What's up at Ravens March.

Vintage pens-Handmade books-Silly statements

…Lizzie Borden.

Posted by Dirck on 12 July, 2012

How can I resist closing yesterday’s ellipsis?  The title, though, has some basis, although less red-handed than the purportedly-patricidal lass.

I will first, though, briefly return to yesterday’s entry.  Mice, prior to the invention of the germ theory of disease transmission, were seen in many cultures as at very least an indicator of prosperity; after all, if you’ve got enough food lying about to keep mice on, you’re doing rather well in the view of most of humanity through most of history.  Mice, or their larger cousins, are seen in Japanese myth as the messengers of the Fukujin and are often depicted in conjunction with the odd wish-producing mallet of Daikoku (it’s hard not to picture him saying, “Just close your eyes, and your wish shall be granted” in one of Mel Blanc’s voices).  I may, therefore, be forgiven in associating the handling of a pair of mice– the gentle, humane handling– with a couple of items of good fortune which came my way.  Post hoc ergo propter hoc may be a logical fallacy, but it’s extremely persuasive.

The mail, rather than a possibly comic mallet, brought my good fortune to me.  Two packages, whose contents were to some degree expected, but exceeding the expectations in so many ways, and both entirely free of the lackadaisical want of care that so many of my deliveries experience.  The less impressive is a Peter Pan fountain pen; it is less impressive, though, because it exceeds expectation in the direction of how very very very small it is.  I thought I had handled small pens before, having had contact with pens revelling in the names Dinkie and Bantam.  The Peter Pan, though… man, that is small! That it was in a mostly intact original box and came with its original glass filling dropper compounded the joy.

The other item was one of those online auction flutters that so often ends in disappointment.  The pictures were not terrible, which is unusual for this sort of gamble-purchase, but what they showed was an unremarkable black rubber pen with a point that almost certainly had long since shed its tipping.  There were a couple of things in the pictures and descriptions that made me think is was of more interest than a mere semi-anonymous cheap pen from the early part of the last century.  Unwrapping it from the gratifying mountains of padding, I found that not only was it in much better shape than one finds many black rubber pens in, but my suspicions about the nature of the item were entirely justified.

The pictures showed a lever-filler, close to… but it was oddly far down the barrel.  Inspection proved the reason for this was because it wasn’t a lever-filler at all, but… a hatchet filler, bearing the “Fount-Filler” impression of the John Holland company.  Not the sort if item one is going to deliver a set of death blows with, unless one is H.L. Mencken, but as I had no example of the system yet, to have one on hand in such good shape was happiness indeed.  There is even still tipping on the point.

“How about some pictures?”  I must disappoint.  Apart from picture-taking being a weekend, while the son sleeps, activity, there is the perilous weather.  It’s darned hot here just now.  Not quite the killing heat that the US has been having, but hot enough for discomfort.  While old hard black rubber is mostly indifferent if not welcoming to human skin oils, I’m disinclined to handle the pen much with hands quite so sweaty as mine are.  Not only does warm fluid in volume tend to discolour black hard rubber, the sweat also serves to lubricate the finger/pen interface to the point that I fear the outright destruction.  When conditions allow, there will be pictures, but I don’t want to associate this particular hatchet with a tragic dismemberment.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Valiant
Today’s ink: Herbin’s Lis de Thé


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