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Aurora 88 Serial Number And Year Estimation

aurora serial production year

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75 replies to this topic

#41 sansenri

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Posted 15 December 2018 - 23:26

sorry for posting late, here are mine, and estimated year according to praxim's nice work

 

88 1297440 - 51

88 1774130 - 53

 

88k 2082320 - 55

 

88p 3163697 - 59

88p 3195278 - 59

88p 3163697 - 60

 

all of them gold caps

 

(btw, the first 88 belonged to my father in law)


Edited by sansenri, 15 December 2018 - 23:27.


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#42 praxim

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Posted 16 December 2018 - 00:25

Just for data- picked up an 88P 3223894, so 59-60. It came in a brown square box with silky orangey lining (it might be useful to consider packaging as a data point if possible).

 

Cheers,

 

R.

 

Yeesh! That is something I have not collected so far, and some of mine came with containers. Original 88 containers were also differentiated by model. You are prodding me from a spreadsheet to a real database. :)


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#43 praxim

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Posted 16 December 2018 - 00:38

@sansenri: Thank you for the wealth of additional numbers. However, there appears to be a typo in that your third 88P (marked 1960) has the same serial as your first (1959), 3163697

 

The model proportions I have are:

88    56%

88K  19%

88P  25%

which should start to represent relative production runs, allowing for some distortions of survivorship or likelihood to be on the market.


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#44 praxim

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Posted 16 December 2018 - 01:00

A couple of anomalies in the data so far, after a bit of examination.

 

Regarding the date when Aurora ceased serialising the 88P, I have notionally set it at the start of 1962. If so, then why is it that I have exactly one pen for each of 1960 and 1961, with the bulk being 1958-1959? I am thinking that the de-serialisation date may have been the end of 1960, which would rearrange the data to spread it over three years rather than two. On the other hand, I also have only one example of a no-serial pen. I do not recall that anyone has advised me of one apart from my own, and I think it was not until about '63 that the 98 came out? I would like to understand the early 1960s period better.

 

Second anomaly is in the 88K series. I have serials from straight after the last 88 (about 1.9M) to just under 2.2M then nothing at all until just over 2.5M when a fairly uniform distribution resumes. While this could be chance, was there a model tweak during the run of the 88K? Aurora later jumped from about 2.6M to a new base of 3M when the 88P started, whereas the 88->88K change seems to have been seamless.

 

edit:one must balance one's parentheses


Edited by praxim, 16 December 2018 - 01:02.

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#45 sansenri

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Posted 16 December 2018 - 14:38

ah yes apologies, I was reordering them by year and forgot to change the serial number

 

88p 3163697 - 59

88p 3195278 - 59

88p 3255952 - 60



#46 sansenri

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Posted 16 December 2018 - 14:42

ps I do have some of the cases somewhere, although it's difficult to be sure they are original to each pen, except perhaps the one belonged to my father in law



#47 praxim

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Posted 16 December 2018 - 23:25

88p 3163697 - 59

88p 3195278 - 59

88p 3255952 - 60

 

Thank you. That puts more weight on my suggestion above that serialisation may have ceased earlier, and the 98 been introduced earlier, or else where are all the 1961-62 and unserialised pens?


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#48 ParkerDuofold

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Posted 17 December 2018 - 01:38

...yours should be 1959 so no problem there...



88p 3163697 - 59
88p 3195278 - 59
88p 3255952 - 60


Hi all,

Hhhhmmmm... :unsure: ...now I'm confused... Praxim dated my pen, (3277383, an 88P), as a '59,... but according to Sansenri's post, mine would have to be a '60... perhaps even an early '61.


- Anthony :unsure:

EDITED to correct typo.

Edited by ParkerDuofold, 17 December 2018 - 01:40.

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Please pray the Rosary daily. Thank You, St. Jude, for favors granted. :)

Grab life with both arms and give it a bear hug every day! :D


#49 praxim

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Posted 17 December 2018 - 01:54

PD, I found this morning that recently I made a typical spreadsheet update error, such that the last few items were not included in the estimation process for each pen type. I have fixed this so will work things out anew in the next 24 hours. I also want to investigate further the first production date of the 98. Currently my corrected sheet shows both your and sansenri's 88Ps as 1959. This may shift to 1960.


