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  1. I found this black Esterbrook transitional J pen with a 3 ribbed jewel and a bandless dollar pencil at the flea market today. It was very sunny out, and when I looked down at the top of the pen cap I saw that the jewel is a very deep translucent red. It looks almost black in normal light, but strong light penetrates the jewel and reflects back from the silver of the tassie. It's hard to photograph, but I am attaching a picture taken in sunlight. It reminds me of the deep red bakelite plastic used by Parker on some of its early pens, but could be something else. I have a few other 3 ribbed caps, but all of the jewels are definitely black. I tried to search for any other mention of this without success. Does anyone have information about these jewels?
  2. Runnin_Ute

    My Family Of Estie's

    My newest Estie acquisition arrived today. The blue transitional J, 1555 Gregg nib. Decided to take a family photo. Picked up this ready to use cigar box to to use for pens at a local smoke shop while running errands today. (freebie) The transitional is in need of a sac, and thus far the section has been very stubborn.... The photo...... http://i1016.photobucket.com/albums/af283/Runnin_Ute/Mobile%20Uploads/2017-02/20170211_182439_zpsidewgvox.jpg
  3. Having acquired a small handful of Esterbrooks (4 + 3 that were given away) over the last year, most recently for sticking Osmiroid nibs in, EoC has a thought about the design decision that Esterbrook Co. took. Although this is obviously subjective, EoC opines that the earlier dollar pens are far more aesthetically pleasing than any of the later models. The dollar pen has unbroken material around the blind end of the barrel, and the clip has a certain style to it where it wraps over the end of the cap protecting it. In the transitional, the barrel stayed the same but the clip was changed and a jewel added. In the later J models both barrel end and cap end were changed to accomodate a jewel. Now, correct EoC if he is wrong (as is often the case), but does anyone else feel that calling a piece of molded (and frankly ugly) plastic a 'jewel' has got to be about as Barnum & Bailey as Montblanc and their 'precious resin'? Personally, EoC thinks that the addition of these bits of plastic that serve no real purpose actually makes the later pens look cheap and tacky. A contentious opinion? Perhaps.
  4. I found this fleabay listing, item number:161491261020, and after looking carefully at the pics several times, I thought I could see a ribbed jewel! But there was no mention of it in the listing, so I watched it to see how much interest it garnered. Turns out, very little, allowing me to snag it for less than $20. A decent gamble I figured. Sure enough, it showed up in today's mail and is indeed a 3 Ribbed Transitional J! Needs a new sac but otherwise a pen in fantastic shape. Then I checked my meager collection and realized, I already have one in identical size and coloring. Oh well, you can never have to many Esties! Plus I love the feeling of finding a hidden gem.
  5. I was surprised to see the one and only Esterbrook in the lot had a flat bottom which wasn't evident in the auction photos. Sadly, it's missing it's cap. Pity to, as it's a lovely green Transitional model. Research has shown me the imprint on the body is that of a Transitional single jewel J series pen. I'll keep it in my rapidly filling up 'pen parts-and-repair cigar box' in the hopes that I come across a cap for it someday. The real kick in the short hairs though, is that I have a perfectly matching cap for it already, but it is cracked at the top under the clip, and missing the jewel.
  6. In the late 1920s, Sheaffer produced a flat top fountain pen model with a black screw-in quill at the bottom end of the barrel and a ringtop cap. This model was a direct forerunner of the Balance model which followed shortly thereafter, as my article Origin of the Sheaffer Balance discusses. Though the flat top quilled pen is scarce, there is a truly rare model in the same family. This model, which does not appear in any known catalogs or other Sheaffer materials that have come to light to date, also represents an important piece of evidence in the early evolution of the Balance. I've recently acquired a new-old-stock example of this pen: http://home.comcast.net/~kirchh/Misc/K74TC%5BFTQ%5D_1.jpg This model likely came just after the ringtop quilled flat top model (which was only listed in Jade in its one appearance in the 1928 catalog), but prior to the addition of the symmetrically-tapered Balance items, which first were offered at the end of 1928. At the time, most Sheaffer models did not have names; this pen's model symbol was K74TC, a designation used for the true Balance of the same girth which likely followed almost immediately. --Daniel

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