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

Eversharp Skyline Navy Blue, XF Flex

(SOLD) This is a mid-1940s Eversharp Skyline fountain pen in Navy Blue, with a gold-filled cap, and a 14k gold XF Flexible nib. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, gentle and careful cleaning, an 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 Skyline, measuring 5.2" capped, and 0.45" in diameter.

Eversharp Skyline Navy Blue, XF Flex, uncapped

The phrase I wrote comes from an Eversharp advertisement and, though it does seem a bit trite today, I do believe that the Eversharp Skyline is the one vintage fountain pen to own if you want to experience that famous writing ability and superb ergonomics. The Skyline, one of the most iconic pen designs of all time, was a desirable pen then, and it is a desirable pen now. Two reasons: (1) superb ergonomics and timeless design, and (2) fantastic writing performance, esp. with a flexible nib. 

Eversharp Skyline Navy Blue, XF Flex, nib profile showing excellent tipping geometry and alignment

This particular Skyline is in excellent condition, certainly used very little in the past, if at all. There are subtle clues as to its provenance, and, judging by the pristine quality of the nib, I'd say this pen as close to new-old-stock as it gets. The material is deep, rich, and vibrant, and the gold-filled trim is in equally great shape. A beautiful specimen!

Eversharp Skyline Navy Blue, XF Flex, cap detail

I get a lot of requests for a vintage flex pen. Unfortunately, vintage flex pens have gone up in price significantly over the years. To make it worse, a lot of flex nibs on the second-hand market have signs of having been abused, flexed outside of their designed range. The most economical way to a quality vintage flex is the Skyline. No, it's not the cheapest flex out there, but it is well worth the price, which, by the way, is significantly less than a Waterman 52 of comparable performance.

Eversharp Skyline Navy Blue, XF Flex, nib close-up

The nib is an ideal flex nib for someone wishing to write Spencerian or Ornamental Penmanship. It has an extra-fine point, capable of writing a hairline of 0.2 mm with a light hand, and it opens up easily to at least 1.2 mm. That puts it in the vicinity of a full-flex nib. The nib has not been "broken in," which means it is free from  microscopic discontinuities, cracks (i.e., material fatigue) that plague so many vintage flex pens, so it will not feel as soft as a wet noodle, but that is a good thing. It will give you more control over your line, such as gentle transitions between hairlines and swells. The tipping material is of excellent geometry, and the tines are in perfect alignment. Flexing is not all about the range, it's also about the incredible, oversize ebonite feed that never starves for ink, and delivers just the right flow for all the detail you need in your handwriting. It's also about the "snap-back" property, which this nib definitely excels at.

Eversharp Skyline Navy Blue, XF Flex, capped

If you are new to vintage flex, this would be a great "first vintage flex" pen, but I do advise you to be careful and give yourself ample time and opportunity to familiarize yourself with the pen, how it feels, and what it's capable of. Though the nib is designed as a flexible nib, you need to be careful not to spring it.

Sheaffer Triumph Crest Deluxe, XF

(on hold) This is a late 1940s Sheaffer White Dot Triumph Crest Deluxe fountain pen in Black celluloid, with a 14k gold, two-tone Lifetime Triumph XF nib and a 14k gold-filled cap. The pen has been restored, which included a complete disassembly, a thorough cleaning, an overhaul of the filling mechanism, and adjustment to ink flow, a nib tune-up, and a gentle polish by hand. I work according to current "best practices" in pen restoration and I use high-quality replacement materials.

Sheaffer Triumph Crest Deluxe, XF, uncapped

Sheaffer pen in the 1940s were all of a handsome, streamlined design, relatively free of ornamentation and decorative motifs. Compared to modern Italian pens, the Sheaffer counterparts looked downright modest. Still, they were extremely elegant and not altogether devoid of a sense of luxury. The Crest Deluxe was the most "bling" you were going to get on a Sheaffer of the era, and what a gorgeous pen this is! The phrase I wrote comes from an advertisement, claiming the Crest was for people who appreciated the finer things in life. I cannot help but think how accurate that statement still is. The Crest is will make a fantastic office pen, a great daily writer, and that one pen you use for the special occasion, such as a celebrating a promotion, signing an important professional or personal document, etc. It is a large pen, measuring 5.15" capped, 0.45" in diameter.

Sheaffer Triumph Crest Deluxe, XF, nib profile showing excellent geometry and alignment

What makes this pen particularly rare is that it's a lever-filler. The vast majority of Triumph pens of the period were vacuum-fillers, and finding a lever-filler in such good condition is rather rare. The pen is, indeed, in great shape, free from any defects or flaws, with a deep, rich, glowing celluloid and equally beautiful gold-filled cap. A luxurious pen, but without a trace of gaudiness. The White Dot is located on the finial. There's nice, striated ink window in the section.

It writes as well as a professional pen should, laying down an XF line (about 0.3 mm on paper), in a controlled flow, slightly above average in wetness, and a smooth, gliding Triumph point that never hesitates, never falters. An XF nib without the tooth of a conventional, open nib, and a forgiving writer with a large "sweet spot."

Sheaffer Triumph Crest Deluxe, XF, capped

The pen is priced at $149. Please, let me know if you're interested in ordering it. Shipping fees are explained here. Thanks!