Jump to content

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


Registration on the Fountain Pen Network

Dearest Visitor of the little Fountain Pen Nut house on the digital prairie,

Due to the enormous influx of spammers, it is no longer possible to handle valditions in the traditional way. For registrations we therefore kindly and respectfully request you to send an email with your request to our especially created email address. This email address is register at fountainpennetwork dot com. Please include your desired user name, and after validation we will send you a return email containing the validation key, normally wiithin a week.

Thank you very much in advance!
The FPN Admin Team






Photo

Santini Italia Libra

italian pen santini italia stub nib

  • Please log in to reply
22 replies to this topic

#1 dms525

dms525

    Antique

  • FPN Supporter - Platinum

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,465 posts
  • Location:San Joaquin Valley of California
  • Flag:

Posted 02 August 2019 - 19:05

Santini Italia Libra.jpg

 

Santini Italia is a relatively new company, although there was an older Italian pen manufacturer named "Santini" which may have been the same family. I am not sure what the "1998" engraved on the nib represents, presumably some important milestone in the company's history. The company is owned by Giovanni Santini, and he is the pen maker as well. He was previously involved with Ancora pens. Santini Italia attracted my attention partly because they make their own 18Kt nibs, and they offer a stub nib. They do make some somewhat blingy limited editions but several models that are quite traditional and reasonably priced for pens made with handsome resins, piston filled and fitted with 18Kt gold nibs. So, I thought it was worth ordering one. I ordered directly from the company in Italy. Communication with them was easy and responsive. The pen arrived just a few days ago, so this is a "first look."

 

Santini uncapped.jpg

 

General size, shape and appearance

The Santini Italia "Libra" comes in several colors. The one I ordered is a light brown, wood grain resin. I find it rather handsome. The pen is a traditional "flat top" shape with low peaks on the top of the cap and the other end. It is a large pen, but not quite "oversize." it is about the length of a Pelikan M800 but a millimeter or so greater in diameter. I find that a positive characteristic, since I prefer thicker sections for comfort. The pen's fit and finish seem faultless. One feels it is very well made. The hardware appears to be gold plated. It is quite simple and in good taste.

 

 

Santini compare .jpg

Santini Italia Libra with a Pelikan M800 and an Aurora 88 (both with custom bindes)

 

Santini compare uncapped.jpg

Santini uncapped compare to a M800.

 

Filling the pen

The Libra is a piston filler. It takes about 6 turns to fill it. The capacity, tested with water, is about 1.5ml. It is very smooth to operate. When filling is complete, the end knob turns with a clicking sound, like the piston  mechanism in my Delta Santuffos. 

 

The nib and writing

 

Santini nib.jpg

 

As stated, the availability of a stub nib at no extra cost was a positive factor in my decision to buy this pen. My assessment revealed both strengths and weaknesses. On initial inspection, I was pleasantly surprised by the width of the nib tip. Most stock stubs on Italian pens are 0.9 to 1.3mm. This one appears to be about 0.8, which is much more usable for my daily italic handwriting. The nib is on the small size for the size of the pen. It is noticeably smaller than the nib of a M800. On closer inspection, I found one of the tines to be torqued slightly, and the tip looked like it had baby bottom. Also, it was on the round end of the "stub" spectrum. I expected writing problems. When I inked the pen, I found it wrote very smoothly with moderate to wet ink flow. On single strokes, the thick/thin line differentiation was about 2:1, but there was minimal thick/thin difference in writing because of how wet the nib is.

 

I will be taking the pen to the San Francisco Pen Show to have the nib tuned and crisped up. I'll update my review afterwards.

 

David



Sponsored Content

#2 JonSzanto

JonSzanto

    You do, indeed, only live once.

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,411 posts

Posted 03 August 2019 - 06:24

I will be taking the pen to the San Francisco Pen Show to have the nib tuned and crisped up. I'll update my review afterwards.

 

You answered before I asked the question. Looking forward to seeing you and your pen!


"When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick; and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."
~ Benjamin Franklin

#3 amk

amk

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,067 posts
  • Location:Norwich, UK
  • Flag:

Posted 03 August 2019 - 06:41

That's a very sweet pen. When I first looked at it, I thought it was ebonite - the stripy woodgrain effect is so reminiscent of the best of ebonite pens. Looking forward to finding out how you get on with that stub.


