Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Vac Oversize Carmine, F

This is a 1942 Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Vac-filler Oversize in striated Carmine celluloid, with a transparent barrel, and a 14k gold, two-tone Lifetime Triumph Fine nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a thorough cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, nib tuning, and a gentle hand polish. This was the largest Sheaffer Triumph Vac filler at the time, measuring 5.2" capped, and 0.48" barrel diameter. This pen is also know as the "1250."

When the U.S. entered World War II, Sheaffer had a 40% preference rating out of nearly fifty fountain pen companies. A staggering lead in the pen industry. By comparison, today, the U.S. has only a handful of pen brands, very few of which manufacture pens in house, and none of which make nibs, except for special-order pieces made by a jeweler (Newton Pens). Sheaffer leadership was present all across the market, the Valiant I am offering here, occupying the top of the line, but even the entry-level Balance Vac-fillers were of excellent quality.

The phrase I wrote is a 1942 quote by Sheaffer's Chairman speaking on the subject of quality. I think it sums up this particular pen perfectly. The Triumph Valiant was an marvel of technology, born in an era of a serious economic and political crisis and severe material and labor shortages. Sheaffer engineers made a pen that had it all: a timeless, ergonomically sound design, a breathtakingly beautiful celluloid, a vacuum filling mechanism (holding up to 1.7 ml of ink), and a phenomenal Triumph nib and feed system.

Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Vac Oversize Carmine, F, uncapped, with the plunger partially extended

I call the Triumph a "system" because it was more than just a nib and a feed. Today's pen makers, with a few exceptions, buy nib and feed screw-in units from third-party manufacturers. The units are of high quality, but they have a simple construction and a somewhat generic performance. The Triumph, on the other hand, was the result of a lot of hands-on craftsmanship by a team of highly skilled technicians, who made sure each system performed perfectly before it left the factory.

This nib is ground to a Sheaffer "standard" Fine geometry, laying down a line of about 0.4 mm (subject to variability as a function of paper, ink, and writing pressure) and the supplemental writing surface (top of the nib) that produces a much finer line of about 0.25 mm. The pen writes under the lightest pressure, it's confident, precise, and a lot of fun. I tuned it a bit more wet than Sheaffer intended, so that you can bring out the best color and shading out of your favorite inks, but without making a mess on the page.

This nib would make a perfect business writer. It's so consistent and versatile that you can easily imagine writing with it all day, not worrying about running out of ink, or the nib skipping, hard starting, or starving for ink. The transparent barrel makes it easy to gauge your remaining ink level, and it's just such a cool "demonstrator" feature!

Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Vac Oversize Carmine, F, a profile photo of the Triumph nib showing perfect geometry and alignment. Also, note the crisp imprint.

Sheaffer made two versions of the Oversize Valiant. This particular model is the early variant, featuring a matching section (see the striated celluloid in the photo). Also, here the ink is stored directly inside the barrel. The other, later variant, had a more generic black section, and the ink was stored inside an inner "cartridge." I will leave it up to you to decide which model you prefer, but to me, this one takes the cake.

The pen is in excellent cosmetic condition. The celluloid gorgeous: deep, rich, and vibrant. There are no flaws or defects, only very, very slight surface wear. The niband the gold-filled trim are in equally excellent shape. Frankly, this is one of the nicest Valiants I've seen in a long time. Do not let this one slip away! It'll be a while before I can source a similar pen.

Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Vac Oversize Carmine, F, capped

The pen is priced at $179. Please, contact me if you're interested in ordering it, and I will email you a PayPal invoice. Shipping fees are listed here. Thanks!

Sheaffer Balance Vac Golden Brown Pen & Pencil Set, XF

(Not available for sale) This is an early 1930s Sheaffer Balance Vac-filler fountain pen and mechanical pencil set in striated Golden Brown celluloid, with a 14k gold Extra-Fine nib. This model is known as "350" or short, slender, measuring around 4.9" capped, and 0.422" in barrel diameter. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a thorough cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, nib tuning, and a gentle hand polish. The pencil has also been brought to a fully functioning condition. I work according to current "best practices" in the area of pen restoration and I use high-quality replacement materials and specialized tools.

Sheaffer Balance Vac Golden Brown Pen & Pencil Set, XF, uncapped, with the plunger slightly extended.

It's not easy to come across a beautiful set from the early 1930s, such as this. The material is in great shape, without any flaws or defects. The celluloid is deep, rich, and vibrant, with very good barrel transparency. The gold-filled trim is excellent, too. Frankly, this pen looks every bit as good as a modern pen fresh off the production line.

The phrase I wrote, which comes from a Sheaffer ad, sums up the pen's essence perfectly. Not only was the Balance a revolutionary design in terms of writing comfort, but it was also built to last, for people who wrote with a fountain pen all day, every day. An item that's as utilitarian as it is handsome. And now, having been restored, this set can be yours, and it is likely to give you years of dependable service.

Sheaffer Balance Vac Golden Brown Pen & Pencil Set, XF, showing the nib's profile and the excellent tipping material geometry. You can also see a very strong imprint here.

The 14k gold nib has quite a bit of spring, so it will give you a very pleasant writing experience, with a hint of line variation. If you push harder, I am sure the tines will open up. However, please, be careful so as not to spring the nib. It is ground to a perfect XF geometry, giving you a confident line, at the lightest touch. These pens were made to be written with a very light hand, so that's where this pen shines. It's perfect for business cursive or Spencerian handwriting, but it is tough enough to take a heavier hand, such as that used in modern block handwriting. A smooth nib, with a touch of tooth, required for the dependable writing performance, but in no way unpleasant!

