Thursday, June 24, 2010

Featured Pen - Sheaffer Snorkel Aussie Style

[You can click on any of the photos to enlarge for more detail]

Back in January I was introduced to the wonderful world of Sheaffer Snorkels by my friend and fellow blogger, Bleubug. I know, I know, I blame him a lot. But no blame is actually being assigned here, it was eye opening.

If you are at all interested in vintage pens, or really any fountain pen, the only way to truly determine if you like them is to use them. Bleubug provided me that opportunity when he brought a portion of his wonderful Sheaffer collection with him on vacation. Prior to that experience, I had not considered the Sheaffers for my collection.

Since that time I have amassed quite a little Sheaffer collection. The original burgundy Statesman which I featured earlier this year; a blue Statesman Snorkel set with a PdAg M4 nib; a burgundy Touchdown with a 14k Triumph nib; a black TM Touchdown with a 14kt open nib; a black open nib Snorkel, a kind of FrankenSnork with a 14kt Australian nib that has been ground to a broad stub on a US Sheaffer; a couple of found pens, Imperial 440 and something that is only identifiable as a Sheaffer becuase it has a white dot and then there is today's pen.

This pen is a Statesman with a Palladium Silver Triumph nib, the pen was manufactured in Australia. Apparently Snorkels were made in the US, the UK and Australia. According to the PenHero website they may have been produced in Australia as late as 1962.

The following pictures show you the medium flexible nib on this pen, it is wonderful to write with.

When a correspondent told me that he had a Sheaffer with a flex nib and he wanted to sell it I jumped. Flex on these pens is not all that common.


bleubug said...

You can't blame me for your love of Sheaffers and Snorkels! I didn't brainwash you. :)

This is a great pen! I've only seen a few Australian Snorks and never one with a nib like this. Sheaffer made Snorks in the UK and Canada as well.

I can tell this is a special nib at a glance. How? There is no "grove" struck into the nib which forms the peaked dividing point between the silver and gold sections of a normal nib. On PdAg nibs they are all silver, of course. The flexible Snorkel nibs I've seen don't have the grove probably because it would weak point during flexing and crack.

Impressive pen! You've made this Snorkel guy jealous. :D

Julie (Okami) said...

No blame, just thanks for the intro. Ooo - I made the Snorkel guys jealous?!?! I'm so proud!

Palimpsest said...

Tempting! So which pen would you recommend as a first fountain pen?

Julie (Okami) said...

If you are talking, I've never owned a fountain pen first fountain pen, I highly recommend a Lamy Safari.

ravensmarch said...

Without any experience of flexible triumphs, and having handled only a single Aussie snorkel, I may be needlessly alarmist in this-- the point on this pen has a funny droop to it, compared to the Statemen (or possibly Statesmans) I'm used to. If it's working, though, one might cry "So what?"

Julie (Okami) said...

Ravensmarch, Not being a Sheaffer expert I can't respond with much knowledge - perhaps Bleubug will chime in here?

bleubug said...

I'll chime. 10 times at 10pm, in fact. I am not much of an expert, however.

A lot of Sheaffer nibs have a gentle upturn at the end. The flexible ones I've seen don't have that. The only flexible triumph nib (a flex stub) I've seen had a rather flat stretch from the back to tip of the nib. Does that mean this one is a wee bit bent? I don't necessarily think so since I find this special order snorkel nibs to be a bit individualistic. If I could inspect the nib I might see indications the bend is not original. Anyway, it's rather easy to fix a slight dip like that.

So, a lot of words for a basically "I don't really know" message.

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