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Conway Stewart Scribe 330, Vulcanite


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#1 QM2

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Posted 25 July 2008 - 16:41

Conway Stewart Scribe 330
Semi-Flex Nib



In the realm of vintage Conway Stewart, the Scribe is not a particularly glamorous, remarkable, or rare model.
But it certainly is an excellent fountain pen.

Produced in plentitude between 1931 and 1942, the Scribe No. 330 is a "domed flat-top", made of black
chased vulcanite -- the English term for hard rubber.



It is clipless and has no metal hardware, except for the nickel-plated "lollypop" lever. This, in combination with
the conservative houndstooth pattern chasing, the straight-edged barel, and the domed cap, gives the pen a
clean and elegant appearance.

The barrel imprint (mine is quite crisp) reads:
"SCRIBE" No.330
Conway Stewart London



The Scribe 300 is a comfortable standard size: 5 1/4" closed, 6 5/8" posted.
Here it is closed and posted next to an A5 Clairefontaine pad:





Notice that the 330 model has threads at the bottom of the barrel for posting the cap. This pen is probably the
most comfortable of my BCHRs in terms of size, weight, and grip. The Scribe was marketed as a daily-writer
model, hence the name, and it is certainly perfect for that purpose.



The nib on this Scribe is a Fine semi-flex, marked "Conway Srtewart 14ct gold".

The nice thing about this nib is its versatility. When used with a light touch, it puts down a remarkably
precise XF line. With a moderate touch, it produces a bit of line variation, but remains easy to handle.
And, with pressure, it is quite capable of flex.



Yes, this writing was produced with the same pen. You can use it both as a daily writer, and, if you wish,
for calligraphy, or as a "signature pen". This versatility is characteristic of many CS nibs of this period,
and is only one of the many reasons to appreciate early vintage Conway Stewart fountain pens.

The Scribe 330 can currently be found in excellent restored condition for well under $100 USD.
I purchased this one from Barry Rose at Writetime, who is wonderful to deal with.

Of course, you must like flat top designs and BCHR to appreciate this pen. All the usual HR caveats apply:
do not soak it in water for a prolonged period of time and do not leave it in direct sunlight, as this may cause
the rubber to discolour. And, as usual with vintage pens, condition and restoration quality are key in how
enjoyable your experience will be.

I would recommend the Scribe 330 to anybody looking for a starter vintage Conway Stewart pen,
or for a nice, reliable BCHR. It is an attractive and durable daily writer.


Edited by QM2, 26 July 2008 - 09:01.


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#2 RobertJ

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Posted 25 July 2008 - 21:38

Great review and I can't wait to get my hands on one!


#3 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 05:10

Nice historic pen
Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time

#4 Ondina

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 07:49

Fantastic review and pen. The penmanship is remarkable. Thank you.

#5 s_t_e_v_e

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 07:57

Nice penmanship and great flex!!

#6 QM2

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 09:15

Thank you for the penmanship comments; I am just starting to learn how to use flex and italics. I assure you that it depends more on finding the right pen to "teach you" than on any kind of innate ability. And then once you get the hang of it, any pen will do.

For those looking for flex per se, this CS nib is not the best choice, because it is somewhat effortful. In vintage terms, I would call it a semi-flex: capable of good line variation, but requires pressure to produce it. The upside to this, is its ability to function as a daily writer (you don't have to "activate" the flex if you don't want to), which a true vintage flex cannot do.

#7 dhlr14454

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 20:36

The threads at the end of the barrel are brilliant.

#8 Greg

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Posted 01 August 2008 - 09:05

Nice one, QM2, great review of a particularly worthy pen. Shows what good value a decent vintage CS can be. Lovely writing too. I, too, am trying to learn to use the flex and expression from these old nibs, but with far less success!

I find these old pens fascinating. Basic design and materials and functional and yet with such art and flourish available at the flick of a wrist.

Many thanks. Any more of other pens of yours?


Greg
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#9 Deirdre

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Posted 01 August 2008 - 09:31

How's the size compared to a Waterman 52?
deirdre.net
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#10 QM2

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Posted 01 August 2008 - 10:29

QUOTE (Deirdre @ Aug 1 2008, 10:31 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How's the size compared to a Waterman 52?


The Watermasn 52 is basically the same size as the CS Scribe 330: 5 1/4" capped. I am not sure that you would like the 330 model.
It only comes in BCHR and is quite ordinary as far as looks go.

But the later Scribe 336 came in some vibrant casein colours:



The above is a 336 Scribe in Blue Lapis, and below is a Blue/green/mauve swirl, both
from Jonathan Donahaye's site



#11 QM2

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Posted 01 August 2008 - 14:48

QUOTE (Greg @ Aug 1 2008, 10:05 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Nice one, QM2, great review of a particularly worthy pen. Shows what good value a decent vintage CS can be. Lovely writing too. I, too, am trying to learn to use the flex and expression from these old nibs, but with far less success!

I find these old pens fascinating. Basic design and materials and functional and yet with such art and flourish available at the flick of a wrist.

Many thanks. Any more of other pens of yours?


Thanks Greg!

My other vintage CS can be seen on this "Dinkies in Bloom" thread:
http://www.fountainp...showtopic=70647

and I will be photographing other vintage acquisitions soon, though no more CS for now : (

#12 perrins57

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 21:56

Mine also has a fine nib, very light and easy to write with. Good flex, though the nib is quite thin compared to the one on my Summit 125 so I'll have to be careful not to spring it flexing it too far.

Any Vintage pen guys know what's best to use to clean a rubber pen body?


Song of Solomon 4:12 ~ You are my private garden, my treasure, my bride, a secluded spring, a hidden fountain Pen

Amber Italix Parsons Essential Fine Cursive Stub & Churchman's Prescriptor Bold Italic, Parker 25 F, Twsbi Mini EF, Platinum #3776 Bourgogne SF, Platinum Maki-e Kanazawa Mt. Fuji Med, Platinum President F,  Platinum desk pen, Platinum PG250,

Summit 125 Med flex, Conway Stewart Scribe No 330 Fine flex, Stephens 103 F, Mock Blanc 146 F, Pelikan 200 with 14k EF nib,  and a Jinhao 675. - I have also sent a Noodler's Ahab & Creeper to recycling.


#13 peterg

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 22:11

Most of the nibs on my Scribes tend to be rather scratchy, but then I suspect that they have led a hard life. As you said, they were sold as every day pens








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