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REVIEW: Sheaffer Lifetime Flat-top Oversize


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#1 QM2

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 21:10



SHEAFFER LIFETIME OVERSIZE
an Iconic Flat-top


Sheaffer Lifetime Flat-tops were produced from 1920 into the 1930s in a number of sizes from Oversize to Ringtop.
Mine is a later production pen. It is made of black Radite (celluloid) and features the bent clip design.

There are two groups of fountain pen users to whom I would recommend this pen: The first and the more obvious
group are flat-top lovers. This iconic flat-top is an absolute must-have! The second group, are those who currently
use modern pens and are either looking to transition to vintage, or have already tried, but found vintage pens not
as comfortable as modern pens (yes, this happens). The size, feel and weight of the Sheaffer Lifetime OS, as well
as its nib, bear the closest resemblance to modern pens of all the vintage pens I have tried. More on this later.



Looks and Design

To me, the Sheaffer Lifetime Flat-top is the Little Black Dress (or classic Business Suit, if you will) of fountain pens.
It is: classic, simple, uncluttered, elegant, good for any occasion, impeccable, flattering, sexy. If I compare it to
the Parker Duofold Senior -- the other big black flat-top of this era -- I think the Sheaffer Lifetime captures the
essence of the look better: It has cleaner lines than the Duofold; it is ever so slightly more minimalistic.

And, let us not forget what's on the flat surface of the cap: that embedded white dot. I have been obsessed with
the way this looks since the moment I first glimpsed it in photos. Ah!... Lovely.

Size, Weight, Balance and Comfort

The Sheaffer Lifetime Flat-top OS is 5 5/16" capped, 4 3/4" uncapped, and 6 5/8" posted. Diameter at the widest
point of the barrel seems to be 1/2", and diameter of the cap seems to be 9/16".

The pen is light/medium weight and well-balanced in my hand both when posted and when unposted. The gripping
section has a pronounced "lip" at the bottom to keep the fingers from slipping down towards the nib. This design is
particularly useful for me, as I hold my pens very low. In general, the length, thickness, and weight of this pen are
just perfect for my hand; I couldn't be more pleased.

Another aspect I should mention, is that this pen feels very durable and stable. One problem I have found when
using vintage pens, is that even when fully restored, they often feel fragile. This makes me less comfortable writing
with them than with modern pens. I really like to feel that my pen is sturdy, tight and durable during those marathon
writing sessions. With the OS Lifetime Flat-top I do not get that fragile/brittle feeling at all; it feels incredibly tough
and reliable.



Filling System

The Sheaffer Lifetime is a lever-fill pen, which is one of my preferred filling systems. The lever works well and feels
very sturdy, which I think is the key to enjoying a lever-fill pen. If the lever is wobbly or weak, I am always nervous
filling the pen, worried that it may break off at any moment. No such problems here. My only complaint is that Sheaffer
did not make the most attractive levers: I prefer the "spoon" or "lollypop" design to Sheaffer's "matchstick" design.

Nib

These pens come with the rigid Sheaffer Lifetime Nib. This is my first experiene with a Lifetime Nib and I was
pleasantly surprised. The nib writes smoothly as can be, and compared to other vintage nibs I have tried, I would
describe it as being "much thicker and stronger". Not a very professional description, but I don't know how else to
phrase it. As with vintage bodies, I admit that I have always found vintage nibs to feel somehow thinner and more
fragile than their modern counterparts, which has bothered me. This Sheaffer Lifetime nib feels completely different.
If I had my eyes closed, I would have thought to be writing with a Delta or Visconti nib -- only better.

The nib on my pen is a Fine, which actually makes a true Fine line. My next one (and there definitely will be a next
one!) will be a Medium, so that I can have it reground to an italic. This is my favourite vintage nib by a mile.

Value

I always find the value of vintage pens confusing, especially because the definitions of condition are so variable.
To me, what matters in a vintage pen is that it is clean, has no discolouration, and is free of cracks, bite marks and
initials. Brassing and scratches are fine with me. As I understand it, the typical price range of this pen is $85-175
in the condition I describe, and I bought mine in the $90s including shipping.

