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Shifts In Color - Pelikan Celluloid

color tortoise vintage pelikan

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18 replies to this topic

#1 oregano

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 22:28

I'm curious about the color progressions Pelikan celluloids go through over time. I know it's a topic of discussion in Japanese sections of the forum--people talk about the marked color changes in urushi, and in Waterman celluloid, but haven't seen any on Pelikans. Apologies if it is discussed online or a book I don't have...

 

I like the green the light tortoise changes to almost more than the pristine light tortoise, for example, and it's fun to think about what these pens will look like a few decades on.

 

I've tried to guess some of the progressions in color below. Pelikan enthusiasts and collectors, please chime in and correct or add to the list!

 

400, 400N, 400NN

light tortoise --> light green (or are these the 'export' pens?)

light tortoise? --> yellow

mid-brown tortoise --> red-brown/orange

vibrant green --> green/grey

grey --> light grey/white

 

100N

green --> blue-green (turquoise blue)---> slate blue-green/grey

green --> olive green

 

100

marbled red --> burgundy

brown --> gold

dark jade green --> olive green

 

101N

light tortoise --> light green (but could just be green barrel showing through)

tortoise --> murky olive brown-green

 

80's-90's  Modern/'old-style' 400

green --> blue/green

brown tortoise (dark brown) --> light brown --> ambering/transparency

 

New Modern:

crackles, surface becomes opalescent

 

(as a side note, I've noticed in modern pens I have the modern celluloid and plastics are unstable, too; the colors tend to bleed into each other over time)


Edited by paloma32, 25 April 2014 - 23:01.

 


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#2 oregano

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 22:30

edit: with the modern ones, forgot to write 'cellulose acetate'


 


#3 oregano

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 16:34

Okay, I guess I'm the only one who is interested in this! I wonder if some of the perceived color changes are less pronounced, and just variations in tortoise or color. It is briefly mentioned in Rick Propas' history of the 100 on his site in discussion of early rubber pens from the 20's:

"Among these early pens there seem to have been infinite variations of green, but the early green Bindes can be lumped into three types, the familiar marbled green (marmoriert), the much less common early jade, which looks like the Sheaffer green, and a variant of the marbled green made from cut strips of celluloid laminated together.

The question of variations in color is a more complex one. In many cases time has faded and shifted colors, so that today we have all sorts of shades of green, from near grey to olive to still brilliantly true colors, but as they were produced the first pens were green, plain and simple, and there was black. ....

And then there were the less common celluloids in two styles. The basic 100 featured colored Bindes in gray, red, yellow, blue, and brown marbled."
(http://www.thepengui...kan_history.jsp)

Other than that, I haven't seen it mentioned much.

 


#4 oregano

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 16:37

Okay, I guess I'm the only one who is interested in this! I wonder if some of the perceived color changes are less pronounced, and just variations in tortoise or color. It is briefly mentioned in Rick Propas' history of the 100 on his site in discussion of early rubber pens from the 20's:

"Among these early pens there seem to have been infinite variations of green, but the early green Bindes can be lumped into three types, the familiar marbled green (marmoriert), the much less common early jade, which looks like the Sheaffer green, and a variant of the marbled green made from cut strips of celluloid laminated together.

The question of variations in color is a more complex one. In many cases time has faded and shifted colors, so that today we have all sorts of shades of green, from near grey to olive to still brilliantly true colors, but as they were produced the first pens were green, plain and simple, and there was black. ....

And then there were the less common celluloids in two styles. The basic 100 featured colored Bindes in gray, red, yellow, blue, and brown marbled."
(http://www.thepengui...kan_history.jsp)

Other than that, I haven't seen it mentioned much.

 


#5 Rick Propas

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 01:32

While there were, as you cite, considerable changes in the early (pre-1932) bindes, after mid decade the only real color shifts came as a result of fading. And by the 1950s there is not much of that, except under extreme circumstances.

