Update

I have been having some health problems lately, and have been forced to close the website for the time being. I am expecting to resume posting once I start feeling better, and I am unable to predict when that might happen.

Please, accept my sincere apologies.

Bartek

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Emerald Pearl, XF Semi-Flex

(Sold) This is a 1946 Blue Diamond Parker Vacumatic Major fountain pen in Emerald Pearl celluloid, with gold-filled trim, and a 14k gold XF Semi-Flex 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 polish with a soft cloth (by hand). I use only very gentle restoration techniques and use only the highest-quality replacement materials and specialist tools. The pen measures slightly over 5" capped and 0.48" in diameter.

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Emerald Pearl, XF Semi-Flex, uncapped

In the late 1930s and throughout the 1940s, the pen industry underwent a major shift toward sturdy, dependable, always-ready, consistent, self-filling pens that were supposed to perform equally well regardless of one's ink, writing technique, paper, air pressure and temperature, and other, sometimes extreme, conditions. Each major brand offered a lifetime warranty on their flagship models, and made sure their pens would not require servicing often.

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Emerald Pearl, XF Semi-Flex, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment

In terms of nib manufacturing, there was a definite transition toward less flexible, larger, thicker nibs with plenty of tipping material, so that they would comply with the dominant handwriting style of the era. For most people, including office professionals, Ornamental Penmanship was quickly becoming less practical and was gradually phased out in favor of the more rapid and legible business cursive, such as the Palmer Method. Flexible nibs were still available as special-order items, but the vast majority of gold nibs made at the time were semi-flexible or firm.

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Emerald Pearl, XF Semi-Flex, nib close-up

Parker's nib design focused on improving the gold point's ability to absorb vibrations caused by dragging the tip across the surface of the paper. Such vibrations are often perceived as unpleasant, and nib makers went to great lengths to minimize them. The Vacumatic nib was a great example of this new type of design. The nib has variable thickness (strategically distributed), which further improves its "compliance," its ability to seamlessly conform to the writer's movement, responding to even the slightest variation in pressure, direction, and rapidity, while soaking up microscopic paper bumps with ease. This particular nib lays down a line of about 0.3 mm (on my paper) and spreads easily to about 0.7 mm with slight increase in writing pressure. This is not a fully flexible nib, so please do not try to push it beyond its limit, but it can be used rather effectively to instantly add character to your handwriting.

The pen is in excellent condition, without any flaws or defects. The Emerald celluloid has incredible depth, vibrancy, and still very good barrel transparency. The gold filled trim is in equally good shape, and the imprint is strong. The filling mechanism holds up to 1.8 ml of ink.

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Emerald Pearl, XF Semi-Flex, capped

Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Oversize Pen and Pencil Set, Golden Brown, F

(Sold) This is a 1942 White Dot Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Oversize fountain pen and mechanical pencil set in original box, in Golden Brown celluloid, with a matching striated section, a transparent barrel, gold-filled trim, and a 14k gold, two-tone Lifetime Triumph Fine nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth. The pencil has also been restored to full function, it takes standard 0.9 mm refills, available today.

Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Oversize Pen and Pencil Set, Golden Brown, F, uncapped, with the plunger partially extended

Sheaffer's crowning achievement, the now very rare Oversize Valiant, with the efficient, high-capacity vacuum filling mechanism (up to 1.8 ml using the two-stroke method), made out of the gorgeous striated Golden Brown celluloid, with a matching section, a transparent barrel, and, of course, the Lifetime Triumph nib. In my opinion, this particular model is the Iowa company's greatest technological accomplishment. A perfect marriage of design and engineering, a union so desirable and yet so elusive. 

Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Oversize Pen and Pencil Set, Golden Brown, F, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment. Also note the clear barrel transparency

The pen is large, by vintage standards, it posts very well, and so it should be comfortable to hold for most fountain pen enthusiasts. With its superb ergonomics, a slightly textured section, the pen will lend itself to hours of effortless writing. The Triumph nib is so forgiving, so smooth, capable of rapid strokes in virtually all directions. Whether you're right or left-handed, whether you use the tripod or the death grip, whether you right with a featherweight pressure or a heavy hand, the nib will conform to your needs with willingness and ease. It lays down a standard Sheaffer Fine line of about 0.4 mm (on my paper), which puts it in-between modern Western XF and F. The nib is firm, but feels somewhat soft on paper. It's not glassy smooth, but it's not meant to be! It has just enough tooth to provide a seamless connection to the paper, but without feeling unpleasant in any way.

Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Oversize Pen and Pencil Set, Golden Brown, F, capped

The set is in excellent condition and comes in its original box. There's one small round blemish on the pencil's body, possibly a flaw in the material, but it's hard to say. It's small, but it's there, so I must point it out. Otherwise, the set is in fantastic shape, with a truly beautiful, vibrant, rich celluloid, excellent barrel transparency, and a strong imprint.

Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Oversize Pen and Pencil Set, Golden Brown, F, in box

Sheaffer Triumph Vac Fountain Pen, Golden Brown, XF

(Sold)This is a 1942 White Dot Sheaffer Triumph Vac fountain pen in striated Golden Brown celluloid, with a transparent barrel, a gold-filled trim, and a 14k gold, two-tone Lifetime Triumph F nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth (done by hand). This is a full-size pen, measuring around 5.18" capped and 0.44" in diameter. The pen is meant to be using posted, which it does very well, indeed.

