Monday, January 9, 2012

Pen Review: The Little Gems - my little gold writing implements

In case you haven't figured it out by now, I tend to like things that are a little - um, blingy. Sparkly things tend to make me say something like, "Ooooh, Shiiiiiiny!" before I quickly snatch them up. My husband, Joe, jokes that I don't have a jewelry box, I have a jewelry "garage" - one of those floor-standing armoire things.

Here are a few of my blingier pens, at least in terms of gold content.

As always, all photos are clickable
The first is a Waterman 0552 1/2 V 14k gold filled fountain pen. Its intended purpose was as a vest pocket pen for a gentleman. The pattern is known as "pansy panel," as it has machine-etched pansies. (Apparently a floral-based design wasn't considered unmanly at the time - probably about 1920.) This pen was a gift from my husband for Christmas last year. The nib is rather flexy, and without much pressure writes spidery fine.

The other two items I'm featuring today are a matched set of Wahl-Eversharps in a Greek key pattern. These are kind of fun little items; I found them in their box in an antique mall in a nearby town one day while browsing. The box, which had been heavily taped with masking tape along the hinge, has written on the bottom the words "Seattle, Washington. December 12, 1922. From Joe Johnson." The pencil was in pristine shape (as they often seem to be), and the pen although obviously used was in pretty good shape, though I sent it off for resacking just in case. (It had been stored with blue ink in it, long dried. Why are these pens always stored with ink in them? And why is it always blue? See hint below!) As even the box was kept, and from the wear to the box and the obvious use of the pen, they must have been a treasured gift. So, who were you, Joe Johnson? And who was the recipient that loved these (and perhaps you!) so well?

Half the fun of these old pens is trying to imagine their history.

Both pens are lever fillers, as was common when they were made. And both have rather fine, flexible nibs.

Waterman nib

Wahl Eversharp nib

And one perhaps doesn't realize how different in color these pens are until they are side by side. Here is a shot of the two pens, along with my engagement ring (see, blingy again), which is 14k yellow gold, for color comparison. (The ladies in the audience may well be able to determine by the style of the ring that I have been married for A Long Time. It's quite out of fashion now.) The Waterman is gold-filled, as can be told by the wear through pattern on the end of the pen, though I don't find markings indicating it. The Wahls are gold filled as well, and I believe they are rose gold.

And here is a writing sample; I only wish my writing skills could do justice to the flexible nibs!

These little pens are fun to use, and a time capsule from a time when ladies wore elegant couturier and gentlemen used blue ink. Time traveling can be fun!

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