Parker Vacumatic Major, Silver Pearl, F

(SOLD) This is a 1945 Blue Diamond Parker Vacumatic Major in Silver Pearl celluloid, with nickel-plated trim, and 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 hand polish. This is a full-size pen, measuring 5.1" capped and 0.48" in diameter.

Parker Vacumatic Major, Silver Pearl, F, uncapped, with the blind cap removed

Stealthy-looking pens are in vogue these days. However, stealth was not a common look in the vintage pen world. The pen I am offering today is as close to a monochromatic color scheme as it gets for pens made in the first half of the 20th century. I hope you find it interesting.

Parker Vacumatic Major, Silver Pearl, F, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment.

The Vacumatic is in fantastic condition. The Silver Pearl celluloid is smooth, deep, and rich in color. The barrel has nice transparency, so you can see the Vacumatic filling mechanism work its wonders and gauge remaining ink level with ease. The nickel-plated trim is in excellent condition, particularly given how poorly it typically wore over time. Simply put, this is a beautiful writing instrument that should satisfy even the most discerning fountain pen connoisseurs.

The start of the show here is the 14k gold nib. It writes a generous Fine line (about 0.5 mm on my paper) that is wet and luscious. It's the kind of nib that brings out the beauty in your favorite inks. You're going to see your inks shade and sheen better than in most modern pens. The large nib, along with the two-channel oversize ebonite feed, are going to provide a superb writing experience. The nib is tuned to write at the lightest pressure, as Parker intended, but it will take a heavy hand in stride, rewarding its owner with a pleasant, cushioned ride across the paper, but without the feeling of being disconnected from the page, without skipping or skidding out of control. If you use a dry ink, such as Rohrer & Klingner Salix, the nib will write a slightly thinner, more conservative line, suitable for office use.

Parker Vacumatic Major, Silver Pearl, F, capped

Parker Vacumatic Major, Gray Pearl, XXF

(SOLD) This is a 1945 Blue Diamond Parker Vacumatic Major in Gray Pearl celluloid, 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, ink flow adjustment, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish with a soft cloth (by hand). This is a full-size pen, measuring 5.1" capped, and 0.48" in diameter.

Parker Vacumatic Major, Gray Pearl, XXF, uncapped, with the blind cap removed

The Fountain Pen Day Week Special continues, and I bring you another wonderful, rare pen at a reasonable price. While Parker Vacumatics are relatively easy to come by on the collector circuit, the Gray Pearl is relatively rare. It's eve more difficult to find one with the nickel-plated trim in such good shape. The pen is beautiful, free from any flaws or defects, with smooth, deep, and rich celluloid and very good barrel transparency. If you've been wanting a Vacumatic in a stealthy color scheme, look no further. 

Parker Vacumatic Major, Gray Pearl, XXF, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment, also note excellent barrel transparency, with the light brown background showing through

The pen writes a gorgeous XXF line (about 0.3 mm on my paper). It probably sold as an Extra-Fine, but, by modern standards, I'd rank this nib as an XXF, on dry paper (e.g., Rhodia) even close to a needlepoint. Yet, it is smooth and forgiving. It's not a flexible nib, but it will reward you with a pleasant "spring" in its step and a cushioned, comfortable ride across your favorite paper. A reliable writer, it springs to action the instant you put it to paper and performs at its best with light pressure. If you bear down on it, it might give you a hint of line variation, adding character to your handwriting. This would be an ideal pen with which to write a business cursive, the Palmer Method, Spencerian penmanship, and Michael Sull's American Cursive Handwriting. It will also make an excellent office pen, performing well even on ordinary copy paper.

Parker Vacumatic Major, Gray Pearl, XXF, capped

Sheaffer Triumph Vac, Gray Pearl, B

(Sold) This is a 1942 White Dot Sheaffer Triumph Vac fountain pen in striated Gray Pearl celluloid, with a 14k gold, two-tone Lifetime Triumph Broad nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a thorough cleaning, a complete overhaul of the filling mechanism, ink flow adjustment, a 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. This is a full-size pen, measuring 5.2" capped and 0.45" in diameter.

