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Baignol Tank 400


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#1 Seville

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 01:21

Pg 162-163 of Collectible Fountain Pens by Juan Manuel Clark has a beautiful picture of a pristine Baignol Tank 400 and its four barrel cartridges. The barrels in that case are clear but the one that I had found was a deep red.
These barrels were like a variant of a cartridge only you replaced the barrel instead of the cart.
At first I thought that it was a frankenpen seeing that the barrel was red with no ornamentation while the cap was blue with brass-ish furniture.

In any event here is my review.

First impressions: Whoa this is a big pen. 5 3/4 inches. The barrel is a deep red and the blue cap has a clip that is very close to an Eversharp Skyline or a Visconti Pericle. If you press the top of the clip it expands slightly to accommodate a shirt pocket.
There is nothing much to this pen in terms of furniture. Just clean lines and a lot of pen.

Filling Mechanism: Eyedropper for days. It took 2 1/2 eyedroppers from my Visconti Travel kit to get it up close to full. So all in all a simple mechanism.

Writing Performance: Well that was a bit of a struggle. As you can see below there is an interesting feed assembly and when I filled the barrel with water I could get some flow part way down the nib but not to the tip with any consistency. I left it full of water for about a week to make sure that the channels were clear and then decided to open up the tines a bit. They were so tight that I could not get a piece of film between them but I managed to after pressing down one tine just enough to get clearance and then ran the film up and down a couple of times.
That seemed to do the trick and the flow has been perfect since. This pen does not have the original Tank nib as it has been replaced by a Stylomine 303 nib. And that is a one beautiful nib. It lays down a nice F/M not too wet line. The section is 3/4" and that makes for a very comfortable grip with my hands.

This is a beautiful French pen from the mid 1940's and I think one that has been unfairly overlooked. It is an unusual looking pen with classic lines, great ink volume, a great writer and for 35 Euros it was a fine bargain.

Philip

P.S. I would love to get a Tank nib to see how it writes but it would have to go some to beat the Stylomine 303.
I have the pen filled with Sailor Blue/Black so there is almost no transparency to the barrel. With no ink it is quite clear.

Tank_400_1087_full.gif
Tank_400_1089_Cap.gif
Tank_400_1090_Nib_Cap.gif
Tank_400_1092_Feed.gif


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#2 goodguy

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 01:54

Thank you for shaping this pen with us Philip.
I saw it on our pen meeting and was very impressed with it thumbup.gif

Edited by goodguy, 16 July 2009 - 01:55.

Respect to all

#3 MYU

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 05:00

Thanks for the review. I never heard of this pen brand before... interesting design, rather similar to the Eversharp Skyline. I prefer the clip on the Tank, though. Does it flex at that part that appears to be a "joint"?

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#4 ThaIwan

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 06:50

Really a beauty!

#5 Brian

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 07:31

Thanks for your review. This is an interesting pen we don't get to much in the states. Or maybe its that I never paid much attention in the past. I like the design and color choices. Seems to be a dark blue cap but the barrel appears very dark translucent red or it is black with a clear end.



#6 Ondina

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 15:47

Nice review of a very well made pen, interesting to see those that are not so well know to many of us. Thank you.

#7 rwilsonedn

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 17:07

Great review, and what an elegant pen! The cap and clip assembly reminds me of a fine 19th-century European scientific instrument.
ron

#8 Seville

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 18:36

QUOTE (MYU @ Jul 16 2009, 01:00 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks for the review. I never heard of this pen brand before... interesting design, rather similar to the Eversharp Skyline. I prefer the clip on the Tank, though. Does it flex at that part that appears to be a "joint"?



If you take a look at the second picture you can see a small screw at the joint. That is fulcrum point of the flex. The band that runs from the top of the clip to the end of the cap is the spring.

Is that clear? If not you may have to suffer through a new pic with my finger pressing down on it.

Philip
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#9 mana

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 19:13

Wow, nice pen! I really like the proportions and the design on that one, especially the clip, really, realy nice! smile.gif

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#10 Elisablue

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 19:54

Very nice review , Seville , thank you !

This pen does look a lot like the Skyline ! I've never heard of "Baignol" fountain pens .. The name sounds terribly french ... smile.gif

I wonder if this one was made during WWII (you specify mid forties ...)

#11 Seville

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 20:37

QUOTE (Elisablue @ Jul 16 2009, 03:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Very nice review , Seville , thank you !

This pen does look a lot like the Skyline ! I've never heard of "Baignol" fountain pens .. The name sounds terribly french ... smile.gif

I wonder if this one was made during WWII (you specify mid forties ...)


Hey Elisa,

Yes it is a French company. The information is a bit unclear as to when it was Baignol & Farjon or just plain Baignol but they seem to have been very big into pencils and early nibs.
The Tank 400 was produced just after the WWII as best I can find. I haven't been able to find that much on the smaller European manufacturers but the more I come across the more intrigued I am by their pens.

I should perhaps open up a thread in the Pen History section to see what the collective minds over there can dig up.

I did find the address of a vintage pen dealer in Paris but I don't know when I will be getting back over there myself. I don't know the caliber of his wares but it seemed, from the pictures, to encompass the standards plus a number of BHR filagree pens.

What can I say. So many pens, so little time.

Philip
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#12 Elisablue

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 20:48

QUOTE (Seville @ Jul 16 2009, 10:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Elisablue @ Jul 16 2009, 03:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Very nice review , Seville , thank you !

This pen does look a lot like the Skyline ! I've never heard of "Baignol" fountain pens .. The name sounds terribly french ... smile.gif

I wonder if this one was made during WWII (you specify mid forties ...)


Hey Elisa,

Yes it is a French company. The information is a bit unclear as to when it was Baignol & Farjon or just plain Baignol but they seem to have been very big into pencils and early nibs.
The Tank 400 was produced just after the WWII as best I can find. I haven't been able to find that much on the smaller European manufacturers but the more I come across the more intrigued I am by their pens.

I should perhaps open up a thread in the Pen History section to see what the collective minds over there can dig up.

I did find the address of a vintage pen dealer in Paris but I don't know when I will be getting back over there myself. I don't know the caliber of his wares but it seemed, from the pictures, to encompass the standards plus a number of BHR filagree pens.

What can I say. So many pens, so little time.

Philip


Philip , thank you for the precise reply. Baignol et Farjon rings a bell , definitely : I think I used Baignol et Farjon colour pencils at school . The "Baignol" alone hadn't struck me ...

A vintage dealer in Paris ?? Des noms , des noms !! smile.gif




#13 Seville

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 20:59

If you go to this thread
http://www.fountainp...n...423&hl=vide

You will see the pics that I posted. There are some interesting comments in the thread particularly by Kimo.

In any event I can dig out the vendors contact info when I get home and send it off to you.

Philip
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