Conclusions

I am very happy to finally own this classic pen and my only regret is having waited so long. I now know that I am
most comfortable with oversize flat-tops, and this has certainly helped me prioritise future vintage pen purchases.
If you are a modern pen user and want to ease into vintage, try the Sheaffer Lifetime Oversize (or, if you prefer
torpedo shaped pens, the Oversize Balance). You will feel very comfortable with these pens.

It still amazes me that an 80-year-old piece of history can be so perfect as a daily writer!


Edited by QM2, 11 November 2008 - 17:03.


#2 diplomat

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 21:20

Thanks for the review. This pen is on my list already and your review make it going up a few places!
I completely agree on your remark on vintage pens being felt as "fragile": I think overall Sheaffer are good on this, even my Balance looks sturdy and durable.
I appreciate then your indication on the value of the pen.

It's a pity being in Europe where this kind of finds are not common.

Ciao and thanks again.

Andre

#3 QM2

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 21:26

QUOTE (diplomat @ Nov 10 2008, 10:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks for the review. This pen is on my list already and your review make it going up a few places!
I completely agree on your remark on vintage pens being felt as "fragile": I think overall Sheaffer are good on this, even my Balance looks sturdy and durable.
I appreciate then your indication on the value of the pen.

It's a pity being in Europe where this kind of finds are not common.

Ciao and thanks again.

Andre


Thanks Andre,

I have found that in continental w. Europe, vintage pens are sold at about twice the price of what they cost in the US -- so I understand. I think that a couple of FPN members are selling these pens now in the "FS" forum for a good price. If they are willing to ship you the pen 1st class (which takes a week), the shipping cost should be under 5eur. So have a look if you are interested. There has been a sudden flood of Sheaffer Lifetime Flat-tops in the marketplace here during the past weeks (after almost zero for the past 2 years), so might be a good time to take advantage!



#4 diplomat

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 22:18

QUOTE (QM2 @ Nov 10 2008, 10:26 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks Andre,

I have found that in continental w. Europe, vintage pens are sold at about twice the price of what they cost in the US -- so I understand. I think that a couple of FPN members are selling these pens now in the "FS" forum for a good price. If they are willing to ship you the pen 1st class (which takes a week), the shipping cost should be under 5eur. So have a look if you are interested. There has been a sudden flood of Sheaffer Lifetime Flat-tops in the marketplace here during the past weeks (after almost zero for the past 2 years), so might be a good time to take advantage!


Thanks for the suggestion. But I need to plan my moves carefully before the xmas shopping!

In addition to the shipping, consider that we - in Italy - are subjected to some exaggerated consideration from the custom officials. The packages may sit in the custom for one month, and then come with 50% increase in value on taxes. That thing is driving me mad. Luckily I work for an American company and from time to time me or some colleague of mine travel to US... smile.gif)

Ciao and thanks again for that beautiful review.


#5 Roger W.

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 23:15

I would challenge the date of production to be 1930-31. There is no solid proof that hump clips were used on 8C's until after the 1930 catalogue. Several sites discuss 1925 but this is the titan clip that was used on the pencil. Many K8C's, whch were introduced in the 1928 catalogue (at a late addition to the catalogue as well), are found with straight clips. No ads show flattops with hump clips as advertising for flattops disappears after 1929. One of the last ads is a K8C flattop with a jade balance in August 1929 and that flattop shows a straight clip. If you can find proof that the hump clips were applied to flattop pens prior to 1930 I am open to any such evidence. Merely stating that the hump clip was used by "such date" on someones site is insufficient. Thank you for your consideration as it effects your beautiful pen.

Roger W.