Sheaffer Balance Vac Golden Brown Pen & Pencil Set, XF, capped

Sheaffer Balance Vac Golden Brown Pen & Pencil Set, XF, boxed

Parker 51 Aerometric Pen and Pencil Set, Midnight Blue, F

(SOLD) This is a 1953 Parker 51 Aerometric fountain pen and liquid lead pencil set in Midnight Blue. The pen has a 14k gold Fine nib. The set is in unused condition (please, read about it further down the page). Because the connector's nipple was soft, I decided to replace it and fit it with a brand-new Pli-glass sac. The connector's nipple would sometimes softened over time, even if the pen was never inked. There's speculation as to why this happened, but the adhesive used must have played some part. I also tuned the nib and ink flow, and gave the pen a gentle hand polish.

Parker 51 Aerometric Pen and Pencil Set, Midnight Blue, Fm uncapped and showing a close-up of the section

This is such a gorgeous set! The Midnight Blue is among the most sought after Parker 51 colors, and for good reason, the color is deep, rich, and vibrant. The material has a hint of translucency. The gold-filled cap is in equally excellent shape, without any signs of use. A superb specimen of this iconic pen.

The phrase I wrote comes from a Parker advertisement. Being the "world's most wanted pen," Parker 51 was periodically in short supply, as the company was struggling to meet the demand. It's remarkable to think that, back in the early 1950s, the 51 was much like today's hottest electronic gadgets, particularly those made by Apple, being as functional as they were beautiful, even a status symbol and a popular gift for special occasions.

Parker 51 Aerometric Pen and Pencil Set, Midnight Blue, F, showing the Aerometric filling mechanism

The nib is incredibly smooth, but not overly polished. It writes at the lightest touch, laying down a consistent, controlled line. Parker's motto was "Writes dry with wet ink," which meant a superb ink flow regulation by the elaborate internal ink delivery system. Because of that, you can now use your Parker 51 in the office, writing on virtually any kind of paper, consistently, without the ink bleeding through or feathering. A fantastic performer!

Parker 51 Aerometric Pen and Pencil Set, Midnight Blue, F, capped, with the pencil

Parker Blue Diamond Vacumatic Major Golden Pearl, F

(SOLD) This is a 1943 Parker Blue Diamond Vacumatic Major in Golden Pearl, with a 14k gold, two-tone Fine nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a thorough cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, nib tuning, and a gentle polish by hand. I work according to current "best practices" in pen restoration, and I use high-quality replacement materials and specialized tools.

Parker Blue Diamond Vacumatic Major Golden Pearl,  F, with the cap and blind cap off

Do you own a fountain pen that makes you feel special in some important way? A pen that you would take with you on a trip, to write an exam with, perhaps sign your marriage license? A pen with a soul? If I come across as a little corny, it's not intentional! Parker certainly felt strongly about their Vacumatic being that special pen that will "help you get the breaks." The phrase I wrote comes from a Vacumatic advertisement showing a handsome man holding aVac, smiling, and two beautiful women right beside him, also smiling. I wonder what kind of "break" the pen is getting this gentleman?

Joking aside, I think that part of the charm of a vintage pen is its provenance. A pen that's over seventy years old, made during World War II, in a tough economic and political climate, purchased by person who, most likely, has since passed away. The company's heritage, the pen's history, and its unquestionable beauty and timeless design, all contribute to the feeling of distinctiveness, significance, even mystery. I believe I just defined the pen's soul. Do you agree?

Parker Blue Diamond Vacumatic Major Golden Pearl,  F, a nib profile showing perfect tine alignment and tipping material geometry

This particular pen is in beautiful condition, the gleaming celluloid deep, rich, vibrant. Barrel transparency is excellent; the warm tones you see in the photo are caused by the brown background showing through. You can even see the silhouette of the filling mechanism. There's just some very faint surface wear and some plating loss on the nib.

What a great writer! The Fine nib feels smooth and soft, without any skipping, hard-starts, or ink starvation. It writes a somewhat wet line that will bring out the beauty in your favorite inks and is likely to become one of your favorite performers. The nib will open up nicely if you press harder, giving you a semi-flex line. I used Sailor Kobe Old Foreigner Ward Sepia ink.

Parker Blue Diamond Vacumatic Major Golden Pearl,  F, capped

Sheaffer Balance Vac-filler Oversize, XF

This is a late 1930s Sheaffer Balance Vac Oversize in Jet Black with a striated transparent barrel, with a 14k gold, two-tone Extra-Fine Lifetime nib. This is the Oversize model, the largest in the Sheaffer catalog, and very rare as a Vac (plunger) filler. It measures 5.52" capped and 0.52" in barrel diameter. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a thorough cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, nib tuning, and a gentle hand polish. I work according to current "best practices" in the area of pen restoration and I use high-quality replacement materials and specialized tools.

Sheaffer Balance Vac-filler Oversize, XF, with the cap off and plunger partially extended

This pen is as rare as it is beautiful! The vast majority of vintage pens (say, made before 1960) are rather small and slender compared to modern fountain pens. There are many reasons for that. First of all, people's handwriting (taught in schools and commonly used) required a light touch, so a slender, lightweight pen was beneficial. Also, there were severe material shortages throughout the 1930s and 1940s, so larger pens were more expensive to make. Today, fountain pens are designed primarily as luxury goods, so a larger, heavier pen fits that designation better. Besides, a larger pen provides a bigger canvas for ornamentation in many modern high-end pens, such as Japanese Maki-e and Italian celluloid pens. Finding a large vintage pen, therefore, is a real treat to a lot of fountain pen enthusiasts. This pen is definitely it!

The phrase I wrote comes from a Sheaffer advertisement, and it captures the essence of this pen perfectly. The pen is so beautifully balanced, so comfortable to hold. Whether your write unposted or posted, the pen will fit your hand like a glove, regardless of your hand size. The slightly tapered, thick section, with a rounded lip, offers a sure grip, no matter how you hold the pen. The huge Lifetime Extra-Fine nib, with a slightly upturned tip, has a superbly shaped tipping geometry, writing at the lightest touch, and feeling as smooth as a conventional medium nib. Today, it's virtually impossible to make a nib that writes so fine and yet feels so smooth, while being self-assured and consistent. A true marvel of technology and art, much of which is lost to us. The ebonite feed, with its huge surface area, provides an effective ink buffering and delivery mechanism, one of the best such systems ever made, in my opinion. The nib writes a life between 0.3 mm and 0.4 mm, depending on ink, paper, and writing pressure.