Sheaffer Triumph Vac Fountain Pen, Golden Brown, XF, uncapped, with the plunger partially extended

The year 1942 was pivotal in the history of the fountain pen. As the U.S. entered World War II, some of the pen companies joined the effort, producing mission-critical armament components. Sheaffer was the undisputed leader in that regard, posting a significant growth as a company and continuing bringing to market fantastic writing instrument. In my opinion, no other pen epitomizes that era than the Sheaffer Triumph vacuum filler.

Sheaffer Triumph Vac Fountain Pen, Golden Brown, XF, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment

A product of several years of vigorous R&D, the Triumph was an utterly modern fountain pen, "far ahead of anything in the field." The Triumph accomplished what had seemed an intractable pen design problem before, namely, a consistent, silky smooth flow of ink, under various conditions, including temperature, barometric pressure, ink, paper, and one's writing technique. The Triumph ink delivery system excels at buffering the ever expanding and contracting volume of ink inside the reservoir (here, directly inside the barrel). The task is accomplished by an oversize ebonite feed with a huge surface area of its numerous fins and, crucially, a large channel running inside it. Sheaffer took advantage of its advanced R&D laboratories to perfect the Triumph, including rigorous testing, by man and machine. The quote I wrote comes from a 1942 statement that accompanied the launch of the Triumph vac filler.

The pen I'm offering today is a great specimen of the Triumph, perhaps its most iconic model. Built from the gorgeous striated Golden Brown celluloid, with a transparent barrel, adorned with impeccable gold-filled trim, the pen is truly beautiful. It's in excellent condition, too, with only very minor surface wear, difficult to see with the naked eye. Functionally, the pen is as close to its factory condition as possible, with an efficient filling mechanism (up to 1.8 ml of ink using the two-stroke method), and superb ergonomics.

The pen writes an XF line of about 0.4 mm (on my paper). It's firm, but smooth, and capable of writing rapid strokes in virtually all directions, including long, swooping curves. Sheaffer's nib grinding technique aimed at providing a point that wrote very smoothly but without compromising ink flow. Today, it's not uncommon for pen makers to polish the nib's writing surface to an extreme degree, giving the point a sense of smoothness, but, often, at the expense of its writing ability. The Triumph is tuned to write at the lightest touch, and that is where it performs at its best. However, it will also take a heavy hand in stride, rewarding you with a line that is as dependable as modern rollerballs. Ink flow is a touch above average in wetness, so you can take full advantage of the broad spectrum of inks available today.

Sheaffer Triumph Vac Fountain Pen, Golden Brown, XF, posted

Sheaffer Triumph Statesman Fountain Pen, Carmine, F

(Sold) This is a mid-1940s White Dot Sheaffer Triumph Craftsman Vac fountain pen in striated Carmine celluloid, with gold-filled trim, and a 14k gold, two-tone Lifetime Triumph Fine nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth (by hand). This is a medium-size pen measuring a little over 5" capped and 0.44" in diameter. It posts very well, and writes a true-to-size Fine line of about 0.4 mm, so it's possible it sold as a Medium.

Sheaffer Triumph Statesman Fountain Pen, Carmine, F, uncapped, with the plunger partially extended

One of the most intractable problems that a fountain pen designer must try to solve is handling the expansion of ink due to changes in temperature and pressure. Today, sadly, but understandably, most pen makers focus on aesthetics rather than engineering aspects of pen design, and, as a result, most pens made today employ a similar, simple method of regulating flow, i.e.,  a plastic (or, rarely, ebonite) feed with a relatively larger surface area and one (sometimes two) channels. As a result, modern pens are not particularly good at dealing with ink flow fluctuations, particularly those due to changes in temperature. We keep hearing stories of pens "exploding," leaking, burping, when the temperature or atmospheric pressure go up or down by a significant amount.

Sheaffer Triumph Statesman Fountain Pen, Carmine, F, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment. Also, note the oversize ebonite feed

In the early 1940s, Sheaffer brought to market its own solution to regulating ink flow, the Triumph system. The Triumph solves the ink expansion problem by providing an oversize ebonite feed with a larger surface area and one larger channel that runs inside it. The feed is enclosed inside a cylinder made of 14k gold, which offers an additional buffering capability and further protects the system against external factors, such as drying out. By today's standards, the Triumph is "ahead of anything in the field" despite predating modern pens by more than half a century. 

What this means to us, writers, is that a Triumph pen is going to give us that silky smooth, well-controlled, generous, steady, and delightful flow of ink, regardless of atmospheric conditions, and will be resilient against quirks of ink, paper, and writing technique. The pen I'm offering today is a great specimen of the Triumph, in fantastic condition, and made of the highly coveted Carmine celluloid. And, it's priced well below most modern pens of comparable features and performance.

The nib, which probably sold as a Medium, lays down a generous Fine line of about 0.4 mm (on my paper). The oversize feed keeps the flow steady and consistent. The nib is firm but feels smooth and soft on paper, thanks to its ingenious upturned design and the vibration dampening properties of the gold point. Cosmetically, it's great! The gleaming, vibrant Carmine celluloid is so gorgeous, and irresistibly so. The gold-filled trim is in equally great shape. The imprint is strong.

Sheaffer Triumph Statesman Fountain Pen, Carmine, F, capped

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Azure Pearl, F, Semi-Flex

(Sold) This is a 1943 Blue Diamond Parker Vacumatic Major fountain pen in Azure Pearl celluloid, with gold-filled trim, and a 14k gold Fine Semi-Flex nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth. This is a typical specimen of the model, measuring a little over 5" capped and 0.48" in diameter.

