(SOLD) This is a late 1930s Sheaffer Balance Vacuum-filler in striated Marine Green celluloid with a 14k gold XXF (needlepoint) nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a thorough cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, nib tuning, and a gentle hand polish. I work according to current best practices in pen restoration and I use high-quality replacement components and specialized tools.
This is a beautiful pen. Yes, I say it a lot, but this Marine Green celluloid is stunning. The gold-filled trim is also in exceptionally good condition. In fact, the pen is gleaming, almost glowing, such that it's difficult to take a photo without unwanted reflections and shadows. In the Sheaffer nomenclature, this Balance is a "350" model, measuring 4.8" capped, with a barrel diameter of 0.42".
The pen comes vested with a fantastic needlepoint nib. Such nibs are ideal for business cursive, Spencerian handwriting, and for small handwriting, in general. In the 1930s, people learned a handwriting that required a very, very light touch, with the hand hovering above the surface of the table. The nib had to write at the lightest touch, a consistent, but controlled line, that allows rapid strokes in virtually any direction. Nibs were ground to accommodate such writing. Today, your only option is a Japanese XXF nib, but those nibs are ground primarily for very short strokes, suitable for Asian handwriting, but less so for Western cursive. Realistically, you are better off sending a nib to a nib meister and having it ground to a needlepoint. Or, you can try to track down a vintage pen, such as this one, made at the time when Palmer Methodruled the business world.
The nib is somewhat toothy, but perfectly smooth. It's excellent at absorbing vibrations coming from dragging the tip across the paper, better than most nibs made today. It has a pleasant amount of spring in it, too. A delightful, rare, needlepoint. And, to make it even sweeter, this pen holds over 1.7 ml of ink, using the two-stroke filling method.