Sheaffer 46

mid-1920s

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

This is a Model 46, in Coral “Radite”, Sheaffer’s proprietary celluloid. Two lines, Coral and Cherry Red, were directed at office workers and are not often seen today. This example is a handsome full-size Coral, measuring 5 5/16″ long, 13/32″ wide. This pen carries the gold 5-30 nib, which is probably original to the pen, and gold trim, all of which is clean. The celluloid is in very good condition overall, no cracks or major nicks, but an assortment of nibble marks are visible on both cap and base. Notwithstanding these marks, this is still a very fine collector’s pen that could withstand regular use.

Price: $75 Sold

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