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We've been overdue for a return to the 19th century, so here at last are the highlights of our summer's accumulation of Victorian dip pens and pencils.
11467: Aikin Lambert dip pen in box: unmarked rose gold filled twist pattern holder, 14 cm long excluding #1 Aikin Lambert ventless gold nib. Semistub tip, flexible and responsive. One test mark to holder ferrule. Gold filled dip pens are much less common than silver.
DATE: c. 1890 • CONDITION: fine • NIB: fine flex • SOLD
11465: Edward Todd dip pen and pencil combination: unmarked holder, gold filled trim, black celluloid (?) sleeves; retracting pencil uses 1.0 mm lead, nib is an Edward Todd of unusual form with a longitudinal imprint and an elongated lenticular pierce. The tip is very fine indeed, so suitable paper is required if its flex is to be used without excessive tooth.
DATE: c. 1875 • CONDITION: VG • NIB: needlepoint flex • SOLD
11473: Fairchild reversing dip pen: fully marked gold filled holder with ebonized wood taper, reversing end plug with nib holder; 13.2 cm long with nib concealed, 14.5 cm opened, excluding the nib itself. Big #5 ventless gold Fairchild nib is a noteworthy writer, extra-fine tip with lively flex action.
DATE: c. 1870 • CONDITION: fine • NIB: extra-fine flex • SOLD
11447: Fairchild retracting dip pen: gold filled body with bone taper, 11.8 cm long with nib retracted; holder is fully marked, #2 ventless gold Fairchild nib is like new, very flexible but scratchy.
11457: Gorham dip pen in box: sterling silver, 16.6 cm long, unusual and elegant acanthus-like pattern, fully marked, monogram engraved on forepart of holder; nib not included, uses around #4 size gold nib or equivalent in steel or brass.
11445: John Holland dip pen: very large #10 gold nib, marked "16KT", in matching numbered gold filled holder, 18 cm long; holder shows considerable usage, nib is still as good as new.
11446: John Holland dip pen: very large #8 gold nib in matching numbered gold filled holder, 18.5 cm long; holder and nib are both in excellent condition.
11458: Mabie Todd dip pen in box: fully marked gold filled ferrule, taper with baluster finial, 13.4 cm long excluding #3 ventless gold Mabie Todd nib. Takedown design with socketed taper, extra-fine flex nib is very clean but is missing the tipping on the left tine -- would have to be retipped for writing use.
11466: Mabie Todd dip pen and pencil set in box: sterling silver twist pattern with pearl taper, 12.1 cm long, with matching desk pencil, uses standard 2.0 mm lead. Both fully marked, some tool marks to foreparts (see details), pen accepts #3-4 size nibs (not included).
11448: Mabie Todd retracting dip pen: gold filled body, branchiform mother of pearl taper, 12.2 cm long retracted, fully marked, unusual nib holder of form more usually found on nonretracting holders, tubular with split plug; ventless gold #2 Mabie Todd nib is a notable writer, overall condition is like new but for corrosion to end of holder (see detail).
11564: Aikin Lambert sleeve-filler: black hard rubber self-filler, gold filled hand engraved overlay, 14.1 cm long, barrel sleeve rotates to provide access to pressure bar (Waterman's first sleeve-filler patent of 1905, but used only on subbrand pens and Aikin Lamberts, after Waterman's takeover of Aikin Lambert c. 1907); #2 nib is lively and expressive, a few shallow marks to the cap crown, condition otherwise excellent; a high quality pen with an unusual filling mechanism.
11566: Aurora 88: classic Nizzoli-designed Italian piston-filler, black with chrome plated brass cap, 13.4 cm long, nickel plated barrel trim rings, hard rubber hood and turning knob; ink window transparency excellent, piston seal has been replaced, hooded nib; cap plating flaking losses, lightly engraved "PNEUMATICI/CEAT".
