[I had this posting in the Nibs & Tines forum but I was told it would be better to have it in this Esterbrook forum. I didn't know how to transfer it so I just copied it to post here.]
Because I wanted to acquire a vintage Esterbrook J or transitional fountain pen (which would be my first old, used Esterbrook), I bought at eBay, in anticipation of very soon receiving the actual Esterbrook fountain pen, what was advertised as an "Esterbrook #9550 Firm Extra-Fine Renew-Point - Nib in Original Box". [My Esterbrook transitional fountain pen will be delivered to me soon.]
Today the mailman brought me the Esterbrook nib unit but I wonder if it's an authentic one or a knock-off fake made somewhere outside of the US. While the eBay ad photos do show the top side of the nib, I perhaps didn't notice something probably important in this matter. You see, the top side of the nib only has on it "Alloy Tipped Ex-Fine U.S.A."-- there's NO "Esterbrook" on the nib--> see below photo of it. I believe that real Esterbrook nibs for the J pens - and maybe/probably for the transitional pen too -- are #6 sized nibs. This nib I got today is smaller than the other non-Esterbrook #6 nibs I have-- it looks to be between a #5 and a #6 nib and it's rather narrow. The green plastic housing (which holds the nib and feed) looks as if it had been made an hour ago and the box also made maybe 2 hours ago: the box doesn't look like a box that had been sitting in a large box or drawer from some long closed pen shop and the box I have is made of quite thin, lightweight cardboard. [The very small nib-feed box looks exactly like other real, authentic Esterbrook boxes I've seen at eBay with these others looking a bit worn from being in and knocked about in a larger box or drawer somewhere for many, many years.]
Overall, the entire nib-feed unit seems small, diminutive-- though I've never held a real vintage Esterbrook J pen, this nib-feed unit looks so tiny -- so narrow, so short -- to me.
Remember: I've never owned nor held anywhere a real, authentic Esterbrook J or transitional fountain pen so I don't know if I'm correct or wrong about all this nib unit and box.
The seller's ad read:
The entire length of the nib unit, from tipping to barrel-end of the green plastic collar/housing, is just 33 mm (or 1 5/16 inch). Knowing that real Esterbrook nibs are stainless steel, I put the nib next to a strong magnet but the nib wasn't pulled to the magnet so I figure this must mean the nib is real stainless steel.
Do you think, suspect or know that the "Esterbrook" nib-feed unit I got today is a real, authentic one or is it a fake made outside of the US?
Also, do you know if anyone in the world is known to be making these to look like and behave in the same way as vintage, real NOS Esterbrook nib-feed units?
I'm able to return the nib-feed unit. Fortunately, I'm given 30 days to do that.
Photos of this maybe or surely odd-looking "Esterbrook"/Esterbrook box and nib-feed unit--> Click on each photo to make it larger (or see the attachments if they're large enough):