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Azure Pearl, F, Semi-Flex

I am often asked for advice regarding vintage fountain pens. One of the most frequently asked questions is what pen do I recommend as a "safe bet," a pen that can easily be considered a top-tier pen, yet one that sells for a lot less than a modern pen with comparable features and performance. Those of you who follow me on Instagram probably know how much I love Sheaffer pens, but, to be honest, it is the wartime Parker Vacumatic Major that makes the best premium vintage pen for beginners and advanced collectors alike.

The Major is a larger pen in Parker's line-up, but it does appear somewhat smaller, compared to most modern luxury pens. Still, it has superb ergonomics, posts extremely well, and feels very comfortable, regardless of your grip. The material is gorgeous, particularly in Azure! The barrel has very nice transparency, which allows you to gauge your remaining ink level with ease. Speaking of ink, the Vacumatic holds a lot of it, up to 1.7 ml (with some variation across models), and comes equipped with one of the most ingenious and reliable filling mechanisms ever made.

With all that being said, the Vacumatic really excels as a writing instrument. It comes with a fantastic 14k gold nib, one that writes at the lightest touch, and when pressed harder, rewards you with a hint of line variation, instantly adding character to your handwriting. It's precise and yet it has excellent performance latitude, laying down a satisfying line in virtually all directions, with luscious long curves and steadfast rapid upstrokes. A fantastic tool with which to take your handwriting to the next level.

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Azure Pearl, F, Semi-Flex, capped

Sheaffer Triumph Statesman Fountain Pen, Carmine, XF

(Sold) This is a 1942 White Dot Sheaffer Triumph Statesman Vac fountain pen in striated Carmine celluloid, with gold-filled trim, and a 14k gold, two-tone Lifetime Triumph XF nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth (by hand). This is a medium-size pen, measuring around 126 mm capped (5"), and 12 mm (0.46") in diameter. It posts very nicely, like all Sheaffer wartime pens, so it should be comfortable even for people with larger hands.

Sheaffer Triumph Statesman Fountain Pen, Carmine, XF. uncapped, with the plunger partially extended

When it comes to classy good looks, the wartime Sheaffer Statesman is definitely in my Top Five. Made of the highly coveted striated Carmine celluloid, the pen looks stunning. The material has such depth, such vibrancy, such shimmering character. The barrel has excellent transparency, and the gold-filled trim looks superb. The imprint is strong. Quite honestly, the pen looks as good as any modern luxury pen and would feel right at home sharing a display case with the latest Montegrappa or Visconti. And, this is the more desirable (and rare) Statesman variant, with a matching striated section and ink stored directly inside the barrel.

Sheaffer Triumph Statesman Fountain Pen, Carmine, XF, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment

However, this pen also happens to be a fantastic performer. It is meant to post securely, so it should be perfectly comfortable for people with larger hands. It's balanced so well, it feels like an extension of your hand. When I put it to paper, I get this exquisite extra-fine monoline of about 0.4 mm. A line that never falters, never skips, or starves for ink. A line that impresses with its sheer willingness to perform. Unlike modern XF nibs, the Triumph has none of the usual toothiness or scratchiness, virtually regardless of your grip, holding angle, or writing pressure. A great pen for anyone wishing to improve their penmanship, particularly cursive, thanks to its impressively larger sweet spot and forgiving nature. And, it holds up to 1.6 ml of ink (using the two-stroke method).

Sheaffer Triumph Statesman Fountain Pen, Carmine, XF, capped

Parker 51 Vacumatic Fountain Pen, Blue Cedar, XXF

(Sold) This is a 1946 Blue Diamond Parker 51 Vacumatic fountain pen in Blue Cedar, with a stainless steel cap, gold-filled trim, and a 14k gold XXF nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth (by hand). This is a full-size pen, measuring about 5.3" capped (135 mm).

Parker 51 Vacumatic Fountain Pen, Blue Cedar, XXF, uncapped

The Parker 51 is not only "the world's most wanted pen," but it is also, in my opinion, a writer's pen, a pen for people who love to write. No, it's not made of fancy, colorful acrylic; no, it's not finished in Maki-e; no, it's not adorned with a snowflake. However, it's a beautifully designed, very well-made, highly comfortable, stylish writing machine. A pen that accommodates a variety of grips, angles, and rotation. With a dependable slip cap, ready to deploy, ready to write, this is one of the most reliable writing instruments that I have ever tried. Parker's solution to the age-old problem of fluid expansion and contraction under different conditions, is perhaps the most foolproof, resulting in a pen that has silky-smooth, consistent flow of ink, a pen that glides across the page, but without making a messy line. A crisp and precise writer, just when you need it the most.

This particular pen is in excellent condition, without any flaws or defects. The filling mechanism works efficiently and holds a lot of ink (up to 1.8 ml). The cap is in equally great shape, as is the gold-filled trim. The imprint is strong. Quite honestly, this is a gorgeous specimen of this iconic pen. The Blue Diamond indicates the pen's extreme durability, and you can be sure that this pen will give you years of dependable service. A true XXF writer, you'd be hard-pressed to find an equally great factory nib that writes so fine so well today.

Parker 51 Vacumatic Fountain Pen, Blue Cedar, XXF, posted

Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Oversize Fountain Pen, Marine Green, F

(On hold) This is a mid-1940s White Dot Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Oversize Vac fountain pen, in Marine Green celluloid, with gold-filled trim, and a 14k gold, two-tone, Lifetime Triumph nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth (by hand).

Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Oversize Fountain Pen, Marine Green, F, uncapped, with the plunger partially extended

I think it's fair to say that the vast majority of fountain pens made in the first half of the 20th century are quite a bit smaller than modern pens. However, each of the major U.S. pen companies did make at least one oversize model to meet the needs of customers with larger hands. Such pens are exceedingly rare today, and, often, are sold at significantly higher prices than their standard-size counterparts. 

Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Oversize Fountain Pen, Marine Green, F, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment. Also, note the clear ink window

I am really excited to be offering another Sheaffer Valiant Oversize today, a pen that's as beautiful as it is functional, and, yet, reasonably priced. This is a full-size pen, even by modern standards, measuring about 5.2" capped and 0.48" in diameter. Still, it's significantly smaller and lighter than modern OS pens, such as Delta Dolcevita OS and Visconti Divina Maxi, which tells you just how radically our taste in pen size has changed over the years.

The star of the show is the 14k Triumph nib. Designed on the "rocker" principle, with a slightly upturned tip, the nib produces the smoothest, most consistent monoline (about 0.4 mm on my paper), virtually regardless of your holding angle, rotation about the page, grip, or writing pressure. A conventional nib has a relatively small "sweet spot," a highly polished writing surface that creates optimal contact with the paper. However, if you rotate the nib  or change your holding angle, you will inevitably get off the sweet spot, causing variation in line width, disruption to ink flow, and that dreaded sensation of scratchiness. Not with the Triumph nib! It's a truly ingenious design and one that you really have to try to understand just how forgiving it is. 

The pen is in fantastic overall condition, without any flaws or defects, with gorgeous, vibrant, gleaming celluloid, and equally nice gold-filled trim. The pen comes with the high-capacity vacuum filling mechanism, which holds up to 1.8 ml of ink (using the two-stroke filling method).

Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Oversize Fountain Pen, Marine Green, F, capped

Detailed dimensions
Capped 132 mm
Unposted 113 mm
Posted 150 mm
Diameter 12.23 mm

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Azure Pearl, XF Semi-Flex

(On hold) This is a 1946 Blue Diamond Parker Vacumatic Major fountain pen in Azure Pearl celluloid, with gold-filled trim, and a 14k gold XF Semi-Flex nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth. This is a full-size pen, measuring a little over 5" capped and 0.48" in diameter, very typical of this model.

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Azure Pearl, XF Semi-Flex, uncapped

It's very interesting that a lot of new fountain pen enthusiasts are interested in improving their handwriting, and, in particular, in learning (or re-learning) cursive. There's been a lot of discussion lately about the value of learning cursive, and, often, the fountain pen is thought of as the ideal tool with which to learn cursive. I am not sure if the fountain pen is the answer, but I do believe it offers a combination of features that can be extremely helpful in improving one's handwriting.

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Azure Pearl, XF Semi-Flex, nib profile

The Parker Vacumatic I'm offering today is an excellent penmanship improvement tool. It is a full-size pen (though somewhat smaller than most modern luxury pens), perfectly balanced, with a pleasant tactile sensation, a high-capacity filling mechanism, and an XF semi-flexible nib. The nib is tuned to write at the lightest touch, producing a line of about 0.3 mm (on my paper), opening up to about 0.7 mm, with relative ease. However, this nib is not meant to be flexed a lot, but, rather, it's excels at adding a touch of character, a hint of line variation to your handwriting.

The nib comes with ample tipping material, of perfect geometry and alignment, giving you consistency, virtually regardless of the direction or rapidity of your strokes. Admittedly, the nib produces a more graceful line with rapid strokes, but you can also use it effectively for slow, methodical practice.

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Azure Pearl, XF Semi-Flex, capped

Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Oversize Fountain Pen, Golden Brown, F

(SOLD) This is a mid-1940s White Dot Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Oversize Fountain Pen in striated Golden Brown celluloid, with gold-filled trim, and a 14k gold, two-tone Lifetime Triumph Fine nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth. The pen measures about 5.2" capped and 0.48" in diameter.

Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Oversize Fountain Pen, Golden Brown, F, uncapped, with the plunger partially extended

Sheaffer's longtime leadership in the pen industry can be demonstrated most poignantly demonstrated in the Lifetime Triumph pen, such as this Valiant Oversize. A product utterly new, far ahead of anything in the field and yet it employed many of the basic fundamentals that were engineered by the Iowa company throughout the 1940s. The pen is truly a product of Sheaffer's "progressive engineering and watch-like precision" approach to pen making. As an industry leader, Sheaffer expanded its plant, added machinery, hired new personnel, all leading to the extremely successful launch of the Triumph vac-filler. The company had such incredible engineering prowess that the U.S. Government with manufacturing high-precision components for the war effort, including mission-critical fuses.

Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Oversize Fountain Pen, Golden Brown, F, nib close-up

What makes the Triumph pen so successful as a writing instrument is its precise and dependable writing performance. Each pen was given personal attention from a team of highly skilled technicians, so when it left the factory it was ready to write, the instant it was put to paper. I hope to restore this incredible functionality with every Sheaffer pen that comes across my desk so that you can be sure to get a fantastic experience, as good as any top-tier modern fountain pen. In fact, many of my customers who dared try the somewhat unusual Triumph nib, reported back their utter joy with their new pens' dependable performance.

The pen I'm offering today is one of the nicer specimens of the Valiant I've seen. Made of the gorgeous striated Golden Brown celluloid, with excellent gold-filled trim, a high-capacity filling mechanism (up to 1.8 ml using the two-stroke filling method), and the awesome Triumph nib, this is a writing instrument unlike any made today. Give it a try and you will be amazed at how easily it puts ink on paper, how consistent its line quality is, and how resolute it is in delivering dependable performance day in, day out.

