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Stipula Etruria Amber, Alter Ego, Fiesole, and 991


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#1 jigesh

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 16:48

Stipula Etruria Amber, Alter Ego, Fiesole, and 991

No, I can’t deny with a straight face that I did not have any element of showing off these beauties while writing this comparative summary. Ever since I acquired my first old Etruria Amber in silver trim, I kind of got hooked to Etruria series. Regrettably, I had to sell that pen but I knew I would soon be on hunt for more. This post summarizes my comparative impressions of the four Etruria models that are dear to me.
From the size point of view, all these four models are full sized pens that hold a lot of ink. They all are very ergonomic to hold (with or without taper on the grip section) and delight to write with as daily work horses. They weigh differently though due to different piston mechanisms they come with. Here are few of pictures with Montblanc 149 and 146 models to give some idea of comparative lengths and girths.

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Pictures of only these four models of Etrurias side-by-side that I have (thus far):

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

As far as size comparison between these four models is concerned, they mostly differ in their weights. Lengths and girths are more or less close enough. Below are four tables with physical dimensions measured to the best of my abilities (remember, these are handmade, so there will be some variations):

Posted Image

Posted Image

All Etruria piston fillers come with two-tone 18 K solid gold nib with nice springiness and great feel. Like with every pen, the nibs have worked well right out of the box for most here on the FPN, while some needed minor adjustments based on what I gather from various posts here. As for me, I got few nibs modified to suit my liking as described in respective sections below. Nib housings are either screwed in, friction fit or glued with piston assembly. The method that works common to all Etruria models for nib removal (if needed), as mentioned by Wimg in the Italian Pens section of this forum, is to pull in straight horizontal direction with care using rubberized gloves or using thin sheet of rubber wrapped around the nib/feeder before pulling.
Now, brief comments about individual models….


[A] 991 (Etruria’s Tenth Anniversary, 1991, Limited to 991 pens)

Some find it the least showy out of all Etrurias because of earthly tones of pale/off white, grey and mother of pearl shine. The material is beautiful celluloid with distinct camphor smell. I think this material is more prone to ink stains (easy to wash out though) compared to other Etrurias if the exterior stays in contact with ink for prolonged time. Either it has to do with lighter color of the material or with the curing of this celluloid.

The piston mechanism is interesting. Mine has, what looks like, a brass tube-based convertible piston. It can be replaced with a cartridge or converter though I use it just as a piston filler. Don’t fully know yet how to remove the piston, but it’s unlikely that I will ever use it with a converter any way.

Here’s what Stipula has to say about this model:

Ten years after the launch of Etruria, the fountain pen that most reflects our tradition through the years, we are proud to present a special Tenth Anniversary edition: Etruria 991. The pen is turned from a nut-colored celluloid rippled with infinite tones of brown with mother-of-pearl highlights. The gentle, sinuous lines of the pen trace the perfect sphericity of the Etruscan amphorae, which also inspired the decorative elements adorning the body if the pen: three-lobed leaves in silver, cast by the lost-wax method, then chiseled, and lastly highlighted with gold rings.

Models: Fountain pen
Series: Limited to 991 pieces
Material: Celluloid and gold plated sterling silver
Colors: Mottled
Filling system: Stipula convertible piston (it can be replaced with a cartridge or a standard converter)
Nib: Two-tone 18K gold rhodium plated
Nib sizes: EF, F, M, B, OB, OBB, 0.9 Italic, 1.1 Italic, 1.3 Italic, and Special 52 degrees



This pen is lighter compared to, say, Fiesole. As for the looks, you be the judge:


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Close up of the cap ring (and the sterling silver karat marking):

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Close up of the grip section:

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Beauty of the material as seen on the barrel close up (serial number is not as distinctly visible due to lighter/whitish imprint unlike in other Etruria models):

Posted Image

Close up of the piston ring:

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Under direct day light:

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The nib I have is Fine. Writing sample for a Stipula Etruria 18K Two-Tone Fine nib is under the “Alter Ego” model’s impressions later in this post.


