|The Pen That Started it All- a Parker Parkette|
|Some Parkettes come with 14K gold nibs that rival some of the finest produced by the competition, such as Sheaffer.|
Common pricing- up to $50, depends on condition, color and whether the pen has been repaired.
|A Family of Esterbrook Js: T to B- Long J (LJ) in root beer colored icicle pattern, J in grey, J in green, Transitional J in black, Transitional J is red, Short J (SJ) in blue and SJ in copper.|
Like the Parkette, Esterbrooks are all lever fillers making repair easy. The furniture is stainless steel and very resistant to wear and brassing. The pens themselves are made out of many different colors of celluloid- some of the most common colors are shown above excluding the pinstriped 'icicle' pattern, which much harder to find. As you might have noticed, the J family includes several different models. Introduced sometime around 1943 the Transitional model was the first, marking Esterbrook's transition from their earlier Dollar Pen to the J. Transitional Js can be distinguished by their flat barrel ends, unmarked clips and the three ribbed jewel on top of the cap. The standard J model came into being in 1948 and it features a jewel on the cap and a second on the end of the barrel. These usually, but not always have a clip that is marked 'Esterbrook' and a lever with a rounded spoon shaped end. Sometimes pens do come up featuring pieces usually associated with the earlier Transitional models, yet it nothing to worry about since it seems Esterbrook simply used up any remaining stock of old parts instead of throwing them out.
Js came in three different sizes, the standard model, the Short J and the Long J respectively know as SJs or LJs. The standard and SJ seem to be the most commonly encountered when shopping for pens in the wild. The SJ is slightly shorter and thinner than the standard model, while the LJ is longer than the standard it shares the same girth as the SJ- confusing right? Some other pen people have attempted to come up with methods of determining between the three visually, but I find these methods largely useless especially if you are new to pens. The best way of becoming familiar with the different sizes is by simply handling the pens- something that will come with time and experience. And to make things just a little more complicated there is a lady's J model that is shorter than the SJ, but these are easily distinguishable by color- they only came in flat pastel shades and are not as common as other J models. There are many other variations that can crop up from time to time but I'm going to leave all of these out for sake of simplicity.
Common pricing- up to $60- dependent on condition, color, model and restoration status. (I usually seem to be able to find Js in the wild for between $4.00 to $20.00 USD).
|Re-New Points removed from pens|
Common pricing ranges from $20.00 upwards to $200.00 depending on model, color and condition.
|Parker Challenger Deluxe slim model, black with green/grey pearl flecks.|
|Clear Sheaffer School Pen|
Price can range from $20.00 up to $100.00 depending on condition, color and restoration status.
Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post there is a lot of information that needs to be taken into consideration when purchasing your first vintage fountain pen and it can sometimes be overwhelming. Doing your research before hand can save considerable grief and disappointment and remember when just starting out you do not need to know everything. Knowledge is something that will be gained with time and experience just like anything else.
Please feel free to ask questions or comment. Changes are I might have answer or know someone who does.