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Yard-O-Led Viceroy Grand Barleycorn


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13 replies to this topic

#1 jar

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 18:24

So far we have looked at the Montegrappa 80th Anniversary and Privilege Deco, the Sheaffer Plain Polished Legacy and the Waterman Sterling Silver Gentleman and the Yard-o-Led Viceroy Grand Victorian.

Now let's look at another example, the same pen but in Barleycorn.

If you had grown up in Baltimore Maryland and considered getting silverware, there were two firms that immediately came to mind, Kirk and Stieff (rhymes with beef). The Stieff Building in Druid Hill Park was a landmark, the great neon sign that dominated the building lighting the whole neighborhood at night. Families were pretty often defined by whether they were a Stieff family or a Kirk family and the two companies competed in (often similar) designs.

Samuel Kirk was known for introducing the repousse technique in creating Sterling Silver hollow ware while Stieff was particularly noted for its intricate Sterling Silver patterns and its engraving on many simple styles like the Betsy Patterson and Betsy Patterson Engraved lines.

These two Yard-o-Led pens remind me of those two companies, the Victorian design reminiscent of the Kirk Hollow ware and the Barleycorn of the Stieff engraved flatware.

In size and weight the two pens are identical but in feel they are quite different. The Victorian pattern feels primarily smooth when held while there is a distinct texture to the Barleycorn that is totally absent from the former.

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Beyond the different feel of the two finishes, they are the same pen. Each writes reliably, effortlessly, immediately, is expressive and controllable.

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Visually though the Victorian screams "I was done by hand" while the Barleycorn says "I was made on a machine".

Like my Victorian, the Barleycorn sports a luscious moderately wet 18K white gold broad nib.

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Finally, here are all the ones we've looked at so far so that you can see size comparisons.

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#2 hari317

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 18:47

I have no YoLs and I thank for the side by side pictures, I think I should go for the Barley.
In case you wish to write to me, pls use ONLY email by clicking here. I do not check PMs. Thank you.

#3 jar

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 18:52

I have no YoLs and I thank for the side by side pictures, I think I should go for the Barley.


Hard to go wrong there. Often the Victorian carries a $100.00 to $150.00 premium, likely simply because there is slightly more hand work involved, but I find that my Barleycorn simply feels more secure when I use it.

Visually, aesthetically, I go with the Victorian. Practically and in terms of who gets more pocket time, it is the Barleycorn.

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#4 Koyote

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 19:12

Jar, if I ever figure out where you live, I will stake out your house and, when you go grocery shopping, I will steal your pens.

Okay, not really, but the thought did cross my mind.

#5 MicheleB

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 19:13

I have no YoLs and I thank for the side by side pictures, I think I should go for the Barley.


Hard to go wrong there. Often the Victorian carries a $100.00 to $150.00 premium, likely simply because there is slightly more hand work involved, but I find that my Barleycorn simply feels more secure when I use it.

Visually, aesthetically, I go with the Victorian. Practically and in terms of who gets more pocket time, it is the Barleycorn.



Thank you for this piece. Very helpful.
We can trust the heart of a man by his treatment of animals. - Immanual Kant

#6 jar

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 19:24

Jar, if I ever figure out where you live, I will stake out your house and, when you go grocery shopping, I will steal your pens.

Okay, not really, but the thought did cross my mind.


Not really a good idea unless you bring some really strong folk that can cart off one of the safes.

My Sister's website :  Rose Hill Studios

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#7 SHK

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 19:26

Thanks again for your wonderful images.
I can't get enough from looking images.
Thanks

Sascha

#8 Parc Monceau

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 03:36

Jar,

Thank you for the review and the beautiul pictures. Gorgeous, those pens.

I'd love to write with one one day.

#9 raging.dragon

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 03:20

I like sterling silver pens (though I've only been able to afford a few), so I've been enjoying this series of reviews!

#10 Inkwisitor

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 22:13

I only have one Yard-O-Led pen and it happens to be the Viceroy Grand Barley. Mine is fairly old with signs of use that add character rather than detracting from the appearance (to my eyes at least). I concur with your view of the pen which, despite being a substantial lump, is really a pleasure to write with thanks in no small measure to the quality of the nib and superb balance.

My preference had always been for the Victorian, a pen that I had admired for years but the opportunity arose to buy the Barley and I don't regret it for one second. It becomes the focal point when left lying on my desk where it exudes class and quality. It is a great shame that such an impressive pen is comparatively little known in the wider world so thank you for bringing it to attention via your review.
"The cultured man is the man whose interior consciousness is forever obstinately writing down, in the immaterial diary of his psyche's sense of life, every chance aspect of every new day that he is lucky enough to live to behold!" - John Cowper Powys

#11 playpen

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 03:04

I have two Yard-o-Led pens, the Viceroy Victorian and the Corinthian. These pens are really the jewels of the pen world. They are smooth, wonderful writers and they exude class and luxury. They really do stand out as spectacular examples of what fountain pens can be.

#12 bookmanjl

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 19:34

Thank you for the series of reviews. The down side to reading your assessment of these fine pens is replacement of YoL interest to YoL pen lust. I guess that is one of the consequences of hanging out at FPN. :embarrassed_smile:

#13 Ghost Plane

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 20:03

Absolutely. We are enablers of the highest order! :bunny01:

#14 Toolattack

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 10:41

Definitely on my wish list!






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