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Sheaffer 1920's 18K White Gold Flat Top Questions & Facts W/pics

flat sheaffer white gold

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#1 LuckyLux

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Posted 25 January 2019 - 02:20

Sheaffer 1920's 18K White Gold "Flat Top" Questions & Facts w/pics

 

Hi everybody, great to be on this forum, looking to date range this Sheaffer in my collection and get opinion on a few questions, I have and any correction to the info I have below.

 

Regarding the #2 nib:

Was there a hard start date to the nibs reading “lifetime”? Or, is this nib lower cost, therefore no life time warranty?

Was there a hard cut-off date to the earlier heart shaped breather hole?

 

Regarding the clip:

As you see, there is no Sheaffer name embossed on the clip, is this because this didn’t happen until a certain point or, that this, being a high end pen did not usually have that for more subtle appearance?

 

Regarding the model:

Would a model number exist on this? Is it an “18” of a type as I see referenced on www.pensacs.com or 1 part of a 2 piece and very high end “Gifties” set in the 1920’s? The Gifties, may have been only 14K I think. So, more custom order with in house jeweler’s doing engraving? It looks like the only 4.5 inch model made.

 

Has anyone seen this pattern?

 

I’m thinking date as 1925-27 based on clip style and barrel motif at this point.

 

The facts as I know them so far:

  • All-metal barrel and section lever-filler, “Flat Top” in solid white gold (this version, 58.5% gold and 41.5% palladium I believe), reading 18K on barrel, cap, clip. Assuming the lever bar is also 18K.
  • Hand engraved jeweler’s craftsmanship on barrel and cap with what I would describe as an Art Deco, geometric, leaf and sunrise motif. Right for the era and unusual on a Sheaffer? And, in my opinion a departure from the very ornate scroll work golds that are seen.
  • Stylized hand engraved monogram at top of cap reading “B”.
  • What appears to be a simple rectangular blank “cartouche” on barrel for further engraving.
  • Cap reads above opening, in pre 1932/33 logo, in two lines, Sheaffer’s, Made in U.S.A.
  • Cap has two fine breather holes incorporated into the leaf design and “hump” clip with ball tip.
  • Round nib reads in two lines Sheaffer’s, No. 2, assuming 14K and a contrast to the gold used in the barrel for reference.
  • Heart shaped breather hole.
  • 4 5/8” (4.5”?) long x 3/8” diameter
  • Weight 0.026g

Condition: (With full transparency as I know it.)

  • Excellent used condition, clean, unrestored.
  • Exterior - surface has fine scratches consistent with normal use on a 95 year old pen.
  • Exterior – As 18K gold is a soft material there are some dings, the two most visible are on barrel end and the other is on side edge of cartouche. A minor few others that would need strong light to view.
  • Exterior – very faint discoloration around breather holes that I assume was caused by ink aspirating from holes over the years.  Removable I assume by a professional product or jeweler.
  • Interior – Unknown but all seems intact, original ink sack has long ago turned to dust.
  • Lever - still has a solid springiness and snaps into place.
  • Nib – Excellent, no damage

Any further facts you may know would be greatly appreciated. Please ask any questions as well. I can post more pics too if needed.

I just took photos of this that last few days and can’t believe how difficult it was to photograph pens and especially a shiny one! Kudos, to all the beautiful photos on this site. I’ve got to figure out a method for taking pics ;).

 

I’m very pleased to know that this site exists with so much info and knowledge from all you and thanks in advance.

 

Sincerely,

Dave

Attached Images

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Edited by LuckyLux, 25 January 2019 - 23:46.


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#2 nsalvut

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Posted 25 January 2019 - 19:49

I don't know anything about your pen except that it is stunningly beautiful and I want it, lol. I hope someone else can answer all your questions but thank you for sharing such an amazing pen.

#3 LuckyLux

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Posted 25 January 2019 - 23:55

I don't know anything about your pen except that it is stunningly beautiful and I want it, lol. I hope someone else can answer all your questions but thank you for sharing such an amazing pen.

 

Appreciate the compliment! I like this one too but I don't think I can build a collection of gold pens :) I love the history of these metal ones and would like to piece a few things more together for my curiosity. I may sell this and a few others and use the funds to start leaning toward early plastic ones pre-1950ish. Cheers. 



#4 Roger W.

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Posted 26 January 2019 - 06:53

It is nigh on impossible to put together a set of these.  Yes, I know what they are.  They are the "Hand Engraved - Giftie Sets" from 1928 and are in the catalog.  I've seen a few of these but, very few.  There were 5 in 18K white gold and 6 in 14K green gold.  Your pen is not illustrated in the catalog, most aren't, but the ring top is so we can derive that your pen is the 244XC.  Originally issued for $55 so you won't see much of these having sold right before the depression.  A really hard pen to find!

