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Thread: Obscure Writing Instruments - assistance, please!

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    Post Obscure Writing Instruments - assistance, please!

    Well, you guys asked for it, so here we go...the first of probably many installments of "what obscure writing instrument is this?" If this isn't the appropriate Forum Location for this sort of thing, someone please point me in the right direction and I'll travel over to that area instead. Thanks in advance, and if you can provide clues or ideas, I'm planning on continuing to research until it's been documented and we can move on to the next, so any little tidbit will be helpful. Going to do a couple/three at a time to keep it manageable and interesting. Here goes...

    #1: Viceroy brand fountain pen with a Viceroy 14KT nib. My lack of knowledge is so evident here that while I'm thinking the nib is maybe damaged, perhaps the angling is supposed to be like this for broader strokes? Also, the back appears to be a plunger sort of deal (guessing that's not the technical term). Only info I could find on Viceroy was that it was possibly a sub-brand of one of the big guys. Kind of looks like a Sheaffer, maybe?

    Viceroy Fountain Pen 1.jpgViceroy Fountain Pen 3.jpgViceroy Fountain Pen 5.jpg

    #2: It has a very similar pattern to the Viceroy fountain pen, but the trim is gold instead of silver colored. It's a twist pencil with zero inscriptions anywhere.

    Unknown Twist pencil 4.jpgUnknown Twist pencil 3.jpgUnknown Twist Pencil 2.jpgUnknown Twist pencil 1.jpg

    Not sure how to get to the ink in the fountain pen which has obviously dried. It's hard to see in the pictures, but when it's held up to the light you can see through the middle of the pen (and see all the dried up ink inside as well). Thanks for your help!

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obscure Writing Instruments - assistance, please!

    When asking for pen IDs and diagnosing issues, you need to supply us with close up photos. There is virtually no way to examine aspects of a pen from that distance. If I have to guess, if my eyes are good enough and I can trust the Zoom function on my browser... nope, that is a severely damaged nib: the left tine is snapped off. The pen will not write with that nib even if you clean out the ink.

    It is a syringe filler that works as you would expect: push the plunger in, place nib/feed/section in ink, pull back plunger. The piston, though, is probably not functioning by now, and unless the pen was disassembled it is unknown as to it's composition - cork or some form of rubber. I can't really say what the origins of the pen/company are, though the nib itself bears a bit of resemblance to the Sheaffer nibs, but might be just a mimic to drive sales of a lesser pen company. This would take a fair bit of work and with the broken nib needing replacement, it's a tough call as to whether it is worth time and expense.

    Pencils? I know nothing.

    BTW, people look for IDs for pens all the time on Reddit in the fp forum, and a while ago I wrote up a set fo suggestions as to how best to document a pen so you can get as much info as possible. It is the first post in this thread.
    Last edited by Jon Szanto; September 16th, 2020 at 11:54 AM. Reason: Correction to filling mechanism
    "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."

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    Default Re: Obscure Writing Instruments - assistance, please!

    Thanks for the reply, Jon. These pictures were taken from 2-3 inches (or less) away from the pen with the best lighting possible in my house, right underneath a light bulb. Your post is helpful, and your points will be kept in mind for future ID posts, but I believe in this particular case my unfamiliarity with the way photos work within this forum may have detracted from the quality. Let me try again tomorrow...sorry for asking for help without providing adequate photos!

    James

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obscure Writing Instruments - assistance, please!

    Hey James!

    Gosh, maybe I'm just tired tonight, but I wasn't meaning to come across... cross! I've dealt with a lot of people who were trying to ID pens, for many years. These are just the suggestions and thoughts after many attempts with less-than-enough info. YOU haven't done this before, how could anyone expect you to know?! So don't be hard on yourself or jump through ridiculous hoops.

    If you are patient, most phone cams these days will do wll enough. Close-ups are tough if it keeps wanting to auto focus but you can get there. I actually found a native app on the Samsung Galaxy I have called "Magnifier" (duh) that is mainly for seeing things close up, lit or unlit, but it will also take closeup shots. It's like having a macro lens for the camera.

    Try using some natural daylight - a lot of my quick photos are just setting the pen on a little table that is next to the window, using ambient light. you can try different positions to avoid glare, or put a piece of white paper between the pen and the light source. Anyway, that link gives some other ideas and we'll try to help, though in this case we might not get much further on the pen.

    Anyway, I didn't want you to be discouraged by my suggestions, just wanting to help zero in. It's all a process.

    Quote Originally Posted by moonamongus View Post
    Thanks for the reply, Jon. These pictures were taken from 2-3 inches (or less) away from the pen with the best lighting possible in my house, right underneath a light bulb. Your post is helpful, and your points will be kept in mind for future ID posts, but I believe in this particular case my unfamiliarity with the way photos work within this forum may have detracted from the quality. Let me try again tomorrow...sorry for asking for help without providing adequate photos!

    James
    "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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    Senior Member FredRydr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obscure Writing Instruments - assistance, please!