The nib writes a true-to-size Western Fine line (about 0.5 mm on my paper), so it probably sold as a Medium, which makes it a particularly rare model. I tuned it to writes somewhat wet, so you get that desirable gliding sensation, but without too much ink pooling or smearing. This pen would make an awesome workhorse, daily carry, office or school kind of pen. It comes with an additional writing surface, accessed simply by flipping the nib upside-down, for a much finer line, perfect for quick notes and marginalia.

The pen is in fantastic condition, without any flaws or defects, with excellent, vibrant celluloid, equally good gold-filled trim, and a strong imprint. A beautiful specimen!

Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Oversize Fountain Pen, Golden Brown, F, capped

Sheaffer Triumph Statesman Fountain Pen, Golden Brown, XXF

(Sold) This is a mid-1940s White Dot Sheaffer Triumph Statesman fountain pen in striated Golden Brown celluloid, with a gold-filled trim, and a 14k gold, two-tone, Triumph Lifetime XXF nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth. This is a medium-size pen, measuring around 5" capped and 0.46" in diameter. It posts very nicely, so it should be comfortable to hold for most people.

Sheaffer Triumph Statesman Fountain Pen, Golden Brown, XXF, uncapped, with the plunger partially extended

I thought it important to start the new year with a great pen. I am so thrilled to be offering this gorgeous Sheaffer Statesman from the mid-1940s. Made while Sheaffer were at the peak of their technological prowess, the Statesman has all of the goodness the Iowa company developed in the early 1940s, including the gleaming, shimmering celluloid, the efficient, high-capacity vacuum filling mechanism, and the famous Triumph nib. The phrase I wrote comes from a Sheaffer advertisement at the time, and, quite frankly, I cannot think of a way to introduce the pen. This is a real treat for people who love to write.

Sheaffer Triumph Statesman Fountain Pen, Golden Brown, XXF, nib profiles, showing excellent tines alignment and tipping geometry. Also, note the clear ink window.

The nib is a rare XXF, laying down a consistent monoline of about 0.3 mm (on my paper). Today, XXF nibs are rather hard to come by. Realistically, your only option is a Japanese XXF nib, but then you're dealing with the usual limitations of a conventional, open nib, plus, the fact that it was developed primarily for logographic handwriting, where short downward strokes are most common. Such nibs are, therefore, somewhat problematic for traditional cursive handwriting, which requires rapid strokes in virtually all directions, including curves. 

The Triumph nib writes a super fine line, but without the usual sensation of "toothiness," without skipping, and never catching the paper. Whether you write with your arm, wrist, or fingers, the nib will continue performing at the highest level, with Sheaffer's signature willingness to write the instant you put it to paper. It's a super fine point that feels like a much broader nib on paper, thanks to its ingenious "rocker" design. A superb tool for the discerning writer!

The pen is in fantastic condition. The celluloid has such depth, such vibrant color, such chatoyancy. The gold-filled trim is in equally great shape. The imprint is strong. Quite frankly, the pen looks virtually as good as new.

Sheaffer Triumph Statesman Fountain Pen, Golden Brown, XXF, capped

Parker 51 Vacumatic Fountain Pen, Blue Cedar, XF

(Sold) lThis is a 1943 Blue Diamond, full-size Parker 51 Vacumatic in Blue Cedar, with a 14k gold-filled cap, and a 14k gold XF nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth.

Parker 51 Vacumatic Fountain Pen, Blue Cedar, XF, uncapped, with the blind cap removed

Today, most of us use fountain pens for fun, with fancy ink and paper. It's interesting how our idea of performance has evolved over time. Free from work-related constraints of form, we tend to prefer pens that write fat, juicy lines that bring out the depth, saturation, shading, and sheen in our favorite inks. However, you might be surprised to know that, for decades, pen companies, including Parker, worked on making ink flow more controlled, more restrained. In fact, one of Parker's advertising slogans, "Writes dry with wet ink," was used to further emphasize the fact that their pens could be used safely and reliably on even the most important office papers, personal journals, and other "mission critical" work. if you are among the continuously growing number of people who use fountain pens for serious work, you might find this 51 of interest.

Parker 51 Vacumatic Fountain Pen, Blue Cedar, XF, nib profile

The Parker 51 Vacumatic I'm offering today is a superb example of the 1940s writing performance standards. It comes vested with a fantastic XF nib, which lays down a confident, consistent, resolute line of about 0.3 mm (on my paper). Ink flow is incredibly well-controlled, providing a monoline that you can depend on for all of your important work. Whether it's for professional or personal purposes, the 51 will not let you down, never skipping, starving for ink, or skidding out of control. The nib feels smooth and soft, while being very forgiving of both angle and rotation. The nib is tuned to write at the lightest pressure, but it will take a heavy hand just as easily.

This is a gorgeous-looking pen! With a rare, 14k gold-filled cap with an interesting alternating Guilloché pattern (two straight and two "scalloped" lines). The pen is free from scratches or blemishes, with only the slightest surface wear present (difficult to see with the naked eye). The gold-filled trim is in equally great shape, the imprint is strong.

Parker 51 Vacumatic Fountain Pen, Blue Cedar, XF, capped

Parker Vacumatic Major "Long" Fountain Pen, Golden Pearl, F, Semi-Flex

(On Hold) This is a 1943 Blue Diamond Parker Vacumatic Major "Long" in Golden Pearl celluloid, with gold-filled trim, and a 14k gold two-tone, Fine, Semi-Flex nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth (by hand). This is a full-size pen, longer than most of the later Major models, measuring about 5.3" capped and 0.48" in diameter. 

