Aurora 88

About This Model

The Aurora 88 model line is one of the more reliable and elegant fountain pens ever made. It heralded the reawakening of the Italian fountain pen industry after WWII, its design inspired by the Parker 51 in so many pockets of American soldiers in Italy for the reconstruction of Europe. However closely they resembled 51s with their gold cap over a black barrel/hood instead of a traditional gripping section and partially hooded nib, under the surface lay an all-Italian piston mechanism and workmanship.  And, as Parker issued 51s in gold and Lustroloy caps, Aurora did as well it the 88, adding the cap called Nikargenta, a silver/nickel alloy. The Nikargenta caps have not held up as well as Parker's Lustroloy; many are pitted today. The original 88, according to research by Jacobini and others, sold from 1948 until it was succeeded by the 88K in 1953 and the 88P in 1958, some 3 million sold pens later. The 88 line was one of very few pens that carried a serial number, which recent research has pinned down to years of manufacture and made it possible to identify each pen's age. 88s were sold until the 1970s, and are generally regarded as the most sold Italian fountain pen. In modern years, after 2005, Aurora began reissuing the 88, in an all-resin-bodied pen, with, after 2015, a wide variety of nibs.

About This Pen

It’s well known that Aurora 88s are among my favorite pens, and I always try to have one in an inventory batch. This 88 is a later 88P, from 1963-69. The 88Ps were not given serial numbers after 1963, and this pen does not have one. The 88Ps are not only Aurora’s last of the original series, they are its most advanced and refined. This pen just looks more subtly complete than an early 88: its gripping section and blind cap are both celluloid to match the body; the engraving in the cap’s gold plate is deeper and finer, the brand/model imprint is machine-stamped. This pen is a fine example: it is shiny and very clean, minimal scratching and use wear. The view window is clear. The only visible flaws are three tiny corrosion dots in the cap surface, just east of the base of the clip. The piston mechanism is strong; the pen came to me with its original six gaskets, which were replaced with new o-rings. The piston is strong and fills completely (although one is advised to not fill it completely to avoid overfill leakage) Its nib, like so many 88 nibs, is a pretty firm fine (notwithstanding the tiny “M” behind the section), so it’s a great fast writer. This one writes even better with just a touch of pressure. If you are looking for a first 88-family pen, this is a great example.

Price: $170 Sold

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