    I expect it may just be the photo, but the nib in the Viceroy appears too big and looks as though it barely fits into the section. Is that "Viceroy" on the nib? The tip of one tine has broken off. It can be repaired by Greg Minuskin, though the cost will be greater than the likely value of the pen.

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    Default Re: Obscure Writing Instruments - assistance, please!

    Trying a different approach with links to the images.

    This is the first one, which is the nib of the Viceroy pen: https://scontent-dfw5-2.xx.fbcdn.net...7c&oe=5F8952FF

    And the second, which is the best body shot of it that I've got - I haven't been able to find anything like it. Most mentions of Viceroy either return a plain black pen or a Yard O Led silver pen/pencil:
    https://scontent-dfw5-2.xx.fbcdn.net...8a&oe=5F868CF8

    It seems like you guys, even with less than perfect photos, have managed to deduce that the nib (which is a Viceroy 14KT nib, Fred) is indeed severely injured. I've heard a lot about micro mesh being a godsend for nibs that are slightly out of tune, but am guessing this nib would require a lot more attention than that. Is this the sort of thing that would be a candidate for a "stub nib?" Out of all the pens I've gotten so far, this is the only one that seems to have this issue, but the body is nice looking and the transparent center is kind of cool. Shame someone broke the tip off of it.

    And thanks, Jon - it was a little discouraging when I first read your message, but I'm here to learn, so my approach is that anything offered up by you guys will help that process along and is intended to be helpful. My Pixel2 probably has a magnify feature for such things, but really I didn't even think to look. That's something that I'll also look into this evening before posting any more "obscure pens of the day." Thanks for your help!

    James

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    Senior Member FredRydr's Avatar
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    Default Obscure Writing Instruments - assistance, please!

    Quote Originally Posted by moonamongus View Post
    ...Is this the sort of thing that would be a candidate for a "stub nib?" Out of all the pens I've gotten so far, this is the only one that seems to have this issue, but the body is nice looking and the transparent center is kind of cool. Shame someone broke the tip off of it....
    Alas, itís not that simple. Even if the intact tine was shortened to match the broken tine, tipping thatís harder than gold would still have to be brazed or welded to the gold on both tines. And the end result would be awfully wide.

    Since it is the correct nib for the pen, and you like the pen so much, consider getting it repaired. I will PM you with further information later. (I am on my smartphone at the moment, which is fighting back at the spelling of these pen-related words.)
    Last edited by FredRydr; September 16th, 2020 at 10:19 AM.

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    Default Re: Obscure Writing Instruments - assistance, please!

    Looking at the nib, I would seriously doubt that the nib is 14K i.e. gold. It looks like the base metal is wearing through. It is not at all uncommon to find the nibs on third tier pens (VS Parker etc.) marked "14K gold" where it is most visible, with the word "plated" buried down near, or under the edge of the section. I'm not saying that it IS, but it sure looks like the plating is wearing off of the nib. Beautiful or attractive colors, but the materials and manufacturing techniques are lacking. As Fred pointed out, the cost to repair the nib would be much more than the value of the pen. Replacement with a generic nib would be more reasonably priced, even if you use a 14K The syringe filler (plunger filler is reserved for systems like the ones Sheaffer and Wahl Eversharp used) is inexpensive to produce, but can be a challenge to work on, especially since the casing is often shellaced or glued onto the section and doesn't like to come off. They're usually damaged in the process.

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obscure Writing Instruments - assistance, please!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Z View Post
    The syringe filler (plunger filler is reserved for systems like the ones Sheaffer and Wahl Eversharp used) is inexpensive to produce, but can be a challenge to work on, especially since the casing is often shellaced or glued onto the section and doesn't like to come off. They're usually damaged in the process.
    Thanks, Ron - I knew it was likely the wrong term but I simply couldn't remember "syringe" at the time I was replying. I'm going to edit it now...
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    Default Re: Obscure Writing Instruments - assistance, please!

    I agree that nib is more likely to be plated than gold. As Ron says, the steel is showing through the plating. Not only does it have a tine missing but there is some wear problem with the steel around the hole.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Default Re: Obscure Writing Instruments - assistance, please!

    Thanks, everyone! So after further inspection of the nib, you are all correct that it says "gold plated"...albeit extremely hidden and tucked down at the very bottom. It was etched in very thinly as well, so even with a flashlight, it was difficult to make it out. I also did more digging and found a pen that very closely resembles mine: https://www.ebth.com/items/5421726-v...y-fountain-pen

    The nib and body of that pen all appear to be exactly the same as the one I've got, with the glaring difference being the very different looking clip and cap band(s). This one also seems to have a lot of scratches on the body and overall more wear and tear than mine...but the nib on that pen is at least functional...haha.

    I ordered a heat gun and some section pliers to separate the barrel, and a loupe so things like the "gold plate" do not escape me so easily in the future. This pen will likely be my first attempt at restoration. You can probably tell it's been polished with a pad and Wenol used to remove some of the tarnish on the band and clip. What sort of generic nibs will fit in this pen? Are they interchangeable or how do you know what size/variety is workable?

