About This Model
Pre-Balance 1920’s Sheaffer pens have been commonly, but not properly, called “flat-tops”, for their flat-ended caps and barrels. Properly, they were called by their model names. They included Lifetimes, with the white dot, 14k trim, and Lifetime nib; “Regular” line without the white dot and with plated trim; and “Ebony” line, of black hard rubber, both chased and unchased. Lifetimes and Regulars came in hard rubber and Radite, Sheaffer's branded celluloid, in jade and then various patterns. And, there were 46's, a line of flat-topped clipped and ringtop pens made for secretarial use. These were made in black and bright scarlet Radite, and were very solid, well-made pens.
In particular, 1928-31 were very important years in American pens: the main shift from ebonite to celluloid. Parker and Sheaffer both made significant innovative and strategic shifts. 1928 marked the first appearance of Jade celluloid, and 1929 the first Balances. Sheaffer continued its production of the “flat-top” Lifetimes throughout the 1930s, but as of 1929 they were no longer the premier model.
About This Pen
The B8C was the mid-1920s full-sized 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, non-displaced repaired 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.
This pen is not for sale.