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Help Identifying This Possibly German Pen?


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#1 Gobblecup

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 13:04

I just made a deal on this pen with another great member on the board here. Seeing a chance at a nice looking nib, and pretty celluloid I went in, but I would like to know if anyone could help identify the actual make of the pen. All I have to go on is the inscription PERLES, but its probable this is just someone's name. :hmm1:



Anyway, I would appreciate any help in identification! :blush:
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#2 penandbeyond

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 13:12

I just made a deal on this pen with another great member on the board here. Seeing a chance at a nice looking nib, and pretty celluloid I went in, but I would like to know if anyone could help identify the actual make of the pen. All I have to go on is the inscription PERLES, but its probable this is just someone's name. :hmm1:



Anyway, I would appreciate any help in identification! :blush:


The nib is a Tropen nib.

#3 Gobblecup

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 13:15

Would the pen be a Tropen model as well?
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#4 Kaweco

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 13:40

The nib is a Tropen nib.

No. The nib is a DEGUSSA nib. Lexaf is a very reliable seller and when he discribes the nib as DEGUSSA, it is a DEGUSSA. The "Perles" charakters look like a personal engraving
Kind Regards

Edited by Kaweco, 12 April 2011 - 13:43.


#5 yus2001fr

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 13:54


The nib is a Tropen nib.

No. The nib is a DEGUSSA nib. Lexaf is a very reliable seller and when he discribes the nib as DEGUSSA, it is a DEGUSSA. The "Perles" charakters look like a personal engraving
Kind Regards


I confirm, it's a Degussa (Deutsch Gold Und Silber ScheideAnstalt) nib, but I have no idea for the brand of this beautyfull pen.
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#6 Gobblecup

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 13:54

Thanks for the response Kaweco, I think for now at least I trust the nib to be a Degussa.


Hopefully someone else may recognize the pen and identify the rest of.
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#7 Gobblecup

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 13:59

The nib is a Tropen nib.

No. The nib is a DEGUSSA nib. Lexaf is a very reliable seller and when he discribes the nib as DEGUSSA, it is a DEGUSSA. The "Perles" charakters look like a personal engraving
Kind Regards


I confirm, it's a Degussa (Deutsch Gold Und Silber ScheideAnstalt) nib, but I have no idea for the brand of this beautyfull pen.


Doesn't German have a wonderful knack for making things short and simple? :roflmho:

Und des Bayerische sprach ist mehr schön! :bunny01:
Gobblecup ~


#8 Lexaf

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 15:47

No. The nib is a DEGUSSA nib. Lexaf is a very reliable seller and when he discribes the nib as DEGUSSA, it is a DEGUSSA. The "Perles" charakters look like a personal engraving
Kind Regards


Thank you Kaweco for your nice words! Missed you at the Köln pen show last Saturday (April 09)!

Being the seller of this pen I might add my 2 cents to this thread.

Personally I think 'PERLES' is what we nowadays would call an OEM brand.
A lot of fountain pen sellers and stationary shops had small amounts of fountain pens made by the bigger and sometimes well known factories. Sometimes these pen shops just ordered the different parts, like barrels, caps, clips, nibs etc. and had them assembled locally. Often these pens were given a 'fantasy' name or a name that reflected the business or the company name of the shop owner.

A good example of these OEM pens in the Netherlands is the well known company P.W. Akkerman (still in business, they celebrated their 100 year jubilee in 2010). From the 1930's to well into the 1960's Akkerman had pens produced with their own imprint (P.W. Akkerman - Den Haag). The production companies that made the pens for them were often well known companies like Osmia, Böhler and -later- also Lamy.

Also in UK the famous Conway Stuart company made many different OEM brands and launched different trade marks, apart from their own main brand. W.H. Smith, a still existing large stationary chain in UK had CS produce a lot of different models in the early days (1920's) and they gave them all kind of fantasy names. A more official well known Conway Stuart subbrand is 'Le Tigre', that was made especially for the Belgian market. Dutch F P collectors also know a brand "Boston Trade Mark". These were made in England, probably by Burnham, but almost exclusively sold in the Netherlands.

