About This Model
The Parker 51 is generally agreed to be one of the genuinely iconic fountain pens, for its timeless design, revolutionary construction, efficiency, unparalleled durability, and for being a great writer. It is also among the most sold pens of all time, having been available from 1941 until the early 1970’s, manufactured in plants around the world, and sold millions. 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. 51s are available in two lengths: the typical 51 is 5.4″ long, but there are also 5″ long demis. They are excellent writers, hold a great deal of ink, and are great shirt/jacket pocket pens. Parker 51s are readily available today, although some of their colors and cap patterns are rare.
About This Pen
When millions of pens are made with interchangeable parts, the appearance of an occasional “dogs breakfast” pen is inevitable. This is not a “frankenpen”, which to me is a pen made of complementary parts from multiple brands; it is an assemblage of Parker 51 parts that together create a Parker 51 that cannot divulge its age, and no, it was not of my creation. Since you asked…it has a pre-1945 cap, a post-1950 barrel, and a 1948 nib. The barrel could have been a factory replacement, but I don’t think so. There is a stress area directly over the filler unit (which further confirms my suspicion of its assemblage of parts), a dent and a little corrosion on the cap, and a bit of normal age wear under the shiny surface that does not deter from its appearance. All of that said, it is a really nice pen, very attractive in black and gold, and its oddness is well accommodated in its price. It writes a smooth, fast, fine/xf (not Parker’s true xf) line. This is a delightful pen that will write beautifully forever and make for a good story!