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Pelikan 400 Grey Tortoise?

pelikan

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18 replies to this topic

#1 MarcinEck

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 09:03

I recently bought a Pelikan 400 tortoiseshell pen from the 1950s. Its cap, captop and piston knob are in an unusual grey colour ....

On the cap ring there are no inscriptions. Above the piston knob engraving GUNTHER WAGNER PELIKAN. Gold nib Au 14 ct, Pelikan in filled italics, 585 14 KARAT, OF.

I attach photographs illustrating this pen accompanied by 2 brown 400s from the 50s and 80s and 1 black-green Pelikan from the 50s.

What is your opinion on this?

I asked a question about this pen to many outstanding specialists from Poland, the USA, Germany and France:

The answers are ambiguous and often contradictory:

I recently bought a Pelikan 400 tortoiseshell pen from the 1950s. Its cap, captop and piston knob are in an unusual grey colour ....

On the cap ring there are no inscriptions. Above the piston knob engraving GUNTHER WAGNER PELIKAN. Gold nib Au 14 ct, Pelikan in filled italics, 585 14 KARAT, OF.

I attach photographs illustrating this pen accompanied by 2 brown 400s from the 50s and 80s and 1 black-green Pelikan from the 50s.

What is your opinion on this?

I asked a question about this pen to many outstanding specialists from Poland, the USA, Germany and France:

The answers are ambiguous and often contradictory:

  1. „… My first thought was, that strong sunlight has bleached the resin over the years. But in this case, you normally see swirls from the moulding process.
    Your grey looks homogenous. …“

    I'm relatively sure, that there was no grey/tortoise model. Maybe a factory employee makes some proofs. Don't know. …”
  1. „… There was no such official release that I’m aware of……  Some of the early tortoise 400s were made form a plastic that reacted with light to form a grey haze over the surface. Perhaps that is what we are seeing here. That’s the only explanation that I can fathom though I’ve never seen one of those in person to comment whether or not the appearance of yours is consistent with that. … „
  1. „…simply  brown plastic degradation/discolouration …“
  1. «  … What a great find! He looks great! „… I've never seen one with the cap and piston knob in grey, it's really rare! And since this is a uniform colouring, it obviously can't be discolouration. … »

 

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What do You mean?


Edited by MarcinEck, 01 November 2019 - 09:10.


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#2 joss

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 10:13

I have discolored a brown Pelikan 400 cap into such a grey one by soaking the cap overnight in water.

 

Prolongued soaking of vintage plastic should be avoided but I simply forgot to remove the cap from the water bath. The next day, the brown cap reemerged as a grey cap and the discoloration is indeed uniform, as on your pen.

 

Such discoloration is not unique for Pelikan pen parts. I have seen similar uniform discoloration from brown to grey of 1940s brown Sheaffer desk pen sockets.



#3 como

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 10:44

Very interesting and good to know. Thank you! So far my bad luck has been with vintage ebonite in contact with water (instantly turned brown when put under running water, a good lesson to learn). This definitely teaches us that vintage pens are never to be taken for granted on the risk side. Always worth a good research on the material before soaking vintage. Of course the OP's pen can indeed be a grey cap pen, but joss' shared experience is valuable knowledge.



#4 jungkind

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 16:21

I have a cap with the same type of discoloration, was told the same, that early resins had a tendency to fade to grey-ish from sunlight



#5 christof

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Posted 02 November 2019 - 06:23

I already answered in the other forum and asked fo a picture of the section. it would be interesting to see the (most probably) original color there.
Pelikans gray 140 looks different:
43242848330_a653cd9c29_b.jpgPelikan 140 Grau 1952 von -C.M.Z-

c.

(ps: pardon, j'ai vu ta réponse seulement maintenant...)

Edited by christof, 02 November 2019 - 06:39.

. . . my current S A L E S . . .

 

 

 

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#6 joss

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Posted 06 November 2019 - 21:03

So what is the colour of the section?



#7 jaytaylor

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 08:03

It looks too uniform to be fading, and the fact that the blind cap, cap and final have all faded to the same degree and completely uniform.

