Pens For Sale

About my restoration practice and how to buy a pen from me. 
Every pen listed for sale has been disassembled, repaired as needed, thoroughly cleaned, and hand-polished.  Pens with sacs receive new sacs, and all filling mechanisms are cleaned, polished, repaired, and replaced as needed.  Nibs and feeds are thoroughly cleaned, flushed, tuned and repaired to write smoothly.  Additional restoration needed for a particular pen is noted in that pen’s description. I do not use any waxes or finishes, and do not touch up pen color.

One term bears definition:  I am often asked about “celluloid”, and what it is.  Celluloid is actually a form of plastic, a compound made of camphor and nitrocellulose (gun cotton) that has been available since the  1920’s. It proved to be durable and highly water/stain resistant, and became the dominant substance used in forming fountain pens from the early 1930’s until 1960.  I use the term celluloid because it is widely used in the fountain pen world and to differentiate this form of plastic from others, like lucite, polystyrenes and some resins used widely after WWII.

Finally, American and Canadian pens are usually described in inches and European ones in centimeters; pens’ sizes often determined their model designations and models were created to a certain size, so knowing one can often help one know the other.

Regarding pen photography:  I endeavor to present every pen at its best and to always point out significant flaws. Pens are brightly lit and digitally processed for accurate presentation, but what you see is what you get.  Pens in the images are not digitally improved.  In fact, minor flaws are often magnified in the images because the pens in the larger images are significantly larger than their actual counterparts.

While you’re here, be sure to visit Tim’s Bargain Pens , which are priced to sell fast and carry additional discounts for multiple purchases.  Enjoy!

My sales policies are at the bottom of this page.

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listings updated October 1, 2017

