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Hi everyone! I recently picked up this pen that I believe to be from the civil war era. The nib says "John Foley's Bank Ben New York No. 7"

I have seen varying versions online, but they all have a date on the nib; this one does not. Is that a problem?

This does seem to be from the civil war era, but again, I am not an expert in this.

I'm looking for more information on this such as when was it made, if it is okay that there is no date on it, what is its worth, that sort of thing. Any and all help is much appreciated. Thank you!

Pictures can be found here because they are too big/too many to upload

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1RuRTQbTIIVBUo-FK_QZFKnIdYjC7RXjJ

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  • sidthecat

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Lovely thing. I have a Foley #3, which is slightly smaller than a Leroy Fairchild #7, so your pen must be a bloody monster! The Fairchild is slightly smaller than an Edward Todd #7, which suggests the lack of standardization in the period.

fpn_1551069677__6c956e5b-1635-41a4-b686-[/url]

Edited by sidthecat
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That's a nice one. These are nice gold nibs. I don't think that looks quite like one of his 1860's nibs, though. The script changed in the 70's and to my non-expert eye it looks more like a later one. Have you pulled it out of the holder to check for a date?

 

Regardless of date, it's a very nice nib and holder. These sell on eBay all the time so you can look for valuations there. The larger pens sell for more, and while the #7 is not the largest, they are on the larger end of the scale.

 

It's hard to tell from your pictures, but it doesn't look like the tipping is damaged. That affects price more than anything else as long as it isn't bent.

 

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They called iridium tipping....diamond tipping back then....(At least in my 1902 Sears replica catalog.

So very expensive. There were strip mines in Italy and later in Turkey that mined the up to 2 inch deep layer of iridium, from when the asteroid helped kill off the dinosaurs.

Edited by Bo Bo Olson

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

RIP...200's once great nib, now a double ball.:crybaby::wallbash:

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 

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The 7, I believe, was the smallest of the Bank Pens. Foley made smaller nibs but they either called them Ladies Pens or left them unnamed, like in sidthecat’s picture.

Here’s a page from an 1876 Foley catalogue:
http://i.imgur.com/sFnVJjl.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/utQ9Ep9.jpg

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Both, perhaps. They do indeed hold a good reserve of ink. Personally, I find the really large nibs quite hard to control, like holding a fountain pen halfway up the body.

 

Foley's pens were popular with stationers who supplied the banking trade, judging by the testimonials in his catalogue. So popular, in fact, that Foley started putting the date on his nibs to stop people re-selling the old ones:

 

"The large demand for my Diamond Pointed Bank and other Gold Pens has induced certain Jobbers and Pen Makers, unable to find sale for their own goods, to exchange their Pens for old and damaged pens of my manufacture, which, after re-pointing and cleaning up, are sold to dealers as new goods. A leading stationery house was recently imposed upon in this way; goods were purchased by them as Foley's New Pens, some of which were 20 years old, being made and dated in 1854. [...] For the protection of the trade, Foley's are the only Gold Pens which are dated the year they are manufactured, so that dealers may always rely upon receiving new goods." (from the 1876 Foley catalogue).

 

 

 

http://i.imgur.com/utQ9Ep9.jpg

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More great info..........now to sneak that into my western. :D

 

Do look at the high prices of the 'pens'......and some were really, really huge.

 

Beer was still going for 5 cents a schooner back East........some places gave a fried oyster with every beer. With luck one could get a good nickle cigar, but mostly the good ones cost a dime....or even more.

Any place on a rail road line had shaken and stained cocktails, in they had ice....outside 1881....when America suffered an ice drought. That stimulated the ice factories, that sprung up like mushrooms. One needed ice to make and age beer.

 

Free lunch, after 3 beers you chowed down.......unfortunately stopped in 1919 and never started up again.

 

It was only the cheap cowboy, worker saloons that had weepy cheese to go on sandwiches and pickled eggs. The good saloons where one paid a dime a beer, had a French buffet.

 

The high prices kept out the low classed drunken rif-raf, that shot each other and others in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Actually wearing of guns was frowned at, as soon as an opera house went up....or even before. In the West, the East was totally IN....and cowboys were almost on par with dollar a day ditch diggers. (By the late 1880's cowboys were paid $15-20 a month....and could not carry a gun at all.)

So if one was well to do and had a need, one had one's shoulder holster gun, or a couple of derringers in one's big coat pockets. (Someone famous faked having two derringers in his coat pocket so didn't get killed.)

Edited by Bo Bo Olson

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

RIP...200's once great nib, now a double ball.:crybaby::wallbash:

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 

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