#6 QM2

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 23:20

QUOTE (Roger W. @ Nov 11 2008, 12:15 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I would challenge the date of production to be 1930-31. There is no solid proof that hump clips were used on 8C's until after the 1930 catalogue. Several sites discuss 1925 but this is the titan clip that was used on the pencil. Many K8C's, whch were introduced in the 1928 catalogue (at a late addition to the catalogue as well), are found with straight clips. No ads show flattops with hump clips as advertising for flattops disappears after 1929. One of the last ads is a K8C flattop with a jade balance in August 1929 and that flattop shows a straight clip. If you can find proof that the hump clips were applied to flattop pens prior to 1930 I am open to any such evidence. Merely stating that the hump clip was used by "such date" on someones site is insufficient. Thank you for your consideration as it effects your beautiful pen.

Roger W.


Really? I am by no means an expert, so I am just repeating what was told to me by several sources. I am genuinely curious to know "the truth". It's out there. And by no means does your comment effect my perception of my beautiful (thanks) pen. Eventually I also want one with the straight clip, as well as an early one in BHR. I will try to find the sources where the evidence of an earlier bent clip seems convincing.

EDITED TO ADD:

OK, Here's something -- Richard Binder is never wrong, right?.. : )

QUOTE
When Sheaffer introduced the Balance in 1929, the pen bore a long humped clip that was essentially the same as the clip used on later models of the flat-top pen that preceded the Balance.

from: http://www.richardsp...fo/balclips.htm

Edited by QM2, 10 November 2008 - 23:28.


#7 Roger W.

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 00:33

QUOTE
EDITED TO ADD:

OK, Here's something -- Richard Binder is never wrong, right?.. : )


QUOTE
When Sheaffer introduced the Balance in 1929, the pen bore a long humped clip that was essentially the same as the clip used on later models of the flat-top pen that preceded the Balance.

from: http://www.richardsp...fo/balclips.htm


That's what I was saying, just because it is on a site does not make it true, even if it is on many sites or even in many books. How many of the books say that red 3-25's are red hard rubber (1928 catalogue orange radite also 1925 Saturday Evening Post ad)? Richard's site offers no proof or evidence that hump clips were used on flattops prior to the introduction of the balance nor am I aware of any such proof or evidence elsewhere as I don't believe it exists.

Rer W.

#8 QM2

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 00:39

Well, if it is a matter of debate, then I can ask you the opposite question: What proof have you that they did not exist?..

If it is a matter of concern that the 1926 date in my review may be spreading misinformation, I would be happy to change it to a neutral date that reflects the ambiguity of this issue. However, I think that there is no concrete evidence for the date of production to be 1930-31 as you said earlier, just as there is no concrete evidence for the date to be 1926...


...


I have changed the original line in the review to this:
"Mine is a later production pen. It is made of black Radite (celluloid) and features the bent clip design."

I think that this is inclusive enough not to contradict either point of view.

Edited by QM2, 11 November 2008 - 00:45.


#9 Roger W.

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 01:55

QUOTE
Well, if it is a matter of debate, then I can ask you the opposite question: What proof have you that they did not exist?..


QM2;

Are you reading my stuff at all? I've already put straight clips solidly into 1929! I've not the time to follow-up now but will be glad to dazzle you in a few hours...until later, yours

Roger W.

#10 Roger W.

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 07:02

QM2;

Now, see, quoting Binder's site that has little as to attributions is exactly what I was talking about.

The 8C, one hell of a Sheaffer icon, was first so called 1920 as a 8 Self-Filling pen with a clip as clips had been previously optional and also an "8C Lifetime" to designate a lifetime as being different from an ordinary 8C. However, in radite, the 8C was the flagship pen for only 5 years – that still amazes me though 8C's continued to be made well into the 1930's. The first radite model rolled off in late 1924. All radite models from 1924 until 1926ish (‘26/’27) were marked with their factory of plastic origin - C, D, or F – Celluloid Company, DuPont, Fiberloid Company on the end of the barrel. So if your pen was made from late 1924 until 1926 it was so marked. Why late 1924 to start with? All lifetime radite pens are always marked with the white dot which was trade-marked in 1926 with attributed first use on September 25, 1924. Sheaffer does have some company records that shows radite parts were being made in June 1924 but, there is probably a bit of delay between production and the street. My first radite ad is December 1924. What proves they were marked thru 1926ish (don’t have a firm lock on this one)? Since all the lower series pens; the radite Secretaries, the radite 22 Student Specials and most of the radite 46 Specials are barrel marked. I say most 46 Specials because in December 1926 (advertised), prior to the switch to limited guarantee pens, it was brought out in jade. Jade was reserved for the lifetime pens up until that point and these pens are not marked. There could be some black or red 22’s or 46’s unmarked but these are small run pens and I haven’t seen it yet. During this time the radite pens are straight clip models. Also, almost unique to Sheaffer production we’ve got a dead stop to one line prior to switching to limited guarantee pens.

