What's up at Ravens March.

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The Non-Yellow Admiral

Posted by Dirck on 16 August, 2012

An author I frequently turn to, Patrick O’Brian, explains admirals of various colours in the hierarchy of the Royal Navy in the early 19th century.  In addition to the red, white and blue admirals, there is a yellow admiral, an unhappy fellow whose promotion to the top rank is obligatory, but to whom is no squadron is given to command.  A very sad fellow, according to O’Brian, for there he sits on the shore, pining for the chance to order ships into danger.

I wonder what he’d have made of a green Admiral?

Yesterday I got yet another conundrum-bearing Sheaffer into my hands, although less replete with them than the one I’m using today; a nice Admiral from the Balance line.  As I’ve yet to take a picture of it, I can for the moment offer only this picture of the model…

…but you’ll have to imagine that it is this colour:

It’s actually my first Balance Admiral, as my previous contact with the model has been through the property of clients.  The conundrum aspect of the thing lies in the fact that the body is imperfect; it’s something that will never quite be right again, and I’m almost completely indifferent to it; in fact, I’m somewhat pleased.

The imperfection is a flat spot on barrel, where someone has effaced a personalization.  Some time ago, I mentioned that some people are very distressed by seeing a name on the side of a pen, and it seems a previous owner of this one was either a thief of mid-range pens or this sort of objector.  The work has been done relatively well, though, so apart from being flat, the damage is hardly visible, and it’s really more of a tactile issue.  This lack of influence on the looks and function of the pen is the foundation of my indifference.

The happiness is twofold.  The person selling it was honest about the state of the barrel, and so there was not that momentary mood-plummet that frequently comes along with spotting an unexpected blemish on a newly-gotten pen.  This honesty also brings about the other head of happiness, as the admitted deficiency led the honest fellow to attach a quite low price to the thing.  Leaving aside for the moment my labour and the cost of a new sac (it’s a lever filler), I got a jolly nice pen for under $15.  That includes shipping, in case you were not quite (marine) green (striated) with envy.

Between the price and the blemish, I get a gift of some freedom of action; a more expensive, intact example might incline me to leave it at home.  Not so this fellow.  Whatever the RN’s take on a green admiral, I can assure you that this one is not going to languish ashore; once the refit is complete, it’s away on my oceans of ink to fire off some broadsides.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer S Range (say, don’t British submarines have an “S” in their numbers?)
Today’s ink: Skrip King’s Gold (which is even better than the King’s shilling)

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One Response to “The Non-Yellow Admiral”

  1. […] overexplained example: Sheaffer Admiral Balance (the very same Green Admiral mentioned last week) Today’s ink, not being splashed about for a week and a half on Jules et […]

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