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#50 ParkerDuofold

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Posted 17 December 2018 - 04:42

Hi Praxim,

Ah, okay... yes... I can relate to the idiosyncrasies of spreadsheet programs.


- Anthony

With thanks to my Mom & Dad; who taught me to run free, but not run wild.

Please pray the Rosary daily. Thank You, St. Jude, for favors granted. :)

Grab life with both arms and give it a bear hug every day! :D


#51 sansenri

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Posted 18 December 2018 - 23:19

well of course Praxim's method's accuracy depends on how many serial numbers he has, the more he has the more accuracy increases...

 

at any rate I followed the suggested approximated rule, if the serial is smaller it falls in that year

 

I'm happy enough to date mine give or take a year (if more serials are obtained and dating becomes more precise I will be happy to know)

but thanks very much for the work, I had never though I could date my 88s from the serial no.

 

(I have two or three 98s too, but they have no serial number...)


Edited by sansenri, 18 December 2018 - 23:55.


#52 praxim

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Posted 19 December 2018 - 04:32

well of course Praxim's method's accuracy depends on how many serial numbers he has, the more he has the more accuracy increases...

 

Quite true, although one can estimate how likely it would be that one does not see a particular number, and that suggests these are very close. That is why I reject entirely a proposition I have seen that 88 and 88K production overlapped. The estimated year boundaries changed very little while the sample increased from fewer than 20 to 80+, so we can pretty safely say that sampling error is small now.

 

The difficult problems for my approach are that it depends on knowing when production started and ceased, and it assumes a fairly uniform production rate within that period. I tried fiddling with a production curve without producing anything I could say would be more reliable rather than a little different.

 

I too am happy at least to have the the knowledge within a year either way. It is probably a little better than that.


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#53 sansenri

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Posted 20 December 2018 - 22:36

Thanks, its really interesting, it is clear that this pen was very popular, at least in Italy

I have memories of my youth in which I distinctly recall some of my relatives had the peculiar aluminium triangular shaped box (at the time I was not aware it belonged to the 88...) I recall silver, blue, gold and perhaps also a pinkish colour.

how many 88s (considering 88, 88k and 88p) were actually produced (roughly) according to your knowledge and info from the serial no.s?



#54 ralfstc

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 16:41

Thanks for the note Sansenri, nice to read those memories.

 

Nobody really knows the production numbers, (though Praxim is coming close!). Certainly the serial numbers reached into the 3 millions before being dropped in the early 1960s, but we are not sure where they started (that is, is there a number 0000001) or if there were any gaps. I imagine that most folk might be comfortable saying 2 to 2.5 million pens were made?

 

Best wishes, buon natale!

 

Ralf



#55 praxim

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 23:22

Sorry I have not done the promised revision for the 88P yet; christmas preparations are interrupting.

 

Regarding production, the earliest serial for the 88 which I have is 46948 and the last 88 / first 88K numbers are very close together, so I can fairly safely say 88 production was around 1.9M. The first 88K I have is 1917686 and the last 88 1916010. Note the seamless transition. The 88P though was re-based on 3,000,000

 

On a similar basis, there were at least 650,000 88k and 660,000 88P serialised with, of course, an unknown number unserialised. If I simply assume my count of serialised and unserialised 88Ps is representative, then there would have been only around 30,000 - 40,000 of the latter. eta: that is consistent with the extra value apparently attaching to an unserialised 88P.

 

Sum all those and we have 3.25M. The Aurora 88 Dynasty article by Diplomat, here on FPN, under-estimates 88s and over-estimates 88K, coming up with roughly the sum of them. It then talks (ambiguously) about a grand total of 3.8M. If that is closer than my 3.25M then there are an awful lot of 88P pens of which I am unaware, in the wild. Those are probably your low and high limits though.