Small individual, for a long time not longer existing penshops did the same often with very small quantities, sometimes even only one lot with just one model. Often the pens were brought on the market without any brand name at all.
Elsewhere on this board, in the For Sale section I offer a pen with the brand name: IFA luxe, this is almost for sure an OEM brand from a relatively small firm but, when one looks at the filling system it could as well have been made in the Kaweco factory.
So, this 'PERLES' pen - French for 'Pearls', could be in this category. When more similar specimen with this name will show up, it confirms my theory on this pen. But it could also have happened that the original buyer was very charmed by someone he considered her as the Pearl in his life, and called her and the pen he gave her: PERLES....
How romantic... Just a fantasy...

Cheers, Lexaf

#9 Gobblecup

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 16:02

No. The nib is a DEGUSSA nib. Lexaf is a very reliable seller and when he discribes the nib as DEGUSSA, it is a DEGUSSA. The "Perles" charakters look like a personal engraving
Kind Regards


Thank you Kaweco for your nice words! Missed you at the Köln pen show last Saturday (April 09)!

Being the seller of this pen I might add my 2 cents to this thread.

Personally I think 'PERLES' is what we nowadays would call an OEM brand.
A lot of fountain pen sellers and stationary shops had small amounts of fountain pens made by the bigger and sometimes well known factories. Sometimes these pen shops just ordered the different parts, like barrels, caps, clips, nibs etc. and had them assembled locally. Often these pens were given a 'fantasy' name or a name that reflected the business or the company name of the shop owner.

A good example of these OEM pens in the Netherlands is the well known company P.W. Akkerman (still in business, they celebrated their 100 year jubilee in 2010). From the 1930's to well into the 1960's Akkerman had pens produced with their own imprint (P.W. Akkerman - Den Haag). The production companies that made the pens for them were often well known companies like Osmia, Böhler and -later- also Lamy.

Also in UK the famous Conway Stuart company made many different OEM brands and launched different trade marks, apart from their own main brand. W.H. Smith, a still existing large stationary chain in UK had CS produce a lot of different models in the early days (1920's) and they gave them all kind of fantasy names. A more official well known Conway Stuart subbrand is 'Le Tigre', that was made especially for the Belgian market. Dutch F P collectors also know a brand "Boston Trade Mark". These were made in England, probably by Burnham, but almost exclusively sold in the Netherlands.

Small individual, for a long time not longer existing penshops did the same often with very small quantities, sometimes even only one lot with just one model. Often the pens were brought on the market without any brand name at all.
Elsewhere on this board, in the For Sale section I offer a pen with the brand name: IFA luxe, this is almost for sure an OEM brand from a relatively small firm but, when one looks at the filling system it could as well have been made in the Kaweco factory.
So, this 'PERLES' pen - French for 'Pearls', could be in this category. When more similar specimen with this name will show up, it confirms my theory on this pen. But it could also have happened that the original buyer was very charmed by someone he considered her as the Pearl in his life, and called her and the pen he gave her: PERLES....
How romantic... Just a fantasy...

Cheers, Lexaf


Thanks for chiming in Lex!

Now that you explain OEM Pens, it makes sense that this pen could be such a boutique name, and if so, probably a Dutch one?

As I bought the pen knowing that there may never be a way of knowing the actual origins of the pen, its not as if I am going to lose sleep over it. But it does present a fun mystique to the pen, and depending on how long it takes for an owner of a similar pen to show up, I may have a good time searching for more information about this pen. And history is half the fun with vintage pens!

Thanks for lending your knowledge!

I wonder why this particular nib (Degussa) was put on this pen? Unless it was a modification you made, it is likely the pen had originally been outfitted with it. That would fit in with your OEM Theory, no? The Degussa nib is no doubt at least as old as the rest of the pen, so I would think there is a chance they have been the same all along.

Thoughts?
Gobblecup ~


#10 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 17:33

Osmia was just a pen company, it did not have a Office Supply company backing it like Soennecken, Mount Blank, Pelikan and later Geha.