 

Roger W.



#5 LuckyLux

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Posted 26 January 2019 - 20:53

It is nigh on impossible to put together a set of these.  Yes, I know what they are.  They are the "Hand Engraved - Giftie Sets" from 1928 and are in the catalog.  I've seen a few of these but, very few.  There were 5 in 18K white gold and 6 in 14K green gold.  Your pen is not illustrated in the catalog, most aren't, but the ring top is so we can derive that your pen is the 244XC.  Originally issued for $55 so you won't see much of these having sold right before the depression.  A really hard pen to find!

 

Roger W.

 

Roger,

 

Thank you very much for further confirming some of the information I had and adding your additional knowledge regarding the model # and its catalog date. I have read quite a bit of your very informed writings on Sheaffer and appreciate your response. Also, green gold is a new type for me.

I don’t have access to a catalog so glad you were able to pinpoint it.

 

Have you seen this exact design?

 

In regards to a few other related questions that I have now after your reply, if you know any of the following would appreciate your thoughts:

 

Regarding the numeric/alpha model designations:

 

- “244XC” - I assume the “2” is regarding nib size, “44” is model range, “X is what? Noting hand engraving?, “C” as typical, the clip.

 

- Did the catalog designate design names? Or, if 5 of 18K …. Designated as V, W, X, Y, Z?

 

- So, did those sets come as Fountain Pen/Pencil, and then “Midget” Ring Top set of same?

 

- That was $55 for the set? That’s the price of a wholesale catalog I assume. The reason I ask this is I see an old Giftie ad that I think predates this I think and it has a “De Luxe – Engraved, Solid Gold (14K) at $105 and a corresponding “Midget” Ring set for $88. So it follows that the midget set s in the catalog you are looking at is $46 range?

 

- Also based on the numbers available in solid gold you see in ’28 catalog that’s five 18K white gold designs combined with matched pencils in “full” size is 10 possible full size and, same amount of “midget” ring tops. So, 20 possible 18K models in 1928. Of course these being made by Sheaffer at all, I assume, would strictly be based on orders coming in.

 

I agree, looks like an assembling of the examples of these might be tough!

 

Thanks for any more light on this.

Dave



#6 Roger W.

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Posted 27 January 2019 - 07:57

I believe I've seen the design and I think that the Sheaffer museum had a set of all of the pencils.  6 sets and 5 sets are in total (acually 6 and 6 - I miss counted) so don't try to add to it - 3C's and 3M's of each.  I will put the page here so doubt will not remain.  You'll see $55 was for the pen and the set was $85.  The ringtop was $50.  Roger W.

fpn_1548575525__page_25.jpg



#7 LuckyLux

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Posted 27 January 2019 - 20:18

I believe I've seen the design and I think that the Sheaffer museum had a set of all of the pencils.  6 sets and 5 sets are in total (acually 6 and 6 - I miss counted) so don't try to add to it - 3C's and 3M's of each.  I will put the page here so doubt will not remain.  You'll see $55 was for the pen and the set was $85.  The ringtop was $50.  Roger W.

 

 

 

Thank you very much Roger.  

 

Wonderful to see that pattern for the first time somewhere! I don’t think there is another example of the design, whether illustrated or pictured, anywhere on the internet. This one page answers many questions.

 

The “X” design, I like that. You certainly need a map like this to figure out what is the “code” rather than a “model” in these cases and, even though there are similarities to earlier year’s codes there seems to be quite a few departures from standardization. That’s part of the pursuit, solving the key.

 

I think I have figured it out, and in this case we have “2”= nib, “44”= metal type, “X’ = design, “C” = with a clip. The set code would be a simplified derivative of both the Pen and Pencil codes. Why they wouldn’t have a “4” in the code of the matching pencil as in, “F4XSC” is a question for the ages. I would think even at the factory it would have cut time checking and double checking. I am speculating the “S”= standard in the pencils

.

Incidentally for anyone looking at this later, the pen on the left in the catalog illustration has a code typo and should read “288YC” not “228YC”.

 

The last paragraph on the catalog page is telling. The time allotted between a customer ordering and the time needed for production was 3 to 4 weeks. Tack on another week for shipping? Although, at the time, there was a tolerance of a wait for craftsmanship of this type,  I am sure this time frame would eliminate some sales just by its nature and some stores may not have even offered it as a choice if it meant full payment in their hands for a pen they already had in stock.

 

I wonder how long they continued to offer hand engraved like this?

