Jump to content

The Fountain Pen Network uses (functional) cookies. Read the Privacy Policy for more info.  To remove this message, please click here to accept the use of cookies






Photo

Esterbrook 314 Dip Pen


  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 corgicoupe

corgicoupe

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,139 posts
  • Location:East of Atlanta
  • Flag:

Posted 23 November 2017 - 16:48

I posted this in the "First Stop" but thought it ought to go here, too.

 

This pen was given to my daughter. I would like to hear about it from the experts.The nib is black with ink at the tip. and is gold/brass color and is not attracted by a magnet. What does she have? TIA

 

Esterbrook 314 nib

fpn_1511454739__esrwebrook_314_dip_pen_0

 

 


Baptiste knew how to make a short job long

For love of it. And yet not waste time either.

                                                         Robert Frost


Sponsored Content

#2 Hobiwan

Hobiwan

    All I ever wanted was a nice pen to write with...

  • FPN Supporter - Rhodium

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 777 posts
  • Location:San Dimas, California
  • Flag:

Posted 24 November 2017 - 09:37

Well, your daughter's pen is a dip pen, which people used before fountain pens became practical, and continued to use as writers and "training pens" into the 1950s.  Today they are still in use by caligraphers and graphic artists. 

 

Anecdotal rant:  During my first 4 years of school (1948 - 1952) we used pens like it during Cursive Writing Class, to practice making letters and numbers.  Our desks had a hole in the upper right corner into which a glass ink-filled bottle was placed.  We'd then be given a pad of the most awful paper one could attempt writing on, and made to dip the pen and practice loops, curves, capital and small letters, etc.  It was like trying to write on toilet paper (for me, anyway).  The paper acted like a blotter if the pen was held in one spot more than a half-second.  If the point was less than perfectly smooth, or the writer's hand was a bit heavy, the paper would catch and tear.  Pure torture for me, having already been taught cursive writing by my older cousin at age 5.

End of rant.

 

The point on your daughter's pen is, of course an Esterbrook "bronze-finish medium flexible stub" (page 4 of the catalog in the back of the book).  The holder, I'd guess, is one of the more ornate "deco"-style holders.  And since the tail looks to be plastic, it could have been made any time from the 1920s to late 1940s.  The design on the brass-colored sleeve suggests to me it's earlier rather than later.  The front of the sleeve is made so that most any dip pen point can be inserted, making for easy point replacement.   

 

Hope this helps ....


Edited by Hobiwan, 24 November 2017 - 09:39.

Best Regards
Paul


“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
– Albert Einstein


#3 corgicoupe

corgicoupe

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,139 posts
  • Location:East of Atlanta
  • Flag:

Posted 24 November 2017 - 13:03

It does. Thanks Paul. The catalog says "brass finish". Is the nib made of brass or bronze? From my early metallurgy class, brass is copper-zinc and bronze is copper-tin.

Edited by corgicoupe, 24 November 2017 - 13:23.

Baptiste knew how to make a short job long

For love of it. And yet not waste time either.

                                                         Robert Frost


#4 corgicoupe

corgicoupe

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,139 posts
  • Location:East of Atlanta
  • Flag:

Posted 24 November 2017 - 13:20

I don't think the tail is plastic, Paul, as it feels very cool when touched to one's tongue, whereas plastic feels warm. This indicates that it is probably crystalline, that the thermal conductivity is greater than plastic.

Edited by corgicoupe, 24 November 2017 - 13:30.

Baptiste knew how to make a short job long

For love of it. And yet not waste time either.

                                                         Robert Frost


#5 Hobiwan

Hobiwan

    All I ever wanted was a nice pen to write with...

  • FPN Supporter - Rhodium

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 777 posts
  • Location:San Dimas, California
  • Flag:

Posted 24 November 2017 - 19:05

You're right on "brass" (read it without my glasses).  Sooooo ... "crystalline"  meaning perhaps glass?  You got me there.  If it's glass, it still could have been most any time.  Even 19th Century.  At any rate, the holder is a cut above your cheap, 10-cent wood or plastic.  Might have been a gift item; something you'd pay more for to give for one's birthday.  The high-end holders I've seen with Mabie- Edward Todd or Wirt slotted gold nibs would be easier (for me) to  date, and even that would only be approximate, like, "circa 1880s".  The nib only dates it from any time since the company began making 314s. 

 

It's a pretty one.


Best Regards
Paul


“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
– Albert Einstein


#6 corgicoupe

corgicoupe

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,139 posts
  • Location:East of Atlanta
  • Flag:

Posted 26 November 2017 - 13:59

Page 7 of the catalog lists a gold plated version of the 314 nib. Brass finish could meanot a brass nib or a brass finish over steel. Mine is not attracted by a strong magnet, so it could be brass or gold plated brass.

As for the tail, I can see what paper to be parallel "grind marks" on the hexagonal facets of the tail, which I wouldn't expect on glass, so it may be agate.