[B] Fiesole (Limited to 193 pens)

This is the heaviest Etruria that I have. Not overly heavy and well balanced. Mine has Extra Fine nib though I think broader nibs would work better with heavier pens – just a personal opinion. To me, it has the most appealing aesthetics with intriguing feel of depth. The material is celluloid though not as much Camphor smell as in 991 model. I bought it from Marco at the Novelli Pens.

From the Pen Emporium Website:

Following the success of the limited edition Etruria “Volterra”, Stipula introduces the limited edition Etruria “Fiesole”.

Like the “Volterra”, the new limited edition “Fiesole” takes its name from an ancient Etruscan city, this particular one situated on the hills to the north-east of Florence. In 63 B.C., Catiline, the protector of Fiesole, plotted to overthrow the Roman Empire, a feat recounted by Sallust in his work Bellum Catilinae. Fiesole therefore served as host to one of the Roman Empire’s historical battles to establish one of the strongest political entities of ancient times.

Entirely lathe-turned from beautiful golden brown celluloid veined with blue enriched by elegant silver details, this fountain pen embodies simplicity and style, hallmarks of classic Florentine elegance

Series: Limited to 193 pieces
Material: celluloid
Trim: sterling silver
Filling system: inbuilt piston


Here are pictures:

Under direct day light:

Posted Image

Under normal, indoor light:

Posted Image

The beauty of the material (barrel):

Posted Image

Close up of the nib and grip section:

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Close up of the serial number on the barrel:

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The nib-width is Extra Fine. Stipula Extra Fine has its own charm: smooth, nice variations and springiness. Here’s the writing sample:

Posted Image

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#2 jigesh

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 16:48

[C] Alter Ego
There is no serial number on the barrel and the Stipula imprint is not too visible. Although the color is on bright orange side, I don’t find it showy. Some find it unsuitable for serious board-room meetings. The feel of the celluloid material is very smooth, some faint smell of camphor.

From the Pen Emporium Website:

In the in-built piston version Etruria Alter Ego presents the innovative Stipula SCS (Self Cleaning System) piston that guarantees a perfect cleaning of the reservoir every time that the mechanism is used, thanks to the spinning of the head of the piston together with the spinning of the knob. The SCS piston works in a different way from the other pistons: to fill the pen with ink the knob must be turned counterclockwise; to empty it the knob must be turned clockwise.

Material: celluloid
Trim: sterling silver
Filling system: inbuilt piston



Under direct day light (or flash):


Posted Image

Posted Image

Under normal ambient light (or without flash):

Posted Image

The nib and grip section:

Posted Image

The feeder (that is the same for all Etrurias):

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Writing sample (18K Fine nib):

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Close up of the writing sample:

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[D] Amber

This one is an old amber model with Celluloid Acetate material. I find this material almost 3D like; nice depth and great luster. Although there’s a serial number on the barrel, strictly speaking, this was not a limited edition pen. Stipula stopped imprinting serial number on the barrel since 2005. The trim is solid gold (9K) and that makes is “limited” so to say. The piston mechanism is regular, older style - a tube inside the barrel to avoid direct contact with ink. As a result, this older model is lighter in weight than modern models that would weigh like an Alter Ego does. The grip section is relatively straight – no sharp taper. I gave detailed impressions on a similar model (but with silver trim) in past, so without further ado, here are the pictures:

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The lustrous material (barrel):

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9K Carat Mark on the cap ring:

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Nib/grip section:

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Originally, the pen had 18K Extra Fine nib and wrote like this:

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I sent it to Deb Kinney to regrind it as EF Cursive Italic. The result is a very smooth nib with some line variations (obviously, not as distinct line variation as a cursive pen reground from, say, a broad nib):

Posted Image


Summary:

All of these models are very beautiful in real life. My photographic and lighting skills leave a lot to be desired, but I tried. These pens can be used as daily work horses and hold a lot of ink. The piston mechanisms work smoothly no matter what type each pen come with. These pens are not cheap but will give immense pleasure to the buyer no matter which of these models you choose. Those who have never tried an Extra Fine 18K nib from Stipula, I would strongly suggest trying one out unless you are a die-hard fan of broader nib widths. Those who hate heavier pens and have smaller hands, should try older Etruria Amber or 991 instead of Fiesole, for example. This is of course, if you could resist the beauty of a Fiesole. Another drawback is, one Etruria will never be enough.

