Sheaffer 5-30


About This Model

Sheaffer pen sales were always designed to reach a wide variety of buyers. Although Balances dominanted marketing and sales from 1930 until after World War II, they kept other models available. One of these was the 5-30. The 5-30, a flat-topped pen of various lengths and widths, had actually exited the official Sheaffer catalog by 1930 or so, when Balances became the main sellers. Before then, the flat-topped models were known by their numbers (34, 46), and their model lines (Secretary, Regular). After 1930, when Balance and Lifetime naming took over, these models became 5-30 and 3-25, indicating their price and the length of guarantee. They were kept in the lineup because customers still wanted them, and to use up the inventory. But, in Jade and Jet Black Radite, with the clip positioned near the top of the cap to minimize reach above a pocket, these were steady sellers.

About This Pen

The late pre-Balance Sheaffers, particularly the shorter 5-30s of the late 1920’s-early 1930’s, are among my favorite pens.  I like them for the same reasons that I like the very similar Parker Duofold Jr’s: they fit my hand and my pockets well, and are outstanding writers. These are very attractive pens, jade between black crown and tassie with jade section between. As an added attraction, the crown in this series of 5-30’s has a top face of jade surrounded by a black ring. The barrel is characteristically, but not unpleasantly, discolored, as happened with all of the early jade celluloids. With a notable exception, it is remarkably free of scratches and nicks. The exception is an imperfect cap crack repair, which was successful but the celluloid slurry unexpectedly into a dimple, which I decided to not redo. One lives with one’s imperfections, it’s a happy pen anyway. The imprint is deep and complete, including the model imprint in the crown. The trim is clean, not missing any plate. The lever is quite strong. Finally, and most important, this is a delightful writer: fast, smooth, just firm enough, a wet fine. This is a great smaller pen.

Price: $85 Sold

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