#6 oregano

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 02:40

Thanks for commenting, Rick. It's great to hear this info. straight from the source. I've seen so many different (now faded) greens in the 100Ns

that it got me wondering whether they started out as different shades initially, like the 100, or if it was just different amounts of fading. So I guess

it is just normal fading, and/or different shades of (brown) tortoises in the case of the 400s.   


Edited by paloma32, 27 April 2014 - 02:42.

 


#7 Rick Propas

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 00:32

Part of the fun with both tortoise and mother-of-pearl is the infinite variation!

#8 proton007

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 03:58

Thanks for commenting, Rick. It's great to hear this info. straight from the source. I've seen so many different (now faded) greens in the 100Ns

that it got me wondering whether they started out as different shades initially, like the 100, or if it was just different amounts of fading. So I guess

it is just normal fading, and/or different shades of (brown) tortoises in the case of the 400s.   

 

Perhaps the 400 tortoise had different colored binde used underneath??

 

Because I've clearly seen two kinds of tortoise, one with a more 'greenish' background, and the other one with a 'yellow/orange' background. Even if it's the binde changing color, it's still quite amazing.


In a world where there are no eyes the sun would not be light, and in a world where there were no soft skins rocks would not be hard, nor in a world where there were no muscles would they be heavy. Existence is relationship and you're smack in the middle of it.

- Alan Watts


#9 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 12:23

My 500 and 400-400n transition have a lighter tortoise than my '90's 400.

In that the 500 is from '51-54 and the 400n from '55, I'd say there was no degrading of the color. Those two binde are very similar.

Rick would know more about binde variations. he has a real....real...real good collection of tortoise.

 

The gold cap of my 500 looks good on it and the 400n. The gold cap on the darker tortoise of my '90's 400 makes the tortoise look 'murky' where with the very, very deep brown-black cap, it looks just fine.

 

That 'brown' '90's cap and piston cap is so dark, I thought it black, until on Rudiger's com, he had them listed as a brown. Only when I put a black pen next to it could one 'see' it was brown-black.


Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 28 April 2014 - 12:28.

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 & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 


#10 tacitus

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 13:09

Thank you for comments, Rick. Since I purchased jade green 100 from you, I have been interested in this issue.

I think description of "jade green" is subjective. Olive or pale green is a result of fading rather than a variation?

You categorized early 100 green bindes into three types. Could you tell us which green bindes in your site http://www.thepengui.../early-pens.jpg correspond to each type?


Edited by tacitus, 28 April 2014 - 13:17.


#11 oregano

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 16:17

 

Perhaps the 400 tortoise had different colored binde used underneath??

 

Because I've clearly seen two kinds of tortoise, one with a more 'greenish' background, and the other one with a 'yellow/orange' background. Even if it's the binde changing color, it's still quite amazing.

 

Yes, that's one of the things I'm most curious about re: the 400 brown tortoises. There's the 'export' edition with black ends and green tortoise, but

there are other green and yellow tortoises that don't seem to be an export model, and in Martin Lehmann's guide, there's only one brown tortoise listed. If it's not a question of starting out as different 'background' colors, which is a good way to put it, is it the light tortoise that is turning green, and then yellow, or the other way around? It would help to know also for the purposes of guessing the condition of a pen in terms of fading.


Edited by paloma32, 28 April 2014 - 16:29.

 


#12 proton007

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 03:50

 

Yes, that's one of the things I'm most curious about re: the 400 brown tortoises. There's the 'export' edition with black ends and green tortoise, but

there are other green and yellow tortoises that don't seem to be an export model, and in Martin Lehmann's guide, there's only one brown tortoise listed. If it's not a question of starting out as different 'background' colors, which is a good way to put it, is it the light tortoise that is turning green, and then yellow, or the other way around? It would help to know also for the purposes of guessing the condition of a pen in terms of fading.

 

Now that you mention it, the same thing goes with the Grey striped 400.  The 400NN in grey stripes has a green binde, the 400 seems to have a yellowish one. That's something I've seen even in the high quality pics posted by Christof.


Edited by proton007, 29 April 2014 - 03:50.

