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.

listings updated November 23, 2017

Aurora “98”
Aurora, the Italian company that has produced numerous elegant fountain pens from the early 1900’s until the present day, restarted its postwar activity in 1949 with the 88, in clear homage to the success of the Parker 51s carried by thousands of American soldiers rebuilding Italy. The 88 engendered Aurora’s next generations of pens, in numerous models, among them the 98 family of the 1960’s.  This pen, in steel with chrome plating, is a cartridge filler, introduced as a less expensive option.  While not a true 98, it is much more affordable and less complicated, and carries the same wonderful, expressive nib, which writes a wet medium line with a bit of flex.  This pen has been recently restored by the manufacturer and comes with an Aurora cartridge and in the Aurora service case.  $130
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Kaweco Colleg  (SOLD, thanks!)
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.  $70
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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.  $69
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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.
Insignia   This is a special Parker 45, an executive model in 10k rolled gold with an alternating chased pattern.  It is in excellent overall condition, with no significant scratches and no dents; a great combination of elegance and durability.  The insignia blank has not been used.  The nib is a wet medium, and it writes well.  $75
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Dark Blue  In very nice condition. Clip and crown are gold.  Nib is a fine, comes with cartridge.  $44
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Light Blue In very good user condition, cap is a little bit tight.  Nib is a wet broad, comes with a cartridge.  $50  
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Parker UK Duofold NS
Parker’s plant in Newhaven, England, got back to work almost immediately after the end of WWII, and opened with their first new product, the 1946-47 Duofold NS (New Series).  Its shape was reminiscent of a Vacumatic, 13.3cm long,  but this was a button filler, in solid colors.  This Duofold, in burgundy, has been used, has a few minor nicks, but overall is very shiny and clean.  The clip, cap ring, and tassie are in gold, and are unmarked.  The nib is a fine/medium with a touch of flex; there is a bit of sound feedback from the nib but it writes well.  This is a very nice, durable user pen.  $90
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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 51 is from 1948, in beige/cocoa, one of the less regularly seen colors, with the standard Lustraloy brushed steel cap.  It is very clean and shiny, showing only the microscratches of age and use.  The pi-glass sac in the aerometric filler is somewhat stained, but it is soft and pliable.  The 45-48 pens are distinguished by the inscribed “push 6 times” and “use Superchrome ink” on the filling unit.  In 1950, the “6” became “4”, and the direction to use Superchrome disappeared, because it was found to destroy pens.  The nib is a fine/extra fine, and writes very well.  A very nice, attractive 51 that can withstand years of use.  $108
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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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Pelikan 120 (SOLD, thanks!)
Pelikan, one of Germany’s original, finest and most successful manufacturers of fountain pens, brought out the 120 in 1955 as a school pen.  Made of plastic, and with an all-plastic piston filling mechanism, the 120 was a steady seller during Pelikan’s rough decade of fighting the growth of ballpoint pens.  From 1965-1973, Pelikan stopped production of the 120, and from 1973-77 it subcontracted them from Merz&Krell, another major manufacturer.  This pen is a Merz&Krell-made 120, 13.2cm capped, in excellent/perhaps new condition, in black, with two nib units — a medium and an extra fine.  Like all Pelikans, it is a wet writer and needs dryish ink, preferably Pelikan.  $55
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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.
Lifetime Balance, factory BB nib!     (SOLD, thanks!)  This is an unusual 1934 Lifetime Balance, a short/ full girth pen, in red-veined grey pearl, with a factory-made Lifetime BB nib.  It is 4 3/4” long and fits the hand better when it’s posted, but is a full-size lever-filled Balance.  Overall, excepting only some typical metal loss on the clip ball and cap ring, this pen is very clean and almost unmarked.  The nib (oh, that nib!)  is wonderful: unlike the typical early Lifetime nibs, it has some softness and writes a smooth full double-broad line.  It’s a wonderful writer, very durable, and a special pen.  This pen is being released from my collection, not without some regret, but it wants to be used. $125 
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Balance, Jeweler’s Band A typical non-Lifetime Balance, this one a Miss Universe model from the late 1930’s, at 4 7/8” long capped and slender girth.  It is a vacuum filler with wonderful barrel clarity behind the Golden Brown colors, so the user can easily see the ink in the barrel.  This pen is a bit unusual with its jeweler’s cap band, a model marketed directly to jewelry stores for gifts and inscription.  It carries the proper “3” nib, and writes a firm fine for a firm writer.  A very attractive user pen that will hold a lot of ink.   $68
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Streamline Balance, Grey Pearl  This is a lever-filled non-Lifetime model from 1936-42, full length (5 3/8” long) and full girth in grey and black striated celluloid.  It has a typical Feathertouch nib that writes a firm fine/extra fine with a touch of flex.  This pen is also in very nice, clean condition.  The chrome trim is unmarked and shiny; the view window is clear.  The imprint, including the 500 price code, is complete.  A very nice, sturdy pen that can be used every day.  $65
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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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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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Unic was one of the major mainstream manufacturers of fountain pens in France for many years. Their pens were generally well regarded “users”, perhaps a step below the finest. Like most Unics I’ve seen, the model designation is not known or stamped on the pen.  This pen is probably from the 1960’s, judging by the combination of a later plastic barrel and an earlier accordion filling mechanism.  Like many French pens, it is a bit smaller at 12.7cm long capped, but it feels good in all but the largest hand.  The cap and base are gold metal, and, with the shiny black barrel and section, are very clean and unmarked.  The delight of this pen is its 18ct. gold Unic nib, which is soft and very flexible.  A sweet pen, can be used steadily.  $70
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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 $75
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Wilrite (2 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.
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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Sales Policies

To purchase a pen or inquire about one, please email to, 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.