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Auspicious Portents

Posted by Dirck on 23 January, 2012

A very merry new year to the followers of the Chinese lunar calendar!  I hate to set myself up for a fall by raising expectations, but the Water Dragon appears to be set to bring good things.  Check out what’s newly arrived to my house:

“Only skin deep,” remember

Ee-yuck!  Look beyond the surface squalor, though, and what you will be looking upon is a later example of Waterman’s coveted Hundred Year Pen.  Those who have looked at the Wish List tab at the top of the page will already know that I covet one… and to be honest, I still do, as there is a serious distinction between this and the initial lucite models.  Still, I’m extremely happy to have laid my hands on this example.  This is the first of an eventual “Before/After” series which will appear either here or on my main site; I am, for a change, going to document the work on a pen.

 
Now, if that were all I’d gotten, you would be entirely right in thinking I was really overdoing the search for indicators of prosperity.  There’s more, although it’s also not instantly useful.  Observe:

Hmmm, that's nice.

This was a sort of stupid charity purchase.  I was concerned that some gold speculator might grab it , as it was at a very good price.  This is a fat-bodied early TD pen, which means I have no base for it to rest in, so once I’ve replaced the sac it will be laid up for a while, but it will be laid up safely.  Even without making allowance for this deferred gratification, though, this and the previous might still not be sufficient to stand for astonishing signs of the year to come.  Fair enough… but you don’t know what came with this desk pen.  There were a bunch of dip points included, and one of them was, as the Sesame Street song has it, not like the others.

We’re gonna need a bigger boat… er, pen holder.

I overdo the size on this picture to make this item as impressive in flat presentation as it is in real life.  It is not mere size not the fact of being made of gold that makes this dip pen a wonder, but that impression.  “Mabie, Smith & Co.” was a previous version of the slowly developing entity which would enter the 20th century as Mabie, Todd & Co., and if my thus-far slightly under-pursued efforts at research are right, that version ceased to exist about 1872, which makes this little gem not less than 140 years old.  I post this publicly in hope of informative contradiction, of course, but until that appears I will revel in the prospect of a functional writing instrument of that age.

Longevity and prosperity go hand in hand, and as this new year begins I find I am handed two pens designed to last a hundred years and more.  I think I will, cautiously, look forward to what the rest of the year might have to offer.  If prosperity beckons, I will grasp it with both hands.

Today’s pen (chosen to remind me of the virtue in humble things):  Sheaffer No Nonsense
Today’s ink (chosen to celebrate the day in style): Noodler’s La Couleur Royale 

One Response to “Auspicious Portents”

  1. […] of the internet; a desk base to fit my early Touchdown pen.  This pen is the one I mentioned on 23 January as having been bought not for immediate use but merely to preserve it from those demented with […]

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