Sheaffer Triumph Vac, Gray Pearl, B, uncapped, with the plunger partially extended

During the first half of the 20th century, in the U.S., people learned a handwriting style known as the "business cursive." Such a style called for a pen with a fine or extra-fine nib. Therefore, very few pens made in that era come with medium or broad nibs. A broad nib was utterly impractical in daily writing, but it made an excellent signature pen, used specifically to write checks, sign documents, etc. I believe this pen was special-ordered as a dedicated signature pen. If you love broad nibs, this is your chance to own a fantastic vintage pen. Frankly, it's been a long time since I've seen such a broad nib on this particular wartime model.

Sheaffer Triumph Vac, Gray Pearl, B, nib profile, also note excellent barrel transparency, with the background showing through

The problem with modern broad nibs is that they are often overly polished at the factory. That makes them appear very smooth, but it also causes serious ink flow issues, particularly hard-starts. This type of issue is sometimes called a "baby's bottom" flaw, and it has to be corrected by a skilled nib meister before the pen can write perfectly well.

Sheaffer Triumph Vac, Gray Pearl, B, capped

Sheaffer came up with an ingenious solution for nibs to feel smooth but without the unwanted performance issues. The Triumph nib comes with a slightly upturned tip, which not only gives its owner a superbly pleasant sensation of excellent smoothness, but it also makes the nib  very forgiving of angle and rotation. Do you write with your fingers? Do you rotate the nib from letter to letter and write with a heavy hand? Are you left-handed? Do you have the "death grip?" No problem! This nib can take it in stride.

Sheaffer Triumph Vac, Gray Pearl, B, nib closeup showing excellent condition, geometry, and alignment

Cosmetically, the pen is in amazing shape. Typically, this chrome-plated trim does not wear well, but this one appears to be in pristine condition, which further supports the guess that this pen was only used occasionally, for special purposes. Barrel transparency is excellent, as is the gorgeous Gray Pearl celluloid. The filling mechanism works like a charm, and the pen holds up to 1.8 ml of ink (using the two-stroke method). A superb specimen!

Sheaffer Triumph Vac, Gray Pearl, XF

(SOLD) This is a c. 1942 White Dot Sheaffer Triumph Vac-filler in striated Silver Pearl celluloid, with a 14k gold, two-tone Lifetime Triumph XF 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 polish with a soft cloth (by hand). This is a full-size pen, measuring around 5.1" capped and 0.45" in diameter.

Sheaffer Triumph Vac, Gray Pearl, XF, uncapped, with the plunger rod partially extended

My customers often ask for pens without any gold-filled "bling." The stealthy look is very much in vogue these days, but relatively few vintage pens came in a stealthy color scheme. The pen I'm offering today is an exception, and it should meet the modern criteria of stealthiness. The Gray Pearl celluloid is a beautiful, semi-transparent material, with awesome depth and clarity, in beautifully graduated shades of gray. The pen comes with chrome-plated trim, to complete the monochromatic look. The Triumph nib is partially platinum-masked, so there's a bit of gold showing through.

Sheaffer Triumph Vac, Gray Pearl, XF, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment

The pen writes a gorgeous XF line of about 0.3 mm on my paper. The line is somewhat wet, consistent, and reliable. You're getting an XF writer but without the toothiness and small sweet spot usually associated with conventional XF nibs, thanks to Triumph ingenious design. This pen would be an ideal instrument with which to write or learn a business cursive, thanks to its ability to write confident strokes in all directions, and its forgiving, large "sweet spot." The filling mechanism is a joy to use and holds a lot of ink. You can even watch the pen getting filled and assess remaining ink level with ease, thanks to the transparency in the barrel.

The pen is in excellent condition, with some wear on the chrome-plated trim. Chrome-plating was not as reliable as it is today, and such trim did not wear well, even if the pen wasn't used much at all. Otherwise, the pen looks great, with just the faintest surface wear that's difficult to see with the naked eye.

Sheaffer Triumph Vac, Gray Pearl, XF, capped