#3 Brian

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 19:05

Enjoyed reading this well researched series of articles. Colors are vibrant and especially like the daylight and indoor light shots they way a user would see them.

#4 SlipyNaricis2112

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 20:58

This is one of, if not the most thorough review I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Opulent pens.

#5 jde

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 21:04

Love the details and the photos! A review after my own heart. And I'm not a Stipula fan....
Posted Image
 
...writing only requires focus, and something to write on. —John August
...and a pen that's comfortable in the hand.—moi

#6 jandrese

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 09:23

Stunning pens and great review, thanks for sharing.

#7 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 09:42

Nice review :thumbup: I own an older model erituria with the convertible piston as well as a 991. I am looking to buy an old blue ocean eritruria and an eritruria nuda.
Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time

#8 jigesh

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 10:47

Thank you, all.


...I own an older model erituria with the convertible piston ...



Yes, I remember reading your nice handwritten review for this pen. Beautiful pen!

#9 bugmd

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 01:53

You sir have done a stunning review of four very handsome pens. I am graced to have four also, the classic amber piston filled, the nuda with silver trim, the 991 and the d'Invernos. I would not dream of posting any of my images after your review. Makes me want to rush out and get more. Actually do want the Alter Ego.
A. Don's Axiom "It's gonna be used when I sell it, might as well be used when I buy it."

#10 jigesh

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 05:14

...Makes me want to rush out and get more. ..


Thank you. The same with me! There are rumors of a new Etruria, perhaps in blue tone, in the Italian pens section of this forum...

#11 alvarez57

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 07:23

Gorgeous, gorgeous pens! I have stipula and their nibs are delightful to write with. Thank you so much.

sonia alvarez

 

fpn_1379481230__chinkinreduced.jpg

 

 


#12 novelli

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 18:46

If you like the celluloid of the Etruria 10th anniversary I suggest to take a look at the new Stipula Moresi limited edition made with the same celluloid and very similar to the Nettuno Superba.
Have fun,
Marco
www.novelli.it

Stipula Etruria Amber, Alter Ego, Fiesole, and 991

No, I can’t deny with a straight face that I did not have any element of showing off these beauties while writing this comparative summary. Ever since I acquired my first old Etruria Amber in silver trim, I kind of got hooked to Etruria series. Regrettably, I had to sell that pen but I knew I would soon be on hunt for more. This post summarizes my comparative impressions of the four Etruria models that are dear to me.
From the size point of view, all these four models are full sized pens that hold a lot of ink. They all are very ergonomic to hold (with or without taper on the grip section) and delight to write with as daily work horses. They weigh differently though due to different piston mechanisms they come with. Here are few of pictures with Montblanc 149 and 146 models to give some idea of comparative lengths and girths.

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Pictures of only these four models of Etrurias side-by-side that I have (thus far):

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

As far as size comparison between these four models is concerned, they mostly differ in their weights. Lengths and girths are more or less close enough. Below are four tables with physical dimensions measured to the best of my abilities (remember, these are handmade, so there will be some variations):

Posted Image

Posted Image

All Etruria piston fillers come with two-tone 18 K solid gold nib with nice springiness and great feel. Like with every pen, the nibs have worked well right out of the box for most here on the FPN, while some needed minor adjustments based on what I gather from various posts here. As for me, I got few nibs modified to suit my liking as described in respective sections below. Nib housings are either screwed in, friction fit or glued with piston assembly. The method that works common to all Etruria models for nib removal (if needed), as mentioned by Wimg in the Italian Pens section of this forum, is to pull in straight horizontal direction with care using rubberized gloves or using thin sheet of rubber wrapped around the nib/feeder before pulling.
Now, brief comments about individual models….


[A] 991 (Etruria’s Tenth Anniversary, 1991, Limited to 991 pens)

Some find it the least showy out of all Etrurias because of earthly tones of pale/off white, grey and mother of pearl shine. The material is beautiful celluloid with distinct camphor smell. I think this material is more prone to ink stains (easy to wash out though) compared to other Etrurias if the exterior stays in contact with ink for prolonged time. Either it has to do with lighter color of the material or with the curing of this celluloid.

