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#1 Cryptos

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 00:24

Well I had to go away for a couple of days on an urgent matter and just before I left I was rummaging aimlessly around on Ebay. Up popped an Estie with the 'Bell Sytems' imprint and a starting price of $15. I had just about that much left in the donor pen account so I plunked it on and left. Not sure why I did it. An impulsive and slightly petulant thing no doubt.

 

Anyway, I get back home 2 and half days later to find a message saying I won the auction at the asking price of $15! Totally unexpected. Probably needs restoration. I checked the seller out and it seems they are not pen specialists but people who buy 'lots' from house sales and such. This was the only pen they had for sale. They are claiming it is an LJ, and it has a clearly marked 9556 nib.

 

My good fortune or a 15 dollar lemon?

 

Time will tell. :)


 

 

 


#2 lahlahlaw

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 00:43

Your good fortune:) I've been similarly lucky with Esties. I guess some auctions just slip by the rest of us sometimes...


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#3 Sasha Royale

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 00:50

I find most estate buyers have the sense to sell a fountain pen "AS IS", and resist tampering/breaking it.  

When it arrives, you HAVE to .tell us whether the sac is good.  



#4 Cryptos

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 00:41

Well the Estie arrived today. It's a bit banged up, few scratches here and there, but for $15 I didn't expect a lot. It's off to Sean for a once over, so he can tell me if it needs a new sac. The lever has a lot of spring to it so... I don't know if that means anything. The nib looks in good shape and is a 9556, I may dip it and see what it feels like. Overall the pen is nearly 5.25" in length, but feels quite thin so I guess it's an LJ. Anyway, there it is.

 

 

EDIT: Hmmm, just had a rummage around on the web and I am a bit puzzled. This pen has the Esterbrook logo (in their fancy script) that goes horizontally around the barrel. Most pictures I have seen have this logo printed longitudinally. The cap band is plain not ridged, and the lever has a squared end rather than rounded. The 'Bell System Property' imprint runs away from the section end - most images I saw onlin go the other way.

 

So, as I am new to these things, could someone tell me if these variations are typical?

 

EDIT2: Although the cap band is plain the clip is short, not the long version, and only has Esterbrook written on it. Jewels are the same size.


Edited by Cryptos, 03 July 2014 - 01:29.

 

 

 


#5 Cryptos

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 10:40

Okay, here's the listing #111378229770

 

http://www.ebay.com/...cvip=true&rt=nc

 

I just flushed it and drew up a little ink (Diamine Eclipse) and it seems to have no leaks. The nib feels finer than a Pilot 78G Fine and is quite scratchy :(

 

Oh, well, see what the pros think of it I guess. It's all starting to look a bit lemon-like.


 

 

 


#6 Hardcase

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 17:22

It's an uncommon version of an Esterbrook SJ, with the logo sideways instead of longways.  I think that you got a whale of a deal.  The nib may be a little out of alignment, but it's a fine point and that could explain the scratchiness.  I have a few 9556's and they range from kind of smooth to pretty scratchy.  Sometimes it's just the luck of the draw.

 

Brian would probably know best, but my guess is that it's an early double jewel SJ.


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#7 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 18:35

It's an uncommon version of an Esterbrook SJ, with the logo sideways instead of longways.  I think that you got a whale of a deal.  The nib may be a little out of alignment, but it's a fine point and that could explain the scratchiness.  I have a few 9556's and they range from kind of smooth to pretty scratchy.  Sometimes it's just the luck of the draw.

 

Brian would probably know best, but my guess is that it's an early double jewel SJ.

 

Uhh. No. Not quite.

 

It IS a LJ.

 

It is perhaps the Last rendition of the Estie double jewel LJ before the company stopped making pens.  Unfortunately, Estie was in Severe cost cutting mode at that time and the plastic isn't as nice or durable as the older pens. It's particularly prone to shrinkage which may have the cap band spinning.

 

I Will grant that it is Somewhat unusual as that's the First Bell Systems pen I've seen in that last model style. I doubt that raises it's value though.