Parker Vacumatic Major "Long" Fountain Pen, Golden Pearl, F, Semi-Flex, uncapped

When it comes to flex, the conventional wisdom is that the best performance is to be found among vintage pens, particularly those that have not been abused. Finding such a pen "in the wild" is becoming more and more difficult, and, as a result, the prices of restored vintage pens with flex nibs have gone up substantially over the past few years. There's a lot of variability among vintage flex pens, even across the same model, and each pen is going to have its own unique feel and performance characteristics. Quantifying flexibility is, therefore, rather difficult. I always tend to to cautious and conservative in my assessments of flex, paying special attention to a nib's responsiveness, rather than total tines spread.

Parker Vacumatic Major "Long" Fountain Pen, Golden Pearl, F, Semi-Flex, nib profile

What you want in a quality flex pen is its ability to respond to your hand's subtle changes in writing pressure, direction, and speed. You want to be able to create a subtle transition between a hairline and swell, as that is the very foundation of Ornamental Penmanship and most other similar styles. The pen I'm offering today would be an excellent addition to a calligrapher's tool box. A pen that doesn't have a huge range, but it does have enough of it to be a superb instrument with which to create awesome calligraphy. The nib writes a Fine line of about 0.4 mm (on my paper), and opens up easily to at least a BB. The nib is smooth, soft, and feels as though it has a shock absorbing mechanism built into it. It offers you a comfortable, yet agile, ride across the paper, with that highly coveted gliding sensation. It will allow you to bring out the beauty, shading, and sheen of your favorite inks, thanks to its wet flow under pressure. And, it's the more rare two-tone variant to boot!

The pen is in excellent condition. Being the "Long" model, it should feel comfortable in most people's hands, with a high-capacity filing mechanism, and the timeless, gorgeous Golden Pearl celluloid, this pen is sure to put a smile on your face. The material has such depth, vibrancy, as if it's alive, with hundreds of tones of brown, gold, and yellow. The transparency is a bit ambered, but you can still see your ink inside the barrel with ease.

Parker Vacumatic Major "Long" Fountain Pen, Golden Pearl, F, Semi-Flex, capped

Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Vac Oversize Fountain Pen, Marine Green, XF

(Sold) This is a c. 1942 White Dot Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Vac Oversize fountain pen in striated Marine Gold celluloid, with gold-filled trim, and a 14k gold, two-tone Triumph Lifetime XF nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a thorough but gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, nib tuning, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth (by hand). This was Sheaffer's largest pen at the time, marketed primarily towards men, measuring 5.25" capped and 0.49" in diameter.

Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Vac Oversize Fountain Pen, Marine Green, XF, uncapped

I've been getting a lot of questions regarding penmanship, and, in particular, advice on what fountain pens are most suitable for learning/improving one's handwriting. I appreciate the questions very much. However, it's somewhat difficult to come up with a good answer because handwriting is an incredibly personal thing, so generalizations, typically, are not very helpful. Still, if I were to pick one pen that is particularly suitable for penmanship improvement, it's the Sheaffer Triumph. If you have larger hands, then the Oversize model, such as this one, would be great.

Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Vac Oversize Fountain Pen, Marine Green, XF, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment

Sheaffer developed a truly unique nib and feed system for their 1942 Triumph. It was a radical departure from the conventional "open" nib, offering substantial improvements in ink delivery and writing performance. What makes the Triumph so good is its ability to write a consistent, fine monoline (this pen lays down a 0.3 mm line on my paper), without ever feeling scratchy or catching the paper. When we learn penmanship, we are required to practice a lot of rapid strokes, up, down, across, and curved. A conventional nib is going to have to be held in a strictly constant position about the page (the "sweet spot") in order not to catch the paper or refuse to write altogether. The Triumph nib, on the other hand, has a very larger sweet spot and is much more forgiving of your holding angle and rotation about the page. Whether you write with your arm, hand, or fingers, the nib is going to respond in a very self-assured, resolute manner, giving you the confidence you need to keep improving. And, most importantly, it will make the otherwise tedious learning process that much more enjoyable thanks to to its easy, flowing, almost hovering movement.

Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Vac Oversize Fountain Pen, Marine Green, XF, nib close-up, with the rare matching section

This pen is in excellent condition, both functionally and cosmetically, holding up to 1.7 ml of ink (using the two-stroke method). There are no flaws or defects, just very minor surface wear, difficult to see with the naked eye. The gold-filled trim is in equally great shape, including the cap threads, which typically did not wear very well on this model. Barrel transparency is very good. The imprint is strong. Note that this is the more rare and desirable early model, with a matching section and the barrel acting as the ink reservoir.

Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Vac Oversize Fountain Pen, Marine Green, XF, capped

Parker "Striped" Duofold Senior Fountain Pen, Vacumatic, Green & Gold, XF

(On hold) This is a 1943 Blue Diamond Parker "Striped" Duofold Senior Fountain Pen, a Vacumatic filler, in Green & Gold celluloid, with gold-filled trim, and a 14k gold XXF nib. This was a Parker flagship model, a large pen, measuring 5.3" capped and 0.48" in diameter.

Parker "Striped" Duofold Senior Fountain Pen, Vacumatic, Green & Gold, XF, uncapped

Parker's Duofold has been the flagship model for decades, a pen that embodies elegance, class, beauty, and all-day writing comfort. A supremely beautiful, luxurious-looking pen, it resembles a Medieval stained-glass window, a true work of art. It's also a pen with superb ergonomics, with a streamlined, graceful shape, undisturbed by a filling contraption, and a very comfortable, slightly tapered section. The pen should be suitable for the vast majority of users, including those with large hands.