Baptiste knew how to make a short job long

For love of it. And yet not waste time either.

                                                         Robert Frost


#7 AAAndrew

AAAndrew

    (Not so) Wee Timorous Beastie

  • FPN Supporter - Rhodium

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,149 posts
  • Location:Durham, NC
  • Flag:

Posted 28 November 2017 - 02:19

The 314 Relief, just like the Esterbrook Jonquil pens are not made of steel. They would sometimes be gilt, but the underlying pen is made of a brass-like metal alloy that is more commonly known in 19th-century costume jewelry, called pinchbeck. Pinchbeck is an alloy of copper and zinc, like brass, but in different proportions. Pinchbeck was invented in the 1700's by Christopher Pinchbeck, a clockmaker, I think, in London. It was commonly used as a cheap substitute for gold as it appeared gold-like and could be made softer and more goldish in color than regular, say naval brass, because it has a much lower level of zinc. Because of its use in cheaper jewelry, and fake gold, the word pinchbeck became synonymous with cheap, fake and tawdry. 

 

Pinchbeck was actually used for pens going back to the 18th-century. The use for pens continued into the 19th-century for nibs which did not need to be flexible, as the material is stiff and does not spring back. Pinchbeck was used for pens because it gave the appearance of gold without the cost, and they would not rust like steel pens. It also happens to be a rather smooth and slick metal. The 314 was one of the most popular pens in Esterbrook's catalog. When they went to make their first fountain pens, Esterbrook turned to the 314 Relief, and made their only solid gold nibs. 


Check out my Steel Pen Blog. https://thesteelpen.com/ . 

 

"No one is exempt from talking nonsense; the mistake is to do it solemnly."

-Montaigne


#8 corgicoupe

corgicoupe

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,139 posts
  • Location:East of Atlanta
  • Flag:

Posted 28 November 2017 - 12:14

Having been trained as a metallurgist, I found your post fascinating and educational. I had never heard of the pinchbeck alloy. Thank you for the explanation.

Your Web site is quite interesting.

Edited by corgicoupe, 28 November 2017 - 12:27.

Baptiste knew how to make a short job long

For love of it. And yet not waste time either.

                                                         Robert Frost


#9 AAAndrew

AAAndrew

    (Not so) Wee Timorous Beastie

  • FPN Supporter - Rhodium

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,149 posts
  • Location:Durham, NC
  • Flag:

Posted 28 November 2017 - 13:56

Having been trained as a metallurgist, I found your post fascinating and educational. I had never heard of the pinchbeck alloy. Thank you for the explanation.

Your Web site is quite interesting.

 

True pinchbeck, according to what I've read, also relied upon some special process that made it really look like gold, and once Christopher's son died, the secret died with him, so no true pinchbeck has been made, that we know of, for over 200 years. But a lot of other, similar alloys were made and used different names for marketing, but all were a form of pinchbeck. I read where a maker in France developed an alloy that was so successful in imitating gold that it was forbidden by law to be used for anything other than buckles and small ornamentation so as not to compete with the goldsmiths, and to help prevent fraud. I can't imagine, though, that the weight alone would have been a solid tell that this wasn't real. 

 

Oh, and one more piece of pinchbeck trivia, pinchbeck was very popular not just with those of limited means who couldn't afford jewelry, but also with the rich and noble while they traveled. If they were robbed, then the loss would be minimal, and the fake stuff made them less of a target for thieves. 

 

And thank you for the kind words about my steel pen site. The audience is small, but I'm enjoying myself. 


Check out my Steel Pen Blog. https://thesteelpen.com/ . 

 

"No one is exempt from talking nonsense; the mistake is to do it solemnly."

-Montaigne


#10 corgicoupe

corgicoupe

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,139 posts
  • Location:East of Atlanta
  • Flag:

Posted 02 December 2017 - 01:50

Interestingly, I am currently reading Mark Twain's "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court", and in chapter 31 it reads, "This was the best store we had come across yet; it had everything in it, in small quantities, from anvils and dry goods all the way down to fish and pinchbeck jewelry." Which did not exist in the 6th century but did in the 19th.

Edited by corgicoupe, 02 December 2017 - 01:51.

Baptiste knew how to make a short job long

For love of it. And yet not waste time either.

                                                         Robert Frost


#11 AAAndrew

AAAndrew

    (Not so) Wee Timorous Beastie

  • FPN Supporter - Rhodium

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,149 posts
  • Location:Durham, NC
  • Flag:

Posted 02 December 2017 - 03:03

Mark Twain knew,of it as a term for fake jewelry. I think here it’s used more as an adjective. But interesting to see it used. He’s describing a general store in the 19th-Century. They didn’t exist in the 9th-Century either.
Check out my Steel Pen Blog. https://thesteelpen.com/ . 

 

"No one is exempt from talking nonsense; the mistake is to do it solemnly."

-Montaigne







Sponsored Content




|