Wednesday, 26 September 2012

1990's Montblanc Meisterstuck Pens

The very first Montblanc Meisterstuck 146 fountain pens were produced in gloss black and striated patterns of celluloid, just after W.W.II in 1948. During the 1980's there was a revival of the fountain pen. Many manufacturers took advantage at this time to re-produce fountain pens from a bygone era. Parker Duofold Centennial and the Waterman Man 100 were classic examples of this trend. Montblanc had the advantage of ageless design from its Masterpiece range of 142, 144 and 146 models dating back to 1948.

Montblanc Meisterstuck 146 Fountain pen - 1990's
Montblanc were one of the first pen manufacturers to replace celluloid with thermo plastics (Precious Resin), as material of choice. In the early 1950's, and with the addition of a new model, the  149, Meisterstuck 140 series consisted of 142, 144, 146 and 149. All fountain pens being piston filling.

Montblanc Meisterstuck
A late entry to the Meisterstuck 140 series came in 1994 with the introduction of a cartridge filling fountain pen, Montblanc Meisterstuck 147 Traveller. Its general appearance and size are identical to that of Meisterstuck 146. The 147 utilizes an ingenious cartridge carrier system which unscrews from rear of pen body, revealing two standard Montblanc cartridges mounted back to back.

Montblanc Meisterstuck
The Montblanc Meisterstuck 147 is the ideal fountain pen for individuals who frequently travel. No need to carry an ink bottle around, if you run out of ink it's simply a matter of changing over cartridges. That is of course, if you remembered to replace the empty ink cartridge the last time you ran out. Montblanc supplied the 147 with a bespoke leather travel case, which had pockets to hold up to four additional ink cartridges.

Montblanc Meisterstuck
One of the benefits of the more traditional Montblanc piston filling fountain pens, is that frequent writers could utilise the pen's large barrel capacity to charge with ink, the equivalent of many small cartridges. By holding the pen horizontally, writers could always check remaining ink level through transparent ink view window.

Montblanc 147 showing ink cartridge carrier
Purchasing a new Montblanc Meisterstuck 146 or 147 today, will invariably cost a great deal of money, such is the quality of manufacture and  prestige of owning a Meisterstuck. Please be aware that fakes are widely available. Always purchase new Montblanc fountain pens from a reputable dealer.

Hepworth Dixon primarily service, restore and sell vintage fountain pens pre 1970, many of which are Montblanc. We also collect used, post 1970 classic Montblanc's. These we sell having first been verified as genuine product. All are fully serviced and any repair work meticulously carried out.

Gold two tone nib used on both
Montblanc 146 and 147 fountain pens

Visit our classic fountain pens for sale page:- to view in detail Montblanc Meisterstuck 146 and 147 fountain pens.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Classic Parker Fountain Pens. England 1950's

The Parker plant in Newhaven, England produced it's first Parker pen, the 'Victory' back in 1945 (prior to acquisition, the factory had been owned by 'The Valentine Pen Company'). For sixty five years, a wide and diverse range of models were produced. However, in 2010, Parker production ceased in the U.K., with all operations moved to Nantes in France. The Newhaven factory will be remembered for producing quality fountain pens, some of which attained iconic status.

In England during the early 1950's, Parker Newhaven was producing Parker Duofold and Parker 51 fountain pens. Fully restored and ready to write, Hepworth Dixon are currently offering two fine examples of these models for sale;  Parker 51 Aerometric with Lustraloy cap and Parker Duofold AF with gold filled trim, both pens in classic gloss black.

Top: Parker Duofold AF. Bottom: Parker 51 Aerometric

Parker 51 Hooded Nib and Section 
Parker 51 Aerometric

Parker had first introduced the '51' in the U.S with a 'Vacumatic' filling system in 1943. By 1947 they were being produced in Newhaven. In 1949, the first pen's with a brand new filling system, known as 'Aerometric' were introduced, a pressure bar acting on a 'Pli-Glass' sack, which was in turn was housed in a cylindrical stainless steel protective casing.

The '51' had a push-on, pull-off cap, secured by a superior clutch mechanism. A wide range of caps in different metals and patterns were available. Colours included; Black, Navy Blue, Grey, Burgundy, Teal, Forest Green, Cocoa and Plum. There was also an all metal version called 'Flighter' with 'Lustraloy' cap and barrel. Perhaps the most recognisable feature of the Parker 51 was it's hooded nib. It is interesting to note, that the design of '51' nib system with high capacity secondary ink collector was developed to enable the use of super-fast drying inks.

Parker 51 in Black with 'Lustraloy' Cap
Parker 51 'Aerometic' Filling System

Parker Duofold AF

The first fountain pens carrying the 'Duofold' name were introduced in 1921, these were large button fillers with distinctive flat tops, made in the U.S.A. Newhaven started producing a more rounded style  Duofold in 1946. Still a button filler with colour matching jewels to both cap and barrel. This new style Duofold was not unsurprisingly given the suffix 'NS' (New Style).

Parker Duofold AF - England 1948 to 1953
Parker Duofold AF Button Filler

In 1948 the Duofold was again re-styled. The barrel tassie ring and jewel were removed and a new style Aluminium push button filler adopted, now known as Duofold AF (Aluminium Filler).

Both pens shown are available for sale fully restored and ready to write. Visit for more details.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Parker Duofold Lucky Curve - 1920's

Hepworth Dixon are always on the look out for quality vintage fountain pens worthy of restoration. Recently we came across a very drab looking Parker Duofold Jr. Lucky Curve button filler from the 1920's. It soon became obvious that over the past 90 years, this pen had seen very little use. No sign of sulphurisation to black hard rubber, edges of flat top and bottom milled caps crisp with a strong barrel imprint.

Parker Duofold Jr. Lucky Curve - early 1920's

Anyone who is familiar with the 'lucky curve' ink feed system  would be aware of the correct method of nib and feed removal. A previous amateurish attempt at replacing ink sac had resulted in damage to the section. By attempting to pull feeder out from front of section, ink sack connection lip was split in three places. Thankfully the 'Christmas tree' feed was undamaged. The name Lucky Curve actually comes from the patented curved design of feeder. A curved end to the feed is in contact with the inside of ink sack. Capillary action drains excess ink out of feed when not in use.  

There was nothing for it, but to manufacture a new section from old stock 1920's vulcanite bar (BHR) which we obtained some years ago from a chateaux clearance in France. Many hours of intricate lathe work later, a perfect replica section emerged. We were also able to salvage and restore the original three piece pressure bar.

As can be seen from images the gold plating has stood up well to the test of time. The very early Duofold Junior pens c.1922 were produced without a cap band. In 1923 an optional girdle (cap band) was offered, these were made in either 14k solid gold or 12k gold filled. These first gold girdles were retro fitted and didn't fit flush to barrel surface, being slightly proud. We can date this particular Duofold to c.1923 as it has the raised gold band.

Although chalk filled for the purpose of photography, the barrel imprint on this pen is very clear, as can be seen in image.

This fully restored and ready to use Parker Duofold Jr. Lucky Curve fountain pen from the 1920's is now available to purchase from Hepworth Dixon. For full details and further images, please visit our website.