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Thread: Vintage Italian Pen series

  1. #41
    Senior Member AltecGreen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Italian Pen series

    Quote Originally Posted by jar View Post
    I've yet to come across a vintage Montegrappa in the wild here in the US. They are lovely pens though.
    It's pretty rare to encounter any vintage Italian pens in the wild in the US. The production of these pens was small in comparison to the large US companies and distribution was limited. It is partly why the pens command such a high price in comparison to most vintage US pens.

  2. #42
    Senior Member AltecGreen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Italian Pen series

    I started this thread with a pen from each of the major vintage Italian makes. To round that off, I have today an Aurora from the late 1930's early 1940's. People are probably somewhat familiar with Aurora from their modern pens. Aurora like Omas was one of the early big Italian companies and one that survived to the present and still going strong. The Aurora Optima probably rings a bell since it is one of Aurora's flagship pens today. However, the Optima traces it's roots back to 1938 when Aurora introduced the Optima as their entry into the transparent barrel trend and as an answer to Omas' Lucens and Extra Lucens. The original Optima resembles the modern Optima with the Greek key band with a narrower profile. I actually do not have a first series Optima. What I have shown here is a later series three Optima with a really transparent barrel (a hallmark of the third series pens) and three cap band rings. The thrid series Optima can be found in a range of celluoids that resemble the Watrman Inkvue ray celluloids. The Optima also sported a Sheaffer style plunger filler, not uncommon for Italian pens of this era. Piston fillers only really took hold in Italy after WWII. Of course, this pen has the Aurora logo etched into the section like the modern pens.











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  4. #43
    Senior Member Bogon07's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Italian Pen series

    This Aurora has a very nice body of translucent colours. The over all design seems similar to a Pelikan to my untrained eye.
    sinistral hypergraphica - a slurry of ink
    "Nothing means less than zero"

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    Senior Member jacksterp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Italian Pen series

    Every one of these pens is jaw dropping - an amazing combination of beauty and functionality.

    It is humbling to think I would never write something that would be worthy of one of these pens.

    Thanks for the time and effort to post this thread.

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    Default Re: Vintage Italian Pen series

    Quote Originally Posted by AltecGreen View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jar View Post
    I've yet to come across a vintage Montegrappa in the wild here in the US. They are lovely pens though.
    It's pretty rare to encounter any vintage Italian pens in the wild in the US. The production of these pens was small in comparison to the large US companies and distribution was limited. It is partly why the pens command such a high price in comparison to most vintage US pens.
    Is that why I can't find any info online about pen #107 in this listing, much less have never seen one besides the one pictured there? I love my P51s and that pen is GORGEOUS, but it doesn't seem to exist outside of this one listing as far as I've seen.

  7. #46
    Senior Member Laura N's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Italian Pen series

    This thread is amazing. Thank you very much.

  8. #47
    Senior Member Bogon07's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Italian Pen series

    Quote Originally Posted by jacksterp View Post
    Every one of these pens is jaw dropping - an amazing combination of beauty and functionality.

    It is humbling to think I would never write something that would be worthy of one of these pens.

    Thanks for the time and effort to post this thread.
    Just do what others do - write out the pen, ink and paper combination and the alphabet.
    Or copy some famous verse or speech.
    I think the pens would be happy to be held, used and appreciated.
    sinistral hypergraphica - a slurry of ink
    "Nothing means less than zero"

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  10. #48
    Senior Member AltecGreen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Italian Pen series

    I missed yesterday's update due to coming home late from work and then watching the Golden Gods Awards (RIP Jeff Hanneman). To make up for that, I offer two pens today from makers that are probably not commonly discussed in the US.


    The first is a Radius Superior. Radius is one of the brands under the company S.A.F.I.S. based in Turin. Radius was their higher end line while Astura was their mid-range line. Radius started in the mid-30's and the Superior was one of heir first products. The Superior was made into the 50's albeit with several styling changes over the years. The early Superiors sported a very ornate triangle and lines cap band and the pens were made in both round and faceted versions. Of course, these pens were made in gorgeous celluloid. S.A.F.I.S. also made pens for third parties and heir pens can be seen in a lot of places under different names. Radius is not a bad place to start for people wanting to start collecting vintage Italian pens but are scared off by the price commanded by the more famous makes (i.e. like the pens I've shown so far) but with similar quality.

    Radius Superior in a dark brown arco celluloid.





    Unique capband











    The next pen is a Tabo Mentis. Tabo was a company based in Bologna, same as Omas. There is not that much information on Tabo. Pens with the Tabo name started appearing in 1939. The pen I am showing is a Tabo Mentis. This is a large button filler with a very nice celluloid pattern. Tabo also made a series of transparent barrel pens with a Parke Vac-like filling system and the ubiquitous lever filler. Other than that I don't really know much more about this pen.

    Tabo Mentis



    Wild celluloid pattern



    Mentis logo on a slightly darkened barrel.



    Tabo Nib

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Italian Pen series

    Quadruple bonus for using your bass as the backdrop, dude! Spectacular 'venue' for the pens!!
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: Vintage Italian Pen series

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    Quadruple bonus for using your bass as the backdrop, dude! Spectacular 'venue' for the pens!!
    The bass is what I call a half-dozen Nakayas.

