Sheaffer Flat-top Oversize, Black, XF Wet Noodle

(Sold) This is a 1920s Sheaffer White Dot Flat-top Lifetime Oversize fountain pen in Black, with a 14k gold Lifetime XF "wet noodle" flexible nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, ink flow adjustment, nib tuning, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth (by hand). By vintage standards, this is a very large pen, measuring 5.3" capped and 0.52" in diameter.

Sheaffer Flat-top Oversize, Black, XF Wet Noodle, uncapped

The notion of rarity is somewhat peculiar in the vintage pen world. A very small detail, such as the number of cap bands, can be the difference between an ordinary daily writer and a highly collectable "grail" pen. I think that, to the majority of my customers, such esoteric details do not matter nearly as much as they do to high-end collectors. However, some rare features are downright amazing.

Sheaffer Flat-top Oversize, Black, XF Wet Noodle, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment

This Sheaffer Flat-top is a particularly rare pen due to its physical size and its nib. The Lifetime nib was designed to withstand years of daily use and offer its owner unconditional warranty. Needless to say, most Lifetime nibs were made tough. They were stamped out of a large, thick piece of gold, and they were meant to be firm, even rigid. It's is, therefore, exceedingly rare, to come across a flexible Lifetime nib. It is even more rare to have such a nib on an Oversize pen.

Sheaffer Flat-top Oversize, Black, XF Wet Noodle, nib close-up

This nib was most likely a special-order item, a one-of-a-kind nib made for the discerning customer, probably for someone who wrote Spencerian penmanship. Despite being very flexible, this is still a Lifetime nib, so it does have the toughness to take years of daily use (but not abuse, of course). It's a huge nib, with long tines, and it flexes very easily. A wet noodle is not about how much a nib will flex, but it's more about its response. This nib writes an XF line (about 0.4 mm on my paper) and flexes very easily with increased pressure to about 1.3 mm, with excellent "snap-back." In the hands of a skilled penman, the nib will produce beautiful, precise transitions between hairlines and swells. However, if you write with a heavy hand, this nib is not for you, as it will resemble a brush pen, rather than a fountain pen. I recommend you start with a dry ink, such as Pelikan 4001 or an iron-gall ink, as it will give you better creative control of the nib.

Sheaffer Flat-top Oversize, Black, XF Wet Noodle, capped

The nib is in amazing condition. Clearly, it had not been used much at all. The tipping material is of perfect geometry and the tines have perfect alignment, both with and without flexing. If you're used to writing with a Waterman 52 (or similar), this nib will feel different, due to its large physical size and long tines. But once you get used to it, it will be magical.

The pen is in excellent cosmetic condition, without any flaws or defects. The gold-filled trim is in equally great shape. The imprint is strong. The White Dot is on the top of the cap. A fantastic specimen of this rare pen!