Parker 51 Vacumatic Fountain Pen, Dove Gray, XXF

(Sold) This is a 1947 Blue Diamond Parker 51 Vacumatic full-size fountain pen  in Dove Gray, with 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).

Parker 51 Vacumatic Fountain Pen, Dove Gray, XXF, uncapped, with the blind cap off, showing the plunger

I'm often asked for recommendations regarding pens that are most suitable for cursive handwriting. While it's rather difficult to make broad recommendations that would suit everybody, I think it's fair to say that some pens are more suitable for the task than others. First, of all, the pen must be extremely comfortable, which means a long, slightly tapered section, without a sharp step-down from the threads, or without threads altogether. Next, the pen must have excellent balance, posted or not. It's important for such a pen to have a small nib, so that it's easy to maneuver, especially for beginners. The nib must be very fine, at least an extra-fine, possibly, an XXF. It's always great if the nib has a large "sweet spot" and allows for strokes of equal width and ease in virtually all directions. Cursive requires rapid strokes, including curves, long, short, and everything in-between. Finally, the pen must be tuned to write at the lightest pressure, under its own weight, but it should also be able to take increased pressure without increasing line width, which is particularly important for beginners. Other features, such as a large ink capacity, good looks, etc., are a bonus.

Parker 51 Vacumatic Fountain Pen, Dove Gray, XXF, cap detail

If you want a modern pen to meet these criteria, realistically, your only option is a Japanese XXF pen, such as Platinum #3776, or Sailor 1911. The only problem with these pens is that they are tuned specifically for Japanese handwriting, which requires short, rapid strokes, mostly downward. These pens sometimes struggle with long curves, esp., upstrokes, and have a somewhat narrow sweet spot. Your best bet is buying a modern pen you like and sending it off to a nib meister to grind an XXF nib for Western cursive handwriting. Or, better yet, buy a restored vintage pen.

Many vintage fountain pens, esp. the Parker 51, were designed specifically for cursive handwriting, such as the Palmer Method. As a result, they should be good to go, out-of-the-box, or, rather, straight from the restorer's bench. The pen I'm offering today is a fantastic business cursive writer, and it's ready for your favorite ink. It writes a gorgeous XXF line of about 0.2 mm (on my paper), with a smooth feel, and a large sweet spot (relatively speaking). And, it writes under the lightest touch, which is required for cursive.

Cosmetically, the pen is in excellent condition, except for some fading. Parker's plastic, however resilient it turned out to be, is susceptible to fading, and you can see it most clearly on the lighter colors, such as Dove Gray. The fading is slight, difficult to see with the naked eye, in normal light, but you can see it more clearly in a high-resolution digital image. Therefore, I am offering this pen at a 25% discount.

Parker 51 Vacumatic Fountain Pen, Dove Gray, XXF, capped