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Modern Duofold (Centennial and International) crown designs


Paul-in-SF
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I have a few of these modern Duofolds, and they show three different cap finial crown designs. I am wondering if there are others I don't have. 

 

The oldest of the modern Duofold pens that started in 1988 (really 1987), of which pens I don't have any, appeared with just a black circular space with no crown on it (as far as I can tell) except possibly for special editions. 

 

The oldest pen I have is a gold godron design with a date code of 1991. The crown design shows a circular stylized flower (reminds of the Japanese Imperial Crest, which is based on the chrysanthemum) in the middle, Parker at the top and Duofold at the bottom. 

 

Most of the pens I have are from what I have seen referred to as the MKII period, all of mine with dates in 1996. They have what I call the banner design with Duofold on the banner across the middle, and the ground filled with vertical debossed lines. This is my favorite of the designs I am aware of. 

 

The final design I am aware of is what I think is the current design based on an ace of spades, with Duofold at the bottom. 

 

Leaving aside special editions, are there any other designs for these finial crowns? When did the first generation pens switch from a blank black space to the first crown design? Is there a resource for this level of detail? I have looked on parkerpens.net but I haven't been able to find anything specifically about the crowns except for special editions. Here's a photo of the three designs I described (sorry I didn't dust the ends off before I took the photo; also the one on the left apparently has a little damage that I hadn't noticed before). 

 

789039146_Duofoldcrowns.thumb.jpg.ebd350e10373db1a72a70d91d51c09d3.jpg

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I believe that these are the only three designs used for normal Duofolds.

 

However, early on in the Mk 1 years, Parker engraved initials and/or put pen owner's initials on a plastic disc.

 

Parker also had a service for advertising and corporate gifts, if you look on fleaBay and around the internet you can find discs for Xerox, IBM, Anheuser-Busch, banks, insurance companies,  etc.

-- Joel -- "I collect expensive and time-consuming hobbies."

 

INK (noun): A villainous compound of tannogallate of iron, gum-arabic and water,

chiefly used to facilitate the infection of idiocy and promote intellectual crime.

(from The Devil's Dictionary, by Ambrose Bierce)

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I have plain black and plain gold fill. 
 

I may also have a Tiffany’s. 

San Francisco International Pen Show - The next great pen show is on schedule for August 27-28-29, 2021. If we all do what we need to do...you can Book your travel and tables and make SF 2021 the Return. 
 

 My PM box is usually full. Just email me: my last name at the google mail address.

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This is my earliest Duofold(or at least earliest Centennial-I have an International that might be a year or two older). I think it's Blue Marble(would have to read the box to make sure). Pretty sure this is an early Mk 1 and it does have an arrow nib.

 

Is this a special edition, or is this a personalization?

 

 

 

 

IMG_1009.jpeg

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6 hours ago, bunnspecial said:

Is this a special edition, or is this a personalization?

 

Somewhere I have seen designs like that, I'm pretty sure it's a personalization, someone's initials. I have seen photos of some early MK I pens that were just blank in that space. It's curious that the 2 or 3 personalizations that I have seen are all the same design, I suppose that means they were done by Parker rather than by the stores. 

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I believe the engraved initials were done by the Parker factory, possibly as a part of the "Platinum Club Benefits" for early Duofold owners.

 

-- Joel -- "I collect expensive and time-consuming hobbies."

 

INK (noun): A villainous compound of tannogallate of iron, gum-arabic and water,

chiefly used to facilitate the infection of idiocy and promote intellectual crime.

(from The Devil's Dictionary, by Ambrose Bierce)

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Thanks for the info on mine.

 

A bit of googling shows several with similar designs but different initials.

 

I also found references to a limited edition Blue Marble with 1889-1989(I think) engraved on the cap, although this one obviously isn't that.

 

I need to check the box for this pen, but I'm pretty sure there's a card/brochure advertising the Platinum Club Engraving.

 

This came out of an estate buy of a bunch of modern-ish(probably 90s) Parkers. This was the only Duofold, but there were several later production 75s and early production Sonnets along with some lower end pens of the same general age and some newer high end pieces like a honey white 100. In any case, I don't actually have the name of the person(I bought from his son-in-law who was handling liquidating the rather sizeable pen collection, and I finally said "Just price all the Parkers to me") so don't know if J L or whatever that says would be correct for his initials.

 

 

 

 

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My Duofold International black with platinum trim has the the "Duofold" banner design. Matching design on the nib. Purchased new in 2009.

 

My Duofold Centennial pearl and black with gold trim has the Ace of Spades with Duofold text under. Matching design on the nib. Purchased new in 2010.

 

Is there a size or finish connection as they are both from the same era.

 

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I think your black International was maybe new old stock when you  bought it, because the change to the Ace of Spades design happened in 2006. There should be a date code on the faux blind cap on the barrel, which you may need magnification to see. For 2005 (the last full year of the banner style) the date code would be T.III or T.II or T.I or T (first through fourth quarters in that order). 2006 (also possible for that design) would start with Y.III down to Y. 2009 would start with N.III down to N. You can see all of the date codes here: http://www.parkerpens.net/codekey.html . Also you can see the history of the modern Duofolds up to 2016 or so here: http://parkercollector.com/centennial.html

 

Whenever there is a re-design in a major pen line, there will be instances of the old design hanging around in shops for a while until they're all sold. Frankly, I prefer the older design, and I've been looking for a black Centennial from that era. 