Ingersoll Dollar Pen
The Charles Ingersoll Company, a successor firm to the American turn-of-the-century Ingersoll Watch Company, continued the earlier firm’s branding of Dollar Watches with its Dollar Pens. Through the 1920’s, Ingersoll produced metal pens, then, briefly, pens of celluloid and Bakelite. The company disappeared in the Depression years and Ingersoll pens are not often seen today.
This example of the Dollar Pen is a celluloid model in a mahogany color and pattern. It was most likely a $2 model, because it is oversized, fully 5 1/2″ (14cm) long capped, and has gold trim and a blind cap over the filler knob.  The pen is a twist filler — turning the knob (actually a 1920’s upholstery tack) twists the sac inside the pen; releasing the knob sucks ink into the sac and fills the pen. This pen restored nicely, although there are minor wear marks in the celluloid and what are probably light toothmarks on the blind cap.  In addition, the nib, which is marked with the Ingersoll imprint and is probably original to the pen, is fragile and will need expert restoration if the pen is to be used regularly; this is accommodated in the reduced price. This is a very attractive and relatively rare pen for an early 20th Century collection.   $65
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Kaweco Colleg
Kaweco was one of the first German fountain pen manufacturers, and through two world wars, the Depression, the rise of ballpoints and now the computerized age,  is still in business but has had several owners and identities.  After WWII its manufacturing returned to life with a full range of models under their prewar names, including the Colleg, a mid-priced line aimed at college students.  It is, like most German pens, of black celluloid and piston-filled.  It is a full-size pen — 12.6 cm long, and fits the hand very nicely.  This pen was released from my personal collection and freshly restored.  It’s a very nice writer, with its original responsive steel nib. $75
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Marathon “The Student” 
During 1920’s and 1930’s, numerous fountain pen manufacturing companies operated in Manhattan.  When the Depression hit, most of the smaller companies, and their brands and models, simply disappeared. Today thousands of pens from these companies survive, but with only scant information available about their makers. The Marathon Fountain Pen Company was one of these.  It was certainly in business from the late 1920’s into the 1930’s, and for me it’s fun to know that it was located in my own Union Square neighborhood.
This 85+ year-old pen is beautiful, solid, and well-made, and has survived in wonderful condition.  It is a “flat-top’, in thick, solid green striated celluloid, with stripes and flecks in green and white and broad black celluloid gripping sections.  Contrary to most Depression era pens, it is substantial, at 4 15/16” long and 7/16” thick, perhaps meant to emulate the contemporaneous “flat top” jade Sheaffers it superficially resembles.  The trim is gold-plate, and is very clean and unmarked.  The large nib is marked “Marathon”, “14K”, and size “8”.  It is
 very clean, unblemished, and can be used frequently with some care.  This pen does not have an imprint, has a beautiful jade-like cap plug, and writes a full firm with a bit of flex, although it is not anywhere nearly as firm as a contemporaneous Sheaffer or Parker.  $85
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“Merlin”
Merlins, like many pens from Europe’s wartime and the immediate postwar years, have incompletely defined histories.  It is known that they were made by one of very many small German companies and that thousands of Merlin parts were bought by a Dutch concern that marketed them.  They were interesting, well-made button fillers from the 1950’s, at 11.7cm long a bit smaller than many, but of very substantial celluloid and available in what is said to be 56 different colors and patterns. This pen is strikingly similar to every Merlin I’ve seen but is missing the imprint; it is assumed, but not actually known, to be a Merlin, hence its asterisked name. Its color is largely green, in long marbled waves.  The gold trim is clean and unmarked. The nib, which is presumably not a Merlin nib since it does not carry a Merlin imprint, is marked as being 585 gold.  It writes a very smooth and wet fine/medium. It shows a few signs of light wear, and will be a very durable everyday pen.  $72
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Parker Lucky Curve Jacknife Safety
