Parker "Striped" Duofold Ingenue Fountain Pen, Blue Pearl, F

(Sold) This is a 1940s Blue Diamond Parker "Striped" Duofold Ingenue Fountain Pen with a Vacumatic filling mechanism, in Blue Pearl celluloid, with a 14k gold Fine nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with soft cloth. The pen measures 4.8" capped and 0.43" in diameter.

Parker "Striped" Duofold Ingenue Fountain Pen, Blue Pearl, F, uncapped

Which modern fountain pen would you call "cute?" There are lots of plain pens, elegant pens, classy pens, luxurious pens, beautiful pens, but cute?  I am sure you all can think of a lot of cute pens, but I'm finding the question difficult and a Google search isn't helping, either. However, if I am allowed to include vintage pens, it would have to be the Parker "Striped" Duofold Ingenue. 

Parker "Striped" Duofold Ingenue Fountain Pen, Blue Pearl, F, nib profile

Marketed towards women, the flagship Ingenue is a dainty pen that looks like a piece of jewelry rather than a writing instrument. Parker claimed that, in various opinion polls, "Lead and other pen," which was particularly true of the Duofold line. The gorgeous celluloid explodes in a rainbow of colors, vibrant and bright, resembling a Medieval stained glass window, including barrel transparency. The stylish gold-filled trim offers a bit of luxury, class, while adding some warmth to the dominant cooler tones of the Blue Pearl celluloid.

Today, marketing a "lady" pen would be risky, and calling it "Ingenue" might even be perceived as offensive, yet this pen is clearly made for a smaller hand. I can think of many scenarios where having this pen would be awesome, ranging from formal business meetings to solitary long writing sessions at your favorite coffee shop. And, with the holidays approaching, it would make a fantastic gift to usher a friend or family member into the exciting world of fountain pens. But most of all, this is one of the cutest pens I've ever seen, and that means a lot to me! How can you NOT be tempted add it to your collection?

The pen writes a consistent line of about 0.4 mm, and it most likely sold as a Fine. The 1940s Duofold nibs are not the most exciting gold points ever made, but they are responsive, reliable, almost business-like. This particular nib is no exception. It writes at the lightest pressure, but will take a heavy hand in stride, dampening paper vibrations with ease and providing that highly coveted gliding sensation as it moves across the paper.

The pen is in great shape! There are no defects or flaws. The material is beautiful, as is the gold-filled trim. The imprint is a bit faded, but visible clearly. The filling mechanism works easily, efficiently, and holds a lot of ink. You should be able to use most conventional inks currently available, just remember never to let ink dry up inside the pen. If you're going to put the pen away for a few weeks, just flush it with water a couple of times.

Parker "Striped" Duofold Ingenue Fountain Pen, Blue Pearl, F, capped

Parker "Striped" Duofold Vacumatic Senior, Dusty Red, F

(Sold) This is a 1945 Blue Diamond Parker "Striped" Duofold Vacumatic Senior in Dusty Red celluloid, with a 14k gold Fine nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth. This was Parker's flagship pen at the time, a large instrument, measuring 5.4" capped and 0.49" in diameter.

Parker "Striped" Duofold Vacumatic Senior, Dusty Red, F, uncapped

The Duofold has been Parker's flagship model for decades. Parker collectors like to debate which variant has been the Janesville company's "best" or "most successful" design. I am far from joining the debate, as I'd have to side literally with everybody - I love them all. However, there's something truly special about the "Striped" Duofold from the 1940s.

Parker "Striped" Duofold Vacumatic Senior, Dusty Red, F, nib close-up

Whether it's the material, or the shape, or perhaps the filling mechanism, the pen is, in my opinion, one of the most successful designs of all time. Yes, I said it!  I love its overall shape. It's classic, yes, but manages to be original, especially with the slightly angular shape of the blind cap. The material is breathtaking! I must admit, this Dusty Red is particularly gorgeous. It has immense, shimmering depth. It's as though you're looking into a tropical ocean, full of exotic sea life, reflecting sunlight in a multitude of colors as they move beneath the surface. Barrel transparency adds both character and dimension, while providing very useful functionality. The subtle, classy gold-filled trim is seamlessly integrated into the streamlined design, and is in perfect shape here. Quite honestly, this is as close to new-old-stock as I have seen the "Duovac" in a long time.

But the most exciting feature of this pen, to me, is its writing performance. The balance, posted or not, is perfect, at least for my hand. The section, slightly concave, very comfortable, and should accommodate a variety of grips. And the nib is among the best ever made. Utterly delightful.

It's a very interesting nib. It's firm but feels soft on paper. It's tuned to write at the lightest touch, but it will take a heavier hand in stride. If you ink it up with a dry ink, such as this R&K Scabiosa, you're going to have a phenomenal office writer, but one that manages to remain exciting, nimble, and  capable of bringing out subtle shading in the ink. If you fill it with a more conventional ink, you'll have an effortless, gliding writer, hovering above the surface of the paper on a thin layer of ink, laying down the most enjoyable line ever. Line width, in my tests, varies between 0.4 mm and 0.5 mm, depending on ink, paper, and writing pressure. If you're expecting a lot of line variation, this nib is not for you. Its best property is its ability to dampen high-frequency vibrations resulting from dragging the point across the rough surface of the paper. A phenomenal writer!

Parker "Striped" Duofold Vacumatic Senior, Dusty Red, F, capped

Parker Striped Duofold Senior Vacumatic, Blue Pearl, XF

(SOLD) This is a 1945 Blue Diamond Parker Striped Duofold Vacumatic in Blue Pearl celluloid with a 14k gold XF nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a gentle cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth (by hand).

Parker Striped Duofold Senior Vacumatic, Blue Pearl, XF, uncapped, with the plunger blind cap removed

In anticipation of #fountainpenday2016, I have another beautiful, rare pen at a reasonable price. The Duofold has been Parker's flagship pen for decades. In the 1940s, the "Striped" Vacumatic Duofold was among the most beautiful pens of the era. The gleaming, shimmering Blue Pearl celluloid has incredible depth and chatoyancy. The colors explode in a rainbow of subtle variations of blue, red, orange, yellow, while the clear portions of the material allow you to see the ink sloshing around inside the barrel. It is a streamlined, elegant design, with graceful lines undisturbed by a filling contraption (such as a lever). The material is in excellent cosmetic condition, as is the gold-filled trim. Barrel transparency is excellent, the imprint is strong. If you've been disappointed by the gaudy modern acrylics and wanted to try a classy celluloid pen of awesome beauty, look no further.

Parker Striped Duofold Senior Vacumatic, Blue Pearl, XF, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry, perfect alignment, transparency in the barrel, and a strong imprint

The Senior was the largest model in Parker's line-up, measuring  5.4" capped. The pen posts very well, so it will feel comfortable even for people with large hands. An instrument of superb ergonomics, the Duofold is also a fantastic writer. The phrase I wrote comes from a Parker advertisement, and it describes this pen perfectly. The nib is ground and tuned to perfection. It writes at the lightest pressure, under its own weight, and will write consistent strokes of about 0.4 mm (on my paper) in virtually any direction, including curves and rapid upstrokes. The nib is firm, yet feels soft on paper, thanks to its ability to absorb micro-shocks coming from dragging the writing surface across the paper. Would you be able to find a modern pen that writes as well? Unlikely, even if you have your pen tuned by a nib meister. The vintage nib, made in a process that's largely lost to us, seems tailor-made for people who love to write. If you give yourself this pen as a gift, it'll be a gift that will keep on giving for years to come.

Write here...Parker Striped Duofold Senior Vacumatic, Blue Pearl, XF, capped