About This Model
Ancora is one of Italy’s original fountain pen manufacturers, and like the others, its early years are not well documented. The founder was Giuseppe Zannini, and the company was certainly in business by the early 1920’s. Zaninni and his son operated the firm until after WWII. There are apparently no surviving catalogs, price lists, or other documentation about early Ancora pens, and even their model numbering was opaque. What is known is the pens: Ancora made exquisite overlay safety pens which are very rare today. In the 1930’s they produced pens that clearly emulated Parker Duofolds, but with Italian styling in the celluloid. With thanks to Leticia Jacobini’s research, we know that the early 1930’s featured the Duplex line, in a range of sizes, patterns, and in both lever and button-filled models. The early 1940’s saw the Dama, a faceted pen, and the round Maxima, both in ringed celluloid and exquisite colors.
After WWII had ended, Ancora brought out the Lusso line, in a varying colors and patterns, but generally these were piston pens, some with wonderful transparency. Following the Lussos, the Calamus was of similar construction, but with a smaller, tubular nib. Many had beautiful gold caps setting off the ringed celluloid.
Ancora apparently ceased operations in 1975, but is now again in operation, independently owned.
About This Pen
This Ancora Lusso 87 has the fine Italian pen’s classic 1940’s appearance: black body with wonderful striped or basketweave transparency, simple gold trim, piston fillers. At 13.5cm long capped, it’s a little shorter than the Tabo and Tibaldi in my collection, but with similar appearance. This special pen has been used very lightly over its 70+ years: the body is unmarked, the transparency complete and strikingly visible. The imprint is complete if thin, and the model designation is clearly seen in the base of the design. The cork did not need replacement, but it was revivified, and holds well. The nib is surely the original Ancora 585, and it writes as one would expect: soft, elegant, fine with a touch of flex. It also writes fast, with shading. This is an elegant pen in wonderful condition.