Filcao Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean

2004-2010

About This Model

There were many small fountain pen manufacturers in Italy during the vintage era, particularly in Torino and Bologne, and included Artus, Atlantica, Aurea, Imperiale, Kosca and others. The trouble is that there is almost no published information about them, except for the wonderful scholarship of Letizia Jacobini, who has managed to tease out most of the sub-brands and models from brands, a tremendously complex job. Most of the brands here were one purchase I made some years back to experience mid-level Italian vintage pens. They were almost all button-fillers, in celluloid patterns that I had never seen before or since. The nibs were almost all steel, responsive and often at least minimally flexible. Filcao started in the 1960s in Settimo Torinese, Italy, as a machine shop for metal parts. Crediting Richard Binder for the history, it's noted that by the end of the decade Filcao was producing cartridge/converter fountain pens, which then became its primary business. In 2004, Binder designed a pen for Filcao called “Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean,” an all-new button filler. It was followed by the Atlantica, the Nobile, and the Silvia. Filcao closed in 2012.

About This Pen

Filcao was a fine pen manufacturer in Settimo Torinese, Italy from the 1960s-2012. In 2004, it produced a Richard Binder-designed pen that was meant to be modern but with vintage-evocative features. The Columbia feels like a cross between Italian vintage and a Parker Duofold: a 5½” long button filler that sits perfectly in the hand. This pen is the original model, in deep blue, almost lapis, resin, with orange flecks. It has been used, but is unblemished. The trim is all chrome, and is clean. It carries a standard size Schmidt nib, and writes a wet fine/medium line.  A sturdy everyday pen.

Price: $125 Sold

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