I’ve been keeping an eye on eBay for more fountain pens recently, and picked up a few bargains (to a greater or lesser extent).
First up is what was described as “Parker fountain pen”. With the help from my trusty friend and fount of all pen-related knowledge Robbo, I determined this was a Parker IM Premium in Chiselled Deep Gunmental.
I paid rather over the odds for what is a very modern pen that is still available new, ending up paying £22.99 including postage for a pen that I’m really not that fussed about and which can be bought new for between £22 and £48 (depending on seller).
The chiselled gunmetal is pleasing enough, although is a little gloss for my tastes. The section has a nice brushed steel effect, but the nib shape and section both remind me of Chinese pens like Baoer. This is hardly surprising really as from 2010 onwards, Parker moved all operations to France and China, and this model is one that was wholly manufactured in China.
There was some initial confusion over whether this pen was genuine or not, as the pictures on the Parker website show a more flared nib and a shorter end to the cap. Likewise penheaven.
However, after some research it’s starting to look like there are two versions of the pen. Or perhaps the IM and IM Premium differ, because the picture on parkerpens.net is consistent with mine, as are the ones on the Staples and Amazon websites. Likewise a google shopping search for “parker im premium gunmetal fountain pen” yields a product photo consistent with this pen. Finally, the pen shown on the Selfridges website is also consistent with this one, as is John Lewis.
So, on balance of probabilities, this looks genuine.
The next purchase was described as “Parker mismatch fountain pen and ballpoint set” which I won for an altogether more reasonable £13.95 inc postage.
The ballpoint is a Parker 45, and is pretty much identical to one I already own. This one is marked “T” which is 4th quarter 1995, whilst my existing one is marked “IN” which makes it 3rd quarter 1989.
The fountain pen turns out to be a Parker 15 (thanks Robbo). It’s a nice little school pen, which seems to be well made and writes really well with a smooth even flow and no scratching. I really like it. It’s marked “IIP” which would make it 2nd quarter 1997.
At £10, I consider that a lovely little pen with a free 45 ballpoint and box. Shame about the “FG” engraved onto it though.
It’s funny how Parker always seemed to make their cheap pens extremely well, yet their more expensive ones were often not so commensurate with the price.
The next purchase as a lot described as “Vintage collection mixed brands used pens / spares lot” which I won for £12.90 including postage.
The pen at the bottom of the picture looked like a Parker 51 but I knew that at this price it was very unlikely to be one, and so it proved to be. It’s a Hero 616 which is a cheap Chinese copy of the Parker 51, and I already own one. The existing one cost me 96 pence and worth around that too.
The pen 2nd from bottom looks pretty unremarkable. The only clue to its origin is “Iridium Point Germany” on the nib. The barrel has wear on it, and the cap doesn’t stay on.
The pen at the top of the pic is a Platignum pencil of some sort.
Next down is a nondescript Platignum cartridge pen
Finally, the one in the middle is the only one that is any way interesting. It is marked “Platignum Bijou” and is a very short delicate little pen with a lever filler. I haven’t tested it yet.
So, really, I think I paid £12.90 for a Platignum Bijou and got some other stuff thrown in for free.
Next, I landed an absolute bargain on a Mabie Todd “Fyne Poynt” mechanical pencil in a similar style to my Mabie Todd “Swan” fountain pen.
Unlike my “Swan”, however, this pen is not hallmarked so there is no way to identify its age.
It’s in pretty good condition with no dents, although there are a few minor nicks and scratches on it. But of more concern is the fact that the cap is jammed, and also rotates indefinitely. So I think we will have to call this one non-working. But that’s fyne as I didn’t intend to use it anyway; I just wanted it as a companion to the “Swan”.
And, finally, an item I have just won but has not yet arrived. It’s a 1997 Parker Frontier in translucent purple, with original box. I didn’t even particularly want it, since I already have a Frontier, so put in a low bid of £5 max (+£2.90 postage) and won it for just under that at £4.70
Amusingly the seller had described it as a “Parker Frontier IP”, not realising that IP simply means it was made in the 3rd quarter of 1997.