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New To 51S, Need Some Answers ...


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... and doing my 51 homework. After losing nearly 15 Fleabay auctions due largely to the fear of making a poor auction decision, I developed some testicularity and assured myself of my worst fears ... perhaps. I simply could not wait any longer, to own a vintage 51, albeit a modest one.

 

My auction yielded a 51 Special set (with pencil), described as Burgundy. 1st question: Does it ever come to pass that a burgundy turns out to be a plum? I absolutely love the color of these two pieces, but they are awfully dark ....

 

image.jpg

 

The photo quality is of little help, as are most of course. Were specials ever turned out in plum (48 - 49, right?). Does the black jewel of this pen place it in 1950?

 

It does not have the gold nib, perhaps makimg it an early Special?

 

Also, have been reading the debate about whether to first disassemble a vintage 51 sold unrestored or first soaking and flushing the pen aggressively as a first step. I've chosen the latter as I'm still waiting for some orange shellac in the mail. The pen is flushing a fair quanity of blue-black ink, but the sac is supple and responsive.

 

Another question, under magnification, the barrel shows absolutely no stamps. Is it possible they are worn away? The color match between the pencil and the pen barrel are exact, but the pencil yields "Parker. Made in U.S.A." The pen's cap offers the same, but there is nothing embossed anywhere on the barrel.

 

Lastly, the pencil is the twist fill mechanism. The eraser was slightly used and the pen was full of 0.09mm Hard led, and made me GIDDY when I unwrapped it and wrote with it.

 

I think no matter the outcome, I'm overjoyed to finally own a vintage 51, and will try to ink it up after an overnight soak. I'm very curious as to what condition the breather tube is in and hoping it doesnt quite need to be replaced, just sayin...

 

Many thanks in advance for your collective expertises ...

 

(Staying positive, I'm flushing my Meisterstuck 146 tonight with the hopes that the 51 can give it a siesta for a while) 👀. 🙏

"Tis true, men are destined for short, brutal lives ... and women - long, miserable ones." :yikes:

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Congrats on your first 51! The burgundy is a nice color.

 

The Special was never made in plum since it was not introduced until 1950.

 

The marks on the barrel may be very faint, but sometimes they do wear away. Try using a small light and a jewelers loop.

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... and doing my 51 homework. After losing nearly 15 Fleabay auctions due largely to the fear of making a poor auction decision, I developed some testicularity and assured myself of my worst fears ... perhaps. I simply could not wait any longer, to own a vintage 51, albeit a modest one.

 

My auction yielded a 51 Special set (with pencil), described as Burgundy. 1st question: Does it ever come to pass that a burgundy turns out to be a plum? I absolutely love the color of these two pieces, but they are awfully dark ....

 

 

No. The American burgundy and the plum are easily confused for one another. In natural light, they look quite different, however.

 

To my knowledge, the Plum was never offered in a special. The Plum was only offered in the Mark I phase of the Aerometric run and only in the years 1948 and 1949. The special was introduced in 1950.

 

So, it probably a burgundy. Note, however, that the American burgundy and the British burgundy were, in fact, two different colors.

 

Tim

 

Tim Girdler Pens  (Nib Tuning; Custom Nib Grinding; New & Vintage Pen Sales)
The Fountain Pen: An elegant instrument for a more civilized age.
I Write With: Any one of my assortment of Parker "51"s or Vacumatics

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To make it maybe more clear to the OP, your pen could never be a Plum if that filler is original and they almost always are.

 

But as others have said, the Plum IS notoriously difficult to photograph showing it's correct coloring.

 

As has also been noticed, the key is direct natural sunlight. The Plum will look almost like eggplant with a definite purple look to it while the Burgundy will show red tones.

 

Bruce in Ocala, Fl

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Love digging this picture out when this topic comes up every so often ....... :lol:

 

Not in direct sunlight but is a gray card white balance setting, so is very accurate.

 

DSCF5908.JPG

 

L>R Cordovan, English Burgundy (Blood Red), Burgundy, and.......Plum

 

 

Rick

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Be glad the prior owner did not use purple or even worse RED ink.

I have spent almost 2 weeks of soak, empty and blot cycles to clean out RED ink from a 51.

Even in your case, expect to spend several days of soak, empty and blot cycles to clean and draw out the old ink. The collector on the 51 is not easy to clean. Using a 1:10 mix of ammonia and water will help disolve out the old ink faster than just water.

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Love digging this picture out when this topic comes up every so often ....... :lol:

 

Not in direct sunlight but is a gray card white balance setting, so is very accurate.

 

DSCF5908.JPG

 

L>R Cordovan, English Burgundy (Blood Red), Burgundy, and.......Plum

 

 

Rick

 

I LOVE the "Bloody British Burgundy!" Thanks for digging out that picture!

 

I'm hoping to have a complete Aero set someday. I have a coco with a gold cap and a forrest green with a gold cap. The British Burgundy is VERY high on my list. But, it'll take a pretty penny!

 

Tim

Tim Girdler Pens  (Nib Tuning; Custom Nib Grinding; New & Vintage Pen Sales)
The Fountain Pen: An elegant instrument for a more civilized age.
I Write With: Any one of my assortment of Parker "51"s or Vacumatics

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I am missing the green one. Plum and Forest Green are real dark, though, almost black. I wonder why Parker couldn't have made the colors a tad more obvious. I don't use the plum much, the color is too hard to enjoy, except that not absolutely everybody has one. I keep mine with the red Montblancs, that way I don't have to get out a flashlight to pick it out from the other dark P51s.

 

fpn_1368085895__hpim0885.jpg

 

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I LOVE the "Bloody British Burgundy!" Thanks for digging out that picture!

 

I'm hoping to have a complete Aero set someday. I have a coco with a gold cap and a forrest green with a gold cap. The British Burgundy is VERY high on my list. But, it'll take a pretty penny!

 

Tim

 

Tim, it's like Willie Sutton supposedly said, "I rob banks cause that's where they keep the money." So it is with BBB 51's.

 

UK Ebay is your friend. Only 1 of 3 BBB did I pay more than regular 51 prices for there and that one has a Rolled Silver cap. You still have to watch the colors in the pics though as England had both the usual Burgundy And the BBB. Be sure the colored parts are serviceable, it's more likely that Ernesto has a parts Plum hood than a BBB hood.

 

Bruce in Ocala, Fl

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Paul that's a great pic.

 

'cept all the caps clacking together is giving me the heebie jeebies. :P

 

Bruce in Ocala, Fl

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