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1953 Parker Duofold Review

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6 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_jabalczar_*

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 14:08

First Review. I just received a 1953 Parker Duofold fountain pen. It's delightful. Here's a mini review. The actual pen:

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Black resin, gold trimming, with an iridium tipped 14K gold nib. The condition is mint. It's very hard to believe it's 58 years old. I was fortunate to purchase it from ebay for £53 from a seller called snav1517 (UK based). I'm not affiliated in anyway, just a very happy customer. He does sell high end used fountain pens, that are serviced, and in unbelievable condition. Considering a new Duofold is £290, I'm very pleased. If you want a vintage pen at a good price I'd have a look at his offerings.

Size: This is the demi model. It is the same width as a full size Duofold, though about 0.5 inches shorter. I'm over 6ft tall, and if the lid is posted it fits fine in my hands, neither too heavy, nor too light, being posted does not affect the balance of the pen, as I've experienced with some pens. If a person were smaller, or perhaps a lady, then it would be just fine unposted. A good all rounder for size, weight and balance.

The Nib:

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This might be of special relevance to lefties like me. I've struggled to find a fountain pen nib that is smooth. I think this is because I push the pen across the paper, rather than pull like righty. I've tried Lamy and Pelikan, and while I really wanted to like them, the nibs were too scratchy. Parker claim on their website that their nib is good for left and right handed people, so I gave their cheapish Parker Frontier fountain pen a try, and it was a revelation. This is what made me want to try a Duofold.

The nib, being gold, has just the right amount of flex, certainly more than the Parker steel nibs. It is a very smooth writer (more so than my experience with Pelikan), neither wet nor dry, with just the right amount of feedback (no scratchiness) that allows for good control when forming letters.

It's a medium nib, but lays down a line that is just slightly thicker than a Lamy fine. I'll call it a fine medium. As you can see from the picture (in my opinion) the nib is gorgeous in an understated, classic way.

It's wonderful, wonderful nib.

Filling and Ink:

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Again, considering the age, the aeromatic filling mechanism is in as new condition. Four squeezes fill up the large bladder. I've used Parker Quink Black ink (seeing as it's a Parker pen), which I think is a little underrated. I've tried Herbin Pearle Noire, Lamy Black, and Diamine Onyx. The Pearle Noire perhaps looks best dry (for my style of writing), but the Quink drys very very fast, and for a lefty with a hooked writing style I found Quink to be what I need.

For paper I use Pukka Pad Vellum 80g, which is a gorgeous vellum colour, especially useful for dyslexics. Looks timeless and there is no glare. The picture of the vellum is below, but my camera hasn't done justice to the colour. I've tried Clairefontaine (Triomphe) and Rodia, but personally prefer the Pukka Vellum. Regardless of the smoothness of the paper, I'm yet to find a better looking lined A4/legal paper.

I hope you like the review.


Attached Files

Edited by watch_art, 19 March 2011 - 17:03.

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#2 watch_art


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Posted 19 March 2011 - 17:04

Nice review! Why don't you sign up so you can do more on FPN? Hang out and chat about pens for a while!

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#3 Brian


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Posted 19 March 2011 - 20:05

Great photographs. I've never been interested in these English Duofolds until lately. They have a great classic design and appear to have great writing performance from the few I've seen. Congratulations on your new pen.

#4 breaker



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Posted 26 March 2011 - 15:29

nice review.thanks!
Cogito ergo sum

#5 pmsalty



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Posted 26 March 2011 - 15:40

Thanks for the review!
When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty -Thomas Jefferson

#6 empyrean


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Posted 26 March 2011 - 18:41

Excellent Review and pics! What a find! And in such remarkable condition! :thumbup:
empyrean Conklin,Stipula Pyrite, Bon Voyage & Tuscany Dreams Siena, Levengers, Sailor 1911,Pelikan M200, Bexley BX802, AoLiWen Music Notes pen, Jinhao's,1935 Parker Deluxe Challenger, 1930s Eversharp Gold Seal RingTop, 1940s Sheaffer Tuckaway, 1944 Sheaffer Triumph, Visconti Van Gogh midi, Esties!(SJ, T, and J),Cross Townsend Medalist & Aventura, 1930s Mentmore Autoflow, A bunch of Conway-Stewarts 84, Platinum 3776 Chartres Blue(med); Montegrappa Elmo (broad nib), Delta "The Journal" (med nib), Conklin Yellowstone (med nib)

#7 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 11:33

great pen :thumbup: english duofolds are indeed outstanding value for money
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

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