Sheaffer Balance Vac-filler Oversize, XF, showing the profile of the Lifetime nib and barrel transparency

Cosmetically, this is a very interesting pen, made of Jet Black celluloid, with a longitudinally striated transparent section, with only very slight "ambering," or discoloration, but still showing your ink in its full glory, as it sloshes around inside the barrel. The cap comes fitted with the so-called "radius" or streamlined clip and the eponymous White Dot. The orange stripes that you see in the barrel are the warm background showing through the excellent transparency. The pen is free from any flaws or defects, with only very faint surface wear, difficult to see with the naked eye.

The filling mechanism, restored with materials of, arguably, higher quality and durability than Sheaffer's original components, can be easily filled to capacity with a two-stroke method, holding an astonishing 3 ml of ink. That is the equivalent of nearly five International ink cartridges. That's a lot of ink! This is a large mechanism, so you should expect a bit of resistance while pushing the plunger, which is perfectly normal, as the plunger needs to create a strong vacuum to fill the barrel with ink. The thing to remember is that the cap takes only a single rotation to screw on and off, so please, be careful not to damage it by over-tightening.

Sheaffer Balance Vac-filler Oversize, XF, capped

The pen is priced at $349. It's more than most of my pens, but this model usually fetches a much higher price than this. I hope this is going to be a great deal for you and a pen to cherish in your collection for years to come. Please, contact me to order the pen, and I will email you a PayPal invoice. Shipping charges are explained here. Thanks!

Sheaffer Crest Touchdown Pen and Pencil Set, M

(SOLD) This is an early 1950s Sheaffer Crest Touchdown fountain pen and pencil set in Burgundy with gold-filled caps and a 14k gold, two-tone Triumph Medium nib. The pen has been restored, which included a thorough cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle hand polish. The pencil has been brought to full functional order, and comes ready to write with a fresh refill. I work according to current “best practices” in the area of pen restoration and I use high-quality replacement materials and specialized tools. The set comes in its original case.

Sheaffer Crest Touchdown, M, with the cap off and the Touchdown piston partially extended

This is a beautiful set! The Crest was the top-of-the-line item in the Sheaffer catalog at the time, and it shows. The set is in excellent condition, looking almost as good as new. There are no flaws or defects, just one small scratch on the pencil's body. The gold-filled caps are in equally excellent shape. Today, as in the 1950s, this set would make a great gift for a graduation, professional advancement, or a birthday. The phrase comes from a Sheaffer advertisement of the Crest, as it was the model that the Iowa company was proud of being used by the U.S. Diplomatic Corps.

Sheaffer Crest Touchdown, M, showing a profile of the Triumph nib and a clear ink view window

The Touchdown filling mechanism makes this pen a lot of fun to use! It's a system that is currently enjoying a small, but significant revival with the likes of the Edison Beaumont and Eversharp Pneumatic Oversized Decoband pens, and for good reason, as it's an efficient, easy to use, and downright cool mechanism.

The Triumph nib sold as a Medium, but I'd rank it closer to a modern Western Fine. A fantastically smooth writer, it glides across the paper effortlessly, laying down a consistent line. I tuned it to writes a bit more wet than Sheaffer originally intended so that you could take advantage of and enjoy your inks' color, shading, and sheen. You can flip the nib upside down for an XF line that's equally smooth and enjoyable. It would be very difficult to find a modern gold nib that feels as smooth, but without the unwanted effects of an overly polished writing surface, such as hard-starts and skipping.

If you've never owned a vintage pen, the Sheaffer Touchdown is a great pen to start, and this one, in particular, looks as great as it writes. It comes with a fully functional mechanical pencil so you can take it to work with you and enjoy an incredibly versatile set of writing instruments, and at an affordable price.

Sheaffer Crest Touchdown Set in its original box

Sheaffer Balance Vac-filler in Carmine, F

(SOLD) This is a late 1930s Sheaffer Balance Vac-filler in striated Carmine celluloid, with a 14k gold, two-tone Lifetime Fine nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, thorough cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, nib tuning, and a gentle hand polish. This is a full-length slender "875" model, measuring 5.3" capped, with a barrel diameter of 0.42".

Sheaffer Balance Vac-filler in Carmine, F, with the cap off and the plunger rod partially extended

The previous Balance I posted sold in minutes, so I decided to post another. Here's a chance for you to own this classic pen, made to last, a fantastic performer, made out of gorgeous vintage celluloid, and with a superb gold nib to boot. You'd be hard-pressed to find a modern pen with an equal blend of features and performance, anywhere near the price. This pen will not disappoint!

A lot of fountain pen enthusiasts believe the Sheaffer Carmine striated celluloid is among the most beautiful fountain pen materials ever made. I am inclined to agree. This particular pen is in excellent condition, the material rich, deep, and vibrant, and with great barrel transparency. The gold-filled trim is in equally good shape. Frankly, this pen looks as though it was made yesterday. The imprint is strong.

Sheaffer Balance Vac-filler in Carmine, F, capped

The Sheaffer Balance was the BMW of fountain pens, a writing instrument that was as beautiful as it was functional. It was made to fit one's hand like a glove, and to be "driven" day in, day out, offering its user consistent and satisfying performance. The pen holds an astonishing 1.7 ml of ink, has superb ergonomics (posted or unposted), and a gold nib that is firm without feeling like a nail. It's a large, beautiful, Lifetime nib that I tuned to write a generous, wet line, so you can experience it at its best, as it's effortlessly gliding across a sheet of your favorite paper. It writes without hesitation, at the lightest pressure, and will never skip, skid, or starve for ink. How many modern pens come with such dependable, enjoyable performance out-of-the-box?