11580: Aurora 88 in box: classic Nizzoli-designed Italian piston-filler, black with gold filled cap, 13.7 cm long, nickel plated barrel trim rings, ink window transparency perfect, piston seal has been replaced, condition otherwise as new; in distinctive blue anodized aluminum case, with instructions, numbered guarantee, and Aurora-marked chamois.
11577: Parker 6: black chased hard rubber taper-cap eyedropper-filler, 15.1 cm long, gold filled trim, Lucky Curve nib with round vent hole, intact feed, hard rubber is crisp and glossy, chasing is sharp. Condition would be excellent, but the front barrel band has been corroded by ink, leading to the loss of part of the barrel mouth underneath (see detail) -- cosmetically acceptable, but the barrel is not ink-tight as is. Restoration with a replacement barrel band would be straightforward. In box with ink-damaged instructions and price list.
11572: Parker Vacumatic Junior pencil: scarce and desirable Gold Web pattern, 11.7 cm long, gold filled trim, good USA imprint with 2nd quarter date code, uses 1.1 mm lead. An attractive user, fully functional but with an impressed name, plating wear, and a 7mm seam opening at the top end of the lower barrel (see detail).
11574: Parker Vacumatic Junior: scarce full-size Golden Web, 12.2 cm long, gold filled trim, lockdown filler, good transparency, strong barrel imprint with 3rd quarter date code, nib with matching 2nd quarter date code, tip shows signs of having been straightened, but is a good and precise writer. Some marks to blind cap and tassie, overall appearance excellent.
11575: Parker Vacumatic Junior pencil: scarce and desirable Gold Web pattern, 11.7 cm long, gold filled trim, made in Canada, good imprint, no date code, uses 1.1 mm lead.
11570: Parker 51: black double-jewel, scarce and desirable grid pattern 1/8 14K gold filled cap, Blue Diamond clip, gold filled trim; bold imprint with 4th quarter date code, two-tone clutch ring, 1945-dated nib.
11576: Parker Classic ballpoint set in box: sterling silver grid pattern, gold plated trim, button actuated, made in USA, marked "STERLING CAP & BARREL", no date code, brass threads inside cap. Set consists of two identical ballpoints, one with a first-model removable USA-made insert that converts the ballpoint into an injector pencil. Converter uses 1.0 mm lead, but can also use standard .9 mm (though lead will advance in much larger increments). 1969-dated foil tag, some rust to metal box frame.
11578: Parker 75 Laque rollerball in box: gold plated trim, "Thuya" lacquer finish, made in France, "TE" date code, uses standard refills. As new, noting four tiny red specks on the barrel (see detail) -- not chips, either on top of or part of the lacquer.
11579: Parker Classic pencil in box: silver grid pattern, gold plated trim, made in USA, marked "925 STERLING MADE IN U.S.A.", uses .9 mm lead, new old stock with box.
11567: Rodgers combination paper knife and pen knife: 16.75 cm long, blade marked with Queen's crown and "CUTLERS/TO HER/MAJESTY". Action worn, blade does not snap all the way closed, small hairline at hinge end on one side (see detail).
11571: United States Fountain Pen Co. Victor: black hard rubber screw-cap eyedropper-filler, 1/10 18K gold filled overlay with hand engraved floral pattern, 13.5 cm long; Walker Davison #3 nib is a high quality old replacement. Brassing to ends of barrel overlay, cap has toothmarks at end and two test cuts (see details) -- a pity, as 90% of the overlay is crisp and clean.
11565: Wahl-Eversharp Equi-Poised: rare solid orange lever-filler, 13.2 cm long, gold filled trim, Gold Seal, roller clip, 18K Gold Seal "FLEXIBLE"-marked nib with "B"-marked feed, barrel threads have been repaired but invisible without disassembly. Wahl-Eversharp used this color only for the Danish market; examples are seldom seen, with most in deplorable condition..
11573: Waterman 432: rare short version, black hard rubber eyedropper-filler with sterling silver London-hallmarked barleycorn overlay, 11.1 cm long; no model number stamp on end, as is typical of British-market Watermans. Feed with patent imprints, long internal tail, notable nib with massive tip.