So we’re up to 1928. The 1928 catalogue shows all of the new models (3-25's, 5-30's and7-30's - limited guarantees) with straight clips which solidly establishes that the hump clip was not in use prior or during this period for radite pens. A lot of straight clip pens as shown in the ads and the catalogues. The 1930 catalogue really says it all by showing the big flattops with straight clips and the 3-25’s with hump clips. We’ve a hard date for the 1930 catalogue – June 1930. So, by following the small pens, we see straight clips exclusively until 1928. Therefore, if you’ve a hump clip it cannot be before 1928. The 1928 catalogue shows only straight clips and the June 1930 catalogue shows a mix. The last ad for flattops in August 1929 shows a straight clip. Hump clips do appear on pin retained lever barrels with enough frequency to establish that it is not merely a cap to barrel switch still, not very common. The date point here is that there is an internal Sheaffer memo which states that ring retained levers start in the fourth quarter of 1930. Based on what we have, it does not seem to have been important to Sheaffer to use hump clips on flattops until 1930. So your pin retained lever with a hump clip cap suggests 1930 or 1931 since some items would have been in before the fourth quarter switchover. We are not absolutely sure that everything was switched over in fourth quarter 1930 but a lot of the special color balances appear to support this date point. Most hump-clipped pens had a ring retained barrel that shows a patented in USA imprint which matches the imprint being done on the balances.

So why is there so much "good info" on the date being earlier? Sheaffer used humped clips on metal pens, metal pencils and radite pencils in the mid 1920's. Humped clips were good on thin diameter applications. Even the bigger radite pencil, the Titan, received the patented hump clip. The balance pen necessitated a hump clip but the balance and flattops lines didn't truly come into alignment until the patent dates were dropped on the flattop and the imprints then matched.

Roger W.


8C 8 Self-Filling, 8C, 8C lined HR, 8C lined HR, 8C lined HR white dot, Rare 8C draped chasing white dot.


Above in reverse order showing the white dots.


Radite 8C marked "C", 8C marked "F", 8C marked "C", 8C double band, 8C, 8C, 8C hump clip pin retained, 8C HC ring retained, 8C HC ring retained.

Edited by Roger W., 11 November 2008 - 07:04.


#11 QM2

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 10:19

QUOTE (Roger W. @ Nov 11 2008, 02:55 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE
Well, if it is a matter of debate, then I can ask you the opposite question: What proof have you that they did not exist?..


Are you reading my stuff at all? I've already put straight clips solidly into 1929! I've not the time to follow-up now but will be glad to dazzle you in a few hours...until later, yours


The information and photos are indeed dazzling and thank you for taking the time. To answer the comment of whether I was "reading your stuff at all", of course I was. But in the past, I have been told repeatedly by people on this board, that Sheaffer's catalogs were notoriously messy and incomplete, and that just because something was not cataloged does not mean it did not exist. I repeat that I am not an expert, and am simply trying to enthusiastically learn about vintage pens. It did not seem unreasonable to rely on information from respected people in the field. If the 1926 date was wrong, then so be it; I am certainly not trying to prove anything and I have no personal investment in the date of the clip. You will see that in the review it now simply says "later production".

Collecting vintage pens can be confusing and intimidating new territory. My review was clearly written from the point of view of someone who has never owned a Sheaffer Lifetime before, and now wants to tell others in the same camp how great it is. That was the intended spirit here.



