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Antique Store Suprise!


Ink stained fingers
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So today I was out with the family and ended up at a local antique store that we often go to, mostly to kill time, and as I made my rounds (checking all the cases for pens or accessories as I always do) I came across an old case that I originally wrote off as a vintage eyeglass case. I bent down to check a shelf below and caught a glimpse of the tag that was mostly covered. I could just make out “old fount…” 

 

Well that peaked my curiosity, so I go to the counter and find the lady with the keys to come open the case so I could investigate. Jackpot. It was an old sheaffer case with a dirty pen and a matching pencil. I checked it out and it turned out to be a Sheaffer Imperial mark viii touchdown. I figured it would go one of two ways, either they would be very proud of their grandads pen, or it would be in terrible shape. I made sure the owners were ok with it and then did a little disassembly. The nib had some old ink crusted on it and the feed looked a little crooked, but the inlaid nib was straight and didn’t appear to be splayed. The sticker says it’s a medium and it’s stamped with 14kt and it looks great! 
 

Next came what I knew would be a make or break moment. I unscrewed the barrel to check the filler. To my surprise, everything was clean and complete. The bladder felt supple and SEEMED to be intact but I didn’t have a real way to test it. I reassembled the pen and unscrewed the end to activate the vacuum and it slid out like butter with a heart warming puff as it hit the full extension. The vacuum was intact! I had not come in prepared to spend anywhere near what my gut was telling me this pen was going for, but I was just having a good time enjoying it. Eventually I could stall no longer and ran out of things to check, double check, and compare, so I had to bite the bullet and grab the tag that was still laying face down on the shelf. To my utter amazement, the tag looked to say $20. I showed the extremely patient old woman who had opened the case for me and she agreed that it said they wanted a mere twenty dollars for such a remarkably well aged pen, not to mention the matching pencil. 
 

I immediately had her take me to the register and take my money, just so I could spend more time admiring the pen while my wife and mother-in-law browsed. I discovered that it did have a pretty decent scuff on the underside of the barrel and the dried ink looked pretty old, but otherwise I was well pleased with my find. Fast forward one painfully long hour and I’m back home and I start to get to work soaking and cleaning up the pen. It cleaned up incredibly easily for the condition it seemed to be in and it was time to flush. 
 

I took a deep breath and pulled back the vacuum rod, dunked it and gave it a go. It drew the water effortlessly and after about 10-15 flushes it was starting to look pretty clear. I flushed a couple more time for good measure and the got it set up to dry out. After some award worthy patience, it was time to face my final test. I had proven it would fill, but would it write??? I grabbed a bottle of noodler’s zhivago and gave it a shot. It bubbled and I could see the ink moving to indicate it should be ready to go, cleaned off the excess and grabbed some paper from my desk. 
 

Immediately the pen laid down a thick wet line and kept up no matter how fast or at what angle I wrote with. This is when my wife lost her patience as my whooping like a full startled her and our daughter who were relaxing in the other room. I didn’t care though because I had just found out that the 60 year old, $20 pen that I found at the hot old antique store wrote better that I could have even hoped.

 

I know my story was a bit long winded, and thanks to anyone still reading this mess, but I had to share my win with a community who might just appreciate how good it felt :) 

 

p.s. not a huge pencil fan, but I got a nice chuckle out of the fact that the matching pencil still had lead in it and worked like a charm. Can’t beat it 

551BA741-C98C-4171-B2D8-15CFAD0A420A.jpeg

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Wonderful story and a fantastic find! Congrats!
 

PAKMAN

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7 hours ago, PAKMAN said:

Wonderful story and a fantastic find! Congrats!
 

Thank you!

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6 hours ago, jchch1950 said:

You had a reward to your search. Enjoy your "new" pen.

Thank you! I certainly will! 

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Beautiful!  I love the way you described the ride home as "one painfully long hour"!  I can really relate to your anticipation of seeing if the bargain pen you bought works well.

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28 minutes ago, cherylmarie said:

Beautiful!  I love the way you described the ride home as "one painfully long hour"!  I can really relate to your anticipation of seeing if the bargain pen you bought works well.

It felt like years were passing! I wasn’t even driving so all I could do was try not to fiddle with it too much. Thanks for reading! 

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16 minutes ago, Catpaws said:

What a great find! So happy for you!

Thank you! I packed it in my sleeve with my daily carry. Going to give it a workout today and see how it does!

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10 minutes ago, Zookie said:

That is a great find! Congratulations, enjoy your new pen. 😎

Thank you! I’m pretty excited about it! 

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This is a wonderful find and story.

Is it fair for an intelligent and family oriented mammal to be separated from his/her family and spend his/her life starved in a concrete jail?

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16 minutes ago, Anne-Sophie said:

This is a wonderful find and story.

Thank you! And thanks for reading my adventure :) 

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1 hour ago, maclink said:

@Ink stained fingers I enjoyed your story.  That was a great find.  Enjoy your new pen!!

Thank you sir. I’ve been using it pretty much exclusively today. It’s wetter than I’m used to but it writes like a dream. I guess old gold bibs are the way to go! 

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7 minutes ago, lionelc said:

very lucky find, congratulations!

Thank you!

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Nice find!  

I have found that sometimes I find nothing in an antiques shop or mall -- but that the *next* time I happen to be in the place I get really lucky.  So I keep making the rounds, every now and then, and also take longer jaunts to places outside my immediate area.  

If I find something?  Great!  And if I don't, I still have a nice day out.

And after being in a place a few years ago where something caught my eye -- at first I was going "Oh, a pen knife..." but then going "WAIT! -- That's a PEN next to it!" (and bought my first vintage Esterbrook) I make a point of looking at the contents of cases *very* carefully.  Because you never know what might be hiding under or besides something else....

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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3 hours ago, inkstainedruth said:

Nice find!  

I have found that sometimes I find nothing in an antiques shop or mall -- but that the *next* time I happen to be in the place I get really lucky.  So I keep making the rounds, every now and then, and also take longer jaunts to places outside my immediate area.  

If I find something?  Great!  And if I don't, I still have a nice day out.

And after being in a place a few years ago where something caught my eye -- at first I was going "Oh, a pen knife..." but then going "WAIT! -- That's a PEN next to it!" (and bought my first vintage Esterbrook) I make a point of looking at the contents of cases *very* carefully.  Because you never know what might be hiding under or besides something else....

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

Too true. My wife found found me a papermate mark vi from ‘85 at a peddlers mall a few years back. I love the pen and ever since I go over those cases with a fine tooth comb lol. Tha me for sharing! 

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That is a nice pen set indeed. The "demonstrator" imprint on the pencil is remarkable because you expect transparent parts on a demonstrator pen. Is there also such an imprint on the fountain pen?

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