Sheaffer Balance Vac-filler in Carmine, F, side view of the 14k Lifetime nib, showing perfect tipping geometry

If you've never owned a vintage pen, but are a lover of beautiful Italian celluloid pens, look no further. This pen will look every bit as gorgeous as your Montegrappa, but will give you that special vintage performance that few modern pens can match. If you are an experienced vintage pen user, then you already know what to expect of the Lifetime nib, one of the best gold nibs ever designed. The phrase comes from a Sheaffer advertisement, and the ink is Sailor Kobe Bordeaux.

Sheaffer Balance Vac, Gray Pearl, Needlepoint

(SOLD) This is a late 1930s Sheaffer Balance Vac-filler in Gray Pearl celluloid and a 14k gold, two-tone Lifetime needlepoint (XXF) nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a thorough cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, nib tuning, and a gentle hand polish. I work according to current "best practices" in pen restoration, and I use high-quality replacement components, materials, and specialized tools.

Sheaffer Balance Vac, Gray Pearl, Needlepoint, with the cap off and the plunger rod partially retracted

This is a beautiful, full-length, slender Sheaffer Balance from the late 1930s, a Vac-filler made of gorgeous Gray Pearl celluloid, with a nicely transparent barrel, a chrome-plated trim, and a 14k gold, true needlepoint Lifetime nib (5.4" capped, 0.42" barrel diameter). The phrase I wrote comes from a Sheaffer advertisement issued at the time, and it conveys the important message about Lifetime (and "White Dot") pens and nibs, i.e., they were made to last, to write all day, every day, like a Stradivarius violin, they are meant to be used and will "never wear out." Sure, they need occasional maintenance, but those are durable, "workhorse" pens that will prove to extremely good daily writers for even the most demanding fountain pen enthusiasts.

The star of the show here is the needlepoint nib. It's a "true" needlepoint, one of the finest vintage tips I've ever used, a gorgeous, large nib, with excellent tipping material geometry. I would characterize this nib as a calligrapher's tool. It's so fine, precise, with excellent, controlled flow, great stroke consistency, writing under the lightest pressure, able to keep up with fast upstrokes and loops. A fantastic tool in the arsenal of a serious business cursive and Spencerian penmanship writer or student. Being so fine, the nib has some tooth, but it is not scratchy. As long as you write with a light touch, the nib is going to effortlessly glide across the paper.

Sheaffer Balance Vac, Gray Pearl, Needlepoint, a close-up of the nib, also showing transparency of the barrel (the warm tones)

Today, if you wish to buy a needlepoint nib suitable for Spencerian penmanship, your options are limited to either (1) buying a Japanese EF or UEF pen, or (2) getting a custom-ground needlepoint from a nib meister. The Japanese nibs are excellent! However, they're ground for short, downward strokes, primarily, as is required in Japanese handwriting. They are not going to be as good for fast upstrokes and loops, unfortunately, as some of you might have already experienced. A custom nib, ground by a nib meister, is going to be exactly what you want, but you're likely to have to pay extra for the service. May I offer an alternative: a restored, beautiful Sheaffer Balance pen with a fantastic needlepoint nib, at a reasonable price.

Sheaffer Balance Vac, Gray Pearl, Needlepoint, capped

Cosmetically, the pen is in very good condition. The celluloid is deep, rich, and vibrant. The trim is not perfect, it has a couple of small blemishes on the cap ring, but, considering how poorly this trim wore over time (in general), this specimen is rather good.

Sheaffer Triumph Vac 1250 in Marine Green, F

(SOLD) This is a 1942 Sheaffer Triumph Vac-filler "1250" fountain pen in Marine Green celluloid, with a 14k gold, two-tone, Sheaffer Lifetime Fine nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a thorough cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, adjustment of ink flow, a nib tune-up, and a gentle hand polish. I work according to current "best practices" in fountain pen restoration and I use high-quality replacement components, materials, and specialized tools. The pen is 5.14" capped and 0.43" barrel diameter.

Sheaffer Triumph Vac 1250 in Marine Green, F, with the cap off and plunger rod partially extended

The Triumph nib and feed system was Sheaffer's biggest achievement in the early 1940s. The Iowa company, tasked by the U.S. Government with the production of precision components for the war effort, was at the peak of its manufacturing prowess, having just added new buildings and machinery. The workers at the Sheaffer plant, mostly women, were highly skilled and gave each pen a lot of personal attention, including the painstaking process of nib grounding and finishing. Every pen that left the factory, despite severe material shortages and economic restrictions of wartime America, was ready to write. And write it did! The phrase I wrote comes from Sheaffer advertisement, showing men's faces. Clearly, the company thought the Triumph Vac was more suitable to male customers, as "women" is added as ifparenthetically. It's a medium-size pen, it posts very well, and it should fit most people's hands comfortably.

The Triumph nib/feed system functions as an ink buffering mechanism. As we continue to hold the pen in our fingers, their warmth heats up the ink inside the pen, thus increasing its volume and changing the delicate pressure balance that enables the pen to write. The mechanism is so good at controlling ink flow that the pen always writes a smooth and consistent line. Sheaffer intended these nibs to write what we would describe today as "dry," to meet the requirements of the day. These days, we have to luxury to write with fountain pens for pleasure and on high-quality, coated, "dry" paper, such as Rhodia. I, therefore, tuned this pen to write a more generous line, so that you can enjoy that gliding, hovering sensation.