Osmia always had financial problems. Bought up by Parker and re-sold in a year...1929, ran by Lamy.

In the thirties Osmia sold it's nib making machines to Degussa.
Shortly later Farber Castell started investing in Osmia. So it appears that Osmia got new nib machines.

The older Osmia nib machines made the great Osmia 'flexi' Supra nib and the very good semi-flex regular nib. The new ones did too.

I have some five Dugussa nibs. A couple are regular, a couple are semi-flex and one is Full Flex.
I also have Bock semi-flex nibs.

Degussa like Bock or the much smaller Rupp made only nibs.
Degussa can be very good nibs. Not all are semi-flex or better. They were made with the same machines as the Osmia Supra and regular nibs.

It is absolutely not a second tier nib, any more than a Bock.
One of my best nibs is a Rupp.

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany      Info on Bock nibs

 

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#11 Lexaf

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 17:45

And history is half the fun with vintage pens!

I strongly agree on that one! :clap1:

I wonder why this particular nib (Degussa) was put on this pen? Unless it was a modification you made, it is likely the pen had originally been outfitted with it. That would fit in with your OEM Theory, no? The Degussa nib is no doubt at least as old as the rest of the pen, so I would think there is a chance they have been the same all along.


Thoughts about the nib.

Sometimes I will replace a nib in a vintage pen. Always for quality reasons and if possible a nib that is from the same era. In this case the pen came with this nib, so I agree it was probably an original part of this pen. But one never knows for sure with pens that had 1, or 2 or who knows how many earlier users. This one I found about two yours ago on a Belgian street market for antiques and vintage stuff, so theoretically the nib also might have been a replacement mounted by a former owner. But nib and pen wonderfully fit together, technically as well as historically, so who bothers? And, more important, you'll experience it is a great writer....

Dutch? As I found the pen in Belgium, I do not think so. The so called OEM brands ( you say 'boutique pens', very appropriate term!), with a Dutch background are practically only found in the Netherlands. Some times I 'hunt' on Belgian (street) markets and most of the time I will find German, French or British stuff, sometimes Belgian (trademark) pens - in that order. Now and then a Parker, Waterman or Sheaffer, seldom other USA material. Now and then cheap Chinese and Italian school stuff. But in Belgium, never Dutch, never Italian Quality material. But never say never.....:unsure:

Edited by Lexaf, 12 April 2011 - 17:51.


#12 Kaweco

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 19:55

Thoughts about the engraving
I think "PERLES" is an engraving made by a Pelikan engraving machine with the standard capital sans serif charakters. You can feel the surface or using a loupe possibly see the differense compared to an imprint. Engravings were made by mill-cut with a fast rotating chiesel. The operator transferes the charakters and fills in a colored paste. After drying the fountain pen is polished to remove the paste from the surface. The surface remains smooth. An engraving of one part costs some minutes which is too much for a mass production. The color of your engraving is white.
An imprint is made by a negative brass clichee which is heated electrical. A band coated with a heat resistent material like silver or gold bronce runs along the hot metal stamp and leaves its color in the imprint charakters. I had never seen imprints other than silver, gold or blanc. Melting material drives out and leaves a not 100% smooth surface around the edges of the charakters. You can feel it when you rub carefully across the imprint. A good stamping operator could make 20 - 30 imprints per min, much better for the mass production.
I think your pen was a single part of a collection from a whole seller or a general agent from any producer. He engraved the styles or designs on the fountainpens in his display which he offered to his clients. Actually the color of your fountainpen is called "pearl" or "black and pearl" in English, "Hellperl" or "Schwarzperl" in German or possibly "Perles" in French. French is not only spoken in France. Switzerland and Belgium are partially French languaged. (as Lexaf said" pen was found in Belgium")
It is possible that the fp is a high quality product but it doesn`t carry a trade mark because a buyer would insert his own commercial imprint.
Degussa produced gold nibs again after ww2 since 1948. Hermann Böhler e.g. used Degussa nibs.
Kind Regards
Thomas

Edited by Kaweco, 12 April 2011 - 20:02.