Edited by QM2, 11 November 2008 - 10:50.


#12 Roger W.

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 14:28

QM2;

I certainly don't men to be coming over the top on this one. I thought your review was quite good. My point had more to do with the misinformation that still remains with certain aspects where there is, IMO, overwhelming evidence to the contrary. It takes a while with some info to sink in. This hump clips before 1930 being in error is something I've been trying to illustrate for several years and it hasn't got much traction and, strager still, does not get refuted in the least with any meaningful evidence. Other information such as red 3-25's not being hard rubber is fairly widely accepted today on chat sites but most of the books still have it the other way round (I did see it corrected in a recent book). The meaning of "C","D" and "F" at the end of the barrel was not known until Daniel Kirchheimer and I put it together in the last couple of years.

Parker has had a lot more researchers looking at them for a long time now and Sheaffer is slow to catch up considering it is one of the top producers of all time. Sheaffer catalogues are pretty good but, you do have to know where they fall short and where they are complete or approach completeness - tricky stuff to be sure. On top of that some of the catalogue critics, IMO are off their nut (thinking of one in particular). The 8C is one of my favorites obviously and I'm glad you took it up. I hope you critic more of the early Sheaffers.

Roger W.

#13 QM2

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 14:55

Roger,

What would happen if you started this as a topic on the Sheaffer Forum (or has this been done before)? Perhaps if addressed directly, Richard Binder and the authors of the other articles, would gladly change the information on their sites (or present you with irrefutable physical evidence of an earlier bent clip). Would be interesting, and the Review Forum is much less likely to attract the appropriate exposure that the Sheaffer Forum.

Sheaffer Flat-tops are my favourite American vintage pens (the overall favourite being early Conway Stewart casein flat-tops), and I have been slowly trying to start a collection of Lifetimes, BCHRs and overlays. However, receiving the Lifetime OS was an unexpected "wow" moment, because the pen is just so perfect for me as a writer that everything else seems decorative and impractical in comparison. So I will definitely be looking into this model deeper from now on.




Edited by QM2, 11 November 2008 - 14:56.


#14 MYU

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 16:01

OK, I'm glad things have settled down... I was beginning to think a fight was going to break out. wink.gif

Nice review, QM2. And Roger, I am all for trying to find out the reality of the pen history. I think the suggestion for posting a question about this in the Sheaffer forum is a great idea.

Edited by MYU, 11 November 2008 - 16:09.

Posted Image
[MYU's Pen Review Corner]

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#15 QM2

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 16:16

QUOTE (MYU @ Nov 11 2008, 05:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
OK, I'm glad things have settled down... I was beginning to think a fight was going to break out. wink.gif


Nah, I am a peaceful, gentle creature... as long as I am fed a steady diet of pens, lovely delicious pens!

#16 MYU

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 16:21

QUOTE (QM2 @ Nov 11 2008, 11:16 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (MYU @ Nov 11 2008, 05:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
OK, I'm glad things have settled down... I was beginning to think a fight was going to break out. wink.gif


Nah, I am a peaceful, gentle creature... as long as I am fed a steady diet of pens, lovely delicious pens!

Oh I know, but at the same time you stand up for yourself--no pushover. smile.gif As for diet, you have certainly had a smorgasbord of exceptional quality; I am in admiration of your collection. biggrin.gif
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#17 QM2

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 16:49

QUOTE (MYU @ Nov 11 2008, 05:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (QM2 @ Nov 11 2008, 11:16 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (MYU @ Nov 11 2008, 05:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
OK, I'm glad things have settled down... I was beginning to think a fight was going to break out. wink.gif


Nah, I am a peaceful, gentle creature... as long as I am fed a steady diet of pens, lovely delicious pens!

Oh I know, but at the same time you stand up for yourself--no pushover. smile.gif As for diet, you have certainly had a smorgasbord of exceptional quality; I am in admiration of your collection. biggrin.gif


Thank you : )
And where can we see all your MYUs to get a glimpse of your diet?..