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Thanks for the tip. The black International has no date code. The blind cap has only Parker with the stylistic P and Made in U.K.

 

The Centennial has the same Parker and P, Made in U.K. and a date code Y111 which I take as first quarter 2006, 4 years before I bought the pen.

 

The parker collector site says that the Centennial in pearl and black with the ace spade emblem was reintroduced in 2007 although my date codes say 2006. Who knows why?

 

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10 hours ago, Paul-in-SF said:

Frankly, I prefer the older design, and I've been looking for a black Centennial from that era. 

 

My first modern Parker was a new Centennial-I bought it earlier this year from the Classifieds but it was new in package and pretty sure it's the most current design("Big Red" look with an orange-red barrel, black finials, and with the Duofold banner on the barrel, wide white cap band). I LOVE how it writes-in fact it's my favorite skinny nib I have and edges out pens like my EF 149(narrowly) and F MB 14.

 

With that said, once I got the blue pearl Mk 1 it was sort of game over for me as I like the shape so much better. The only issue I have there is the blue pearl has a "Medium Italic" nib(would be a BB or larger on a Montblanc, and is more of a CI if not a stub than a true italic) which I like for what it is and I know it's not super common, but it's also more of a special occasion nib for me.

 

I also have an F nib black Mk 1 International with a great nib, although I'm a lot more comfortable with the Centennial size pens.

 

Ideally I'd like a Mk 1 or at least a Mk 2(banner nib to round out the collection) with a more practical nib size. If I had my pick of anything, I'd take a fine oblique assuming the Duofold obliques are sized like the FO I have on a 75 and Sonnet, but M or F would suit also. I just bought and then turned around and sold pretty quickly a newish Red with an Ace nib M nib. I didn't like the overall look of the pen as much as I do my other new Duofold(this one is was all red, including finials, with gold furniture) and the M nib just didn't excite me that much.

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The Parker Collector website, while a great resource, is not exhaustively correct.  I just bought a green marble Mk 1 Centennial fountain pen with a date code of "IN", which is the 3rd quarter of 1989, earlier than the 1992 date mentioned on the website.  It has the flat rings, flat engraved short clip, and early nib style with the gold content numbers on the edges of the nib, rotated to be read from the side of the nib.  The date code is on the cap just above the rings, on the side opposite the clip.

 

The website also doesn't have the green cap-actuated (cap push, not twist) early style ballpoint in green marble, even though there's one on fleaBay at the moment.

 

I'm guessing that this pen was offered through the American Express Rewards catalog (or gift catalog), as there are a number of mentions around the web of the color being exclusive to them before it was released all dealers.

 

On a whim I bought a #95 Broad Italic nib, in the Mk 1 design with just the big arrow.  It is a pretty sharp italic, maybe just short of a formal italic, and my left-hand writing isn't compatible with it.  When Classifieds comes back up, I'll probably put it up for sale.

 

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-- Joel -- "I collect expensive and time-consuming hobbies."

 

INK (noun): A villainous compound of tannogallate of iron, gum-arabic and water,

chiefly used to facilitate the infection of idiocy and promote intellectual crime.

(from The Devil's Dictionary, by Ambrose Bierce)

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5 hours ago, bunnspecial said:

With that said, once I got the blue pearl Mk 1 it was sort of game over for me as I like the shape so much better. The only issue I have there is the blue pearl has a "Medium Italic" nib(would be a BB or larger on a Montblanc, and is more of a CI if not a stub than a true italic) which I like for what it is and I know it's not super common, but it's also more of a special occasion nib for me.

 

You can swap black sections among all Centennials of all eras, they will fit, the only issue with authenticity is the gold trim -- MK I has two gold trim rings below the nib, the later versions have one narrow ring. 

 

For me I prefer the streamlined shape that reportedly started in 1996. I only have one MK I Centennial, and it feels a little clunky to me. But mostly I prefer the two even cap bands in the MK II era to the two different-sized cap bands in the MK I era. 

 

1 hour ago, Kalessin said:

The Parker Collector website, while a great resource, is not exhaustively correct.

 

I'm sure that's true. I wonder if your marble green might have been considered a special edition for the first two or three years, if it was only available through AmEx? If Parker Collector was basing his information on Parker catalogs of the time, that would account for the difference. Anyway, it's a good place to start for checking on Parker pens. 

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I really like the Mk 1 Centennial, the green one goes back almost all the way to the earliest releases.  Over the first years, they really refined it: changed the available nibs from four (XF, F, M, B ) to something like 22 grades, changed the rings, changed the nib design, dropped the 14k nibs, changed the ballpoint pen design, added more colors, sold custom captops (advertising and corporate), engraved customer initials onto the captops, and really evolved it into a successful product.  The Duofolds were a really, really big hit for Parker!

 

I find the current design for non-special editions pretty unexceptional.

-- Joel -- "I collect expensive and time-consuming hobbies."

 

INK (noun): A villainous compound of tannogallate of iron, gum-arabic and water,

chiefly used to facilitate the infection of idiocy and promote intellectual crime.

(from The Devil's Dictionary, by Ambrose Bierce)

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