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Conklin Mark Twain Crescent


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#1 jandrese

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 18:13

This is a review of the new Conklin Mark Twain Crescent fountain pen with medium nib. This is not the limited edition pen produced some years ago but a new pen from the Yafa owned Conklin company. As an aside, I have three modern Conklin fountain pens and this one is by far the best. I think Yafa has had a very positive impact on the company. But back to the pen at hand. This is a full sized pen similar in size to a Pelikan 800 but much lighter because it lacks a brass piston mechanism. What it does have, however, is a crescent filling system where depressing the crescent actually squeezes a rubber ink sac. Yikes, a non-cartridge/converter filling pen! Even better this is a relatively cheap pen; Fahrney’s and everybody else is selling this, the green/gold marble pen for $132. The material is claimed to be cellulose acetate and the metal parts are silver-plated. The nib is usually described as two-tone 14 k gold but the pens seen online, and my pen, sport steel nibs.

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This is a very unassuming pen that I was dubious of at first. I mean, a cheapish crescent filler with a steel nib, it must suck, right? Ummm, no way. This is actually a first rate pen and an excellent writer that I am very impressed with. Construction quality and fit and finish are very good. The clip is strong and functional. The material is attractive, has good transparency, is lightweight, and feels good in the hand. As nice detail is a detent on the barrel that locks in place the ring that prevents the crescent from being inadvertently depressed. Heck, the big cap even posts securely without throwing off the balance too much. The section easily unscrews exposing a huge ink sac that can easily be replaced when the time comes. All in all this is a pretty impressive pen for the money.

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The steel nib was perhaps the best surprise. My other Conklin pens, a Glider and a Nozac, are really good looking pens that are not very good writers. Well, that is not fair, they are now decent writers but I had to modify the nibs, feeds, etc. to make this happen. With the new pen, however, the experience was totally different. This pen wrote great right out of the box. I’ve filled it twice now with Noodler’s 1870 Dallas black ink (a Dromgoole’s special made for the 2007 Dallas pen show), which I think is Noodler’s basic black ink or something very similar. At least with this ink the Mark Twain Crescent provides a sumptuous writing experience without variation. That is, the nib does not flex so line width does not change, and the pen starts writing immediately even after sitting around a long time. In addition, the pen has proved leak proof on cross-country flights, which is a nice bonus for a pen with an ink sac. This pen proves that steel nibs can be smooth, excellent writers.

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There are few pens I’d recommend to novices or to those looking to spend relatively small amounts. Amazingly to me, this is one of those pens. To all you dealers out there don’t be afraid to push this pen. And to all you pen nuts you owe it to yourself to try this pen. It just might save you from spending more on a crappier pen. I’m thinking of getting another one.

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#2 TopPens

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 19:32

Great review and I like your choice from the patterns available. I think more people should give this pen a chance.

#3 Ed Ronax

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 11:09

Excellent review, thanks.
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#4 seymour

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 12:25

I bought the same pen under the previous owner of Conklin. It has a steel nib but it looks slightly different, probably a different manufacture. It writes well, but I have not yet succeeded in filling it with a lot of ink. It needs refilling often.

What am I doing wrong?

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#5 jandrese

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 14:45

I bought the same pen under the previous owner of Conklin. It has a steel nib but it looks slightly different, probably a different manufacture. It writes well, but I have not yet succeeded in filling it with a lot of ink. It needs refilling often.

What am I doing wrong?

Chaim



That is hard to say. Perhaps the ink sac in your pen is small. Mine runs nearly the full length of the pen and holds a lot of ink. Submerge the nib and part of the section, depress the crescent, wait ten seconds and repeat if you want. Good luck.

#6 shaqin93

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 15:07

Nice! I don't like the Mark Twain signature on the capband, though.

#7 pmsalty

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 02:49

Nice review. Thanks
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#8 razr

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 03:54

Good review! I bought one of these a few years back and the only thing I noticed is that for some reason the ink comes through a little bit darker...wierd...

#9 jde

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 13:30

Agree this is an under-appreciated pen! Nice photos btw.
 
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#10 discplayer

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 13:44

I've been semi-coveting this pen for a couple months. They got me with the PR stating it was an exact duplicate of Mark Twain's pen, yada yada yada. Thanks so much for a great review and excellent pictures.

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#11 jniforat

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 13:07

oooo i want one of these :)

#12 Patrick C

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 21:38

Thanks for the review and now I just have to deal with the temptation. I have been looking at it and the new Endura and liking what I saw - good to hear the positive experience. Thanks

#13 PatientType

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 23:33

These are good pens. Very wet writer and IMHO beautiful to look at. I had one just like the one pictured but sold it when I ran across a fancier version on Ebay.

Conklin produced many, many pens as part of their Mark Twain series:
There were expensive limited editions made with gold and silver sleeves, there were celluloid versions with solid silver bands & clips, there were black ones with yellow imprinting and limited editions in various colors and patterns, some of these higher-level pens had solid silver clips & rings, some had filled silver, there were pens like the one pictured but with 18K and 14K nibs, there were these steel nib pens in the stained glass-looking patterns in red/drk.brown, green/gold & blue/yellow with crescent filler, and there were the cheaper steel nib with solid color and converter.