 

Was this the last Giftie catalog offering before the Depression hit and changed the course of many businesses?

 

 What was next catalog after 1928?

 

These questions are beyond the pursuit of the knowledge of this pen now but so many angles that are related and that why I love the history of pens.

 

Thanks for any further to this by anyone and if you have a related pen show us a picture!

 

Cheers,

Dave



#8 Roger W.

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Posted 28 January 2019 - 22:13

Dave;

 

These giftie sets are shown only on the one panel in 1928 (Good catch on the wrong numbering on the page - I've not noticed it before).  The next catalog is called 1930 though it was clearly made in late 1929 and offered a huge array of product as everything was selling well before the depression.  This catalog would be the last until a small catalog in 1934.

 

Roger W.



#9 LuckyLux

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Posted 30 January 2019 - 00:46

Dave;

 

These giftie sets are shown only on the one panel in 1928 (Good catch on the wrong numbering on the page - I've not noticed it before).  The next catalog is called 1930 though it was clearly made in late 1929 and offered a huge array of product as everything was selling well before the depression.  This catalog would be the last until a small catalog in 1934.

 

Roger W.

 

Roger,

Again appreciate your further knowledge on the catalog (s). Interesting about the gaps in issuing. Did Giftie die as a marketing name in the 1930?

Are these catalogs available via an archive on a forum out there I am not aware of? Would like to learn more about these and other pens.

Thank you, Dave   



#10 Herobrinefly

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Posted 30 January 2019 - 16:31

Regarding the #2 nib: Sheaffer began to offer Lifetime nib in around 1922,but they didn`t make solid gold Lifetime pens,as far as I know,nor sterling silver. In fact the only metal(overlay actually) Lifetime pen they made are 98BC,98BSC and 98BSR.(oversize,stubby size with clip and stubby size with ring top,all green gold filled),prized $20.50. That`s strange,I think.The most expensive pen does not have Lifetime gurantee? Regarding the clip: Unmarked solid gold clips are common. Marked ones also exist though.

#11 Roger W.

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Posted 30 January 2019 - 17:46

Regarding the #2 nib: Sheaffer began to offer Lifetime nib in around 1922,but they didn`t make solid gold Lifetime pens,as far as I know,nor sterling silver. In fact the only metal(overlay actually) Lifetime pen they made are 98BC,98BSC and 98BSR.(oversize,stubby size with clip and stubby size with ring top,all green gold filled),prized $20.50. That`s strange,I think.The most expensive pen does not have Lifetime gurantee? Regarding the clip: Unmarked solid gold clips are common. Marked ones also exist though.

Sheaffer offered the lifetime nib in 1921 and it originally just covered the nib.  Solid gold clips are marked as such and unmarked clips are not solid gold.  The 788BC is solid green gold and the 78BC is green gold filled which are both metal lifetime pens (1925 catalog).  While not all pens were "lifetimes" Sheaffer does point out they they guarantee all of their pens. 

 

These hand engraved giftie sets were only in the 1928 catalog though giftie sets were still offered in 1930, for instance, they weren't the ones under discussion.  The key distinction, as giftie sets were in the 1925 catalog as well, is the "hand engraved".

 

Roger W.



#12 LuckyLux

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Posted 30 January 2019 - 19:58

Regarding the #2 nib: Sheaffer began to offer Lifetime nib in around 1922,but they didn`t make solid gold Lifetime pens,as far as I know,nor sterling silver. In fact the only metal(overlay actually) Lifetime pen they made are 98BC,98BSC and 98BSR.(oversize,stubby size with clip and stubby size with ring top,all green gold filled),prized $20.50. That`s strange,I think.The most expensive pen does not have Lifetime gurantee? Regarding the clip: Unmarked solid gold clips are common. Marked ones also exist though.

 

Herobrinefly,

 

Thanks for your input to this discussion. I had also wondered about how long the #2 was used and would be "right" for original pen. I suppose if some one acted on warranty or guarantee back then a #2 would be offered but not with the original stamping on nib. It looks like there is a continued, and expected, develop to wording stamped on nib. All of which are dating clues. I think along with "Shaffer" and a number, warranted arrived, lifetime arrived, etc, etc.

 

Wow, if I had the time I would try and compile a visual chronological list just for nibs alone :). The heart shaped breather hole was discontinued at some point and that's a dating clue too. I suppose much can be gleened from the catalogs which I don't have yet. I'll start a nib thread at some point maybe.

 

Where have you gotten your catalogs from? Is there a reproduction source? Anybody reading this can weigh in.

 

It looks like Roger H. has weighed in further as well.

