(SOLD) This is a Sheaffer Triumph Valiant Vac-filler 1250 fountain pen in Black with a 14k two-tone F nib. The pen has been restored, which included a thorough cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, nib tuning, and a gentle hand polish.
My customers often ask me for a larger pen. Why is it that the vast majority of vintage pens (say, made before 1950) are small and slender? I think the most important reason is the desire on the part of pen makers to conform to the penmanship requirements of the period. Until the late 1950s, most schools in the US taught a style of handwriting known as a "business cursive." Such a style called for a very specific grip, and, more importantly, the use of a very light touch. Sheaffer made sure that most of its pens were suitable for such penmanship, and often advertised the fact that their pens wrote under the lightest of pressures and that they fit the hand like a glove. Today, we learn to write with a ballpoint pen, which requires a heavy hand. As a result, a great many pens made today are significantly larger and heavier than their vintage counterparts. But there's also an economic reason. Larger pens are easier to market as luxury goods and they provide a bigger canvas for ornamentation. The market is full of oversize pens that resemble works of art more than writing instruments.
When a customer asks for a larger pen, I often have to disappoint them, but not today. This particular pen is one of the largest pens that Sheaffer made in the 1940s. It measures 5.25" capped and is about 0.48" in barrel diameter, which puts the pen in the vicinity of popular modern pens, such as Aurora Optima, Sailor 1911 Large, and Montblanc LeGrand.
In my restoration work, I pay special attention to the features that enhance a pen's utility as a superb writing instrument; the nib and feed system among them. This particular nib writes beautifully. It has the "standard" Sheaffer tipping geometry and width of the period (between a modern Western XF and F). It writes a somewhat wet line, so you can experience its smoothness and effortless performance. It never skips, hard-starts, or skids out of control. It grabs on to the surface of the paper, and won't let go until you're ready to put the pen down. Simply put, it's a pleasure to use. Cosmetically, the pen is in excellent shape, with only very faint surface wear, but no flaws or defects of any kind. The gold-filled trim is in equally great shape