The Conklin Mark Twain I kept is one of the celluloid butterscotch crescents with solid silver furniture. It has a two-color 14K nib and right now it's loaded with Apache Sunset. Here's a photo...

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This one's likely to stay in my fountain pen collection so long as there is a collection.

#14 jandrese

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 02:00

These are good pens. Very wet writer and IMHO beautiful to look at. I had one just like the one pictured but sold it when I ran across a fancier version on Ebay.

Conklin produced many, many pens as part of their Mark Twain series:
There were expensive limited editions made with gold and silver sleeves, there were celluloid versions with solid silver bands & clips, there were black ones with yellow imprinting and limited editions in various colors and patterns, some of these higher-level pens had solid silver clips & rings, some had filled silver, there were pens like the one pictured but with 18K and 14K nibs, there were these steel nib pens in the stained glass-looking patterns in red/drk.brown, green/gold & blue/yellow with crescent filler, and there were the cheaper steel nib with solid color and converter.

The Conklin Mark Twain I kept is one of the celluloid butterscotch crescents with solid silver furniture. It has a two-color 14K nib and right now it's loaded with Apache Sunset. Here's a photo...

Posted Image

This one's likely to stay in my fountain pen collection so long as there is a collection.



Nice one!

#15 Lorna Reed

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 15:12

Thanks for the review and now I just have to deal with the temptation. I have been looking at it and the new Endura and liking what I saw - good to hear the positive experience. Thanks


My new Endura arrived yesterday so it's too soon for a proper review - these are just a few early thoughts-
This pen is VERY light in weight which disappointed me a little when I took it out of the box. I got the Patriot red one which is marble-ised red, white and blue. I was also disappointed that mine did not come with a converter, although the e-bay description indicated that one was included - I have contacted the seller to query this but have not had a reply yet.On hisnibs.com website it is definitely shown with a converter. Fortunately I had a converter which fits. The nib is steel with a gold coloured oval and 'Conklin, Toledo USA' etched on it. The nib is smooth enough but not the smoothest I have. It seems to write well.
On my pen, near where the clip joins the cap, was what looked like dried adhesive. I have managed to remove this with Peek metal polish and elbow grease!
This is a fairly big pen - approx. 5 3/4" capped.
I got mine for $49.00 + $28.00 shipping + £16.48 custom charges!
The RRP is $115 but most places seem to have it priced between $90 - £95 so I got it at a good price.
I'm not sure this will ever become one of my favourites but it is an interesting addition to my small collection.
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#16 QM2

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 15:22

I love this pen and have it in several versions. I agree with Chaim about the need to frequently refill; I think the ink sack in the first batch they made was small. Otherwise it is a flawless, wonderfully-performing pen.

#17 jar

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 16:45

I was also disappointed that mine did not come with a converter, although the e-bay description indicated that one was included - I have contacted the seller to query this but have not had a reply yet.


Did you look under the insert in the box?

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#18 Lorna Reed

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 18:21

I was also disappointed that mine did not come with a converter, although the e-bay description indicated that one was included - I have contacted the seller to query this but have not had a reply yet.


Did you look under the insert in the box?


Hi Jar - yes I did look under the insert. There is a place for the converter to fit, but no converter in mine. don't know if I was just unlucky.
Whatever is true,whatever is noble,whatever is right,whatever is pure,whatever is lovely,whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.
Philippians 4.8

#19 Lorna Reed

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 19:35

Thanks for the review and now I just have to deal with the temptation. I have been looking at it and the new Endura and liking what I saw - good to hear the positive experience. Thanks


My new Endura arrived yesterday so it's too soon for a proper review - these are just a few early thoughts-
This pen is VERY light in weight which disappointed me a little when I took it out of the box. I got the Patriot red one which is marble-ised red, white and blue. I was also disappointed that mine did not come with a converter, although the e-bay description indicated that one was included - I have contacted the seller to query this but have not had a reply yet.On hisnibs.com website it is definitely shown with a converter. Fortunately I had a converter which fits. The nib is steel with a gold coloured oval and 'Conklin, Toledo USA' etched on it. The nib is smooth enough but not the smoothest I have. It seems to write well.
On my pen, near where the clip joins the cap, was what looked like dried adhesive. I have managed to remove this with Peek metal polish and elbow grease!
This is a fairly big pen - approx. 5 3/4" capped.
I got mine for $49.00 + $28.00 shipping + £16.48 custom charges!
The RRP is $115 but most places seem to have it priced between $90 - £95 so I got it at a good price.
I'm not sure this will ever become one of my favourites but it is an interesting addition to my small collection.

UPDATE - just had an e-mail from the seller to say the pen should have come with a converter and he is mailing one to me. :thumbup:
Whatever is true,whatever is noble,whatever is right,whatever is pure,whatever is lovely,whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.
Philippians 4.8

#20 CoolFool

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 18:54

Thanks for the review! I have one and love it with just one complaint. It's a very difficult starter with any black ink. Any blue ink just flows, but I'm a little neurotic, I suppose, and I want my black M.T.C.F. to have black ink in it - also gives a more retro look to the writing, which is fun. So I'm now looking for a black ink that flows. You mentioned Noodler's Dallas 1870 black. So,I'll give that a try. You may have solved my problem. Thanks!
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