Sheaffer Craftsman Fountain Pen, Carmine, F

(sold) This is a mid-1940s Sheaffer Craftsman lever-filled fountain pen in striated Carmine red celluloid, with a 14k gold, two-tone Feather Touch 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 (by hand, with a soft cloth). The pen measures 5.1" capped and 0.45" in diameter.

The vast majority of modern fountain pens are made of injection-molded plastic. Such pens are relatively inexpensive, as the manufacturing process lends itself to the usual cost-saving thanks to mass production. If you wish to own a more visually interesting  pen, you need to pay more, and your typical material choices include acrylic, ebonite, wood, and celluloid.  Each material has its pros and cons, but there seems to be a consensus in the pen community that celluloid is the royalty of pen materials.

Celluloid is truly an organic material, made from natural cotton seed fibers, colored with natural dyes, created in a painstakingly long, intricate, and tightly controlled process. Today, only a handful of pen companies use celluloid due to the incredibly high cost of the material and the inherent manufacturing complexity involved. Still, many discerning customers are willing to pay a substantial premium for modern Montegrappa celluloid pen. The material's beauty, its depth and chatoyancy, it's shimmering quality are simply irresistible.

If you are interested in owning a celluloid pen but are discouraged by the price, may I offer you an alternative? Here is a beautiful, restored, vintage Sheaffer Craftsman, made of the famous striated Carmine celluloid, a lever-filler, vested with a fantastic 14k gold Feather Touch Fine nib. A pen that's truly as beautiful as it is functional, and, best of all, it costs a fraction of a modern Italian celluloid fountain pen.

The pen is in excellent condition, without any flaws or defects, with gorgeous, vibrant, smooth celluloid, excellent gold-filled trim, and a strong imprint. The nib is tuned to write at the lightest touch, laying down a Fine line of about 0.4 mm (on my paper). The pen provides an enjoyable, smooth, confident writing experience that would be very hard to match by a modern pen, regardless of price. It would be an ideal first vintage pen for a fountain pen enthusiast, but, in the hand of a skilled fountain pen writer, it would produce the most graceful handwriting, and, most importantly, give you lots of joy and a great reason to just write.