Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Marked Affection for Little Old Men

The Little Old Men
The other week, I acquired a beautiful little True Blue Lucky Curve ringtop pen. It occurred to me when it arrived that it was joining a small coterie of little old pens, now collectively known as the Little Old Men. (Though it's true some were probably meant for ladies.)

Today I'm featuring the Parkers.

I like Parker pens, and always have. I enjoy their designs, especially the Duofolds. My first fountain pen as an adult was a pearl and black Duofold Centennial in the early 1990s. It's big and flashy - and with my magpie instincts, it was a perfect choice. I tend to like big, flashy jewelry too.

Vintage Parkers can get expensive quickly for the more desirable colors and designs. Buying the smaller pens, though, is much more affordable, and has allowed me the pleasure of owning and enjoying these lovely pens without breaking my bank account.

The first to join us was the Jade Green Duo - bought at a yard sale, believe it or not, for $20 and resacked for another $20. Its clip is missing; some day I'll find one.

The second was the orange Duo. Of course the larger version is one of the more desirable colors. This has a very fine nib, almost too fine.

The third was the Lapis ringtop. The color on this one is fabulous, and the nib just a bit flexy.

And the newest addition is the True Blue with a nice flex nib. My writing can't do it justice, but it sure is fun!

And the thing is, all of these are happy, reliable writers. (Little Old Men clearly respond to affection and enjoy attention!) In some ways, these are better writers than my modern pens, in that I can't uniformly say all the moderns are happy and reliable. I find this interesting, because often with antiques the reverse is true - the drawers stuck in the antique dresser we once had; the antique spinning wheel I started out with was a disaster in unreliability and instability.

We have several other Parkers - a 51; a 1946 black Vac; a late run azure blue pearl demi Vac pen and pencil set; and three modern Duos - the black and pearl, a black with gold trim, and an orange.

Each of these has a place in our collection - but I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for the Little Old Men.

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