EDIT: Ah, never mind! This is what I was looking for:
http://myu701.google...esteelpenfamily

(yikes!)

Edited by QM2, 11 November 2008 - 17:07.


#18 ethernautrix

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 17:50

I've been wanting a Sheaffer Flattop with the white dot on its cap for a few months now, and your review sent me to the marketplace, QM2.

The bonus is that Karl Barndt was selling a couple of these (he's selling a variety of pens), so I was able to buy one from him. I especially trust buying vintage from Karl. I bought my first Tucky from him, and it's one of my favorite pens.

So now I have a Flattop on the way. Thank you, QM2, for your well-timed review!


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#19 QM2

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 17:56

QUOTE (ethernautrix @ Nov 11 2008, 06:50 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've been wanting a Sheaffer Flattop with the white dot on its cap for a few months now, and your review sent me to the marketplace, QM2.

The bonus is that Karl Barndt was selling a couple of these (he's selling a variety of pens), so I was able to buy one from him. I especially trust buying vintage from Karl. I bought my first Tucky from him, and it's one of my favorite pens.

So now I have a Flattop on the way. Thank you, QM2, for your well-timed review!


Yay! I bought mine from Karl as well; he is a great seller. Did you get the one with the straight clip in his latest batch, or one with a bent clip from an earlier batch?



#20 ethernautrix

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 18:07

QUOTE (QM2 @ Nov 11 2008, 10:56 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (ethernautrix @ Nov 11 2008, 06:50 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've been wanting a Sheaffer Flattop with the white dot on its cap for a few months now, and your review sent me to the marketplace, QM2.

The bonus is that Karl Barndt was selling a couple of these (he's selling a variety of pens), so I was able to buy one from him. I especially trust buying vintage from Karl. I bought my first Tucky from him, and it's one of my favorite pens.

So now I have a Flattop on the way. Thank you, QM2, for your well-timed review!


Yay! I bought mine from Karl as well; he is a great seller. Did you get the one with the straight clip in his latest batch, or one with a bent clip from an earlier batch?

I got the pearlized titanium clip dated 1893.

I kid!

I got the Fine nib. The other was a F/M, and I wouldn't be happy with that. Mine is number B9. (Also, one of my favorite words.)

I was happy to buy from Karl. Actually, if he hadn't been selling the Flattop, I probably would have waited. Nice that I don't have to!
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#21 Richard

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 18:44

QUOTE (QM2 @ Nov 10 2008, 06:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
OK, Here's something -- Richard Binder is never wrong, right?.. : )

QUOTE
When Sheaffer introduced the Balance in 1929, the pen bore a long humped clip that was essentially the same as the clip used on later models of the flat-top pen that preceded the Balance.


Having just returned from the Ohio Pen Show, I have not read this entire thread. But I do want to correct your misinterpretation of the statement you quote. What I wrote was that the flat-top preceded the Balance. Nobody will dispute this. I wrote further that the humped clip was used on later models of the flat-top. Nobody will dispute this, either. I did NOT state that use of the humped clip preceded the Balance, and in fact I do not know when Sheaffer first used the humped clip.

(Edited to add the following grammatical analysis in the hope of forestalling a linguistics war smile.gif)

The subject of the adjectival clause "that preceded the Balance" is the pronoun "that." English is a weakly inflected, strongly positional language. Absent contrary evidence, the antecedent of a pronoun is assumed to be the closest reasonable substantive, and the closest reasonable substantive is "pen," not "clip."

Edited by Richard, 11 November 2008 - 18:54.

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#22 Johnny Appleseed

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 19:15

QUOTE (Richard @ Nov 11 2008, 10:44 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE
When Sheaffer introduced the Balance in 1929, the pen bore a long humped clip that was essentially the same as the clip used on later models of the flat-top pen that preceded the Balance.


Having just returned from the Ohio Pen Show, I have not read this entire thread. But I do want to correct your misinterpretation of the statement you quote. What I wrote was that the flat-top preceded the Balance. Nobody will dispute this. I wrote further that the humped clip was used on later models of the flat-top. Nobody will dispute this, either. I did NOT state that use of the humped clip preceded the Balance, and in fact I do not know when Sheaffer first used the humped clip.