Sheaffer Triumph Vac 1250 in Marine Green, F, capped

The nib, based on the rocker principle, is smooth and pleasant to use. It's firm, but it's excellent at absorbing vibrations coming from dragging the tip against the rough surface of the paper. A real joy to use, and one that has to be experienced to believe. Some of you have expressed curiosity about the upturned tip. It's there for a reason - to provide a smooth writing sensation, without overpolishing the writing surface and, thus, inhibiting ink flow.

Cosmetically, this pen is as beautiful as it gets. The gleaming Marine Green celluloid is smooth, with a deep, rich color, with excellent barrel transparency. The gold-filled trim is equally excellent condition, without any flaws or defects.

Sheaffer Snorkel Valiant "First-Year", XF

(SOLD) This is a 1952 Sheaffer Snorkel Valiant fountain pen in Black with a 14k gold, two-tone Triumph Extra-Fine nib and a 14k gold Snorkel tube. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a thorough cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, nib tuning, and a gentle hand polish. I work according to current "best practices" in pen restoration and I use high-quality replacement components, materials, and specialized tools.

Sheaffer Snorkel Valiant, First-Year, XF with the cap off

This is a rare Sheaffer Snorkel Valiant, made during the first year of production (1952), being equipped with a solid 14k gold Snorkel tube, which will never corrode or deteriorate. The pen is in excellent condition, virtually as good as if it was made yesterday. These pens are not easy to come by, especially in such great shape. What makes it even more rare is the Extra-Fine nib.

The phrase I wrote comes from a Sheaffer advertisement, and we can, of course, debate the statement whether or not any particular pen can add character to one's handwriting. However, there's something truly special, magical about the Triumph nib. By the 1950s, the Iowa company had perfected the Triumph nib and feed system. It's a rather elaborate mechanism, made for the purpose of buffering ink flow expansion due to heat generated by your own fingers and changes in atmospheric conditions. It's a system that's excellent at regulating the flow of ink, regardless of your ink, paper, or writing pressure, the Snorkel is going to write a consistent line. The Extra-Fine nib feels smooth and forgiving. There is no other nib, vintage or modern, that can feel as smooth while being so fine. Sheaffer really nailed the shape of the tip and the geometry of the tipping material, such that you're always in control, whether you write with a tripod grip or "death" grip, right- or left-handed, the nib will feel smooth and will write a beautiful line. That part of Sheaffer's advertising slogan is true, in my opinion.

Sheaffer Snorkel Valiant, First-Year, XF showing the 14k gold tube extended

The pen is in amazing shape, without any flaws or defects, with only the faintest wear. The 14k gold tube is in perfect condition, and will last a lifetime. This pen will be an excellent addition to your collection, a classic but rare, Sheaffer Snorkel, the most advanced fountain pen ever made. Needless to say, it also functions perfectly, filling with ease, holding a lot of ink, and being a lot of joy to use. I used Noodler's Manhattan Blue ink here.

Sheaffer Snorkel Valiant, First-Year, XF, capped

Sheaffer Triumph Sovereign II Golden Brown, F

(SOLD) This is a mid-1940s Sheaffer Triumph Sovereign II in striated Golden Brown celluloid with a 14k gold, two-tone Triumph F nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, thorough cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, an adjustment to ink flow and nib performance, and a gentle hand polish. I work according to current "best practices" in pen restoration and I use high-quality replacement components and specialized tools.

Sheaffer Triumph Sovereign II Golden Brown, F, with the cap off

This is another interesting, rare Sheaffer pen from the mid-1940s. You might have seen another pen of mine, with a similar shape and a wire band, the Craftsman, but this is an entirely different model, the Sovereign II. It's a medium-size pen, measuring around 5" capped, and 0.46" in barrel diameter, it posts very nicely, so it should be a comfortable writer for most pen enthusiasts. Note that the pen has a matching striated section, a beautiful detail, and somewhat rare.

Let's contemplate Sheaffer's advertising slogan (the phrase I wrote) for a moment. In my opinion, it sums up Sheaffer's design philosophy perfectly. The Iowa company focused on creating fountain pens as writing instruments. Every element of the design, every feature was there for one reason - to enhance the pen's utility as a writing instrument. Today, a great many pens (esp., the more upscale models) are designed as luxury items, first and foremost. Yes, the can write, but most of the design effort goes into making them appear classy, exclusive, luxurious. Take a look at Montblanc ads, for example. Do you see pens featured in them? Rarely! What you do see is a luxurious lifestyle, gorgeous-looking people who appreciate "the finer things in life." There's nothing wrong with that, of course, but it is an entirely different design philosophy. The majority of modern fountain pen brands don't even make their own nibs. They buy them from third-party suppliers in Germany, Japan, India, and China. Vintage pens, on the other hand, received a lot of personal attention from a team of highly skilled technicians who ground and tuned each nib to perfection because their pens had to perform all day, every day, in the office, classroom, home, and out in the field. The pen I am offering today is a perfect example of that design philosophy.

Sheaffer Triumph Sovereign II Golden Brown, F, capped

Needless to say, it is an excellent writer! It lays down a confident, smooth line that is equivalent of today's Western (e.g., Pelikan Souverän) extra-fine, but was originally sold as a Fine. I tuned it slightly more wet than Sheaffer intended so you can enjoy that awesome gliding, hovering sensation, without the pen ever starving for ink, skipping, or skidding out of control. The lever-filling mechanism works efficiently and holds a lot of ink. I wrote with J. Herbin's Cacao du Brésil, a beautiful ink that is safe to use in vintage pens.

Cosmetically, the pen is free from any defects or flaws, and is in excellent condition. The gleaming Golden Brown celluloid is gorgeous, smooth, with a deep, rich color. The gold-filled trim is in equally great shape. If you see any dark spots on it, it's mere light reflections and shadows, difficult to eliminate due to the glossy surface of the trim.