In a world where there are no eyes the sun would not be light, and in a world where there were no soft skins rocks would not be hard, nor in a world where there were no muscles would they be heavy. Existence is relationship and you're smack in the middle of it.

- Alan Watts


#13 Rick Propas

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 18:13

Quite right that all of this is subjective. According to catalogue they all are green. Looking at the tray you cite, one could argue that only the two leftmost pens are "jade." He farthest left is similar to the Sheaffers jade and tho one to the left is so jade-like . . .

I think it is clear that the olives and pale yellow and pale green pens are the result of fading.

As far as my typology (for wheat it's worth), the three greens would be the green and white (Sheaffers) jade, the blue/green, and the forerunner to the later green marbled (marmoriert). To complicate things, there were also a series of 1930-31 greens that were deep green laminated or striped.

Thank you for comments, Rick. Since I purchased jade green 100 from you, I have been interested in this issue.
I think description of "jade green" is subjective. Olive or pale green is a result of fading rather than a variation?
You categorized early 100 green bindes into three types. Could you tell us which green bindes in your site http://www.thepengui.../early-pens.jpg correspond to each type?



#14 stephenchin

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 18:57

I've definitely seen color shifts in the 400 grey stripes.  As the underlying barrel ambers, the grey stripes begin to look light beige or pale grey-green.



#15 tacitus

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 14:26

Quite right that all of this is subjective. According to catalogue they all are green. Looking at the tray you cite, one could argue that only the two leftmost pens are "jade." He farthest left is similar to the Sheaffers jade and tho one to the left is so jade-like . . .

I think it is clear that the olives and pale yellow and pale green pens are the result of fading.

As far as my typology (for wheat it's worth), the three greens would be the green and white (Sheaffers) jade, the blue/green, and the forerunner to the later green marbled (marmoriert). To complicate things, there were also a series of 1930-31 greens that were deep green laminated or striped.

 

Thank you for your comments, Rick.

 

According to your typology, the leftmost is jade green. Is the second from left blue/green, the third olive or faded marble green, and  the fourth true marble greenThe deep striped green is the sixth one?

 

I just wanted to know because, apart from metal bindes, its color and design has nothing to do with the pen's function or weight balance, but sometimes has much influence on the its rarity, condition, popularity and therefore  price.


Edited by tacitus, 06 May 2014 - 02:02.


#16 kawuska

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 08:43

Here's the photo of mint, never inked Pelikan 100 and 100N, a good starting point to see how much ink could alter the color of celluloid.The "younger" 100N is even brighter than the other.Original pre war leaflet shows the barrel to be of clear "white" tint, was it ever made in this color- hard to say.

 

Pelikanbarrels_zps77e5e0e2.jpg

 

 

Pelikanbarrels2_zpsaac9549e.jpg



#17 rustynib

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 15:17

Like âmbar !!
:)

#18 christof

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 04:00

Quite right that all of this is subjective. According to catalogue they all are green. Looking at the tray you cite, one could argue that only the two leftmost pens are "jade." He farthest left is similar to the Sheaffers jade and tho one to the left is so jade-like . . .
I think it is clear that the olives and pale yellow and pale green pens are the result of fading.
As far as my typology (for wheat it's worth), the three greens would be the green and white (Sheaffers) jade, the blue/green, and the forerunner to the later green marbled (marmoriert). To complicate things, there were also a series of 1930-31 greens that were deep green laminated or striped.


Rick

Here's another picture of an early striped binde:
7829852608_a8b3f9c39e_b.jpg

and this is my 1929 Pelikan:
8651569650_29b797f60a_b.jpg
what is this color called?

Christof
What's Up At Christof's: http://www.fountainp...tofs/?p=2337615

 

fpn_1501079397__18762338330_19cf666a48_o


#19 christof

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 04:02

 
Pelikanbarrels_zps77e5e0e2.jpg
 
 
Pelikanbarrels2_zpsaac9549e.jpg


Fantastic!
c.
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