In the late 19-teens, Parker was in its final stages of producing its many types of long ebonite fountain pens before moving to the first Duofolds in 1921.  Its Lucky Curve feeds had become established technology, and the Jacknife Safety caps were wonderful marketing devices.  This pen, a black hard rubber example from 1917-20 that is in the No. 22-23 size range, marks the transition to Duofold, with its “turban” blind cap, button filler, Lucky Curve feed, and thicker girth.  It is a shorter model, at 4 3/8” long capped, but has full girth and is not too short to hold comfortably.  This pen is in excellent condition for a 100 year old pen, all original except for the new sac nipple (crafted by Ron Zorn), which is not visible under the sac.  The nib is a full flex, imprinted “Parker Lucky Curve Pen”.  This is a special pen, rarely seen.  It’s sturdy enough to use regularly, but a case is recommended.  $250
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Parker 45
After the wild success of the 51 throughout the 1940’s and 50’s, Parker was ready for change by the late 50’s.  Their changes were in three major directions — new technology and efficiency with the capillary filling 61, economy with the 51-“lite” 21, and a bit of all of it in the all-new 45.  The 45 (yes, named for the revolver that “won the west”) revolutionized pen manufacture by introducing refillable and replaceable cartridges and continuing hooded nibs, now with plastic feeds. The classic 45 had a brushed steel cap, gold-plated clip and cap ring, and a plastic body and section that was available in numerous colors.  In addition, they were all one size, 5 3/8” long capped, longer and slimmer than 51’s and 21’s, with both ends tapered.
Olive Barrel This 45 is also typical, except that it has a broad nib, has probably not been used except to test the nib, and still carries its “Broad” sales sticker.  A great writer.  $65
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Flighter Now generically recognized as any fountain pen in a brushed steel body,“Flighters”were originally designed by Parker for their 51 Flighter, which had features to make it more immune to airborne leakage as well as look like a WWII fighter plane.  This 45, from the 1960’s, is very attractive, very lightly used, and carries a wet medium nib.  $60
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Red Barrel This Parker 45 is typical, with its deep red plastic body.  It is in excellent condition, with no significant marks or blemishes.  The nib is a wet fine/medium, a smooth writer.  The cap fits firmly, so this can carried in a bag without worry.  It comes with an original empty cartridge.  $48
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Parker 51 
The Parker 51 is generally agreed to be one of very few genuinely iconic fountain pens, for its timeless design, revolutionary construction, efficiency, and unparalleled durability.  It is also probably the most sold pen of all time, having been available from 1941 until the early 1970’s and manufactured in plants around the world.  Within each major model there are myriad combinations of color, cap, and other details that have made collecting 51s a serious sport around the world.  They are excellent writers, hold a great deal of ink, and are great shirt/jacket pocket pens.
This example is a cordovan brown Vacumatic filler from 1946, a less seen and much more desirable double-jeweled model, with the blue diamond clip.  It is in very nice condition, with signs of use but very clean and shiny.  This pen’s blemish, accommodated in its price, is the evidence of hard cap posting, deep but short scratches on the jeweled blind cap.  The cap is gold-filled and has a pattern of alternating four vertical lines and unlined bands. Its gold nib writes a XF line.  $175
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Pelikan P30
Pelikan introduced a line of cartridge-filling pens in the late 1950’s for students, and expanded these during the 1960’s for the adult market.  The P30, from 1965-69, also featured the ‘thermic-regulator’, a patented feed that is built into the gripping section to enable easy nib swapping. It is standard size, 13.3 cm. The nib is a smooth, Pelikan-wet broad.  The pen is made of plastic, with a rolled gold cap.  It is a wonderful writer.  Standard Pelikan cartridges fit, and one is included. $48
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Sheaffer Balance (4 available)
Balances, both Lifetime and non-Lifetime, were Sheaffer’s top production lines from the early 1930’s until after WWII. They were available in numerous lengths, girths, colors and patterns, filled by lever or plunger, and now, generally with a cleaning and filling system restoration, excellent and durable pens.
Marine Green 5-30  This is a full-size early Balance, from 1931-32, 5 3/8” long capped with the proper “round ball humped clip”.  Although many of these pens from the early celluloid period show deterioration, this pen does not; it is almost unmarked. A smallish barrel crack was repaired.  It is a lever-filler; the trim is all gold and very clean, showing a little missing plating only on the cap ring and on the clip ball.  Its nib is the proper 5-30, which writes a wet fine line; it is not as firm as many of the later Balance nibs. $70
