(SOLD) This is a late 1950s Sheaffer Snorkel Statesman fountain pen in Burgundy, with a palladium silver broad factory Italic nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, thorough cleaning, ink flow adjustment, nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth (by hand).
This is an extremely rare Sheaffer Snorkel from the late 1950s. It is vested with a broad factory Italic nib, made of palladium silver (similar to Visconti's Dreamtouch nibs). Sheaffer did make a "Stub" nib that was about medium in width (0.8 mm), and it also made a broad oblique Stub. The Iowa company used a coding system to describe the types of nibs it made. In the late 1950s, the system was abandoned, and, I believe, this is when this broad Italic nib was made. It would have most certainly been a special-order item, probably bought by someone doing italic handwriting or calligraphy.
When it comes to italic nibs, most pen enthusiasts appreciate great line variation between downstrokes and cross-strokes. However, the greater the line variation, the more difficult the nib is to use. A formal italic nib requires impeccable technique, so as not to "catch" the paper with the sharp corners of writing surface. This nib, thanks to its "rocker" Triumph design, creates extreme line variation, while remaining perfectly smooth and forgiving of angle and rotation. You would not be able to buy such a nib today, even if you order it from a nib meister, as conventional, "open" nibs are simply not capable of such performance. Here's a rare opportunity for you to own this incredible italic nib and take your handwriting and calligraphy to the next level. Whether you write formal italic, cursive italic, business cursive, or print, this nib will deliver amazing performance. It simply doesn't get any better than this. The downstroke is about 1.2 mm and the cross-stroke about 0.2 mm on my paper.
Cosmetically, the pen is in excellent shape. There are virtually no signs of use, either on the plastic or the gold-filled trim. An outstanding specimen!