Sunday, March 20, 2011

My Accidental Acquisition

(all pictures are clickable)

I'd like to introduce you to a couple of friends of mine. Here are my oldest pen, and my newest pen.

But it's not what you might think.

The Black and Pearl Parker Duofold was the first fountain pen I acquired as an adult. I had used fountain pens in high school and college (mostly to be "different"), but set them aside once I graduated - until I met my husband, who used them. He bought me the black and pearl one year for Valentine's Day before we were married, I believe in 1990 or '91. It was a new pen at the time.

Thus began a twenty-plus-year love of Parkers, and particularly of Duofolds - old and new. Some of my other Parkers are the highlight of this post.

The burgundy and black Duofold is my latest acquisition - now fondly known as the Accidental Duo. This pen had been on eBay, and I decided to place a snipe bid (yes, I know some consider snipes unethical, cheating, etc. Fact is, if someone else is willing to pay more than I am, they'll still win. Truth. It's happened, more than once.)

Well, I didn't look too closely; I thought I was sniping in US dollars, but it was British pounds. At that time, one British pound was about equal to $1.75. A bid of 100 British pounds would be $175. So if I put 100, thinking it was dollars, and it turned out to be $175, imagine my surprise.

We were out for dinner, and I checked the listing on my Blackberry and saw it was over what my high bid was going to be (in dollars - if it had been in dollars!). I commented to my husband that I wouldn't get it - then, ten minutes later, got an email - "You've won!"


I am fortunate in two things on this: (1) The bidding didn't go close to what my snipe was - I would have paid way too much for the pen; and (2) It's a great pen. From various markings I believe it was made between 1931 and 1935. It has one or two flaws, but overall it's in great shape. I expect when I'm 80 or so I'll have more than a few "flaws" myself!

The ink on the nib, by the way, is Diamine Syrah

I did a few comparison photos of the pens. It's fun to see the similarities and differences. There are several photos of the two pens here.

The burgundy and black Duo is a "holy grail" color for me; I've wanted one for years. I'm very pleased this pen joined our family - even if it was an accident!


  1. Those are both beautiful pens!! I'm so jealous. :p

  2. Thank you! I like them both very much! There's a certain aspect of bling to them that I really appreciate! ;-)

  3. Loved reading your story of the "accidental duo". It's a beautiful pen, and the colour is less than common. Modern Parkers - with their uninspiring "streamlined clips" - fade in comparison, IMHO.