Parker 51 Vacumatic Cedar Blue, Broad Stub

(Sold) This is a Blue Diamond Parker 51 Vacumatic in Cedar Blue, with a rare pattern 14k gold-filled cap , with a factory 14k gold Broad Stub (1.2 mm). The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle but thorough cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, nib tuning, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth. This is a full-size Parker 51, a very rare pen, made in the U.S.A.

Parker 51 Vacumatic Cedar Blue, Broad Stub, uncapped

To kick off the Fountain Pen Day week, I have a very special fountain pen for you today. It's a very interesting Parker 51 Vacumatic. Two features make this pen particularly rare (1) a factory Broad Stub of about 1.2 mm in width, and (2) a 14k gold-filled cap with an unusual guilloche pattern.

Parker 51 Vacumatic Cedar Blue, Broad Stub, with the blind cap removed

The nib was Parker's special-order "Broad Stub," though, using modern "nib mesiter" terminology, I'd call this nib a "cursive italic," as it has impressive line variation, with a 1.2 mm downstroke and a 0.2 mm cross-stroke, at least on my paper. It's quite likely that this pen was ordered as a dedicated "signature" pen, as was in vogue in the 1940s. It was used sparingly, to write checks, sign documents, etc., and is in mint condition (see close-up photo). It took extreme precision manufacturing to grind a nib so perfect, particularly as much of the process was done by hand. The nib writes a delicious, juicy line that suitable for a variety of handwriting styles, ranging from a business cursive, all the way to formal italic. If you wanted to buy a modern pen with such a nib, you'd probably have to order a modification from a reputable nib-meister. However, if you've been wanting to write a one of the best cursive italic nibs ever made, here's your rare chance to try one. Whether you're a professional calligrapher, or a fountain pen novice, this pen will be a continuous source of joy.

Parker 51 Vacumatic Cedar Blue, Broad Stub, nib profile

Cosmetically, the pen is in excellent condition, without any flaws or defects, either on the pen body or the cap. There's just the faintest surface wear that's difficult to see with the naked eye. A fantastic specimen! Of course, the Vacumatic filling mechanism works very well, filling the pen up to about 1.8 ml, which is nearly three times as much as a typical converter. Quite frankly, it would be very difficult to find this rare pen in such excellent condition, unless you go to a large pen show and are prepared to pay a significant premium for it.

Parker 51 Vacumatic Cedar Blue, Broad Stub, capped

Sheaffer Snorkel Statesman, Broad Italic

(SOLD) This is a late 1950s Sheaffer Snorkel Statesman fountain pen in Burgundy, with a palladium silver broad factory Italic nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, thorough cleaning, ink flow adjustment, nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth (by hand).

This is an extremely rare Sheaffer Snorkel from the late 1950s. It is vested with a broad factory Italic nib, made of palladium silver (similar to Visconti's Dreamtouch nibs). Sheaffer did make a "Stub" nib that was about medium in width (0.8 mm), and it also made a broad oblique Stub. The Iowa company used a coding system to describe the types of nibs it made. In the late 1950s, the system was abandoned, and, I believe, this is when this broad Italic nib was made. It would have most certainly been a special-order item, probably bought by someone doing italic handwriting or calligraphy.

Sheaffer Snorkel Statesman, Broad Italic, uncapped

When it comes to italic nibs, most pen enthusiasts appreciate great line variation between downstrokes and cross-strokes. However, the greater the line variation, the more difficult the nib is to use. A formal italic nib requires impeccable technique, so as not to "catch" the paper with the sharp corners of writing surface. This nib, thanks to its "rocker" Triumph design, creates extreme line variation, while remaining perfectly smooth and forgiving of angle and rotation. You would not be able to buy such a nib today, even if you order it from a nib meister, as conventional, "open" nibs are simply not capable of such performance. Here's a rare opportunity for you to own this incredible italic nib and take your handwriting and calligraphy to the next level. Whether you write formal italic, cursive italic, business cursive, or print, this nib will deliver amazing performance. It simply doesn't get any better than this. The downstroke is about 1.2 mm and the cross-stroke about 0.2 mm on my paper.