Too many pens, too little time!

http://fountainpenlove.blogspot.fr/


#4 dms525

dms525

    Antique

  • FPN Supporter - Platinum

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,465 posts
  • Location:San Joaquin Valley of California
  • Flag:

Posted 03 August 2019 - 16:04

 

You answered before I asked the question. Looking forward to seeing you and your pen!

 

The pen and I will be available for viewing at the SF Pen Show. Looking forward to seeing you too, Jon!

 

David



#5 dms525

dms525

    Antique

  • FPN Supporter - Platinum

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,465 posts
  • Location:San Joaquin Valley of California
  • Flag:

Posted 03 August 2019 - 16:06

That's a very sweet pen. When I first looked at it, I thought it was ebonite - the stripy woodgrain effect is so reminiscent of the best of ebonite pens. Looking forward to finding out how you get on with that stub.

 

In the company's photos, the material looks like ebonite too. In person, it is still good looking, but it actually looks (and feels) less like ebonite.

 

David



#6 Katduffy

Katduffy

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 79 posts
  • Location:Florida

Posted 09 August 2019 - 20:19

I bought a pink ripple ebonite Santini Italia Libra a few months ago, they had a few different ebonite colors. I’m happy with the look of my pen.

#7 bbs

bbs

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,420 posts
  • Location:Near Sevenoaks, Kent
  • Flag:

Posted 29 October 2019 - 14:52

Hello David, did you get your nib fixed? Am interested in hearing your verdict as a 0.8mm stub is of great interest!

Kind regards, Sue

I chose my user name years ago - I have no links to BBS pens (other than owning one!)


#8 Portia of Belmont

Portia of Belmont

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 132 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 30 October 2019 - 01:55

I love Santini Italia pens as an extension of my love for Ancora--they both have those same homemade, luscious, long-tined, 18k nibs.  I have several of both and was interested in adding a Libra to my collection, but was curious about the pen's size and the piston function. 

 

Thank you for this review!  It sealed my decision to pick one up...



#9 praxim

praxim

    still on twig

  • FPN Supporter - Rhodium

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,445 posts
  • Location:Not upon the peneplain
  • Flag:

Posted 30 October 2019 - 02:35

I am currently using this Santini Libra, in Forest ebonite.

fpn_1572402219__libra_inked.jpg

While mine has a plain M nib, I largely agree with the review. It is a fairly large yet comfortable pen, well finished and of course with the lovely Santini nib. The nib, by the way, looks to have the same width and length to the shoulder as an M800 but with longer tines, as Portia mentions.

 

It is my fifth Santini and I am very happy with it.

 

Post script: On further investigation, my ebonite Libra is a larger pen than the Libra dms525 reviews. For example, it is significantly longer than an M800 uncapped and about 3 mm wider. I will leave the comments here though, because either fine Santini remains that.


When you receive new information you can change your mind, or you can close it; or you can try shooting the messenger.

#10 dms525

dms525

    Antique

  • FPN Supporter - Platinum

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,465 posts
  • Location:San Joaquin Valley of California
  • Flag:

Posted 30 October 2019 - 04:09

Hello David, did you get your nib fixed? Am interested in hearing your verdict as a 0.8mm stub is of great interest!

Kind regards, Sue

 

Hi, Sue.

 

I fear the answer is sort of a saga. 

 

I took the pen to the SF Pen Show and had Mike Masuyama look at it. Under his loupe, he saw that the tipping on one tine seemed incompletely attached. He did not recommend a regrind for fear of detaching the tipping altogether.

 

I emailed Santini Italia with macro photos of the problem. They had me send the nib to their U.S. distributor and sent me a new nib. It was also less than perfect and was very stubbish. So, I sent the pen off to Gena Salorino who ground to to a crisper cursive italic.  

 

I have written with the pen just a little since all the exchanges and such. It is okay, but not mind blowingly wonderful. It needs more ink trials to really assess its potential though.

 

I have bought another Santini pen subsequently, with a broad nib. I had Gena grind that one too, and it is pretty good. 

 

Pending further testing, my current assessment is that these pens are generally well-made and use very attractive materials. I am withholding final judgement on the nibs. But keep in mind I use my pens for calligraphy mostly, so I'm pretty fussy about nibs.

