Italy, 1949. Classic black celluloid, gold-filled cap. The pen was so successful that it restored Aurora in Italy after WWII with its design that clearly emulated the Parker 51. This pen carries serial number 767195. Piston filler, M flexible nib.
Aurora 88K “Nikargenta”
Italy, 1953. The 88k was Aurora’s second model of the venerable 88 line. This pen is a Nikargenta, meaning it has a silver-plated cap, and it looks very elegant and stylish. Its serial number is 1910497 (yes, most 88s had individual serial numbers, which helps to date them), which places this pen in 1953, according to published research on the topic. It came in a Fiat-marked box, so was probably a corporate gift, and has its original certificate of purchase. The nib is a fine, which is responsive and a bit firm. Having three 88s is possibly enough but not too many.
Italy, probably 1960. Serial number 3272436, near the end of the original 88’s long run. The “P” line has the slanted cap crown and indented clip, a 60’s look for the new decade. Wonderful wet medium, usual Aurora responsive nib.
France, 1937. This Bayard is probably the Special Luxe, one of Bayard’s nicer pre-WWII celluloid models. Tubular shape, “necktie” clip, two gold cap rings, marbled celluloid, a lever filler. It’s a favorite pen for its elegance, even with significant unrepaired cap crack and rippling that limit it to desk use. From France, 1937. I like to think that the damage happened during a hot prewar Paris weekend, on the dashboard of a Citroën Traction Avant.
France, 1939-48. This pen is probably post WWII. Model 560 Standard, with Lido nib, dark blue celluloid lever filler.
Italy, 1939. Beautiful brown and grey celluloid, button-filler, long tine fine flex nib. There is very little published in English about this Columbus sub-brand. My first vintage Italian pen; it got me hooked.
England, 1930s. The imprint is 99% gone, but research points to the 200M made for Selfridges. It’s made of beautiful rippled ebonite. Cap threads don’t hold, though. Someday I’ll fix it properly; until then it’s a desk pen.
Conway Stewart No. 15
England, 1930’s. Too fragile for anything but limited desk use, I’ve kept this pen because its casein barrel and cap have “alligatored”, compromised by heat or water, and it needs protection. Still beautiful to look at, nice desk pen. Proper CS nib.
Delta Fusion 82
Italy 2009-10. Limited edition #0132, green/gray marbled resin, Fusion nib. C/C filler. Currently with Edison B nib; Fusion overlay separated, so nib awaits its turn to be repaired. Was used for signing thousands of checks at work for years, filled with vintage Sheaffer Permanent Blue-Black, a very fast-drying iron gall ink.
France, late 1940s. Postwar pen with prewar styling. In black celluloid, at 14.2cm long, it’s an unusually large French pen. Original nib is missing its tip, so it carries a 1930s Waterman’s Ideal nib. Someday I’ll find le Super Edacoto Transparent Serie 208, le plus grande taille. That may be my grail.
The Edel fountain pen is a curiosity, a pen that had been mostly lost to history until a Dutch restorer took a risk and brought them back to life. What is an Edel? It is a 1935 German piston-filled fountain pen, made of plastic (barrel and cap), Bakelite (crown and blind cap), and ebonite (section and feed). It looks like nothing as much as a contemporaneous Pelikan, the 100 series. Its nib is like no other German nib I’ve seen — amazing flexible and wet, writing from an EF to a BBB, and wet without dripping ink. It’s a handsome, shiny pen.
Its story is very interesting. In 2013, I believe, a Dutch restorer was offered the contents of an old trunk bought at auction, what appeared to be NOS pen inventory. At the bottom of the trunk was was a page of newsprint from Hamburg, 1944, but no information was found about its previous owner. The restorer disassembled them and built complete pens from the pieces. In the end, he was able to recover and build numerous pens which had not been seen before or, except for this batch, since. I responded immediately to his Fountain Pen Network post, so was able to get one. I love wartime pens, and even though this one was not designed for wartime use, it is clearly from that era. The two World Wars, in addition to everything else they did, changed the historical paths of millions of people as well as their possessions. My Edel is one of those possessions — someone had a stationery/pen business somewhere in Germany, was an agent for Edel, who lost the inventory, only to have it reappear 70 years later.
USA, 1950s. The Deluxes were Esterbrook’s homage to the Parker 51. It’s the only one I’ve seen in this deep deep blue pattern.