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Sheaffers 1926 Oversize Flat Top - Black With A Fine Nib


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3 replies to this topic

#1 Malcy

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Posted 10 July 2011 - 11:35

I like my jade flat top so much I want to complete the set of early colours, that is black, jade and black & pearl. I saw this example on ebay, they are not terribly common on UK ebay. It looked ok with assurances from the seller that it was in very good condition with a few light scratches.

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Delivery brought disappointment. As soon as I removed the packaging, I knew that it was not in the very good condition listed. A large chunk was missing from that barrel end, fortunately the radlite is thick there is no hole. The pen has been heavily buffed post breakage, so much that the imprint is missing. The clip is very loose but doesn't appear ready to fall off, there is a crack in the cap lip and the imprint on the nib is poor. So I contacted the seller pointing out the issues and the fact that it was just user grade, not VGC. At first they came back with 'well I didn't describe it as perfect'. However after a bit more communication where I suggested taking the issue to ebay if they didn't sort it out, the seller came to a compromise with me, gave a refund and I got the pen for £18 inc P&P which I am happy with. It wasn't even the original price paid that annoyed me, more the misleading description by the seller. The pictures that I have taken don't show the missing chunk which shows how easy it is to make it look totally sound. The missing chink is around the other side of the barrel.

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Anyway on with the review. I like the solidity of these pens along with their classic lines. Sure this example has it's faults but it is still a pen that is usable every day and I don't have to worry about wear and tear. Radlite, especially the black holds up well over the years, though the other colours are prone to discolouration. These are big pens, 135mm capped and 172mm posted and it feels nice and chunky in the hand. Strangely the black flat top looks larger than the jade flat top even though their dimensions are the same. Being all plastic they are not terribly heavy though they are heavier than later plastic pens because they use more material in their construction.

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The nib is fairly large, though smaller than the one on the jade flat top. It has all the correct imprints for a flat top but they are in poor condition, looking like poor manufacture or over zealous cleaning. It is a typical Sheaffers 14K gold nib being stiff but smooth writing a reasonably wet fine line. The tipping is in good condition. The filling system is Sheaffers patented lever fill system which works very well and it came with a sound ink sac, so that was one job less.

Comparison pictures with the Jade flat top:

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Despite the initial disappointment, I like the pen and it works well as a user. The final value is worth it for a pen like this and it will go into the rotation. In spite of my aversion to fine nibs I will be keeping the pen warts and all. I recommend these pens to anyone looking for a sound vintage experience. They are solid and easy to repair if needed. The only negative for UK buyers is that they don't show up that often and those that have been restored often have extremely silly prices.

Scores:
Appearance and design 8/10
Construction and quality 7/10
Weight and dimensions 9/10
Nib and performance 10/10
Filling system 10/10
Cost and value 8/10

Final score 52/60

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#2 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 10 July 2011 - 17:12

they are very good and reliable pens :thumbup: thanks for sharing
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

#3 jar

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Posted 10 July 2011 - 18:44

I love the Sheaffer Flat tops of that period and I have a Jade in the same banding as your black one.

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#4 Malcy

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 20:04

I love the Sheaffer Flat tops of that period and I have a Jade in the same banding as your black one.

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I prefer them to the balance, though they are nice as well. :)
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