Radius Extra

late 1930's
About This Model

Radius fountain pens were the best known production of a firm called SAFIS, from Societa Anonima Fabbrica Italiana Stilografiche, which loosely translates as “Italian incorporated fountain pen company”. SAFIS also made Astura pens, and (according to Jacobini's research, was believed to have also made The King pens. The main 1930s models were the Superiors and the Extras, and had beautiful celluoids, Doric-like bodies, and perforated cap bands. After WWII, they evolved into slimmer models, often with piston-fillers, and then into lower level pens.

About This Pen

Managing the use of superlatives in my writing is an ongoing challenge, but often particularly so with vintage Italian pens, when they are so often richly earned! This late 1930’s Radius Extra, not even a top level pen, shows its design elegance and is a special pen to write with. It is a button filler and standard size for this generation of Italian pens, 13cm long capped with 1cm girth just below the cap edge. In green celluloid with pearlescent chunks, its 10 facets match perfectly from cap to barrel and slope gently to round 1cm short of the blind cap and the crown. The cap slopes inward, just below the cap ring to meet the barrel, exhibiting a level of design execution that is just not often seen in American pens. This pen shows surprisingly little wear, excepting one almost invisible 4cm streak of delamination in one of the cap facets. The clip is missing some of its gold plating; this pen, in a quirk of some vintage Italian pens, has a gold clip and silver cap ring. The “Radius Extra” imprint on the barrel is complete and easily read. Finally, this is an outstanding writer: its original gold Radius nib is soft and writes a full medium/bold, with elegant line variation to what can only be described as a double bold. This is a special pen to be cared for and enjoyed.

Price: $260