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  16. #51
    Senior Member fountainpenkid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Italian Pen series

    They're all so similar! (but beautiful)
    Will
    If my p.m box is full, feel free to email me at dabantur@gmail.com.

  17. #52
    Senior Member AltecGreen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Italian Pen series

    Quote Originally Posted by fountainpenkid View Post
    They're all so similar! (but beautiful)
    It is pretty funny that many of the top tier vintage Italian pens do resemble on another for a given time period. What does set them apart is each companies use of celluloid. Also, I've shown pens so far from similar time periods. Today, I'll break the mold and go in a different direction.

  18. #53
    Senior Member fountainpenkid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Italian Pen series

    Quote Originally Posted by AltecGreen View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by fountainpenkid View Post
    They're all so similar! (but beautiful)
    It is pretty funny that many of the top tier vintage Italian pens do resemble on another for a given time period. What does set them apart is each companies use of celluloid. Also, I've shown pens so far from similar time periods. Today, I'll break the mold and go in a different direction.
    Great! I can't wait!
    Will
    If my p.m box is full, feel free to email me at dabantur@gmail.com.

  19. #54
    Senior Member AltecGreen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Italian Pen series

    To change things up, the next pen I'm showing is a pen from the early 1930's. Specific pen stores are important in the development of Italian fountain pens. Many important stores commissioned pens from many of the major and minor pen makes. The pen I'm showing next was sold by Stilo Fetti in Rome. Fetti opened in 1893 and are still in business. In the early 1930's to the end of that decade, Fetti ordered pens from Omas. Like the pen I'm showing today, the early Fetti pens (FIPS) were clones of the Parker Duofold. The Parker Duofold was tremendously influential and many Italian makers started their business making Parker Duofold-like pens.


    The FIPS pen I own is in a classic blue and bronze celluloid.



    The top cap is slightly tapered and knurled



    Knurled blindcap



    The cap band is a single capband with two lines. Other FIPS pens had two cap bands that resemble Parker trim.





    I expect to be busy the rest of the day and tomorrow so I'll put up more pens today.

    Going in the opposite direction in time, we look at a post-war Columbus pen. After WWII, the Italian pens moved away from flat top and other classic pen designs towards a more streamlined and rounded look. It was also a time of re-building as many of the pen factories were destroyed or damaged during the war. Columbus introduced the lever filling model 55. This was a solidly built pen with an affordable price. It has the new streamlined look but kept the large variety of celluloids (much stock was saved and hoarded from the 1930's by Columbus). There is nothing fancy about this pen and uses the tried and true lever filler. The pen was a hit. These are very nice pens to use.

    The Columbus 55






    Logo



    These pens were made from sheets of celluloid that were rolled and sealed. This was much cheaper than lathe turning rod stock.



    The pens were available with gold nibs and gold trim or steel nibs and chrome trim




    They came in a wide variety of celluloid patterns

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    Junior Member soot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Italian Pen series

    Those are some admirable [albeit expensive] vintage Italians...

    But the colors are really stunning! Eye candies!

  22. #56
    Senior Member AltecGreen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Italian Pen series

    Quote Originally Posted by soot View Post
    Those are some admirable [albeit expensive] vintage Italians...
    The Columbus 55 really is a moderately priced pen. They run somewhere between $150-190 USD. That's pretty good as vintage Italians goes. The others I've shown so far are significantly more expensive.

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    Senior Member fountainpenkid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Italian Pen series

    Quote Originally Posted by soot View Post
    Those are some admirable [albeit expensive] vintage Italians...

    But the colors are really stunning! Eye candies!
    Wait...since when were you here? I remember your AMAZING pens from FPN. Nice to see you here! You should start a thread like this about your Soenneckens.
    Will
    If my p.m box is full, feel free to email me at dabantur@gmail.com.

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    Default Re: Vintage Italian Pen series

    Be still my beating heart!!!

  27. #59
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    Default Re: Vintage Italian Pen series

    Quote Originally Posted by AltecGreen View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    Quadruple bonus for using your bass as the backdrop, dude! Spectacular 'venue' for the pens!!
    The bass is what I call a half-dozen Nakayas.
    Grok.

  28. #60
    Senior Member AltecGreen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vintage Italian Pen series

    To start the week, I have some of most favorite vintage Italian pens to collect and use. Yes, I do use some of them.

    The pen is a Minerva Classica. Minerva is a sub-brand of Omas that sold very high quality pens that rival the quality of mainline Omas pens but with a twist. Most if not all of the major Italian companies has sub-brands in the golden age. Some were lower tier pens, some were meant for export, some were very high quality. Armando Simoni, the founder of Omas, kept the Omas line very conservative. There were not a lot of styling changes in the flagship Omas lines. However, the Minerva pens had many different body styles and trim that were never seen on the main line Omas pens. The Classica is a lever filler with a single cap band, a shovel clip, and very clean styling from the mid-1930's. The ones I own all have fabulous flexible nibs that are very fine (almost Japanese like). They came in many varieties of celluloid including three unique vertically striated celluloids.

    Minerva Classica is two sizes.



    Up close



    Vertically Striated Celluloid. The larger pen has some discoloration on the barrel. This pattern can also be found in blue.



    Minerva Logo



    Very fine nibs

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