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My First Flat-Top


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HI all, long time no post...

 

Just felt the need to share. The local consignment place had an old jade flat-top sitting in their "marked down" cabinet yesterday, and so of course I took a look. It's clearly been used, but not mistreated -- brassing, some staining, color fading: I has them. But it also has a two-tone 14K lifetime nib, which was a pleasant surprise, and a sac the size of a small dirigible, though I know not to trust it and replace it before inking. No cracking or bulging, and a few mysterious rust-colored deposits adhering to the outer barrel and cap that wipe away with some gentle attention from a damp cotton swab. This was clearly a "user" for the previous owner, and a "user" again it shall be.

 

I'm shocked to find out that it's 80 or more years old. Given that I have a stack of modern Scheaffer calligraphy pens on my desk that are styled the same way, I would have guessed that my "new" pen is much younger. I guess when you hit on a design that works, there's little reason to change it.

 

I'll try to get some pictures later when I'm in a place with better light. Any advice for a first-time flat-top owner? I've been reading up on the care and handling of the older plastics, especially their inflammability, which I suppose lends a certain thrill of danger to owning the pen. I will be attempting a re-sac, and I have an old, equally-loved Eversharp that needs the same treatment. I'll attempt not to set myself aflame.

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Great. I've never come across a Sheaffer Flat Top with a two tone nib. Can't wait to see the pictures.

 

It's not clear whether Sheaffer ever outfitted Lifetime flat tops with such Feathertouch nibs, but, of course, nibs are extremely easy to swap. The presence of such a nib in this pen provides little evidence that it is original.

 

--Daniel

"The greatest mental derangement is to believe things because we want them to be true, not because we observe that they are in effect." --Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

Daniel Kirchheimer
Specialty Pen Restoration
Authorized Sheaffer/Parker/Waterman Vintage Repair Center
Purveyor of the iCroScope digital loupe

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My late flattops have mono toned nibs though, a flattop in the 30's would have been manufactured at the same time as two toned nibs. I do think there was some effort to keep the flattops with generally older trim and nibs as radius clips were never used and two toned nibs could have been used often and we see a lot more of it but, we don't. Since late flattops and two toned nibs were in the factory at the same time I don't think it can be ruled out absolutely.

 

Roger W.

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It's not a Feathertouch, at least by markings. I've got some better light now for photos. I have to confess that the pea-soup color is growing on me. :-)

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3677/12291109333_23cdb3c746_n.jpg http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3816/12291365114_a3afd5c74a_n.jpg

My early 1930's torpedo-shaped Balance has the same nib. It has a slightly upward shape to the tip, correct?

@arts_nibs

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My early 1930's torpedo-shaped Balance has the same nib. It has a slightly upward shape to the tip, correct?

 

It's very slight, if there's a shape at all. I'll need to dig out my magnifier to see it in more detail.

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It's not a Feathertouch, at least by markings. I've got some better light now for photos. I have to confess that the pea-soup color is growing on me. :-)

 

Sheaffer applied the designation "Feathertouch" to their nibs that had white-metal plated foreparts. The Lifetime nibs that had this attribute were not also marked "Feathertouch," but they are Feathertouch nibs nonetheless.

 

--Daniel

"The greatest mental derangement is to believe things because we want them to be true, not because we observe that they are in effect." --Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

Daniel Kirchheimer
Specialty Pen Restoration
Authorized Sheaffer/Parker/Waterman Vintage Repair Center
Purveyor of the iCroScope digital loupe

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Sheaffer applied the designation "Feathertouch" to their nibs that had white-metal plated foreparts. The Lifetime nibs that had this attribute were not also marked "Feathertouch," but they are Feathertouch nibs nonetheless.

 

--Daniel

 

Color me corrected. Thanks Daniel. It didn't make the difference between a sale and a non-sale, but it's an enjoyable bonus. I keep uncapping the pen to stare at its shiny bits. :blush:

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I use sillicone sacs in any Sheaffer green pens that I restore. I don't want any discolouration of the barrel to get worse. Lovely looking pen, nice find!

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