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Posted 03 March 2019 - 08:51
Posted 15 March 2019 - 11:13
Hello, diplomat checking in.
Nice work and thread @praxim, it was cool to find out that this “old lady” still sparks some interest in the forum.
First I am going to contribute this work with my stable:
- 88: 240.789, 986.905, 673.453 (with replaced 88k cap), 1.724.751
- 88K: 1.906.118, 2.146.296
- 88P: 3.157.689 (it’s a 888P), 3.252.657
I think we have a major problem here since even the more knowledgeable people over the brand in Italy have no information of the basic data: starting number, final number, yearly production, assembly and production process. Also the current Aurora owners and managers I am afraid have no clue, and they never answered these questions. Therefore it is not possible to date a pen starting from his serial number.
However, since we have serial number in the first stance and since it is widely accepted that they are sequential, we can have project like this one that is both fun and informative.
Having said that, let me try to answer, or better contribute, to some of the questions raised in your post.
- Year of first production. Tough to say, if you want hard data. Most of the Italian websites mention 1946, then you have Abrate which is authoritative that states November 1948 as date for launch, although he mention 1946 as when Nizzoli design it. The only “hard data” I have is a commercial (see attached pic) that states: “unsurpassed from 5 years”. Considering the K was out in 1953 I think this push for an earlier date than 1948: why affirming this if they are about to rejuvenate the model? I stay with your 1947.
- Overlapping: due to different process between pen assembly and serial number stamp, we can assume that from time to time batches of “old” pens were sent in the market well after the new model was launched. We do have evidence of this in serial number analysis (see my 1.906k 88K), but the point here is that is not production overlapping but market overlapping. We can think to the Archivi Storici as an extreme example of this. Also in this case please see the commercial (better, independent catalogue from Tentardini & C. Milano, ref: http://www.fountainp...atalogo-p05.jpg ) stating 88 and 88K being sold at the same time (likely 1953ish).
- 88P production numbers: one reason to explain the “hidden numbers” (the 500K after 3.3 million mark) could be un-serialized specimens. If, contrary to what I assumed 10 years ago, un-serialized specimen are not as rare but are linked to the whole last year(s) of production, this could explain how the 3.8 million was mentioned. It could make sense because we know that the 98 (1963) have no serial number. That could have started a few years before. Overall 88P numbers are boosted also because in this production the cart version is fully counted from the start (888 and 888P have serial numbers in same sequence with the piston fill versions, as stated in the Dynasty post). I don’t think ball points count, that would assume a separate accounting for those pens that we know were not numbered on the pen body.
- 88K production numbers: what happened here? What is that big hole in numbering that happens stepping from 88K to 88P: some 400K pens are missing… I agree with you on the working assumption that Aurora decided to restart from 0 with 88P, starting them at 3 millions even though they were quite far from that number. Maybe the overlap numbers between 88 and 88K created some warehouse mess…
- Yearly production: I would assume a “production curve” more shaped as a U for the following reasons:
- Popularity of fountain pens (over ballpoints and other writing instruments) were overall declining year by year. Different sources stated that the launch of the pen was a huge instant success, in Italy and abroad.
- Slowly the fad ended and the cartridge/ballpoint was becoming the standard of the market, leaving piston fillers for the high end
- Introduction of cartridge version of K (from 56 only thus they are more rare than Ps) and P brought the numbers up again relatively speaking with the model lifespan
Then again, who knows? Just fun to discuss and I believe that gathering more numbers will be beneficial. So happy to revamp this and asking for more contributions.
Have a nice day you all on the pen fandom J
Posted 26 March 2019 - 21:03
Posted 10 May 2019 - 19:13
Wonderful work...nothing like crowdsourcing data! With apologies for not ante-ing far earlier, here are my two plus two I'm restoring:
Posted 13 May 2019 - 20:55
88 sterling cap and rubber knob: 1 162 672 (almost sure no cap swap)
88 sterling cap and non-rubber (plastic?) knob: 1 639 741 (cap is a bit larger and so the imprints on it)
Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: aurora, serial, production, year
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