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Vintage Pen Review 2
Posted 11 August 2006 - 14:17
Conway Stewart 14
Source: ebay around £8.00
Description: Black, slightly streamlined, typical CS styling of the 50s/early 60s. The pen is a small model, about 10mm shorter than a CS 55 and slightly reduced girth. The streamlined shape giving it the impression of being slimmer. The nib is a Conway Stewart 1A, one of the smallest nibs from this company. The body and cap are in very good condition with no visible nicks of scratches, and the gold plating on the clip, band and lever in very good condition. The cap has no bands and the clip is helpd in place by a small, plastic peaked top. ‘Conway Stewart 14’ is crisply imprinted into the barrel in a semi-script style lettering and ‘MADE IN ENGLAND’ imprinted beneath in small blocks.
Story: This pen was simply to try out a CS 14. I had a couple of CS pens to date but none from this period and of ‘typical’ design. It was spotted on the dreaded e-bay and was won with a little opposition. Once arrived I was impressed with its condition, it appears to be hardly used. It was duly cleaned up, the nib reset and a new sac fitted. The pen is now in good, working condition and probably not dissimilar to how it left the factory. However it has been rarely used since as I can find no regular job for it.
In Use: The small 1A nibs have seem to have the character of larger nibs and lay a broader line than expected. This is no exception and is pleasantly smooth. The nib appears to have had little use and I would expect it to become smoother with some regular work. There is little flex with which to play but line variation can be achieved, although some effort is required.
The tip is rather flat and so the nib is directional in line width. This may be used attractively and belies the vintage nature of the pen compared with the round tips of modern pens.
The body feels rather small to my hands, the section being too small for my choice. However the pen may be used for long periods with little effort, although compared to larger pens with more flowing nibs effort is noticed.
A reasonable sized sac has been used and the ink capacity is perfectly acceptable for regular use.
The body, cap and section are made from black plastic which appears to shrug scratches well and has a satisfying shine.
The pen feels like it is of good quality but primarily designed for school children, although perhaps teenagers rather than youngsters. It is possible to write very neatly and plentifully but without delusions and pretensions.
Faults: There appear to be few faults to this pen and I expect it to improve with use. It feels like it needs regular use and loving to really come alive; unfortunately mostly it hides in my box of pens gently drying out.
Conclusion: In some ways a rather lonely, forlorn pen. Certainly it is pleasant enough in use and character and would be a good starting point into the world of vintage Conway Stewart pens for anyone. It is entirely practical and useful for regular use and, I think, rather attractive in an understated way. Being black it will be less desired than the coloured and patterned models which, in similar condition will attract a higher price.
However, beyond my pen box I feel it is destined to languish further ‘completing’ a collection somewhere as I would imagine most people would find a more upmarket model for their regular use. Model prejudice indeed.
Posted 11 August 2006 - 14:19
Posted 12 August 2006 - 02:15
Posted 12 August 2006 - 06:40
Nice review. It'd be great to see more vintage pen reviews here - on all brands.
Thank you for the nice review, Greg. I have a few CS vintage pens and I find them to be nice writers with flexy nibs. Very aesthetically pleasing pens, too, even the "plainer" models.
I think you got a very good deal on eBay. Hope the pen gets more use from you over the years!
Edited by Maja, 12 August 2006 - 06:41.