Sheaffer Snorkel Saratoga in Pastel Blue, Gregg Nib

(SOLD) This is a mid-1950s Sheaffer Snorkel Saratoga fountain pen in Pastel Blue with a 14k gold, two-tone Gregg nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, thorough cleaning, restoration of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, nib tuning, and a gentle hand polish. I work according to current "best practices" in pen restoration and I use high-quality replacement components.

Sheaffer Snorkel Saratoga with a Gregg Nib, uncapped

This is an extremely rare pen! Throughout the golden age of the fountain pen, the Gregg shorthand system was very popular among in business. It was an integral skill in the repertoire of a well-trained office worker. Sheaffer partnered with Gregg to create a small number of pens, with specially ground Gregg points, to facilitate rapid handwriting. What is a Gregg point? It's a very fine, smooth, spherical grind. It is almost a needlepoint, and an extremely pleasant, effortless writer. The tipping material is more round-shaped, which means a constant line width regardless of the direction of your strokes, as was required by Gregg. It's a unique experience - a very, very fine tip with the smoothness of a broader nib and a consistent line. The nib is also very forgiving of variation in holding angle and rotation, also, in an effort to provide consistent performance in rapid handwriting. A superb performer.

If you are into extra-fine or needlepoint nibs, this particular Gregg pen will be a fantastic addition to your collection. I will become one of your most favorite writers, as very few pens, vintage or modern, can match the beautiful line and smoothness of this nib. I did not clean the nib too aggressively so as not to remove the Gregg designation, but the nib is in mint condition. BTW, Pelikan had a similar nib, designated as "Kugel Sehr Fein."

Sheaffer Snorkel Saratoga with a Gregg Nib, with the Snorkel tube extended

The pen itself is also in excellent condition, without any flaws or defects, and only with the faintest surface wear, difficult to see with the naked eye.

Sheaffer Snorkel Saratoga with a Gregg Nib, capped

Parker 51 Vacumatic Demi Cordovan Brown Set, XF

(SOLD) This is a 1947 Parker 51 Vacumatic Demi fountain pen and mechanical pencil set in Cordovan Brown with a 16k gold-filled cap. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a thorough cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle hand polish. The pencil has also been brought up to full mechanical order. I work according to current "best practices" in pen restoration and I use high-quality replacement components and specialized tools.

Parker 51 Vacumatic Demi Cordovan Brown Set, XF, with the cap and blind cap off

This is a very rare set! It's a "first-year" Parker 51 Vacumatic Demi, made in 1947, the year the Demi model was first introduced. It also features a rare, newly designed, 16k gold-filled cap and comes with a matching mechanical pencil. The Demi was Parker's attempt to market the 51 to women, who were quickly becoming a large presence in the workforce and a lucrative customer base. The phrase I wrote comes from a Parker 51 Demi ad, and it reflects the sentiment.

The Demi is slightly smaller and more spender than the full-size 51, but not by much. The pen posts beautifully, so it can still be enjoyed by men and women alike. Today, a restored 51 is as good an EDC pen as ever, offering its user comfort, reliability, good looks, and fantastic writing performance, day in and day out. The smooth, forgiving Extra-Fine nib makes it an ideal journaling pen, a great tool for learning and writing business cursive, or Michael Sull's American Cursive Handwriting. Even though Parker designed the 51 to write fairly dry, to meet the demands of the day, I like to tune it a bit of the wet side so you can enjoy that amazing gliding sensation but without flooding the paper with ink. The overhauled filling mechanism works efficiently and holds a lot of ink.

Parker 51 Vacumatic Demi Cordovan Brown Set, XF, capped

The set is in excellent cosmetic condition! There are no flaws or defects, just very faint wear to the body and a bit of wear on the pen's cap, toward the edge, all very difficult to see with the naked eye. Important: the slightly darker shade of brown toward the tip of the nib is supposed to be like that. The material is slightly transparent and there's simply more of it towards the tip, hence the darker area that you can see in a high-resolution photo.

Parker 51 Vacumatic Demi Cordovan Brown Set, XF, mechanical pencil

Eversharp Symphony 705, M

(Sold) This is a 1949 Eversharp Symphony 705 "Golden Symphony" fountain pen in Black with a 1/10 14k gold-filled cap and 14k gold Medium nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a thorough cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle hand polish. I work according to current best practices in pen restoration and I use high-quality replacement components.

Eversharp Symphony 705, M, with the cap off showing the large 14k gold nib

This is a top-of-the-line Eversharp "Golden Symphony," a pen that succeeded the better known Skyline. The pen was larger, had a new shape, a distinctive cap, and the same, reliable, high-performance 14k gold nib and ebonite feed as the Skyline. The pen seems more uniquely suited to people who enjoy modern pens these days, as it is larger and more modern in both appearance and feel than many previous generation vintage pens (around 5.5" capped, with a barrel diameter of 0.46").

The main attraction here is the large 14k gold nib. These are excellent nibs, ground and tuned by hand, with an amazing ability to absorb micro-shocks and offer a superb, soft, and smooth writing sensation. The feed is know for offering consistent, rich flow of ink, which, combined with the softness of the nib, is likely to give you that highly desirable wet, broad line that's going to bring out the depth of color, shading, and sheen in your favorite inks. The nib likely sold as a Medium, but I'd rank it to be medium-fine by modern Western standards, at least when writing with a light hand. If you press harder, the tines are going to spread, giving you a hint of line variation that is sure to give a lot of character to your handwriting.

The pen is in excellent cosmetic condition, without any flaws or defects to the resin or the gold-filled trim. There's just very faint surface wear, difficult to see with the naked eye. A really handsome pen!

Eversharp Symphony 705, M, capped

Parker 51 Aerometric Teal Blue, F

(SOLD) This is a 1951, full-size Parker 51 Aerometric in Teal Blue with a 14k gold Fine nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a thorough cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle hand polish. I work according to current best practices in pen restoration and use high-quality replacement components and specialized tools.