(Edited to add the following grammatical analysis in the hope of forestalling a linguistics war smile.gif)

The subject of the adjectival clause "that preceded the Balance" is the pronoun "that." English is a weakly inflected, strongly positional language. Absent contrary evidence, the antecedent of a pronoun is assumed to be the closest reasonable substantive, and the closest reasonable substantive is "pen," not "clip."


While the grammatical analysis is correct, one can be grammatically correct and still come off as unclear. The sentance is easily misconstrued as QM2 did, even if technically and grammatically it is correct. It might be worth putting that in line for an edit (when you get a chance smile.gif ).

QUOTE (QM2 @ Nov 10 2008, 06:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
OK, Here's something -- Richard Binder is never wrong, right?.. : )


Ah, but don't forget Richard's eternal disclaimer at the bottom of every article:

QUOTE
The information in this article is as accurate as possible, but you should not take it as absolutely authoritative.


Richard's website is not without it's errors, omissions and disputed points. The same can be said of most of the books and other reference sites about pens. Richard's site is for the most part a generalist source of information, with basic info on a variety of pens and subjects. You get much more accurate and detailed information from a specalist source, such as the Duofold Book but, you won't get info on anything other than Duofolds. The value of a generalist source, is that it has a broad range of information in a clear, readable and accessable format, which is what makes Richard's site such an outstanding source for begginers and the rest of us when we are out of our area of expertise (particularly since, unlike the various books it is free). He is also extreamely willing to update his site in response to new information. But we can't, and shouldn't, expect perfection.

John

So if you have a lot of ink,
You should get a Yink, I think.

- Dr Suess

Always looking for pens by Baird-North, Charles Ingersoll, and nibs marked "CHI"

#23 jimhughes

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 19:18

QUOTE (ethernautrix @ Nov 11 2008, 11:07 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (QM2 @ Nov 11 2008, 10:56 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (ethernautrix @ Nov 11 2008, 06:50 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've been wanting a Sheaffer Flattop with the white dot on its cap for a few months now, and your review sent me to the marketplace, QM2.

The bonus is that Karl Barndt was selling a couple of these (he's selling a variety of pens), so I was able to buy one from him. I especially trust buying vintage from Karl. I bought my first Tucky from him, and it's one of my favorite pens.

So now I have a Flattop on the way. Thank you, QM2, for your well-timed review!


Yay! I bought mine from Karl as well; he is a great seller. Did you get the one with the straight clip in his latest batch, or one with a bent clip from an earlier batch?

I got the pearlized titanium clip dated 1893.

I kid!

I got the Fine nib. The other was a F/M, and I wouldn't be happy with that. Mine is number B9. (Also, one of my favorite words.)

I was happy to buy from Karl. Actually, if he hadn't been selling the Flattop, I probably would have waited. Nice that I don't have to!
Ethernautrix:
Glad to hear it's B9 your looking at. Although I like Fines , the B-10 looks awfully F not M in nib photo. I just requested dibs on B-10 and felt a tremor of pain that you'd beat me to the punch, when I first read your note. Got a beautiful small size Sheaffer Flattop from Karl a couple of weeks ago. While I love it, I'm mad at myself for not splurging on a K8C Black and Pearl he had at that time. Speaking of beautiful Flat tops, look at Roger W's collection on the Sheaffer Forum under my K8C What it is inquiry, early Nov 08 dating. Enjoy your pen, Jim

#24 Richard

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 19:42

QUOTE (Johnny Appleseed @ Nov 11 2008, 02:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
While the grammatical analysis is correct, one can be grammatically correct and still come off as unclear. The sentance is easily misconstrued as QM2 did, even if technically and grammatically it is correct. It might be worth putting that in line for an edit (when you get a chance smile.gif ).

