About This Model
Sheaffer pen sales were always designed to reach a wide variety of buyers. Although Balances dominanted marketing and sales from 1930 until after World War II, they kept other models available. One of these was the 5-30. The 5-30, a flat-topped pen of various lengths and widths, had actually exited the official Sheaffer catalog by 1930 or so, when Balances became the main sellers. Before then, the flat-topped models were known by their numbers (34,46), and their model lines (Secretary, Regular). After 1930, when Balance and Lifetime naming took over, these models became 5-30 and 3-25, indicating their price and the length of guarantee. They were kept in the lineup because customers still wanted them, and to use up the inventory. But, in Jade and Jet Black Radite, with the clip positioned near the top of the cap to minimize reach above a pocket, these were steady sellers.
About This Pen
This 5-30 is from the early 1930s, a short full girth pen (4½” long) in very nice condition. The jade celluloid barrel and cap are very shiny and clean, with almost no signs of wear and none of the deterioration seen so often in the earliest jade pens. Cap and barrel have black crowns; unusually (in my experience), the cap crown is a black outer ring around a jade inner, giving the pen an elegant appearance in a jacket or shirt pocket. The 5-30 imprint is clearly seen in the black crown ring. There is a very small cap crack, which has been repaired and is believed to be stable. The trim is gold-plated, but in generally very attractive condition; there is a bit of metal missing from the clip ball. The nib is most likely the original Sheaffer 5-30, and writes a fine/medium, wet and smooth. A very nice pen for a jacket pocket.