Parker 51 Aerometric Teal Blue, F, with the cap off

Does a fountain pen make your handwriting nicer? I guess it's up to you to decide. Some people love fountain pens because they can get the nibs to lay down an interesting line, with "specialty" grinds, such as cursive italic or architect grind. Flexible nibs can give one line variation, which can look good, too. Regardless of line quality, I think that a well-tuned fountain pen is a great instrument with which to practice handwriting.

This Parker 51 writes a confident, true-to-size Fine line, at the lightest touch. Developing light touch is essential in handwriting improvement, and only a well-tuned fountain pen (or dip pen) allows you to write with a light hand. Also, the long, streamlined, stepless section makes virtually any grip comfortable A comfortable instrument will go a long way toward improving your penmanship. The nib has ample tipping material of excellent geometry. It "grabs" onto the surface of the paper and won't let go unless you command it to. There's no skipping or skidding, and no hard-starts. Having a steady, consistent flow is essential in improving the writing experience. The small, hooded nib makes the pen more maneuverable, particularly if you write with your fingers, which most of us do. It's forgiving of holding angle and rotation about the page. The Fine nib is perfect for just about any handwriting style, large or small. It's good for cursive, D'Nealian, even monoline Italic. Finally, the gold nib absorbs vibrations from the rough paper surface and connects you to the page, resulting in pleasant feedback and utmost control, while prolonging the operational life of your nib . Just keep thinking, moving, gliding (a quote from an old penmanship book.).

Parker 51 Aerometric Teal Blue, F, capped

I replaced the connector and sac with a new-old-stock unit. Some restorers prefer to repair the soften connector by drilling it out and gluing in a piece of plastic tubing. I think that replacing the entire piece is a more elegant and durable solution. The sac is somewhat dark in the photo, but you can be sure it's clean and as good as new.

Parker 51 Aerometric Teal Blue, F, showing the sac guard

Cosmetically, the pen is in excellent shape, free from any defects or flaws, with the faintest surface wear, difficult to see with the naked eye. A beautiful example of this iconic fountain pen.

Sheaffer Craftsman in Golden Brown, XF

(SOLD) This is an early 1940s Sheaffer Craftsman fountain pen in striated Golden Brown celluloid, with an ink view window, and a 14k gold XF nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a thorough cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, adjustment of ink flow, tuning of the nib, and a gentle hand polish.

Sheaffer Craftsman in Golden Brown, XF

Pelikan has just released its new M400 Tortoiseshell Brown, and the similarities between the M400 and the Craftsman are unavoidable. Both pens are made by well-respected brands with great heritage, both are entry-level in their companies' line-ups, both pens are of comparable size, both made of striated brown celluloid, both are self-fillers and hold a lot of ink, both come with solid gold nibs. Both have ink windows. So which pen are YOU going to buy? The Craftsman has two features in its favor. First, a true XF gold nib, which is finer than Pelikan's XF and feels softer on paper. But the biggest difference is price. The Pelikan sells for around $380, and the Craftsman for $99. The phrase I wrote comes from a Sheaffer advertisement.

The pen is in very good condition, with gleaming Golden Brown celluloid and excellent gold-filled trim. The nib is a delight to use! A true extra-fine, the nib is smooth, but not overpolished. It writes with confidence, at the lightest touch, and feels soft on paper. It's not a flexible nib, but it does have nice, gentle "give" to it. And it's excellent at absorbing micro-shocks caused by dragging the nib across the rough surface of the paper.

Sheaffer Craftsman in Golden Brown, XF, capped

Parker Vacumatic Major Golden Pearl, XF

(SOLD) This is a 1946 Parker Vacumatic Major, Blue Diamond, in Golden Pearl celluloid with a 14k gold, two-tone Extra-Fine nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a thorough cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, nib tuning, and a gentle hand polish. I work according to current best practices in pen restoration and I use high-quality replacement materials and specialized tools.

Parker Vacumatic Major Golden Pearl, XF, with the cap and the blind cap off

Parker's Vacumatic was a huge engineering triumph. The Wisconsin company implemented an advanced filling mechanism, without disrupting the graceful lines of the pen. The Vacumatic mechanism was durable, easy to use, efficient, and held a lot of ink. This particular pen holds up to 1.7 ml of ink, nearly three times as much as a typical cartridge or converter. The large ink capacity played an important part in Parker's advertising campaigns, and this particular quote comes from an endorsement of the Vacumatic by the great Kenneth Roberts (author of Northwest Passage). Endorsement by a novelist made a lot of sense, as the pen "holds twice as much ink and shows when to refill" compared to a typical level-filler of the era. Today, pen companies often try to evoke a sense of luxury, class in their ads, but during the golden age of the fountain pen, the emphasis was on functionality. After all, people used fountain pens all day, every day, and their pens had to "just work."

This Vac is in excellent shape! The gleaming celluloid is free from any flaws or defects, barrel transparency is excellent, as is the gold-filled trim. A gorgeous pen that now can be yours, so you can enjoy long writing sessions whether you're working on your own book, traveling the world, taking notes in a meeting, or jotting down research observations in a lab.

This is a Blue Diamond pen, which means it had Parker's lifetime warranty and was, typically, better built and/or equipped than other models. This nib, for example, is a beautiful, two-tone 14k XF nib. The nib writes a self-assured, consistent XF line. It is smooth, perfectly aligned, with ample tipping material. I tuned it to write a wet but controlled line so you can enjoy your inks' color and shading. The nib has a bit of spring, but it is not a flexible nib. Sometimes, we are tempted to push harder, especially coming from modern steel flex nibs,. The "spring" is a pleasant sensation and can even give you a hint of line variation, but please, be careful as as not to spring the nib (pun not indented).

Parker Vacumatic Major Golden Pearl, XF, capped

Here, I used the amazing KWZ IG Violet #3, an iron-gall ink that darkens as it dries. You can use mostgood inks in a Vacumatic, just avoid permanent and highly saturated inks, as they might stain the celluloid and/or damage the diaphragm.

