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The Iconic Parker True Blue


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16 replies to this topic

#1 Malcy

Malcy

    True Blue

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 19:46

This is a sign that visiting antique shops sometimes pays off. I wouldn't say that these shops are full of pens, in fact most have the odd one or two and they are usually overpriced and in poor condition. I had decided to pop into shops as I saw them while on my road trip holiday and I was passing through downtown Bozeman when I spied an antiques sign. I asked the owner if there were any fountain pens and was directed to a glass topped box which held a good number. There were quite a few third tier pens, an early twenties short bhr job, a Sheaffer flat top in jade, a number of Inkographs and.... the True Blue.

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A little bit of history. Parker introduced pens with this plastic pattern in 1928 in the flat top style calling them Modernistic blue. As far as I know production only lasted until 1929 by which time the shape had changed to the streamlined style and adverts called the pens True Blue. While the pen looks very like a streamline Duofold, it was positioned lower down in the model range and is quite a lot thinner than the equivalent Duofold though build quality is the same. Construction is largely in the True Blue pattern permanite. This plastic is susceptible to discolouration from ink and the sulphur components of the ink sac and most of the not very large production run of the True Blue show significant browning of the barrel especially. this example has exceptional colour with only slight browning in a few minor areas. The end caps and section are made from hard rubber, again well preserved in this example.

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The pen is about 5" long but fairly thin. In fact I find extended writing a little uncomfortable after a while simply because I am used to fatter sectioned pens. The all plastic/bhr construction means a weight of only 15g including ink. The filler mechanism is a button filler like most Parkers of the era. However the section is a friction fit unlike the Duofold which is threaded, so I am assuming that there is an anchor point for the bottom of the pressure bar inside the barrel. The nib is a size three 14k example marked 'Parker Lucky Curve', though the feed is of the straight christmas tree type. The nib has some flex and the writing in the background of the images was produced by this pen.

While the pen was obviously in good condition, it needed a service. I sent the pen to Eric Wilson (Eckiethump) who did an excellent job including replacing the ink sac with a silicone one to prevent future discolouration.

I have a soft spot for late 20s flat top type pens and this one is no exception. It cost around £50 which I think is a decent price. It's difficult for me to assess it's true value as these is little sales information. I found a very much more discoloured example on a dealers site that sold for £275. If anyone has an idea of value it would be interesting to know.

Overall a 59/60, docking one point for thinness. :)

Edited by Malcy, 06 September 2012 - 20:02.

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#2 raging.dragon

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 21:36

I don't think I've ever seen a Parker True Blue before. The blue and white patterned celluloid permanite looks good. Nice find, though I have no idea what the market value would be.

#3 richardandtracy

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 10:04

My word, you got one gorgeous pen there.

It looks lovely and the colour is stunning. The only other example of that material I have seen looked almost black adjacent to the sac. Beautiful pen, and to have such a nice nib too.

Amazing.

Richard.

#4 Uncle Red

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 17:38

Looking good and a nice writing sample. I've see plenty of discolored ones although none right now.

#5 mirosc

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 21:43

That's a really good looking color! Congratulations for this bargain.

Eric Wilson really does outstanding work. I can only recommend him - perfect communication with photos what problems he has discovered inside and detailed description what is to do. Fair price, good turnaround time and really best quality (no affil just very satisfied customer).

I'm sure you will have a good time with this pen!
Greetings,
Michael

#6 79spitfire

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    No the car is NOT painted with Bay State Blue..

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 02:15

I think you have scored a hardcore "C" worder "sumgai" with this one! I've seen a couple of these that were discolored going for 3 times what you paid! Enjoy your pen!

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#7 Montblanc owner and lover

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 12:05

nice discover
A people can be great withouth a great pen but a people who love great pens is surely a great people too... Pens owned actually: MB 146 EF;Pelikan M200 SE Clear Demonstrator 2012 B;Parker 17 EF;Parker 51 EF;Waterman Expert II M,Waterman Hemisphere M;Waterman Carene F and Stub;Pilot Justus 95 F. Nearly owned: MB 149 B(Circa 2002);Conway Stewart Belliver LE bracket Brown IB.

#8 dcpritch

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 13:35

Beautiful color on that one - you did good! I believe these pens were sold as "Three Fifty" models, due to their $3.50 sticker price. The Modernistic Blue material is highly susceptible to discoloration, which makes your near perfect example all the more desireable, and the envy of many. Thanks for showing us. :thumbup:

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#9 Mauricio

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 17:26

Gorgeous pen Malcy. You make great use of that flex nib as well. The 1920s is when Parker started becoming a huge pen manufacturer and when they stated offering very unique materials and colors in the marketplace. Thanks for sharing with us.
Tu Amigo!
Mauricio Aguilar

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#10 PAKMAN

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 17:38

Very nice color, I don't think I have seen one with this nice of coloration. Easily worth 3 times what you paid!

PAKMAN
 

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#11 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 18:08

I am no TB expert but I've seen a bunch of them. That's the nicest, less ambered coloring I've ever seen.

I LOVE the TB's but this one moves to almost a Love/Hate side.

I LOVE the pen but I'm glad it's Malcy's, not mine. It' SO nice that I'd be scared to death to take it out of the house. And, that'd make me insaner.

Thanks for finding this one Malcy and most importantly for both getting that latex sac out of it AND USING it. You're a better man than I.

Bruce in Ocala, FL

#12 Malcy

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 19:11

Thanks, I appreciate the comments.

It just goes to show that there are still pens out there in the wild. I appreciate the condition of the pen and it won't be left with ink in it but the flex is very nice for writing with. I have a rule that all pens I own must work and be used. I don’t think that use will affect the colour as the time that ink is in it will be relatively short and the silicone sac removes the other source of discolouration.

It encourages me to keep looking through antique shops. :)
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#13 79spitfire

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    No the car is NOT painted with Bay State Blue..

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 20:05

I am no TB expert but I've seen a bunch of them. That's the nicest, less ambered coloring I've ever seen.

I LOVE the TB's but this one moves to almost a Love/Hate side.

I LOVE the pen but I'm glad it's Malcy's, not mine. It' SO nice that I'd be scared to death to take it out of the house. And, that'd make me insaner.

Thanks for finding this one Malcy and most importantly for both getting that latex sac out of it AND USING it. You're a better man than I.

Bruce in Ocala, FL

Are you sure that's possible?

:ltcapd:

I know I can't own a pen like that, I'd go nuts (Nuttier?) whenever the kids looked at it. My wife is constantly pulling out the pens that aren't inked and complaining they don't work... :angry:
It's all I can to to gently remind her there is a box of cheap Bics in the 'other pen drawer' that are for her to use...

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#14 grantstew

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 13:50

I have good news for you...

 

I sold an example with this coloration about 6 years ago on UK Ebay and got GBP600 for it. I still have two more and a pencil with the same perfect colour. Stunning little pens :)


Edited by grantstew, 18 November 2013 - 13:51.


#15 grantstew

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 13:54

<img src='http://www.fountainp...25__trublu3.jpg' alt='trublu3.JPG' />

 

 

these are the ones I have left :)

 

Sadly my photography skills stink



#16 Malcy

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    True Blue

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 21:09


I have good news for you...

 

I sold an example with this coloration about 6 years ago on UK Ebay and got GBP600 for it. I still have two more and a pencil with the same perfect colour. Stunning little pens :)

 

Wow, that's nice to know, though I have no thoughts about selling it.

 

Thanks for posting. :)


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#17 DanF

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 21:25

Perhaps the most pristine example of this pen that I've seen. Congrats!

 

Dan


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