Sheaffer Balance "Lady" Carmine, XXF

(On Hold) This is a mid-1930s Sheaffer Balance "Lady" (a.k.a., "350") fountain pen in striated Carmine celluloid, a lever-filler, with a 14k gold XXF nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle but thorough cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, adjustment of ink flow, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth (by hand). The pen measures 4.7" capped and 0.42" in diameter.

Sheaffer Balance "Lady" Carmine, XXF, uncapped

Last time I posted a Carmine Sheaffer Balance, I received a lot of inquires and some of you missed out on that pen. I am happy to report that I have just restored another beautiful "Lady" Sheaffer Balance in the gorgeous striated Carmine celluloid, with a smooth, precise 14k gold XXF nib.

Sheaffer Balance "Lady" Carmine, XXF, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment. Also, note a nice ink view window.

The pen is as gorgeous as it gets, in my opinion. It's probably my favorite fountain pen material of the 1930s. Sheaffer was a major innovator in the area of material science, and the striated celluloid came out of its laboratories, following years of research, trying to replace hard rubber as the main pen material. Obviously, the Iowa company succeeded, and the Carmine celluloid is among the most sought after materials in the vintage world today. The pen is in excellent condition, without any flaws or defects, with only very minor surface wear, excellent gold-filled trim, and a perfectly usable ink view window in the section. A handsome pen, it will make a perfect companion on your travels or a faithful friend on your visits to a coffee shop. It'll make your journaling that much more enjoyable. Once you hold it in your hand, put it to paper, you'll want to write, write, write.

Sheaffer Balance "Lady" Carmine, XXF, nib close-up

The nib is, once again, one of my frequently requested points. A true XXF, it lays down a consistent line of about 0.3 mm, and if you write on very dry paper, such as Rhodia, you might easily get it down to a needlepoint width (0.2 mm). However, the nib is free of most of the unpleasant toothiness associated with modern XXF nibs. That's thanks to the nib's incredible ability to absorb vibrations coming from the roughness of the paper, also known as "feedback." You will still feel connected to the paper, the pen being an extension of your hand, and, in turn, of your thoughts, but the experience will be full of joy. I do want to point out that the nib performs at its best if you write with a light hand. It will reward you with consistent performance in strokes in virtually all directions, including long curves, without ever catching the paper. However, if you write with a heavy hand, this pen is probably not for you.

Sheaffer Balance "Lady" Carmine, XXF, capped

Sheaffer Balance Vac-filler, Golden Brown, XF

(SOLD) This is a mid-1930s Sheaffer Balance Vac-filler fountain pen in striated Golden Brown celluloid, with a 14k gold XF nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a thorough cleaning, a complete overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, nib tuning, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth. I work according to current "best practices" in pen restoration and I use high-quality modern replacement materials. This pen is also known as a "350" or a "short and slender" Balance, measuring around 4.8" capped and 0.42" in diameter. 

Sheaffer Balance Vac-filler, Golden Brown, XF, uncapped, with the plunger partially extended

I restore pens for people who love to write. This simple formula entails that I select fountain pens from among pens made between the early 1930s and late 1950s, made by the four major American brands. This pen meets the criteria perfectly. Made by Sheaffer, the famous Balance, was a revolutionary pen at the time. The Iowa company had the most extensive pen catalog in the industry, and even their lower-end pens were made of high-quality materials and at the same high level of craftsmanship. I love restoring Sheaffer pens because their quality makes the process incredibly rewarding and it ensures that my customers are going to enjoy the pen's performance.

Sheaffer Balance Vac-filler, Golden Brown, XF, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment, the imprint looks strong.

This Balance is in excellent shape, with a gleaming, shimmering Golden Brown celluloid that is deep, rich, and vibrant, with good barrel transparency, and a smooth, blemish-free surface. The gold-filled trim is in equally excellent shape. A beautiful, classic pen, it will make a great companion in your travels, for journaling purposes, a fantastic, compact pen to take to the office or your favorite coffee shop. The pen posts very well, and it should be comfortable even for people with larger hands.

The nib is such joy to write with! A smooth, springy writer, it lays down a wet, consistent line that is close to modern Western extra-fine, though the nib probably sold as a Fine. It is ground to write at the lightest pressure, and that's where it performs best. If you press harder, the nib will respond with a pleasant "give" and the tines will spread, giving you a hint of line variation. Today, such a nib would be very difficult to outperform, either by European or Japanese models. It's the kind of nib that makes you want to write for hours, loving every stroke.

Sheaffer Balance Vac-filler, Golden Brown, XF, capped