montblanc. I must say that Montblanc is one such pen which keeps a mark on each and every paper you write. Its eases the fingers of the writer. Right now even i am using on. and its nib is of top quality. 



#19 willard

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 21:29

the first thing that comes to my mind is Montblanc

 

You're right, Prince Kumar.  

 

Speaking of which, I found something interesting on Jonathan Steinberg's website:

 

The qualities which make pens desirable are size, rarity, workmanship (including scale of complexity of the art work), presence of precious stones in the design and lastly aura. [...]  In collecting terms, the most desirable pens are the Watermans (or Swan) No: 20s , the Parker Giants (black and red), the Mont Blanc No: 12 safeties and currently above all others, the Namiki giants which see figures above $350,000 which some feel to be quite a lot of money to pay for a single pen. [...] While not quite as large, the Leboeuf No 75 or 90 is also collectable principally because the plastics which that company used are so phenomenally beautiful. [...] All of these large pens have an inescapable aura about them, which is sometimes divorced from their actual beauty. 

 
 
So size does seem to matter, at least so far as desirability is concerned.  Sometimes I think that only the is missing from "pens" to be the most gratifying word.  By chance other properties have been identified: rarity, workmanship, stones, and aura.
 
Thus the most desirable pens may not be the most iconic ones.  Rarity may conflict with being representative and the presence of stones does not seem to me that important.  Steinberg seems to be looking for an explanation as to why some pens are worth more.  
 
***
 
Do we have photos of these pens?  I've seen the Parker Giant on http://www.parkerpens.net, where I got the link to Steinberg's.  In fact, I was looking for the Parker Jack Knife, a pen that appeals a lot to me.  There's also this mention:
 

Another legendary Parker pen was also introduced in 1909, the #47 with a body of mother of pearl and abalone, in a curved finish that created a bulge on the pen body, held down by two ornamented gold bands. The cap had an 18k gold overlay in a floral design with a name plate for engraving. It cost $10. It was of course the pen collectors refer to as the Pregnant Parker. In my opinion one of the most beautiful pens ever made. I wish I could afford one :-)

 

 
I must admit this also is a quite good-looking pen.  I'll try to see how to embed individual photos.

Edited by willard, 25 April 2014 - 21:30.


#20 willard

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 21:37

Just found a page on the Namiki Giants:

 

Namiki.jpg

 

 

Namiki2.jpg

 

 

Source: http://www.pentrace....icle.asp?ID=200

 

Please tell me if it's kosher to include photos like that.



#21 Cepasaccus

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 23:00

Montblanc

 

 

20 years ago, this would probably have been different. So we should perhaps add as an additional factor regarding value to the following features

 

 

size / rarity, workmanship, stones, and aura

 

 

also marketing and advertisement. Montblanc seems to do this well. From the current point of view the 146/149 look like iconic pens. Did they also 20 years ago? Who invented this type of shape and when? Is it a decendent of a Vacumatic?

 

I love the elegance of the pens from 1900. Long, slim, perhaps a beautiful floral decoration. But some really look like an awefull Chinese or Italian pen for which an pugilist could do an advertisement.

 

Cepasaccus







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