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    Default Re: Obscure Writing Instruments - assistance, please!

    <sniff!> It's not gold! Welcome to the world of vintage pens.

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    Post Re: Obscure Writing Instruments - assistance, please!

    I will do a trio of non-fountain pens today for the obscure pens of the day. I have a good fountain pen for tomorrow, but I'm cleaning it right now. Perhaps someone can give me some insight as to why information on these are is nearly impossible to find. There are two Sheaffer's Skripriter ballpoint pens, both of which have their original cartridges intact (neither looks like it was ever used at all)...and one (the gold metal pinstripe) that has the original sales tag on it. The only thing I could find related to these was an original ad from the 1950s: https://www.amazon.com/1959-Sheaffer.../dp/B078BP95QJ

    It looks like they were more focused on selling the ink than the pens that are pictured, and I can't find any of these pens anywhere. The third writing instrument is a Parker Liquid Lead "pencil" - it was supposed to be a revolutionary pen that was erasable and that wouldn't leak or run if you got it wet or accidentally washed it. Here's some pictures of all of them together:





    https://scontent-dfw5-2.xx.fbcdn.net...2e&oe=5F883516



    Have an enjoyable rest of the evening, everyone!

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    Default Re: Obscure Writing Instruments - assistance, please!

    First, I'd like to point out that the location of my pictures last night was my desk and that is literally the only place in my house that receives any natural light (I was trying my best, Jon)...and only for a couple hours since my house is situated in between two others and my one window that isn't blocked by house is northern-facing. In other words, not ideal for natural light.

    There are three pens and a pencil which matches one of the pens in my obscurity pile today. The first one is a set with a pencil, neither of which have clips, and while the nib says "Majestic Iridium Tipped," it is hard to tell if it came with the pen or was one of the replacements you guys mentioned I could get for the Viceroy. Another pen is a Sheaffer Junior, which I believe to be an ebonized pearl based on the research I did. The last one is what seems to be a kit pen made out of resin or something like that. the cap snaps on to the top to cover the nib, but then it screws on the back when you post it, so that seems sort of strange. The nib on it is a Dayacom, and it looks pretty nice, but the whole stem seems a bit flimsy. I tried to put a standard international cartridge on it and was unsuccessful in getting the seal to break. This is probably because I'm a novice and have never put a new cartridge in a pen before, so tips for that are appreciated. Without further ado, the photos. Any information you have about any of them is greatly appreciated.

    Pen 1 (with matching pencil) - "Majestic Iridium Tipped" nib, no clips:





    https://scontent-dfw5-1.xx.fbcdn.net...f7&oe=5F899873

    https://scontent-dfw5-2.xx.fbcdn.net...51&oe=5F8B2950

    Pen 2 - Sheaffer Junior, Ebonized Pearl?









    Pen 3 - Dayacom Nib (maybe a resin kit pen?)









    Is posting a roller ball pen off limits? I noticed the ball points and liquid leads were received with crickets and feel they aren't welcome here, so was just checking....haha.

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    Default Re: Obscure Writing Instruments - assistance, please!

    I like the clip on the Sheaffer. The half-ball is such an elegant design. Sheaffers are great pens. Enjoy!

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    Default Re: Obscure Writing Instruments - assistance, please!

    Dayacom is a kit pen from Taiwan I believe.
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    Default Re: Obscure Writing Instruments - assistance, please!

    The pen with the Majestic Iridium nib has very interesting patterns in the celluloid and the band. Third-tier pens often outshine the big names like that. Ebonized pearl is my favorite celluloid for the Balance pens, though the brilliance of the abalone dims when the celluloid ambers.

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    Default Re: Obscure Writing Instruments - assistance, please!

    Quote Originally Posted by FredRydr View Post
    The pen with the Majestic Iridium nib has very interesting patterns in the celluloid and the band. Third-tier pens often outshine the big names like that. Ebonized pearl is my favorite celluloid for the Balance pens, though the brilliance of the abalone dims when the celluloid ambers.
    "I'm w/Fred on the Sheaffer's.........the Ebonized Pearl can be gorgeous albeit most are discolored today. My Carmine and Rose Glow ain't to shabby either. The finishes on some of the Gold Bond, Gold Medal, Diamond Medal, Universal, etc., which are supposedly 2nd tier pens can be outstanding. Clips on these brands are all over the place as well.......... One thing I do like about these manufacturers is the nibs were warranted and occasionally very flexy.
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    Default Re: Obscure Writing Instruments - assistance, please!

    Maybe this will give you an idea of how the ebonized pearl looks before the celluloid ambers. Look closely and you can see the grass strands through the body as well as the alternating clear and black bands that provide the ebony look.

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    Default Re: Obscure Writing Instruments - assistance, please!

    Quote Originally Posted by jar View Post
    Maybe this will give you an idea of how the ebonized pearl looks before the celluloid ambers. Look closely and you can see the grass strands through the body as well as the alternating clear and black bands that provide the ebony look.

    Wow, that's definitely stunning! So I don't suppose there's any way to reverse the ambering? And that's actual abalone in there?

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