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Thread: "Bell System Property" pen has no cursive "Esterbrook" on barrel

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    Junior Member usgs's Avatar
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    Default "Bell System Property" pen has no cursive "Esterbrook" on barrel

    Two weeks ago I acquired my first Esterbrook "Bell System Property" fountain pen. This black pen is 5" long and is the slimmer model. [Did Esterbrook make for Bell the fatter one too?]

    Unlike my other vintage Esterbrook pens, there's no "Esterbrook" written in cursive. I suppose Bell asked Esterbrook to leave off the cursive "Esterbrook". Correct?

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    Senior Member guyy's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Bell System Property" pen has no cursive "Esterbrook" on barrel

    Yes, there were Bell Systems Property J models, too. (And desk pens as well.) My BSP J has the cursive Esterbrook on the other side from the Bell Systems Property.

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    Junior Member usgs's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Bell System Property" pen has no cursive "Esterbrook" on barrel

    Quote Originally Posted by guyy View Post
    Yes, there were Bell Systems Property J models, too. (And desk pens as well.) My BSP J has the cursive Esterbrook on the other side from the Bell Systems Property.

    Perhaps there's no cursive "Esterbrook" on my barrel because it's the slimmer LJ model. Maybe with a fatter J model, the cursive "Esterbrook" just looks better, not cramped-- I don't know.

    The eBay seller of this pen wrote that it appeared to have never been used, and when I got it I thought that too. [The eBay seller offered over some weeks some 5 or 6 of this same never-used BSP Esterbrook.] But there's something odd about the cap band-- it doesn't look quite like the cap band on my other vintage Esterbrook fountain pens. Also, the "Esterbrook" on the pocket clip is a bit different from the "Esterbrook" on the pocket clips of my other vintage Esterbrooks. Maybe I have a counterfeit? Is that possible? [But the nib-feed unit looks just like my other Esterbrook nib-feed units.] Knowing that buying old Esterbrooks usually means that one has to replace the sac, I didn't have to do that sac replacement after testing the pen with water: the ink in the pen is staying where it should stay.

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    Senior Member carlos.q's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Bell System Property" pen has no cursive "Esterbrook" on barrel

    Pictures will surely help...

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    Senior Member azkid's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Bell System Property" pen has no cursive "Esterbrook" on barrel

    I've seen these Bell Esterbrooks come up for bid lately. Interesting. Maybe Bell ordered enough for a custom order? I have no idea though.

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    Junior Member usgs's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Bell System Property" pen has no cursive "Esterbrook" on barrel

    Quote Originally Posted by carlos.q View Post
    Pictures will surely help...

    I have no SmartPhone and my camera won't do close-ups well at all so I wouldn't be able to show you a close-up of the cap band. The cap band has subtle but easily seen differences from the cap bands on my vintage Esterbrooks. Those differences are perhaps slight "crimpings" that run around the cap band only on the BSP pen I received ~ 2 weeks ago. These "crimpings" (if that's what they are) are not on my other vintage Esterbrooks. If I handed the BSP pen to anyone in front of me, that person would easily see those "crimpings". This is why I wonder if this pen is a counterfeit one (even though the nib-feed unit appears non-counterfeit). [And then there are some slight differences too in the letters of "Esterbrook" on the pocket clip of the BSP pen.]

    I'll call or send an email message to Esterbrook expert Brian Anderson of Anderson Pens to find out what he thinks about this.
    Last edited by usgs; October 28th, 2019 at 01:12 PM.

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    Senior Member FredRydr's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Bell System Property" pen has no cursive "Esterbrook" on barrel

    It's not a likely target for counterfeiting.

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    Default Re: "Bell System Property" pen has no cursive "Esterbrook" on barrel

    I'm curious to hear what he says.

    All the bell system pens I found on ebay don't look like that so maybe it is counterfeit or someone did some "repair".

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    Junior Member usgs's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Bell System Property" pen has no cursive "Esterbrook" on barrel

    Quote Originally Posted by azkid View Post
    I'm curious to hear what he says.

    All the bell system pens I found on ebay don't look like that so maybe it is counterfeit or someone did some "repair".
    When you wrote "...what he says", I suppose you were referring to Esterbrook expert Brian Anderson. I sent him an email message today but haven't heard from him yet.

    Thanks for wondering about this too. If Brian thinks this is a counterfeit, then I'll tell eBay and find out what they'll do about this. [Brian lives in the state where I live. I could send the pen to him for inspection.]