#13 Lexaf

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 21:16

Thoughts about the engraving
I think "PERLES" is an engraving made by a Pelikan engraving machine with the standard capital sans serif charakters. You can feel the surface or using a loupe possibly see the differense compared to an imprint. Engravings were made by mill-cut with a fast rotating chiesel. The operator transferes the charakters and fills in a colored paste. After drying the fountain pen is polished to remove the paste from the surface. The surface remains smooth. An engraving of one part costs some minutes which is too much for a mass production. The color of your engraving is white.
An imprint is made by a negative brass clichee which is heated electrical. A band coated with a heat resistent material like silver or gold bronce runs along the hot metal stamp and leaves its color in the imprint charakters. I had never seen imprints other than silver, gold or blanc. Melting material drives out and leaves a not 100% smooth surface around the edges of the charakters. You can feel it when you rub carefully across the imprint. A good stamping operator could make 20 - 30 imprints per min, much better for the mass production.
I think your pen was a single part of a collection from a whole seller or a general agent from any producer. He engraved the styles or designs on the fountainpens in his display which he offered to his clients. Actually the color of your fountainpen is called "pearl" or "black and pearl" in English, "Hellperl" or "Schwarzperl" in German or possibly "Perles" in French. French is not only spoken in France. Switzerland and Belgium are partially French languaged. (as Lexaf said" pen was found in Belgium")
It is possible that the fp is a high quality product but it doesn`t carry a trade mark because a buyer would insert his own commercial imprint.
Degussa produced gold nibs again after ww2 since 1948. Hermann Böhler e.g. used Degussa nibs.
Kind Regards
Thomas


Thomas,

As always I am amazed by your fantastic know how!
Your remarks may very well be very close to the history of this particular pen!

The techniques you describe about engraving versus imprints make a lot of things clear and you just learned us how to distinguish an engraved name or marking from a 'commercial' or serial heat pressed imprint. I had and still have some more pens of which I could not determine if the text is based on a 'branding' or indicates some sort of ownership like individual name engravings. An interesting other possibility you show us here is that in some cases an engraving can indicate a sample specimen or even a prototype. It is logical that the text in such a case is engraved and not heat pressed. As it is also logical that a sample or prototype at the same time is not (yet) printed with a brand name!

Just another question? I understand that pressing a brand, logo or text, works in Celluloid or lots of (thermo)plastics. Did/does the heat pressing technique also work with hard rubber/ebonite/vulcanite?

Thomas, thanks a lot for sharing your knowledge, this is very useful for further research in the wonderful world of fountain pen brands and models!

Cheers, Lexaf

#14 Gobblecup

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 21:40

Wow, you guys have so much knowledge to mull over!

First I will say I only assumed the pen was from the Netherlands, based on your location, my mistake. Being from Belgium, a French language marking makes even more sense.

The more it's discussed, it seems very likely this pen was originally a "boutique pen", and possibly a custom, prototype, or otherwise sample model.

That would also seem to indicate there may not be any more out there...:gaah::blush:


I really look forward to trying the the pen out myself, the nib looks superb, as I said my reason for snatching it up! :D Would you (Lex), consider it more a "Semi-flex", or "Full-flex"?
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#15 ticoun

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 23:22

Thoughts about the engraving
I think "PERLES" is an engraving made by a Pelikan engraving machine with the standard capital sans serif charakters. You can feel the surface or using a loupe possibly see the differense compared to an imprint. Engravings were made by mill-cut with a fast rotating chiesel. The operator transferes the charakters and fills in a colored paste. After drying the fountain pen is polished to remove the paste from the surface. The surface remains smooth. An engraving of one part costs some minutes which is too much for a mass production. The color of your engraving is white.
An imprint is made by a negative brass clichee which is heated electrical. A band coated with a heat resistent material like silver or gold bronce runs along the hot metal stamp and leaves its color in the imprint charakters. I had never seen imprints other than silver, gold or blanc. Melting material drives out and leaves a not 100% smooth surface around the edges of the charakters. You can feel it when you rub carefully across the imprint. A good stamping operator could make 20 - 30 imprints per min, much better for the mass production.
I think your pen was a single part of a collection from a whole seller or a general agent from any producer. He engraved the styles or designs on the fountainpens in his display which he offered to his clients. Actually the color of your fountainpen is called "pearl" or "black and pearl" in English, "Hellperl" or "Schwarzperl" in German or possibly "Perles" in French. French is not only spoken in France. Switzerland and Belgium are partially French languaged. (as Lexaf said" pen was found in Belgium")
It is possible that the fp is a high quality product but it doesn`t carry a trade mark because a buyer would insert his own commercial imprint.
Degussa produced gold nibs again after ww2 since 1948. Hermann Böhler e.g. used Degussa nibs.
Kind Regards
Thomas


