For posterity, and future pen detectives, as well as for your viewing pleasure, here are some photographs of a stunning vintage pen: an oversize Wahl-Eversharp second generation Doric plunger filler in black celluloid, with a central ink view area in clear, black and brown celluloid.
Another shot of the whole pen.
Below is a photograph of the barrel: the ink view region is approximately in the center of the pen. You can see where the pen body goes from black celluloid, to the mottled clear part, to black celluloid again.
Now, a closeup of the ink view area. That’s the metal plunger rod inside.
Another closeup, this time from another side. I think of this as a tortoise pattern.
This Doric is probably about 80 years old, but luckily it has escaped most of the ravages of time, and you can see that the clear celluloid is still remarkably clear.
The Doric design is similar to the original Paragon from the Italian company Omas. And this particular Doric reminded me of my vintage-style Paragon Extra Lucens. Here are both together. They are about the same length, but the Omas is slightly thicker.
Here are the cap ends, showing the facets of both pens.
This Doric is from an estate that we at Chicago Pen Show are handling. There are more photos of it and some other Wahl-Eversharp fountain pens here. We’re bringing these and more to the Ohio Pen Show in a few weeks. Come visit.
Sometimes you need to take a break. Pictures, not words. I love my inks, but I’m a pen person at heart.
This is one of my favorite pens ever. But I’ve been mulling over selling it. The problem is, then I take it out and look at it.
I asked my friend Chris to tell us what inks she bought in 2016. I love her lists, because they always contain such interesting things. On the one hand, we both love Caran d’Ache and Montblanc inks. So, we’re practically twins. But Chris has much broader ink interests than I do. Occasionally I will insert an Editor’s Note in her text, because silence is not my forte. But here’s Chris.)
I think I’ve bought a similar number of bottles to last year, but I’m not counting any inks that I received for free. Like last year, I bought some more inks that I intend to sell, so I haven’t included those either.
I still haven’t kept very good records of inks I have bought, but I’ve gone back through PayPal and credit card purchases to compile a list for the purposes of this post. I buy inks from quite a few sources so my new years resolution for 2017 will be to keep an accurate record. (Editor’s Note: Good idea. I think my resolution will be to “forget” half my 2017 purchases.)
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Omas Paragon Saffron Blue with medium nib. I’ve been talking about Omas with a few people this week. So I had to ink one up. This is a Paragon, from 1997, in Saffron Blue celluloid. That material isn’t incredibly common, but it is really beautiful.
The Saffron Blue celluloid is primarily dark blue, with ochre, white and gold. It reminds me of Vermeer’s palette. Or maybe Van Gogh — but only the celluloid; not the pen.
I always use a safe blue ink in this one. Today it’s Kaweco Royal Blue, which is an unheralded but excellent standard blue.
Omas Vintage Paragon Arco Verde with extra-fine nib. I would be the first person to tell you that green is not my favorite color. But some of my most beautiful pens are green, including this one.
This is not a vintage Omas: rather, Omas continued to produce this older body style in limited editions denominated “Vintage Paragon” after changing the Paragon to a larger pen with metal section.
Arco celluloid came in brown or green. It shimmers as it catches the light. There’s not much like it.
In celebration of the spring, I’m using the lovely Caran d’Ache Delicate Green. It’s light and bright, but legible even from an extra-fine nib.
I asked my friend Chris what inks she had purchased in 2015. I was tickled, and relieved, that not only did she buy the same number of inks as I did, but she enjoyed some of the same brands. Here is her report.
I decided I had plenty of ink when 2015 began. Enough ink to last me another two lifetimes. I made a resolution that I wouldn’t buy more ink until I emptied at least one bottle. That resolution was never going to work. I’ve never completely emptied a bottle of ink in forty years, so why would I think I might do that now?
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Omas Extra Lucens Limited Edition with extra-fine 18k nib. This gorgeous pen is black, gold and transparent celluloid. Writing with an Omas is special, and a bit different. The pen rests lightly in the hand, and the nib asks for only the most delicate touch, so you find yourself skimming over the paper as effortlessly as possible.
The ink is Stipula Calamo Ebony Black, which is a lighter, slightly gray black ink with a hint of shading. When I write with it, I think of the shades of Sumi-e, Japanese black ink painting.