 

Here is the same style pen beside a "regular" older LJ.

 

LateLJ%2520003.jpg

 

Get a loupe and check the tine alignment, you can usually push an out of alignment one back into position with your fingertip. If all else fails, take your pen to a pawn shop or jewelry store and ask them to borrow a loupe of theirs at their counter. It will usually be lit nicely there for their items viewing. You can adjust the tine right there, it only takes a minute or two.

 

Bruce in Ocala, Fl



#8 Cryptos

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 19:22

Cool. My one looks more or less like the one on the left of your picture, except for the cap which has a clip like the one on the right. The cap band isn't loose, though I will say I thought the whole pen felt kind of cheap in the hand - but then again it was a cheap pen in its day...


Edited by Cryptos, 03 July 2014 - 19:22.

 

 

 


#9 Hardcase

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 21:33

 

Uhh. No. Not quite.

Oops. :unsure:


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#10 Cryptos

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 04:29

 

I find most estate buyers have the sense to sell a fountain pen "AS IS", and resist tampering/breaking it.  

When it arrives, you HAVE to .tell us whether the sac is good.

 

Apparently the sac was good but... unfortunately the section needed replacing. Swings and roundabouts I guess!


 

 

 


#11 Cryptos

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 21:36

Slight resurrection here. The Skunk arrived back from the restorer today. New section fitted - which seems to bulge the barrel a little (don't know whether that is normal shrinkage in an LJ) - and a new sac and polish up. It's a real Frankenpen. Bell Systems imprint, weird apparently late model LJ, wrong cap band and fitted with what looks like an unused 2464 nib (whatever that is) which is odd as when I bought it there was a 9556 nib installed (fairly sure of this, see OP).

 

I'll check that nib against the original listing photographs at lunchtime today.


 

 

 


#12 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 22:24

A 2464 is a Broad nib, a 9556 is a Fine. I would have an issue with a restorer switching nibs unless we had discussed it.

Generally, a 9xxx nib is preferred over a 2xxx nib as a 9xxx has genuine welded on tipping and 2xxx nibs do not. Their "tipping" IF they have Any is made by folding the tine over and welding it along the bottom. A 2xxx nib new can write as nicely as a 9xxx nib but will wear much faster with its "faux" tipping.

If a restorer replaced without prior discussion a 9xxx nib with say a desirable 2xxx nib like say a 2284 Stub nib, I'd be less inclined to be concerned than if it were switched with say a regular 2xxx Broad nib.

There is A LOT of diameter variance in Estie sections even from the same size Estie. Care should be taken with replacement sections to be sure they are, or are Made to be, the right size. If the section is too "thin" it can be built up with dried shellac, too large and it can be sanded down.

Just Cram say a SJ section in another SJ without carefully checking before Cramming that the section Isn't too large could at least bulge the barrel end, and at worst, crack it.

Good luck, I have seen your restorer be Absolutely Unable to accept constructive criticism.

IMO, there can hardly be Any Worse a situation for a beginning restorer than for them to Laugh At people who genuinely know more than they do.

Bruce in Ocala, Fl

#13 Cryptos

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 22:31

Thanks Bruce, I have invited a response from the restorer, which is why I haven't publicly revealed who it is.


 

 

 


#14 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 23:17

I've said what I said. He's welcome to respond or not, I couldn't care less. There are public posts here that fully back up what I said. I personally am Very Uninclined to enter into Any discussion with him.

Bruce in Ocala, Fl

#15 Cryptos

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 23:29

Sure, that wasn't a crack at you. I just need to give the restorer a chance to respond as a matter of fairness. As it is I paid a certain amount for restoration on 3 pens. One is really good, the other two are sub-standard and, in my opinion, unacceptable. I even baulked at the original cost of the restoration, and even the agreed upon price is high considering the quality of the return. So, as you can see, I am not happy but I am also not going ballistic... yet! :(


 

 

 


#16 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 00:23

David, I didn't take it as one. ;)

Bruce in Ocala, Fl