Thomas,

As always I am amazed by your fantastic know how!
Your remarks may very well be very close to the history of this particular pen!

The techniques you describe about engraving versus imprints make a lot of things clear and you just learned us how to distinguish an engraved name or marking from a 'commercial' or serial heat pressed imprint. I had and still have some more pens of which I could not determine if the text is based on a 'branding' or indicates some sort of ownership like individual name engravings. An interesting other possibility you show us here is that in some cases an engraving can indicate a sample specimen or even a prototype. It is logical that the text in such a case is engraved and not heat pressed. As it is also logical that a sample or prototype at the same time is not (yet) printed with a brand name!

Just another question? I understand that pressing a brand, logo or text, works in Celluloid or lots of (thermo)plastics. Did/does the heat pressing technique also work with hard rubber/ebonite/vulcanite?

Thomas, thanks a lot for sharing your knowledge, this is very useful for further research in the wonderful world of fountain pen brands and models!

Cheers, Lexaf


the heat pressing is exactly what was used to make chased hard rubber. it works even better than with celluloid, as hard rubber is already soft, so it takes less heat to make the imprint.

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#16 Kaweco

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 13:30

@Lexaf
Hello
The heat imprint and the engraving works with each of the old materials like hard rubber, galalith and celluloid. There are problems with hard rubber and bakelite because they do not really have a melting point, its some like a decomposition point. Imprints cold be made but I havn`d tried to make imprints in old historic oxydized BHR. There are also problems with the low melting plastics: The engraving chiesel runs hot and the grinded plastic powder melts together. Too hot imprints would also damage the pen/ bp surface.


the heat pressing is exactly what was used to make chased hard rubber. it works even better than with celluloid, as hard rubber is already soft, so it takes less heat to make the imprint.

No. The old chasing is a scratching method with industrial diamonds.
Kind Regards
Thomas

#17 penandbeyond

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 17:21

Well ... this is a Tropen Ambassador Fountain Pen ... have a look at the nib.

#18 Gobblecup

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 19:37

Well ... this is a Tropen Ambassador Fountain Pen ... have a look at the nib.


It sure is the same nib (well a two tone version, but same imprint at least), but the research seems pretty conclusive, that these nibs are Degussa nibs. Perhaps your Tropen Ambassador simply got the Degussa as a swap later in life, or Tropen (which I know next to nothing about) may have contracted their nibs from Degussa in the first place. Possibly?

Edited by Gobblecup, 13 April 2011 - 19:38.

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#19 penandbeyond

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 19:46

Well ... this is a Tropen Ambassador Fountain Pen ... have a look at the nib.


It sure is the same nib (well a two tone version, but same imprint at least), but the research seems pretty conclusive, that these nibs are Degussa nibs. Perhaps your Tropen Ambassador simply got the Degussa as a swap later in life, or Tropen (which I know next to nothing about) may have contracted their nibs from Degussa in the first place. Possibly?


Well, this is a real Tropen nib that's for sure and so far as I know Tropen did not get the nibs from Degussa.

#20 Kaweco

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 20:24

Well, this is a real Tropen nib that's for sure and so far as I know Tropen did not get the nibs from Degussa.

Hi penandbeyond
It would be easy to type in "DEGUSSA" at google and you will find the "half- sun" emblem which is also the nib imprint. And you know nothing more about Tropen than you found in Lambrou`s FTOTW.
Kind Regards
Thomas






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