 

Would be interesting to see inside the blind cap, also dismantle the cap and check the unexposed section of the cap finial. Possibly also cut a small chip out from the unexposed area of the cap finial.

 

I think it looks awesome IMO, I'd jump on one of these grey examples.



#8 jaytaylor

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 08:08

I have discolored a brown Pelikan 400 cap into such a grey one by soaking the cap overnight in water.

 

Prolongued soaking of vintage plastic should be avoided but I simply forgot to remove the cap from the water bath. The next day, the brown cap reemerged as a grey cap and the discoloration is indeed uniform, as on your pen.

 

Such discoloration is not unique for Pelikan pen parts. I have seen similar uniform discoloration from brown to grey of 1940s brown Sheaffer desk pen sockets.

 

Interesting, I have soaked an early brown cap for days in tap water with no discolouration at all.

 

From my experience I have never observed celluloid discolouration from water soaking and I have soaked an awful lot of celluloid pens from many brands including of course Pelikan. 



#9 MarcinEck

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 13:33

Here's a picture of the section. It is in a different colour.
 

7e9e70b44a45e3damed.jpg

 

The treatment of soaking the pen would cause the same discolouration as the other parts ... Wouldn't it?



#10 christof

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 15:45

Strange thing - but I like it  :)

C.


. . . my current S A L E S . . .

 

 

 

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#11 MarcinEck

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 17:28

Strange thing - but I like it  :)

C.

So do I :rolleyes:


Edited by MarcinEck, 10 November 2019 - 17:33.


#12 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 21:20

Another 400 I don't have.....grumble squared.


German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

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#13 viju

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 01:32

I don't think Pelikan made it with section and piston knob different colours. The section colour would have been the original colour and cap and piston knob some how changed due to exposure to sunlight or something else. Interesting Grey tortoise..

#14 viju

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 01:41

If the section is Grey, it would have been a uniform Grey tortoise.

#15 joss

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 21:38

Here's a picture of the section. It is in a different colour.
The treatment of soaking the pen would cause the same discolouration as the other parts ... Wouldn't it?

 

The section is indeed brown not grey. I have also noticed that soaking did not discolour the section of a brown & tortoise Pelikan.

 

I do not know why some plastics discolour easily and others do not. Maybe it has someting to do with the amount of additives (such as softeners) that are present in some plastic material.

 

Below is an example of Sheaffer plastic that discoloured from brown to grey. The sockets on these desk bases came in black, brown or green plastic but never in grey. The original brown colour of this socket can still be seen in the socket's interior:

fpn_1573593612__sd.jpg 



#16 como

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 21:47

Interesting... And I don't suppose that the discolouration of the socket was due to soaking in water, as it would have been grey inside and out. I guess it was because of exposure in UV light?

 

 

The section is indeed brown not grey. I have also noticed that soaking did not discolour the section of a brown & tortoise Pelikan.

 

I do not know why some plastics discolour easily and others do not. Maybe it has someting to do with the amount of additives (such as softeners) that are present in some plastic material.

 

Below is an example of Sheaffer plastic that discoloured from brown to grey. The sockets on these desk bases came in black, brown or green plastic but never in grey. The original brown colour of this socket can still be seen in the socket's interior:

fpn_1573593612__sd.jpg



#17 joss

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 22:48

Interesting... And I don't suppose that the discolouration of the socket was due to soaking in water, as it would have been grey inside and out. I guess it was because of exposure in UV light?

 

You never know what people do with their items.

 

If it is light alone I agree with the comments above that the discoloration is expected to be uneven. The inside of the socket is largely hidden from daylight so maybe it is a combination of light and moisture that causes the discoloration. I do not know.



#18 Intensity

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 00:15

What's the inside color of the cap? Is it also uniformly the same gray inside as it is outside?  Graying due to soaking or aging would produce a gradient of some sort or uneven change in color.  At least the inside of the cap would have some difference in hue as well as probably variation in hue from area to area. 


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#19 ralfstc

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Posted 13 November 2019 - 04:03

Couldn't the pen have lain in a bit of water with the cap on? Not necessarily enough to reach the inside of the cap, unless the feed shows water discolouration too?

 

Kind of pretty, though!







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