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    Senior Member pajaro's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Bell System Property" pen has no cursive "Esterbrook" on barrel

    Some of the detail on Esterbrooks wears off through use. I would think this is more likely than counterfeiting.

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    Junior Member usgs's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Bell System Property" pen has no cursive "Esterbrook" on barrel

    Quote Originally Posted by pajaro View Post
    Some of the detail on Esterbrooks wears off through use. I would think this is more likely than counterfeiting.

    pajaro, the eBay seller wrote in his/her ad that the pen looks to be a never-used one. That seller recently advertised others of this same BSP pen as looking to be never used-- the seller offered one at a time in an auction spread out over a few weeks as I recall. I see no wear anywhere on the pen and the ink sac apparently is original (but I didn't dismantle the pen to check on this--the sac's holding ink just fine so far). None of these BSP pens was advertised as a restored one. There are no scratches anywhere on the BSP pen I won ~ 2 weeks ago.

    I see no trace at all of a cursive "Esterbrook" on the barrel. And all of the letters of "Bell System Property" are all white and fully filled in the space for each letter. I don't know if someone just polished the plastic and that's why there's no cursive "Esterbrook" on the barrel and no scratches either.

    I'm still somewhat puzzled.

    [I've not yet heard from Brian Anderson, Esterbrook expert.]

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    Default Re: "Bell System Property" pen has no cursive "Esterbrook" on barrel

    I could take a look at it, but i wonít be in Madison until December.

    If youíre ever in Appleton, you could drop by Andersonís Pens.

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    Default Re: "Bell System Property" pen has no cursive "Esterbrook" on barrel

    My Bell Systems pen LJ has the cursive Esterbrook logo around the barrel rather than along the length of it. It is slightly above and to the right of the B in Bell. You can just barely make it out in this photo.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    Brad "Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind" - Rudyard Kipling

    "None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try." - Mark Twain

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    Default Re: "Bell System Property" pen has no cursive "Esterbrook" on barrel

    Is the cap band smooth?

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    Default Re: "Bell System Property" pen has no cursive "Esterbrook" on barrel

    Late J... Might even have a funny lever and odd section. Lack of quality may show up in crude swaging of smooth band. I have some sloppily made Icicles of this type with circular imprint or no imprint at all. Weren't these made after the Venusian conquest?

    Bob

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    Default Re: "Bell System Property" pen has no cursive "Esterbrook" on barrel

    Maybe not counterfeit, but an intentional knock off. Leaving the Esterbrook imprint off might be a way to avoid a charge of counterfeiting. I have a red pen that looks very much like an Esterbrook. The imprint (no inking), however says, "NAVY" Super Fountain Pen. I'll try to get a picture up tomorrow.

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    Default Re: "Bell System Property" pen has no cursive "Esterbrook" on barrel

    Here are the photos. It looks quite like an Esterbrook with a brass band. However the black jewel looks as if it was painted black and is now wearing off to a lighter color. The "Navy" imprint is quite odd, and the nib looks like a regular 2556 Esterbrook nib except instead of Esterbrook, it says Esaterlux! Someone went through a lot of trouble to make this fake but then also made sure it was not a real Esterbrook. Are there more of these out there, or is this a well done one-off? Very odd.

    IMG_9622.jpgIMG_9624.jpgIMG_9626.jpg

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    Senior Member Runnin_Ute's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Bell System Property" pen has no cursive "Esterbrook" on barrel

    Quote Originally Posted by Farmboy View Post
    Is the cap band smooth?
    It is. The lever is different as well.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    Brad "Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind" - Rudyard Kipling

    "None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try." - Mark Twain

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    Default Re: "Bell System Property" pen has no cursive "Esterbrook" on barrel

    Is it possibly from a special order batch of pens?

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    Default Re: "Bell System Property" pen has no cursive "Esterbrook" on barrel

    Quote Originally Posted by Runnin_Ute View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Farmboy View Post
    Is the cap band smooth?
    It is. The lever is different as well.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    I may have been a bit to cryptic in my earlier response. At one point, Venus purchased Esterbrook. There are late model J's which start to differ in detail, likely as a result of Venus making cost saving changes in production. Smooth cap band, molded section of different length, different lever and cutout, and eventually a different clip and jewel. Somewhere in this regression, the inscription moves, or disappears altogether. No reason to doubt that Bell may have purchased some of this later type.

    Bob

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