I have a handful of Parker jotters but was wandering around a vintage fair today and picked up a Parker 51.
This is what it looks like:
From what I can see, it appears to be Aero rather than Vac; the jewel off the cap is missing and the cap was engraved with initials. I don't appear to be able to date it although I suspect it is post 1953. I'm not an expert in Parker pens in general, and although I've been through the contents of Parker51.com I can't find anything useful to exactly date it.
Condition wise, the cap has a few dents on it as well as the jewel missing and the engraving. The arrow clip is a little bit loose and I think has probably been pushed around a couple of times. There are a few dings on the body of the pen.
The thing which has surprised me is it is full of ink and the ink seems to be flowing really nicely. I did start to flush it and certainly some blue ink came out initially but I'm pretty sure what is in it now is black:
As I've noted in the writing sample, the ink is more than likely Parker Quink as it's the most commonly available bottled ink in Ireland. I don't use it myself, however. The nib shows evidence of a lot of black ink having been used over time so while I think it's gold, I'm not 100% certain of that.
Flow wise I think it's closer to medium than to fine but I'm not sure how I might confirm that without taking the pen apart. On the other hand, in terms of what ink I can use in it in the future, I'd be open to views. Presumably something like the Montblanc midnight blue is okay or anything from the higher end ranges. I'm unlikely to put any of the wilder colours into it anyway.
Regarding cleaning it, I assumed anything in it would have dried out but this appears not to have been the case although as it seemed to be dry when I took it out first, I did start to flush it and some dark blue made an appearance. However, it's writing okay since which suggests to me that there wasn't much stuck in the nib before I started to flush it. I will need to clean it at some point so the question is, is there anything I need to watch for?