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GMJEbonobin
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Hi guys!

 

I found a seller on ebay that is selling some new old stock Athena brand pens. I was wondering if anyone could give me some information on them? Specifically I want to know if and/or when they started using eyedroppers with ink shut off (as that's kind I purchased)

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Athena is the inhouse brand of Maruzen... I'm not sure how you are getting new old stock but ok I do remember that Maruzen did get get some pens from Pilot that would evoke the good ol days of shut-off valve eye dropper pens I have to dig some of the topics I posted here

 

does the pen in question look like this?

iSHNglP.jpg

 

and I do believe that their pen fair Eboya pens are of the Cartridge/Converter variety

Edited by Algester
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When I was doing research I was reading they were an old brand, I believe they've been around since the early 1900's and early on I don't think Maruzen owned the brand.. Of course I could be wrong. But I couldn't find any specific info or penography. The pens are supposedly from the 1950s (the one's in question, as well as the one I purchased) and so that's why I say nos, seller claims they're new unused. I purchased said pen because I wanted an eyedropper with ink-shut off for a lower price than a premium pen. Them being new and authentic would just be icing on the cake.

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  • 4 months later...

Btw., Maruzen still has some LE pens from their 150th anniversary available:

This is a link to their webstore: LINK.

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If this is the seller I think it is, the bulk of what they have is 1950s stuff. The lever fill pens should be restorable, but beware of the eyedropper pens, the shaft seals on the ink shutoff are likely to have failed from age and restoration of that seal isn't offered by any repair service I've found.

 

Expect the nib to be a very crisp extra-fine, with miniscule tipping that won't acommodate much "smoothing". They can be excellent writers and often have serious flex (though not always), but they're a bit of an acquired taste.

 

I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I own a Pilot with the shutoff type mechanism that has an early 1930s date stamp, I think they first appeared well before that though ...and it seems like they continued to be common until the late 1950s. Shiro nibs may go back farther as well, but I think they became more common when gold was controlled during wartime (WWII) and after the war when Japan's economy was in recovery.

David-

 

So many restoration projects...

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I have some early Athena, Pilot and Maruzen pens. They are very high quality and were made by Pilot, even the nibs appear same but with different imprint. I cannot tell you that "all" were made by Pilot, but even today, I believe many of the Athena pens are still made by Pilot. I am mainly referring to circa 1930's pens. Hope this helps, post a few pics and am sure you will get a more definite answer.

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Maruzenstart business 1896 .. and used the Athena brand since it start its in house brand pens ( and that dated back to dip pen era )

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As mentioned above, Athena has been Maruzen's house brand for ages. Here's an undated catalog which looks to be from the 1920s, based on the styles featured: https://ameblo.jp/kamisama-samasama/entry-12180192495.html. The pens without visible levers should be eyedroppers with shutoffs.

 

I have some early Athena, Pilot and Maruzen pens. They are very high quality and were made by Pilot, even the nibs appear same but with different imprint. I cannot tell you that "all" were made by Pilot, but even today, I believe many of the Athena pens are still made by Pilot. I am mainly referring to circa 1930's pens. Hope this helps, post a few pics and am sure you will get a more definite answer.

 

I am not aware of any 1930s Athena pens being made by Pilot. I don't have my copy of Fountain Pens of Japan on hand, but I recall that it makes specific mention of a particular factory purchased by Maruzen to make Athena pens. At any rate, the Athena eyedroppers I have seen follow the pattern used by most non-Pilot manufacturers (male thread on barrel), rather than the specific Pilot type (male thread on end knob).

 

If this is the seller I think it is, the bulk of what they have is 1950s stuff. The lever fill pens should be restorable, but beware of the eyedropper pens, the shaft seals on the ink shutoff are likely to have failed from age and restoration of that seal isn't offered by any repair service I've found.

 

Eckiethump on these forums comes up a lot as a repairer who will work on Japanese eyedroppers, but I haven't used his services before. The repair itself is not particularly complex, and I know many hobbyists that do it - just not any that take outside work. If you're up for a bit of a challenge (go slowly and use heat!) there are instructions in Japanese here: https://ameblo.jp/kamisama-samasama/entry-12138141949.html?frm=theme

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As mentioned above, Athena has been Maruzen's house brand for ages. Here's an undated catalog which looks to be from the 1920s, based on the styles featured: https://ameblo.jp/kamisama-samasama/entry-12180192495.html. The pens without visible levers should be eyedroppers with shutoffs.

 

 

I am not aware of any 1930s Athena pens being made by Pilot. I don't have my copy of Fountain Pens of Japan on hand, but I recall that it makes specific mention of a particular factory purchased by Maruzen to make Athena pens. At any rate, the Athena eyedroppers I have seen follow the pattern used by most non-Pilot manufacturers (male thread on barrel), rather than the specific Pilot type (male thread on end knob).

 

 

Eckiethump on these forums comes up a lot as a repairer who will work on Japanese eyedroppers, but I haven't used his services before. The repair itself is not particularly complex, and I know many hobbyists that do it - just not any that take outside work. If you're up for a bit of a challenge (go slowly and use heat!) there are instructions in Japanese here: https://ameblo.jp/kamisama-samasama/entry-12138141949.html?frm=theme

 

 

Thanks for the references (both for repair instructions and for a possible service provider), in concept the repair really *is* quite simple, however the reality can be much different ;)

David-

 

So many restoration projects...

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