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Golden Brown Lifetime  At 5 3/8” long, this Balance is a full size, full girth pen from 1936-42 in Golden Brown striated celluloid.  It has a full-size Lifetime nib that writes a typically firm fine line. This pen is in very good condition, with a very shiny and clean appearance and few marks; the view window is clear.  There is a minor posting ring on the south end of the barrel. The trim is all gold and unmarked; the lever is strong, with a bit of tarnish. For some reason, this pen came to me with nib and feed installed in a ring; this keeps the feed a tad too high.  Since it fits this way, I left it as is, and the oddity is accommodated in the price.  The imprint is complete.  This pen is very sturdy and can withstand steady daily use.  $60
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Junior, in Roseglow.  For some reason, whether there were fewer leaving the factory or fewer found today, this particular color, red with pink striping, is seen far less often than the others. This pen is the Sheaffer Balance Junior from the mid-1930’s, a thinner pen with nickel trim and the proper Sheaffer Junior gold nib. There is some pitting in the trim, which is not uncommon.  It is a VacFil model, Sheaffer’s plunger filler.  $90
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Marine Green Commandant.  This pen is a short/slender pen from the WWII years, with the uniform clip. It is a Vac-fil plunger filler, with a little missing plating on the cap ring but otherwise very clean.  It carries the 3 nib used in the smaller pens.  A handsome pen, perfect for a smaller hand.  $70
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Sheaffer Snorkel 
Introduced in 1952 as a successor to the Touchdown Thin Model and using the same pneumatic filling mechanism at its core, the Snorkel was Sheaffer’s dominant model during the 1950’s.  Because it was the ‘50’s, when no amount of American engineering was enough American engineering, the Snorkel added a mechanism to the Touchdown filler that extends a very narrow filling tube (“Snorkel”) into the ink bottle, with the intention of keeping the nib and feed clean during filling.  Although I’ve never succeeded in filling one without actually immersing the nib, they are really good writers and, I’ll admit, it’s always fun and a little exciting to see the snorkel appear from behind the nib.  The Touchdown filler is very efficient, and either come with an open palladium nib or Sheaffer’s Triumph conical nib.   Like most Sheaffer models, Snorkels came in a wide variety of colors and models, but they were all the same size, 5 1/2” long and just under 7/16” thick.
Saratoga, in Pastel Grey:  has an open 14K nib, very clean, no deep scratches and even very little sign of wear. The gold cap ring is nicely personalized with initials RHJ ($5 discount to a buyer with those initials…) It writes a firm fine line.  $55
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Sheaffer Pre-Balance “Flattop” (2 pens)
Pre-Balance 1920’s Sheaffer pens have been commonly, but not properly, called “flattops”, for their flat-ended caps and barrels. Properly, they were called by their model names.
B8C, in Black Hard Rubber . The B8C was the mid-1920’s full-sized black Lifetime pen, made of chased black hard rubber, with 14K gold trim and Lifetime nib. This example is a very substantial pen, at 5 11/32” long capped and 1/2” thick. The gold trim is clean. The nib is a large gold Lifetime, with a solid feed behind it; it writes a firm fine line. For a 90-year old, this pen is in overall very nice condition. However, like most 90 year-olds, it has flaws: in this case, two barely visible, nondisplaced cracks in the cap edge: one is quite short and probably harmless; the other is a 1/2” curve under and beyond the cap ring that appears to be stable but should limit this pen’s travel from one’s desk.  The cracks do not affect the cap’s placement or thread grip. Even with its flaws, this is a rare pen that will help complete any vintage Sheaffer collection.  $150 $125
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46, in Coral Radite The mid-to late 1920’s brought a wider range of pens from Sheaffer, as their use of celluloid, which they and DuPont called Radite, expanded. Two lines, Coral and Cherry Red, were directed at office workers and are not often seen today.  This example is a handsome full-size Coral, measuring 5 5/16″ long, 13/32″ wide. This pen carries the gold 5-30 nib, which is probably original to the pen, and gold trim, all of which is clean. The celluloid is in very good condition overall, no cracks or major nicks, but an assortment of nibble marks are visible on both cap and base. Notwithstanding these marks, this is still a very fine collector’s pen that could withstand regular use. $125   $100
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Take both pens for $200.

