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

Esterbrook 199 (?) Australian Nib


  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 Redleg05

Redleg05

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 74 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 05 December 2019 - 06:24

I found this nib today. I'm trying to learn more about it. The imprint forms an oval. The upper half of the oval says (ESTERBROOK & Co.). The lower half of the oval says (AUSTRALIAN). Beneath that, (PEN). It's about maybe a #5 size or so.

 
It appears to be a plated base metal. The plating is still extant on the heel of the nib and a little bit across the body.The imprint struck through to the back.
 
The ONLY reference I can find is on The Esterbrook Project. It says these were made 1870-1880s. Can anybody guide me toward further information?

 

https://theesterbroo...RALIAN PEN.html

 

199a.jpg 199b.jpg



Sponsored Content

#2 bsenn

bsenn

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 988 posts
  • Location:South Milwaukee, WI
  • Flag:

Posted 06 December 2019 - 15:47

I have the nib photographed for the Esterbrook Project web site. That nib does not specifically have 199 stamped on it, but based on the Australian description it was assumed to be the 199.

Prior to finding that nib, the only evidence that nib existed was the catalog mentions. That is likely the only information available. You could reach out to the Esterbrook Project using the contact info on the website.

Brian

One test is worth a thousand expert opinions.


#3 Redleg05

Redleg05

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 74 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 06 December 2019 - 19:46

I have the nib photographed for the Esterbrook Project web site. That nib does not specifically have 199 stamped on it, but based on the Australian description it was assumed to be the 199.

Prior to finding that nib, the only evidence that nib existed was the catalog mentions. That is likely the only information available. You could reach out to the Esterbrook Project using the contact info on the website.

Brian

 

Hi Brian, thanks for responding. I saw that article, and sent snaps to the Project mainly because this one still has plating and yours didn't appear to. I haven't heard back. Are these the only two known? 



#4 bsenn

bsenn

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 988 posts
  • Location:South Milwaukee, WI
  • Flag:

Posted 06 December 2019 - 22:55

The Esterbrook Project was not aware of another at the time I submitted mine.

One test is worth a thousand expert opinions.


#5 AAAndrew

AAAndrew

    (Not so) Wee Timorous Beastie

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,003 posts
  • Location:Durham, NC
  • Flag:

Posted 09 December 2019 - 21:28

The 199 Australian is one of the brass dip pens made by Esterbrook, with the Colorado pens being the most widely known in this series. The Australian is a highly uncommon pen. I've found listings for it in the following references: 

 

1876 Price List
1879 Trade Price List
1883 Catalog
1887 Anderson & Krum catalog
 
Esterbrook made several versions of this style of pen including the various Colorado pens, the Australian, the Indestructible and the Arlington. They also made a "German Silver" (nickle silver alloy) version called the Silverine. 
 
I don't find any evidence that the Australian was ever gilt. These brass pens were originally quite shiny and looked a lot like gold pens (hence many of them having names reminiscent of big gold strikes, like Colorado and Australia), but could also become more tarnished. These were marketed as cheap versions of the gold pens which wouldn't corrode like steel. Some could have been gilt, I know some Colorado's have been, but the listings just mention "Golden" which is their term for brass, vs. "Gold" which is what they say when it's gold plated. What could be happening is that your pen still has the original varnish intact on spots and what you see there is what the pen originally looked like. Or it was gilt and the gold has worn off in spots. (but that would generally be in a more consistent pattern of wear) 
 
Unfortunately, they were not flexible, like steel or gold, but they could be repaired by just bending it back into place. The 1877 listing of the #307 Indestructible says: 
 
"Made of Composition. Can be beat in all directions and restored to shape for use again. A good pen for "Curb Stone Salesmen" and Prize Packages."  (curb stone salesman is an old term for door-to-door salesman)
 
These curved imprints generally mean an early pen, but that's not a guarantee on a brass one. Regardless, because they don't seem to be sold after the 1880's, it is still considered relatively early, and it is very rare. 
 
I'm assuming you sent a photo to Phil. I'm helping him out by creating the second-generation of the web site. (that's why I have so much info about Esterbrook pens). 
 
Here is a comparison of a standard-sized Colorado against the quite large Arlington (also a very rare pen in this series). 
 
fpn_1575926862__arlington_and_colorado_2
 
 
Hope this helps you learn more about your very nice pen. 

Edited by AAAndrew, 09 December 2019 - 21:35.


“When the historians of education do equal and exact justice to all who have contributed toward educational progress, they will devote several pages to those revolutionists who invented steel pens and blackboards.” V.T. Thayer, 1928



Check out my Steel Pen Blog


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

-Montaigne


#6 bsenn

bsenn

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 988 posts
  • Location:South Milwaukee, WI
  • Flag:

Posted 10 December 2019 - 01:10

Andrew, as always your info is impressively detailed and appreciated.

Brian

One test is worth a thousand expert opinions.


#7 AAAndrew

AAAndrew

    (Not so) Wee Timorous Beastie

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,003 posts
  • Location:Durham, NC
  • Flag:

Posted 10 December 2019 - 14:19

Andrew, as always your info is impressively detailed and appreciated.

Brian

 

My pleasure. I'm glad there's some use to all of this info I've gathered beside my own curiosity. 

 

Redleg05, would you be able to measure that nib for me, at least length in mm?  The descriptions are of it being a large pen, but it's difficult to tell from photos. 

 

Thanks!!

Andrew



“When the historians of education do equal and exact justice to all who have contributed toward educational progress, they will devote several pages to those revolutionists who invented steel pens and blackboards.” V.T. Thayer, 1928



Check out my Steel Pen Blog


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

-Montaigne


#8 Redleg05

Redleg05

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 74 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 11 December 2019 - 06:17

Redleg05, would you be able to measure that nib for me, at least length in mm?  The descriptions are of it being a large pen, but it's difficult to tell from photos. 

 

 

 

Hi, thanks for the great information! 

 

It measures 38mm in length, 10mm shoulder to shoulder.

 

I'll have to take better pictures. I'd swear it's a flash or a light plating. The reason it wore like this (I think) is that when found it was in a holder. The exposed part of the nib was covered in old, dry India ink. The heel seemed to have been protected by the holder as the wear line matched the line of the holder. It could be a paint or something too. But it sure looks plated.



#9 Redleg05

Redleg05

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 74 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 11 December 2019 - 06:21

 

 

Redleg05, would you be able to measure that nib for me, at least length in mm?  

I also meant to ask, what are the dimensions of your Arlington and Colorado? 








Sponsored Content




|