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1928 Oversize Jade Sheaffer Flat Top


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10 replies to this topic

#1 Malcy

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 19:45

This is a review of my oversize Sheaffer flat top in jade radlite.

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Appearance and design 8/10

The Sheaffer flat top is a classic design that just shouts 1920's. It also speaks of solidity and dependability with it's solid lines and large gold nib. While discolouration is an issue, the jade celluloid can look quite close to the real thing.

Construction and quality 9/10

To have survived over eighty years and still be in a good usable condition says a lot about the build standard of this pen. There is a little brassing at the top of the clip but the metalwork is otherwise excellent. The biggest weakness of this pen is the succeptibility of these early plastics to discolouration. However discolouration does not seem to affect the mechanical strength of the plastic and therefore it's usability. This pen has some discolouration as expected but I have seen a lot worse. The ink sac has been replaced at some point and while it is mechanically sound, I will replace it with a silicone sac some time soon to prevent further discolouration. P.S Does the fact that it is now a valued antique make it 'Precious Resin'?

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Weight and dimensions 7/10

This is a larger sized pen - an oversize and I much prefer larger pens though it may be a bit large for some. Despite it's size, the flat top is fairly lightweight being made mostly of plastic. This means that fatigue is not an issue and the pen is comfortable to hold. Posted, this becomes a very long pen. It is 5 1/4" capped but this rises to 7 3/4" posted. I have to say that so far I prefer to use it unposted for the slightly better balance. One good aspect of the size is that it houses a huge ink sac.

Nib and performance 10/10

I took my time looking for a flat top and eventually found this broad nibbed version amongst the majority of flat tops which seem to be equipped with fine nibs. The nib is huge and lays down a nice smooth wet broad line. It even has a bit of spring which far from the norm for a Sheaffer, all my others seem to be nails. This pen and nib make a nice compliment for my vintage Duofold which has a stub nib. Having a broad nib rather than a fine nib makes all the difference for me and it will get plenty of use as a result.

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Filling system 9/10

What can you say about the classic patented Sheaffer lever fill system except that it works very well, is simple, reliable and easy to use.

Cost and value 6/10

This is a difficult one. On the one hand this is a pen that I have been looking for for a while and it is not a disappointment. So the intrinsic value is quite high. However, I am feeling quite annoyed about the way that VAT and Royal Mail handling charges applied added up to nearly 50% extra on top. This somewhat dents the instant enjoyment, but I will quickly forget about the extra costs. I will think twice about ordering from the USA again as it is only goods from this point of origin that I seem to have these charges applied. Sometimes there is no other source.

Conclusion - Final score 49/60

Overall, I am very pleased with my new pen. It's great to have a totally usable example of such an iconic pen in my possession. It's something that I will enjoy for many years to come. :)
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#2 jar

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 20:08

They are really amazing pens aren't they? I was using my Jade last week and have a 5-30 that is really discolored.

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#3 jniforat

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 02:44

wow...what a great color, and look at that B nib! amazing how older pens seem to be the best :)

#4 akrishna59

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 04:56

thanks and i would love to read a review on your vintage duofold too, if you have done one. will hunt it up in the index.

rgds.

krishna.
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#5 Malcy

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 11:51

thanks and i would love to read a review on your vintage duofold too, if you have done one. will hunt it up in the index.

rgds.

krishna.


I haven't done a review of the Duofold yet, but I will when I get time. In the meantime here are some pictures. As you can see it's got quite a lot of discolouration but it is otherwise fine and the nib makes up for everything.

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#6 777

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 15:57

Beautiful pen and great review, thanks!

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#7 EMM

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 20:50

Oversize pens are the best!
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#8 Brian

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 22:50

Shhhhhh. Everyone will soon find out what sleeper pens these are and there will none left for the closet Sheaffer collectors. If anyone asked I'd quietly tell them many of the same points you brought up in your fine review, that the build quality is very high and you can still feel it in these pens today some 80+ years since they were made; the nibs are huge and thick and have a pleasing and straightforward design that's appreciated for its opulence of gold content; and the shape and design of the pen couldn't be simpler...making it a kind of minimalist statement when you compare it to the many FPs competing for attention. Thanks for a fine review.



#9 miko

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 01:31

Great review. I have one question for the group. My flat top tends to be VERY sensitive to any shaking and will drip a drop of ink with very little provocation. I've tried undersizing the sac a bit, etc, but a consistent issue. Interestingly, my early OS Balance does not have this problem and is just about perfect. Do others have this "drooling" issue with the flat top?
Michael

#10 akrishna59

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 04:04

thanks and i would love to read a review on your vintage duofold too, if you have done one. will hunt it up in the index.

rgds.

krishna.


I haven't done a review of the Duofold yet, but I will when I get time. In the meantime here are some pictures. As you can see it's got quite a lot of discolouration but it is otherwise fine and the nib makes up for everything.

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thanks again.

krishna.
ladies and gentlemen write with fountain pens only.

#11 JonesandHoran

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Posted 12 September 2015 - 16:26

Nice find! I was wondering: since this posting, have jade flat tops become more popular?








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