Parker "Striped" Duofold Senior Fountain Pen, Vacumatic, Green & Gold, XF, nib profile

I could go on at length about the amazingly rich, vibrant, semi-transparent celluloid, and the high-capacity, efficient filling mechanism, but, truly, the star of the show is the 14k gold nib. Duofold nibs are renowned for their reliable performance, day in, day out, on all kinds of paper, with all kinds of ink, able to accommodate a broad variety of writing techniques, grips, degrees of writing pressure, etc. The nib was engineered to take advantage of the proprietary gold alloy, with its unique elasticity and vibration-dampening properties. The shape,continuously varied in thickness, further enhances these properties, while the tipping material adds a measure of reliability. Parker's engineering prowess allows the Janesville company to create a writing surface both smooth and "grippy," a nib tuned to write at the lightest touch, yet taking increased pressure in stride. This nib lays down a consistent XF line of about 0.3 mm (on my paper).

Parker "Striped" Duofold Senior Fountain Pen, Vacumatic, Green & Gold, XF, nib close-up

If you have been looking for a beautiful pen that writes the most enjoyable, dependable business cursive, look no further. If you are a lover of modern Japanese nibs, you're in for a real treat. And if you've been trying to take your penmanship to the next level, this pen might be just what your handwriting needs.

Parker "Striped" Duofold Senior Fountain Pen, Vacumatic, Green & Gold, XF, capped

The pen is in excellent condition, without any flaws or defects, and is priced at $199. Please, contact me if you're interested in ordering it, and I will email you a PayPal invoice. Shipping fees are listed on this page. Thanks!

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Golden Pearl, XF

(Sold)  a 14k gold XF nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth. The pen measures around 5.1" capped and 0.48" in diameter.

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Golden Pearl, XF, uncapped

Yesterday, I saw an amazing post on Instagram showing a trio of OMAS Arco celluloid pens, and it reminded me that it must be the most beautiful pen material ever made. My next thought was, how about the 1940s Parker Vacumatic? Quite frankly, the Golden Pearl celluloid must be at least in the same conversation as the Arco, quite possibly a runner-up. Wouldn't you agree?

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Golden Pearl, XF, nib profile

The celluloid exudes timeless beauty. The Vac has been around for decades, yet it manages to look fresh and exciting, while other classic designs have a somewhat more dated appearance. The shimmering, gleaming material explodes in a myriad of colors and patterns, most of which  unique to each individual pen. The stacking of the different layers of celluloid resulted in creating a semi-transparent barrel, which allows you to watch your pen fill (awesome!) and gauge remaining ink level with ease. It's such an ingenious design, and yet it remains unmatched by any modern acrylic, in my opinion. The pen really does make you smile, as if emanating warmth, pleasantness. The rich, vibrant browns and yellows certainly add to that perception, as does the unique tactile sensation that only vintage celluloid has.

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Golden Pearl, XF, nib close-up

Yes, the material is gorgeous, but the pen is also a top performer. The 14k nib, thanks to its ingenious design and manufacturing process, is a true expert at reducing paper vibrations and, thus, giving its owner a resolute, forthright, yet entirely cushioned ride. It's a rare nib that is made to be firm, yet feels soft. I tuned it to write at the lightest touch, as required by Parker, but it will also take increased pressure in stride, giving you more generous flow and a hint of line variation. The nib just wants to go, as if to attack the paper; it wants you to write more, making the most beautiful strokes, down, up, and across, including glorious curves (about 0.4 mm on my paper). It's a pen that wants to make you push yourself that much harder, write that much longer. It's such an exciting, wonderful thing to just pick it up, ink it up, and put it to paper. The reward is instantaneous.

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Golden Pearl, XF, material close-up

Parker Vacumatic Major Fountain Pen, Golden Pearl, XF, capped

Sheaffer Triumph Vac Fountain Pen, Carmine Red, XXF

(Sold) This is a 1942 White Dot Sheaffer Triumph Vac fountain pen in striated Carmine Red celluloid, with a gold-filled trim, and a 14k gold, two-tone Lifetime Triumph XXF nib. The pen comes with a matching mechanical pencil. Both the pen and pencil have been completely overhauled and function up to Sheaffer's factory specification. The pen has been disassembled, gently cleaned, the filling mechanism was rebuilt, the nib was tuned for optimal performance, ink flow was adjusted, and it was given a quick hand polish with a soft cloth.

Sheaffer Triumph Vac Fountain Pen, Carmine Red, XXF, uncapped, with the plunger partially extended

I have been hoping to have a nice offer during the holiday season, and I am so excited to have found a great Sheaffer pen and pencil set for you this year. This is a superb kit, ideal for the passionate writer. If you write a business cursive, Spencerian penmanship, or American Cursive Handwriting, this set will work like a dream. Whether you're an experienced scribe or just starting out, having the right tool is crucial, and, fortunately, this wartime fountain pen is among the best cursive writers I've ever tested. And, best of all, it is in awesome shape!

Sheaffer Triumph Vac Fountain Pen, Carmine Red, XXF, nib profile, showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment. Also, note the transparent barrel showing the background through.

What makes this fountain pen a superb cursive writer is the very fact that it was designed, from ground up, specifically, for business penmanship. Made during an era when handwriting ruled supreme, the Triumph is an utterly enjoyable writing instrument, rewarding its owner with consistent and forgiving performance, day in, day out. The Triumph nib, designed on the "rocker" principle, offers a firm, yet cushioned ride, accommodating a variety of grips, angles, and degrees of writing pressure. Despite having a very fine point (0.3 mm on my paper), it never feels scratchy, or even toothy, never catching the paper, even in rapid upward strokes, virtually regardless of its rotation about the page. And if you need an ultra XF line, simply flip it upside down, it was designed to write that way, too!