 

Thanks again,

Dave



#13 LuckyLux

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Posted 30 January 2019 - 20:33

Sheaffer offered the lifetime nib in 1921 and it originally just covered the nib.  Solid gold clips are marked as such and unmarked clips are not solid gold.  The 788BC is solid green gold and the 78BC is green gold filled which are both metal lifetime pens (1925 catalog).  While not all pens were "lifetimes" Sheaffer does point out they they guarantee all of their pens. 

 

These hand engraved giftie sets were only in the 1928 catalog though giftie sets were still offered in 1930, for instance, they weren't the ones under discussion.  The key distinction, as giftie sets were in the 1925 catalog as well, is the "hand engraved".

 

Roger W.

 

Thanks again Roger!,

 

Ah Ha, "Hand Engraved" in 1925 and 1928 catalogs, right, got it. Another interesting aspect to this pen line. Yes, veering off the main pen a bit but like the product correlation/timeline relationship minutia. Understood about the clips too thanks. I would really have to see the catalogs now to get some of the catalog specific pen codes straight in my head. As always, fascinating.

 

Dave



#14 LuckyLux

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Posted 30 January 2019 - 21:18

I was wondering just kind of coin you would've had to have had in your pockets 1928 to buy a pen for $55.

 

An interesting comparison of 1928 dollar's to 2019 dollar's for the 18K White Gold pen line -

This pen - $55 now = $808.06

Sets - $85 now = $1248.82

Sets - $75 now = $1101.90

$50 now = $734.60

$30 now = $440.76

$25 now = $367.30

 

Conclusion, big coin. :)

 

Dave



#15 Herobrinefly

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Posted 01 February 2019 - 01:31

Sheaffer offered the lifetime nib in 1921 and it originally just covered the nib.  Solid gold clips are marked as such and unmarked clips are not solid gold.  The 788BC is solid green gold and the 78BC is green gold filled which are both metal lifetime pens (1925 catalog).  While not all pens were "lifetimes" Sheaffer does point out they they guarantee all of their pens. 

 

These hand engraved giftie sets were only in the 1928 catalog though giftie sets were still offered in 1930, for instance, they weren't the ones under discussion.  The key distinction, as giftie sets were in the 1925 catalog as well, is the "hand engraved".

 

Roger W.

 

 

 

Er.....what I wanted to say is that solid gold clips without "SHEAFFER`S" mark are common. I didn`t express it correctly, my fault.

 

It is really the first time I heard that solid gold Lifetime pen exists. I don`t have a 1925 Catalog........ Thanks a lot Roger.



#16 Herobrinefly

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Posted 01 February 2019 - 01:35

 

Herobrinefly,

 

Thanks for your input to this discussion. I had also wondered about how long the #2 was used and would be "right" for original pen. I suppose if some one acted on warranty or guarantee back then a #2 would be offered but not with the original stamping on nib. It looks like there is a continued, and expected, develop to wording stamped on nib. All of which are dating clues. I think along with "Shaffer" and a number, warranted arrived, lifetime arrived, etc, etc.

 

Wow, if I had the time I would try and compile a visual chronological list just for nibs alone :). The heart shaped breather hole was discontinued at some point and that's a dating clue too. I suppose much can be gleened from the catalogs which I don't have yet. I'll start a nib thread at some point maybe.

 

Where have you gotten your catalogs from? Is there a reproduction source? Anybody reading this can weigh in.

 

It looks like Roger H. has weighed in further as well.

 

Thanks again,

Dave

 

PCA Library. It seems that it`s not operational now.



#17 LuckyLux

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 23:21

 

PCA Library. It seems that it`s not operational now.

 

Thanks Herobrinefly, Does anyone know Pen Collectors of America web site will be operational? Or where I can get catalogs elsewhere?



#18 LuckyLux

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 23:25

Roger W.

 

How about you Roger, where I can get catalogs elsewhere?.... other than non-operational PCA web site. PDF's woud be fine too. Thanks, Dave



#19 Roger W.

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 23:53

Well, the PCA site should be up soon.  David Isaacson also has downloads available at http://vacumania.com/ left hand side "600-item...".  I won't speak to the controversy as to how they got there but, they are there.  You should be able to find what you are looking for in the download.

 

Roger W.



#20 FarmBoy

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Posted 07 February 2019 - 06:00

Well, the PCA site should be up soon.  David Isaacson also has downloads available at http://vacumania.com/ left hand side "600-item...".  I won't speak to the controversy as to how they got there but, they are there.  You should be able to find what you are looking for in the download.

 

Roger W.

PCA members looking for a specific file can always contact the PCA and ask for the file.  membership@ or admin@ pencollectorsofamerica.com will get you to there.


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