Sheaffer Triumph Tuckaway in Marine Green, F

(SOLD) This is an early 1940s Sheaffer Triumph Tuckaway fountain pen in striated Marine Green celluloid, with a 14k gold, two-tone Triumph Fine nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a thorough cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle hand polish. I work according to current best practices in pen restoration and I use high-quality materials and tools.

Sheaffer Triumph Tuckaway in Marine Green, F

Could you imagine today TWBSI, Sailor, Kaweco marketing their pocket-size pens to women only? That would cause a boycott at best and, more likely, a law suit, and would, probably, put these companies out of business. But back in the 1940s, gender stereotypes were at the heart of advertising campaigns (well, they still are today), and the normalization of these stereotypes was commonplace. Yes, the Tuckaway is dainty, but it does convert to a full-size pen when posted, so the only reason to mention its small size is the fact that it makes a great pocketable, EDC pen. You guessed it, the phrase I wrote comes out of a 1940s Sheaffer advertisement.

Take the Tuckaway with you to work, your favorite coffee shop, or a trip down the coast. Experience its excellent ergonomics, the breathtaking beauty of celluloid, take advantage of the generous filling mechanism, and relish in the smoothness and confidence of the Triumph nib. I believe the Tuckaway easily holds its own against its modern competitors, such as Kaweco Sport, Sailor Pro Gear Mini, and TWSBI Vac Mini. Aret he modern pens as beautiful? Do they write as well? Do they hold as much ink? Are they as much fun? Only you can answer these questions.

This particular pen is in excellent shape! Notice the section being made to match the transparent barrel. It's, in my opinion, a better design than the later and more ubiquitous one with an opaque barrel and a black section. Also, the barrel is transparent, which allows you to watch the pen being filled (cool!) and gauge ink level with ease. The gleaming celluloid is free from any flaws or defects and the gold-filled trim is in equally good shape. There's just very faint surface wear, difficult to see with the naked eye.

Sheaffer Triumph Tuckaway in Marine Green, F

The nib is a delight to write with! It writes a Sheaffer standard Fine line, which remains universal today. It's fine enough for poor-quality paper, filling out forms, writing in your journal, but broad enough to enjoy the color, shading, and sheen of your favorite inks. I like to tune these nibs a touch above average in wetness, which is a bit more wet than what Sheaffer originally intended. Thus, you can get that nice floating, hovering sensation, but without flooding the page with ink.

Parker 51 Aerometric Navy Gray, F

(SOLD) This is a 1949 Parker 51 Aerometric fountain pen in Navy Gray with a stainless steel cap and a 14k gold Fine nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, thorough cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, nib tune-up, and a gentle hand polish. I work in accord with current best practices in pen restoration and I use high-quality replacement components and specialized tools.

Parker 51 Aerometric Navy Gray, F

In the late 1940s, Parker 51 was already the world's most wanted pen. The company was having trouble meeting the demand. It's fair to say that the 51 was the iPhone of the 1940s, a pen coveted by a great many people. The company issued a series of advertisements asking people to be patient and promising increase production to meet the demand. The quote I wrote comes from such an advertisement.

This particular 51 is in amazing condition, one of the nicest 51s that's ever come across my desk. I have a feeling the pen had never been used, but I did replace the connector and sac with a new-old-stock unit, as the original had softened over time. Some 51 connector would inexplicably become soft (esp., the part on which the sac is seated) and need to be replaced. Some restorers choose to fix the connector by drilling it out and gluing a piece of plastic tubing. I prefer to replace the whole thing, as it is a more elegant and durable solution.

The nib is a gorgeous Fine! It writes a confident line, one that I tuned a bit above average in terms of flow, so you can enjoy that gliding sensation, but without making a mess on less-than-perfect paper. The nib has a large sweet spot, and is forgiving of your holding angle and rotation about the page. It writes at the lightest touch, but will also take a heavy hand with ease. This pen would make a fantastic EDC, a work pen, a great pen for taking notes in college, or writing in your journal. You'd be hard pressed to find a more versatile fountain pen, vintage or modern.

Parker 51 Aerometric Navy Gray, F

If you've wanted to try a 51, but were apprehensive about buying one of uncertain provenance, look no further! This is a fantastic pen and it has to be experienced to understand why so many pen enthusiasts firmly believe the Parker 51 is the best fountain pen ever made. I think that if you're going to own just one vintage pen, the Aerometric 51, with a Fine nib, should be it.

Eversharp Symphony Set, Flex nib

(SOLD) This is a late 1940s Eversharp Symphony Fountain Pen and Pencil set in Burgundy, with gold-filled trim, and a flexible 14k Medium nib. The set appears to be new-old-stock, with all original parts, and a sticker still in place. I made sure the set worked properly, adjusted the nib and ink flow, but kept the original sac, as it was pristine. I cleaned the set and gave it a gentle hand polish.

Eversharp Symphony Set, Flex nib

Eversharp advertised this set as "A luxury set at a pre-war price." Even today, I'd consider Eversharp Symphony the most affordable true vintage flex pen. I've been getting a lot of requests for affordable vintage flex. To be honest, it's almost an oxymoron, as the demand for vintage flex is at an all-time high. Still, I was able to source this exciting set for you, and I am offering it at an affordable price.

I'd rank the nib as a medium flex, possibly even close to full-flex. It's soft and springy. It's nominal width is a Fine, though it was sold as a Medium. It has ample tipping material of perfect geometry. A smooth writer and will give you the line variation you seek.

Eversharp Symphony Set, Flex nib

Cosmetically, the set looks like it had not been stored in favorable conditions. There's one small nick on the top of the cap, and a couple of small blemishes here and there, but, otherwise, it's in an unused condition, at least judging by the internals. The pencil work, and I filled it with new 0.9mm lead.