The piston mechanism is interesting. Mine has, what looks like, a brass tube-based convertible piston. It can be replaced with a cartridge or converter though I use it just as a piston filler. Don’t fully know yet how to remove the piston, but it’s unlikely that I will ever use it with a converter any way.

Here’s what Stipula has to say about this model:

Ten years after the launch of Etruria, the fountain pen that most reflects our tradition through the years, we are proud to present a special Tenth Anniversary edition: Etruria 991. The pen is turned from a nut-colored celluloid rippled with infinite tones of brown with mother-of-pearl highlights. The gentle, sinuous lines of the pen trace the perfect sphericity of the Etruscan amphorae, which also inspired the decorative elements adorning the body if the pen: three-lobed leaves in silver, cast by the lost-wax method, then chiseled, and lastly highlighted with gold rings.

Models: Fountain pen
Series: Limited to 991 pieces
Material: Celluloid and gold plated sterling silver
Colors: Mottled
Filling system: Stipula convertible piston (it can be replaced with a cartridge or a standard converter)
Nib: Two-tone 18K gold rhodium plated
Nib sizes: EF, F, M, B, OB, OBB, 0.9 Italic, 1.1 Italic, 1.3 Italic, and Special 52 degrees



This pen is lighter compared to, say, Fiesole. As for the looks, you be the judge:


Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Close up of the cap ring (and the sterling silver karat marking):

Posted Image

Close up of the grip section:

Posted Image

Beauty of the material as seen on the barrel close up (serial number is not as distinctly visible due to lighter/whitish imprint unlike in other Etruria models):

Posted Image

Close up of the piston ring:

Posted Image

Under direct day light:

Posted Image

The nib I have is Fine. Writing sample for a Stipula Etruria 18K Two-Tone Fine nib is under the “Alter Ego” model’s impressions later in this post.


[B] Fiesole (Limited to 193 pens)

This is the heaviest Etruria that I have. Not overly heavy and well balanced. Mine has Extra Fine nib though I think broader nibs would work better with heavier pens – just a personal opinion. To me, it has the most appealing aesthetics with intriguing feel of depth. The material is celluloid though not as much Camphor smell as in 991 model. I bought it from Marco at the Novelli Pens.

From the Pen Emporium Website:

Following the success of the limited edition Etruria “Volterra”, Stipula introduces the limited edition Etruria “Fiesole”.

Like the “Volterra”, the new limited edition “Fiesole” takes its name from an ancient Etruscan city, this particular one situated on the hills to the north-east of Florence. In 63 B.C., Catiline, the protector of Fiesole, plotted to overthrow the Roman Empire, a feat recounted by Sallust in his work Bellum Catilinae. Fiesole therefore served as host to one of the Roman Empire’s historical battles to establish one of the strongest political entities of ancient times.

Entirely lathe-turned from beautiful golden brown celluloid veined with blue enriched by elegant silver details, this fountain pen embodies simplicity and style, hallmarks of classic Florentine elegance

Series: Limited to 193 pieces
Material: celluloid
Trim: sterling silver
Filling system: inbuilt piston


Here are pictures:

Under direct day light:

Posted Image

Under normal, indoor light:

Posted Image

The beauty of the material (barrel):

Posted Image

Close up of the nib and grip section:

Posted Image

Close up of the serial number on the barrel:

Posted Image

The nib-width is Extra Fine. Stipula Extra Fine has its own charm: smooth, nice variations and springiness. Here’s the writing sample:

Posted Image


visit us at Novelli.it

#13 Albert26

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 11:30

I have ordered an Etruria Ambrosia piston filler (only 24 made!), and I can not wait to have it. But mine comes with a single tone (yellow) gold nib. I am struggling not to give in to temptation and buy an 1991 with a bicolor gold nib as well. I should wait until next year....  but maybe next year I don't find it available!  Too many pens to choose....

 

It looks like nowadays Stipula makes the most beautiful celluloids

 

Enjoy your beautiful celluloid pens!


Edited by Albert26, 13 March 2017 - 11:34.







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