Kosca

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

In the later 1930s-1940s various Italian manufacturers produced wonderful celluloid pens that closely resembled the Parker Vacumatic striping and transparency. One of these was Kosca, a relatively minor firm that operated in Milano from the late 1920s through the 1950s (thanks to Letizia Jacobini for her scholarship). Kosca made a pretty wide variety of pens, in hard rubber, gold, gold overlay, celluloid; there were button pens and pistons.

This pen is one of the Vacumatic emulations: it is a long, slim pen, 14.4cm long capped and 1.2cm thick just below the cap edge. The pen and cap match exactly, with horizontal Vac-style black, grey, and white striping in the celluloid throughout. The entire area traveled by the piston filler is transparent, so the ink can be seen clearly inside. The pen is in very nice condition, with no significant areas of wear, nicks, or scratches. The gold trim is largely clean, except for some missing plate on the cap ring. The clip is engraved with “Kosca”; this, with the diamond-shaped clip end, are the only areas that identify the pen’s brand. The piston filler is strong; this pen fills well and holds a sizeable fill. The nib is an American Wingflow from the 1940s; it came to me this way, was affordable to me and will be to the next owner. That said, the nib writes a firm fine line, a good writer on good paper. Vintage Italian pens are not often seen in the US; this is a good example of a handsome, sturdy pen that can be used without worry.

Price: $145

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