 

It should be noted though that I have not included 888 anywhere (have never seen one) nor the 98 of course, those being beyond the numbers so far. Diplomat then adds in the 98 to get near 5M of the lineage by 1970 or so.


Edited by praxim, 21 December 2018 - 23:24.

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#56 sansenri

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Posted 22 December 2018 - 00:31

thank you for the calculations

 

The 98 is a lovely pen too

perhaps slightly more delicate, as the retractable filling mechanism tends to wear with use
the gold filled versions are not unusual and are rather elegant

fpn_1545438538__p1150487-3_aurora_98.jpg



#57 ralfstc

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Posted 24 December 2018 - 19:27

Great update Praxim, thank you!



#58 praxim

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Posted 26 January 2019 - 05:43

... I reject entirely a proposition I have seen that 88 and 88K production overlapped. The estimated year boundaries changed very little while the sample increased from fewer than 20 to 80+, so we can pretty safely say that sampling error is small now..

 

It was a good statistical story, until a new bit of data intruded (assuming this one-off is not itself a worker error). I have discovered an 88K with serial 1848292, whereas the latest 88 is 1916010. That is, in 1953 there was an overlap of about 70,000 pens when both 88s and 88Ks were produced. I have three 88 samples and one 88K sample within that range. Other than obliterating my "entirely reject", this makes very little difference to dating of either pen model. Far more important is the following hitherto neglected item.


Second anomaly is in the 88K series. I have serials from straight after the last 88 (about 1.9M) to just under 2.2M then nothing at all until just over 2.5M when a fairly uniform distribution resumes. While this could be chance, was there a model tweak during the run of the 88K?

After answering a PM enquiry about dating an 88K, I decided to spend some more time trawling ebay for evidence of serials for this model to see whether I could resolve this anomaly of which I had been reminded when looking at the spreadsheet.

 

With double the number of 88K pen serials now available, the anomaly remains. I conclude that the face of it is the fact of it; on or before number 2.2M they skipped, re-starting serialisation at 2.5M, within the 88K series. Why? I do not know. I know that of three Aquilas I have on record, all are serialised above 2.5M but so are several plain 88Ks, while an 888 is back in the low two millions. Did they change factory? Machinery? Design detail? We know they were making some changes to materials along the way, first of the barrel then of the piston knob and section. There is no evidence of a change of dimensions until the 88P.

 

One effect of incorporating this into the data is that apparent production of the 88K model drops with the missing serials. I now estimate only about 420,000 of that model were made. Consequently, year estimates shift for the 88K. I now have the following boundaries for serials (rounded numbers):

1953 - up to 1.9M

1954 - under 2.0M

1955 - 2.1M

1956 - 2.17M (up to 2.2M with the skip on the year boundary to 1957?)

1957 - over 2.5M, possibly including about 30,000 below 2.2M

I estimate around 100,000 pens produced in 1957, with the 88P appearing for 1958 with a starting serial of 3M.

 

Sometimes I write with pens, sometimes I fix them, and sometimes I manage to extract fun from looking at serial numbers. :rolleyes:  :)


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#59 Aysedasi

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Posted 26 January 2019 - 18:00

Thanks for this interesting stuff - and for answering my personal enquiry regarding my Aquila.  :)

 

I have three other 88's -

 

88 - 74938

88 - 1411205

88P - 3287561


Edited by Aysedasi, 26 January 2019 - 18:07.


#60 praxim

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Posted 26 January 2019 - 21:46

The date of your Aquila is not changed by these revisions, as you probably realised.

 

Start date for production of the Aurora 88 is not clear. The earliest serial I have seen is 46948. I place that, and your first, in 1947. Don't kill me if it is 1948. :)

 

The second 88 is early 1952 and the 88P most likely 1960, maybe 1961.

 

As an aside, while trawling old ads one sees some obviously incorrect claims about dates, and I noticed one person describe the chrome cap on an 88P as Nikargenta. If anyone planning to purchase an 88[K][P] wants a clearer idea of what they are buying, get in touch. You benefit from a better idea of the date and I benefit by another data point.


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