 

One thing I must add: The communication and service I received from the company was purely outstanding. It's very much a family operation. My communication has been with Katrina Santini.

 

Hope this answers your questions without TMI.

 

Happy writing.

 

David



#11 bbs

bbs

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,420 posts
  • Location:Near Sevenoaks, Kent
  • Flag:

Posted 30 October 2019 - 14:38

Many thanks for your reply David, very useful, if not entirely what I was hoping to hear! Sorry you had such a saga to get the nib sorted, and it still doesn’t sound super wonderful.

I think I will give one of the ‘cheaper’ models in their Colours series a try at some point, though, just to see what that stub nib is like. Anyone who is making a complete pen deserves support, I rationalise it!

Best wishes, and I hope your further ink trials have raised the pen’s rating,

Sue

I chose my user name years ago - I have no links to BBS pens (other than owning one!)


#12 eciton

eciton

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 106 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 31 October 2019 - 21:17

I had a very similar experience when I received a Santini for review earlier this year. Nice pen, well made, excellent value for the spec, and the company was a pleasure to deal with, but I had real issues with the stub nib I received. For what it's worth, Santini strongly disputed my review of the nib, claiming that their rigorous QC would never have let a nib with baby's bottom / misalignment / etc out the door. But it sounds like I'm not the only one. https://ukfountainpe...-rough-santini/


Anthony

ukfountainpens.com


#13 praxim

praxim

    still on twig

  • FPN Supporter - Rhodium

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,445 posts
  • Location:Not upon the peneplain
  • Flag:

Posted 31 October 2019 - 22:48

It would be disappointing if their more specialised nibs were not up to standard, as is being suggested. As I noted above, I use conventional F and M nibs and these standard manufactures have been flawless so far. After some other comments above I took a strong loupe to my Libra Ebonite (M) to find that the nib tipping looks exactly as one would expect given how well it writes.


When you receive new information you can change your mind, or you can close it; or you can try shooting the messenger.

#14 Honeybadgers

Honeybadgers

    Museum Piece

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,618 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 01 November 2019 - 00:04

I don't know why but that gaudy toe ring of a cap band is awesome.


Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)


#15 mauckcg

mauckcg

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 457 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 01 November 2019 - 00:18

I'm rather interested in giving one a try at some point.  They have some neat materials.



#16 Harry44

Harry44

    Near Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPip
  • 33 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 08 December 2019 - 00:19

I enjoy the look of santini pens, they seem fairly reasonably priced also. Great review!

 

P.s. What is that green and gold Aurora 88?



#17 praxim

praxim

    still on twig

  • FPN Supporter - Rhodium

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,445 posts
  • Location:Not upon the peneplain
  • Flag:

Posted 08 December 2019 - 07:49

P.s. What is that green and gold Aurora 88?

 

Custom, he wrote

 

Santini even sent me a christmas card. I hope they had a great deal on postage. :)


When you receive new information you can change your mind, or you can close it; or you can try shooting the messenger.

#18 pomperopero

pomperopero

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 215 posts

Posted 17 December 2019 - 07:41

What about the feed! Is it made out of plastic or ebonite?



#19 Frank_70

Frank_70

    Near Mint

  • Member - Silver

  • PipPipPip
  • 25 posts
  • Location:California -- San Francisco Bay Area
  • Flag:

Posted 13 January 2020 - 21:55

Thanks for the information rich review. I'm very intrigued by Santini and think that they are very nice looking. 

 

I'm seriously considering trying a Toscana with the flexible nib. Another, nice cartridge pen would come in handy (I like them for traveling). Although I like am 0.8 mm stub for general use, a flex nib is my second favorite, and given some of the comments Im reluctant to go with a stub. 



#20 praxim

praxim

    still on twig

  • FPN Supporter - Rhodium

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,445 posts
  • Location:Not upon the peneplain
  • Flag:

Posted 13 January 2020 - 22:59

What about the feed! Is it made out of plastic or ebonite?

 

Missed this query earlier. The Libra has an ebonite feed.


When you receive new information you can change your mind, or you can close it; or you can try shooting the messenger.





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: italian pen, santini italia, stub nib



Sponsored Content




|