Sheaffer Snorkel Statesman, Broad Italic, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment

Cosmetically, the pen is in excellent shape. There are virtually no signs of use, either on the plastic or the gold-filled trim. An outstanding specimen!

Sheaffer Snorkel Statesman, Broad Italic, capped

(SOLD) Parker 51 Aerometric, Burgundy, Broad Stub (Italic)

This is a 1951 Parker 51 Aerometric fountain pen in Burgundy, with a stainless steel cap and a Parker "factory" 14k gold Broad Stub-Italic nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a thorough cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth (by hand). I work according to current "best practices" in pen restoration and I use high-quality replacement materials. Though I restored the filling mechanism, you might be interested in knowing that I kept the original breather tube, as it was in a pristine condition.

Parker 51 Aerometric, Burgundy, Broad Stub. uncapped

Parker 51 was, truly, the world's most wanted pen. Thanks to its timeless design and extremely high quality of materials and craftsmanship, we can still enjoy this amazing pen, particularly if restored well. The vast majority of Parker 51s come with Fine or Extra-Fine nibs, though Parker did offer a broad array of special-order nib grinds. This particular nib is a a very rare Parker original "factory" Broad Stub. The distinction among different types of italic nibs is relatively recent, so the terminology can be a bit confusing. Therefore, the best way to define such a nib is by empirical testing (i.e., writing) and stroke measurements.

Parker 51 Aerometric, Burgundy, Stub Italic, close-up of the nib

The nib writes a 1.2 mm downstroke and 0.2 mm cross-stroke, which, according to current nomenclature, puts this nib in the vicinity of a "cursive-italic." What it means, in everyday writing, is that you can get very good line variation, but without the sharpness and small "sweet spot" associated with "formal italic" nibs. This is an extremely smooth nib, ground in a way that allows making confident strokes in virtually all directions without ever catching the paper. The corners are slightly rounded, but without sacrificing line variation. It is, therefore, an ideal nib for anyone wishing to write a variety of styles, ranging from formal italic, through cursive italic, business cursive, and can even be used as a dedicated "signature" nib.

Parker 51 Aerometric, Burgundy, Broad Stub. capped

If you take a closer look at the close-up photograph, you will notice the incredible precision with which this nib was made. Though Parker had excellent automation in place, a lot of the steps in the making of the 51 were done by hand, including nib grinding and polishing. Every nib was submitted to a meticulous process of quality control, including machine testing, visual inspection, and writing tests by a team of experienced technicians. What you can also see in this photo is that the nib is in fantastic overall condition, virtually as good as new.

Parker 51 Aerometric, Burgundy, Stub Italic, the aerometric filler, showing a clear, new Pli-glass sac

Cosmetically, the pen is also in excellent shape, without any flaws or defects. The color is deep, rich, and vibrant, the material smooth with a nice semi-gloss type of finish. The cap is in equally great condition.

Parker 45 with a Factory Italic Nib

If you read online fountain pen discussions, you will often come across the question of "who makes the best factory italic nibs?" It's not an easy question to answer, as most companies these days make stubs, rather than true italic nibs.

A sutb has rounded corners, which means it will be easier to use (that's what pen companies want), but it will sacrifice line variation. Most fountain pen enthusiasts love line variation, the more the better. This desired has given rise to the current trend of having factory nibs modified, re-ground to cursive italic geometry, by nib meisters.

While a nib mesiter can make the nib exactly how you want it, the service is expensive and usually takes several weeks, or months to be completed. This pen, the Parker 45, is a great alternative to custom-ground cursive italic nibs. It's a factory italic, which is a true cursive italic, and excellent line variation, but still gentle enough to be used with ease. In my opinion, this is a fantastic, affordable entry into the world of cursive italic, and it's a 14k gold nib to boot. To order, please visit my store or contact me directly.

Parker 45 with a factory italic nib.