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Quart, or Mass

Posted by Dirck on 25 September, 2012

As Hallowe’en is on the visible horizon, I pause a moment to suggest Quatermass and the Pit; a good sci-fi/horror romp that is, in a small way, an adaptation of Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness.  Since Guillermo del Toro has been put off making his own film of that story, we take our solace where we may.

Look back to the weekend, once again, I mentioned a lucky strike at a garage sale.  This is not an entirely unprecedented event, but the dazzling accomplishments of a friend (which have resulted in my receiving two different eras of Duofold, a lowly but unusual version of the Skyline, and a remarkably well-preserved Crusader).  The sale in question was one which this friend put me onto, so she still takes some of the glory; she mentioned it to be because the notice actually indicated that there were fountain pens.

I’ve mentioned with some frequency the utility of keeping expectations very low, and so while I did creep out of the house at an early hour so as to not miss the quarry, I went with the notion that what I would find would be a small box of rusty steel dip points and possibly a holder.  When I arrived, minutes before opening, I downgraded expectations further as there was a thronging mob, all looking like the cast of a reality TV show with the word “Pickers” in the title.  But, I was there, the doors were opened, and it would cost me nothing to have a look.

As it happens, I probably missed the jewel of the place, pen-wise, as when I found the box the pens lay in, a young woman was examining and in the end made off with a Waterman C/F with the long tail of a desk mount.  It seems that the person behind the sale (who was having it run for them by professional garage/estate sale arrangers) preferred desk pens.  My haul comes to four; a Sheaffer/Fineline dip pen as belongs in one of that company’s “box of ink” sets, a homeless Esterbrook Model W , an apparently ready-to-run Esterbrook SJ in plain black, and a touchdown-filling Imperial/Triumph desk pen with the short “dunce cap” point.  The last would have been the queen of the lot, if not for yet another mutilation of an inlaid point, which is so very corrugated that I’m not sure I can recover it.  However, as it turned out the whole box was priced at $5, there’s useful parts there; the essentially untouched points in the Esterbrooks are each worth more than that, and the rest of it is gravy.

None of this is particularly remarkable, though.  There was also a box of inks, from which I tried to take a single 1950ish bottle of Waterman blue, and was told that the price was for the whole box, and if I wanted the one I had to take the bunch.  $5 more?  Sure.  Two of the Waterman, a modern Quink, a couple of unlabeled and nervous-making reddish items, and some Reeves blue-black.  This last is remarkable, for two reasons.  The first is that Reeves is a Canadian company I remember best for making oil pastels I regularly destroyed as a child in unthinking opposition to my mother’s artistic efforts, and which if it still exists apparently specializes in finger-printing ink (Google offers little encouragement).  The second reason is a matter of volume–

A lifetime supply… if I live a LOT longer than most people.

No, there’s nothing there for scale, so it’s not so impressive as it is in person.  It is, though, an honest to goodness institutional size of ink, as schools and banks used to purchase.  It hasn’t been stored with any care, though, and some of its components have separated… so I’m a little hesitant to use it.  Never the less, I’m pleased for no sensible reason to have such a vast bottle of ink.

At very least, it will help to keep the house from blowing away.

Today’s pen: Holland Fount-Filler
Today’s ink: Wancher Asuka

5 Responses to “Quart, or Mass”

  1. Nice haul! I have yet to find anything at a garage sale other than a broken-down Estie and most of a Paul Wirt eyedropper. Have you tried the ink yet?

    • I gave the ink a dip test with a No Nonsense calligraphy point, and it’s… about what I expected. Kinda pale blue, that slowly amends to a kinda watery grey, very like the vintage Waterman blue-black I’ve already tried. It was, no doubt, a wonderful stuff in its time. I’ve decanted a bit into a 37.5ml Pelikan bottle for future application.

  2. […] on a desk near me, and unbending the tines of an Imperial desk pen that I got at the same time as that enormous jug of ink) before the effort of holding a pen up near my face became more than I could […]

  3. […] Back in September, I mentioned that I had got into my clutches, and I’ll quote from that previous entry, “a touchdown-filling Imperial/Triumph desk pen with the short ‘dunce cap’ point” which had a horrifying deformity of its tines.  Since then, it has been something of a pen-repair doodle pad for me; worked upon in what would otherwise be idle minutes at the bench, while something whose completion was more pressing got sufficiently wet, dry, warm or cool to carry on to the next step.  In the course of this pursuit, I learned a few new lessons and got a few refreshers on the contrary nature of threaded components, the adhesive qualities of ink, and the capacity of the words “metal fatigue” to induce a palsy of terror.  However, yesterday I declared the exercise at an end, with the final threading together and test-filling.  Here’s the patient, prancing down the front steps of the clinic: […]

  4. […] and it is also a Sheaffer.  A year ago last September, I got an Imperial-style fountain pen, which I commented upon at the time as being “so very corrugated that I’m not sure I can recover it.”  Well, after some […]

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