Done. The new version follows:

QUOTE
When Sheaffer introduced the Balance in 1929, the pen bore a long humped clip that was essentially the same as the clip used on later models of the Flat-Top pen that had preceded the Balance. (Sheaffer continued to offer Flat-Top pens well into the 1930s, however, and it is not known whether the humped clip’s first appearance on Flat-Tops occurred before, concurrently with, or after the introduction of the Balance.)


(Edited to correct a grammatical solecism)

Edited by Richard, 12 November 2008 - 14:01.

Click to send email: richard@richardspens.com
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#25 QM2

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 19:44

QUOTE (Richard @ Nov 11 2008, 08:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Johnny Appleseed @ Nov 11 2008, 02:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
While the grammatical analysis is correct, one can be grammatically correct and still come off as unclear. The sentance is easily misconstrued as QM2 did, even if technically and grammatically it is correct. It might be worth putting that in line for an edit (when you get a chance smile.gif ).

Done. The new version follows:

QUOTE
When Sheaffer introduced the Balance in 1929, the pen bore a long humped clip that was essentially the same as the clip used on later models of the Flat-Top pen that had preceded the Balance. (Sheaffer continued to offer Flat-Top pens well into the 1930s, however, and it is not known whether the humped clip’s first appearance on Flat-Tops occurred before, concurrent with, or after the introduction of the Balance.)



: )) Oh no -- This is the second time I've been the cause of poor Mr. Binder having to change wording on his website! Always glad to help with linguistic confusions : )

Edited by QM2, 11 November 2008 - 19:58.


#26 QM2

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 19:50


Re Roger, Richard & JohnyA:

All right, that's it. The next Sheaffer Flat-top I get will be one of the examples with the pearlized titanium clip dated 1893, as catalogued by Ethernautrix. I shall not rest until I get my hands on it. Perhaps at the next Boston Pen Show. Till then, best wishes to all : )

QM2



Edited by QM2, 11 November 2008 - 19:52.


#27 Johnny Appleseed

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 20:26

QUOTE (QM2 @ Nov 11 2008, 11:50 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Re Roger, Richard & JohnyA:

All right, that's it. The next Sheaffer Flat-top I get will be one of the examples with the pearlized titanium clip dated 1893, as catalogued by Ethernautrix. I shall not rest until I get my hands on it. Perhaps at the next Boston Pen Show. Till then, best wishes to all : )

QM2


Oh, but please do not be put off by all this. After all, you have improved the accuracy of one of the best references sources on the internet! Can't go wrong with that.

Of course, it would be much easier to look this up if Roger had his Sheaffer Flatop website together yet (hint, hint. . .)

(he says, hiding his head when he remembers he still owe's Richard a pile of info for a Pen Profile. . .)

John
So if you have a lot of ink,
You should get a Yink, I think.

- Dr Suess

Always looking for pens by Baird-North, Charles Ingersoll, and nibs marked "CHI"

#28 QM2

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 20:37

QUOTE (Johnny Appleseed @ Nov 11 2008, 09:26 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Oh, but please do not be put off by all this. After all, you have improved the accuracy of one of the best references sources on the internet! Can't go wrong with that.

Of course, it would be much easier to look this up if Roger had his Sheaffer Flatop website together yet (hint, hint. . .)

(he says, hiding his head when he remembers he still owe's Richard a pile of info for a Pen Profile. . .)


Not at all! I have been thoroughly put at ease and I look forward to writing more reviews of vintage pens : )



Edited by QM2, 11 November 2008 - 20:47.


#29 Nellie

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 21:42

QUOTE
It's a pity being in Europe where this kind of finds are not common.

QUOTE (diplomat @ Nov 10 2008, 11:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
In addition to the shipping, consider that we - in Italy - are subjected to some exaggerated consideration from the custom officials. The packages may sit in the custom for one month, and then come with 50% increase in value on taxes. That thing is driving me mad.

Try eBay UK. I've seen several good and reasonably priced OS Flat-tops there (and bought one a year ago).

Btw., I agree, these have to be (among?) the best vintage pens ever!!

Nellie
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