Summit 175
Summit was the brand name for a line of pens produced by Lang/Curzon, a British pen manufacturer that changed names and owners several times over its history. Curzon made good, perhaps not great, pens, but all the Summits I’ve seen are well made, carry a certain dignity, and have great, expressive nibs. The typical Summit is a S125, known as the workingman’s Summit; this pen is a S175, which has been described as more highly regarded than the S125, but from roughly the same time period, the late 1930’s until 1950 or so.  This pen is a post WWII Mark 2 175, in thick black celluloid.  It is 13 cm long, with gold trim and two black jewels, and is exceptionally clean and free of scratches and wear.  The original gold nib is a firm fine/medium, but it is English, so there is some give in the nib.  $105
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Waterman Set
After WWII, Waterman’s days in North America were numbered.  Waterman, even with its unique history, its elegant, well-made pens, and sometimes even glamorous pre-war models, could not find a way to keep up with Parker and Sheaffer or the rapidly growing ballpoint market, and the North American division was rapidly losing market share.  However, a few final good models did emerge in the postwar years — in particular, the Taperites and a variety of very nice executive pens.
This set is one of those executive pens — it does not have a known model name — in a very handsome light blue, with shiny chrome friction cap and gold trim, and it has probably never been used except for being dipped; in replacing its sac, dried ink was found in the nib and feed but not in the sac (to preserve its condition, there is no writing sample). The nib was tested with water, and writes a nice fine line.  The mechanical pencil shows no evidence of prior use, and the mechanism works freely.  Both pen and pencil still retain their stamped price codes.  This set comes with its probably original case.  $105 $90
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Webster
Webster was a name used variously by manufacturers in the early 1900’s, but its only reasonably well-known appearance was as a Sears Roebuck house brand from the 1920’s until mid-century.  This example of a Sears Webster pen from the 1930’s is very attractive, in red/brown marbled celluloid.  This pen must have spent many years in its cap, for it cleaned up into a range of coloration, from the original dark marbling under the cap to lighter along the barrel, to even lighter on the cap.  The ivory colored crown, which might be ivory, is covered with tiny cracks in the celluloid.  The gold clip and lever are clean and bright, as well as the 3/8” wide gold cap ring, which is engraved with a single elegant “P”.   The Webster imprint is deep and complete, including the center diamond with the “SR” Sears brand.  The nib is marked with “warranted 14k” and is a size 4, over a christmas tree style feed; it is very firm and writes a XF/F line with a hint of flex.  A good writer for one who likes the feel of a 1920’s nib, and great for a pre-Depression era collection.  $89 $75
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Wilrite (3 pens available)
What is a Wilrite?  The most consistent information I’ve found is that Wilrite pens were made during the 1920’s in New York City, probably on Lafayette St at Houston Street near other pen companies.  One of many small manufacturers, it disappeared by the 1930’s, a victim of the Depression.  What makes a Wilrite a Wilrite is ornate gold-filled overlays with almost whimsical patterning over colored plastic. Why is this interesting?  Because, from having never seen one, three have landed on my bench.  While one may have been random, three were clearly meant to be sold in a single listing.
Black   This is an elegant little pen, barely 3 7/8” long capped, its gold overlay and engraved pattern quite thick and complete throughout, and marked “1/40 – 14kt”.  The black celluloid underneath is complete and intact.  The sac nipple was repaired, but this is not visible under the sac and does not affect performance.  The nib is marked “Warranted 14K, 4”, the “4” denoting its size, and it writes a smooth, wet medium line with some flex.  $48 . (Sold, thanks!)
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Yellow  It’s interesting how a change in color can change character — this pen is almost identical to the black ringtop, except for the bright yellow celluloid under the gold overlay, which gives it a happier, less serious appearance.  Again, the pattern in the gold is the same as both other pens, and it is complete.  This pen also carries an attractive translucent green barrel end not present in either of the other pens.  The yellow celluloid shows some wear, but it is intact and complete.  There is a smallish dent in the metal under the left top of the lever.  Curiously, this pen carries a tiny Peter Pan nib, which, if it is the original nib, to pen people means a connection with the Salz Pen Company.  Although Salz was also a New York City company at that time, it was in a different neighborhood and available research does not show a connection with the Lafayette Street companies. However the Peter Pan got in this pen, it writes a nice fine/medium line with a little flex, an enjoyable little writer.  $52
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Orange  The gold is stunning on a large (5 5/16” capped and a full 1/2” thick) pen, and very attractive over the orange plastic.  The clip and lever are firm, the gold is particularly clean.  The large Fount-O-Ink nib writes a smooth, firm fine line that is typical of a 1920’s pen.  The sad news is that the orange plastic under the cap overlay is cracked and there is a sizeable chunk missing.  The cap does thread and hold, but this elegant pen’s future is on the safe space of a desk, not in a bag or pocket.   $65
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Wilrite Discounts::  10% off for any two;  15% off Orange if bought with another Wilrite.

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Sales Policies

To purchase a pen or inquire about one, please email to timsvintagepens@gmail.com, or, for members of the Fountain Pen Network, send a private message to member tmenyc.  Payment is via Paypal or cleared personal check.  Shipping is usually $4 for USPS tracked first class to domestic US addresses for purchases costing less than $100, and $7 for USPS priority mail to domestic US locations for purchases costing $100 or more.  Higher and faster levels of shipping and shipping to locations worldwide are available at cost, and I will gladly combine shipping for multiple purchases. The purchaser will be responsible for all duties and tariffs.

Pens can be returned or any reason within four weeks of receipt; 75% of purchase price will be refunded.  If there is a defect that was not acknowledged in the sale, 100% will be refunded.  The filling systems are warrantied for one year; latex sacs are warrantied for 90 days.  Because the pens I work on are 40-100 years old and have use histories that are almost always unknown, the pen’s cosmetic appearance, prior work or defects that I did not create cannot be warrantied.  The warranty also expires if any subsequent work is performed by the owner or another restorer. However, my goal is to always satisfy a client, to describe a pen’s known flaws accurately, and to take wear and flaws into pricing consideration.  For returns without an unacknowledged defect, the purchaser will pay return shipping.