Sheaffer Triumph Vac Fountain Pen, Carmine Red, XXF, close-up of the beautiful material and strong imprint

The high-capacity, efficient vacuum-filled mechanism ensures long writing sessions between fills, and the transparent barrel allows you to see the ink sloshing around inside it. The gleaming, shimmering celluloid has a deep, rich, vibrant color and awesome chatoyancy. The gold-filled trim is in equally great shape, adding a tiny bit of luxury and "bling" to the set. Last. but not least, the pencil works flawlessly, comes with a full eraser, and is ready for the standard 0.9 mm refill.

Sheaffer Triumph Vac Fountain Pen, Carmine Red, XXF, capped

Parker 51 Vacumatic Fountain Pen, Cordovan Brown, F

(Sold) This is a 1947 full-size Blue Diamond Parker 51 Vacumatic in Cordovan Brown, with a two-tone stainless steel cap, gold-filled trim, and 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, nib tuning, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth (by hand).

Parker 51 Vacumatic Fountain Pen, Cordovan Brown, F, with the cap and blind cap removed

Having such a huge variety of awesome fountain pens available today (both vintage and modern), it's becoming more and more difficult to put together one's "Top Five" lists of favorites. However, no matter how I shuffle my "Top Five," the Parker 51 Vacumatic is always there, and close to the very top. Apparently, I am not crazy, as the "51" has been "the world's most wanted pen."

Parker 51 Vacumatic Fountain Pen, Cordovan Brown, F, nib profile

To me, what makes the "51" a favorite is its writing performance. Period. Yes, you can argue that it has supreme ergonomics (no step, no threads, a slight taper), and that it comes with a sophisticated, high-capacity filling mechanism, but, at the end of the day, when the rubber meets the road (insert your favorite cliche), and the pen has to perform consistently, at the highest level, regardless of ink, paper, writing technique, the "51" never lets me down. It writes where most other pens refuse to. It produces the most splendid, silky smooth monoline that other pens are jealous of. It is firm, without feeling harsh. It has that awesome, resolute willingness to deliver ink to paper, without fuss, without hesitation. 

The pen is in fantastic condition, without any flaws or defects. The material is vibrant, with a deep, rich color, and a pleasant glossy finish. The cap and gold-filled clip are in equally great shape. Truly, a fantastic specimen, and, interestingly, the "last year" model of the Blue Diamond lifetime warranty. The following year, Parker began a transition toward the new variant of the "51," the Aerometric.

Parker 51 Vacumatic Fountain Pen, Cordovan Brown, F, capped

Sheaffer Balance Vac Full-Size Fountain Pen, Golden Brown, M

(Sold) This is a late 1930s White Dot Sheaffer Balance "1000" Vac full-size fountain pen in striated Golden Brown celluloid, with a 14k gold, two-tone Triumph Lifetime Medium nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, nib tuning, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth (by hand). This is a large pen, just shy of being Oversize, measuring around 5.3" capped and 0.47" in diameter.

Sheaffer Balance Vac Full-Size Fountain Pen, Golden Brown, M, uncapped, with the plunger partially extended

Sheaffer's Balance has been one of the most influential fountain pens ever made. And for good reason. A supremely comfortable pen to hold, posted or not, this particular "1000" model will fit most people's hands like a glove. The celloid, being a truly organic material, feels somewhat warm to the touch, filling you with such joy. It's a pen that, much like a classic Stradivarius violin, just begs to be used, and when you do, you're rewarded with an extraordinary writing experience. 

Sheaffer Balance Vac Full-Size Fountain Pen, Golden Brown, M, nib profile

The pen's as beautiful as it is functional. The celluloid explodes in a rainbow of warm tones, with incredible depth and chatoyancy. Its semi-transparent barrel allows you to see the ink inside, sloshing around, and to gauge its remaining level with ease. The slightly tapered section is comfortable and will accommodate a broad variety of grips and holding angles. Unlike the majority of modern fine fountain pens, the cap is extremely lightweight and posts very well, without altering the pen's excellent balance. The filling mechanism has been completely rebuilt and now holds over 2 ml of ink (using the two-stroke method).

Sheaffer Balance Vac Full-Size Fountain Pen, Golden Brown, M, nib close-up

But, despite all that, it is the nib that steals the show. It's as if the rest of the pen is just the support act; the nib is THAT good. Thanks to its slightly upturned tip (a design perfected and popularized by Sheaffer), the nib feels incredibly smooth, without being overpolished; soft, despite being firm, and forgiving, despite having a standard, round writing surface geometry. I also really love the two-tone look, also perfected by Sheaffer in the 1930s.

This nib is of a somewhat rare, Medium, width. It's quite possible it sold as a Broad, as it easily reaches 0.6 mm (on my paper), with a luscious, juicy line. I'd bet this pen was special-ordered as a dedicated office pen, for writing checks, signing documents, etc. Today, because our handwriting has changed so dramatically over the past several decades, a broader nib is preferred by a lot of pen enthusiasts, but broader nibs are rather scarce in the vintage world. Therefore, I am particularly pleased to offer this nib today, hoping that it answers the requests for such a nib that I've received lately.

Sheaffer Balance Vac Full-Size Fountain Pen, Golden Brown, M, capped