This past Saturday, I went to Bertram’s Inkwell to pick up the pen I won from Pensplaining with Corinne. While there, Adam mentioned that they had a bunch of secondhand pens. So, pen fiend that I am, I asked to see them.
Out came three big zip cases of vintage pens. I went through the cases, but I don’t typically love the look of vintage pens. They aren’t as pretty as modern pens, in my opinion. But, in the third case, there were a bunch of vintage Pelikans. Among those was a red and black pen. I love red and black, so I pulled it out.
Unfortunately, the nib was looking a bit rough. Out of curiosity, I took at look at each of the other Pelikans. Most of them were stubs or broad, which I know I don’t like writing with. But, this one was intriguing.
The nib was obviously bouncy, so I asked to dip in, and Bert was nice enough to allow me to dip it in ink. I don’t have the writing test from the shop, but here’s basically what I did.
With that writing sample, I couldn’t leave the pen behind. There’s more to the story at the store, but to keep this from getting too long, I’ll just say I bought the Pelikan.
I started with a basic Google search for “small vintage Pelikan fountain pen”. It took clicking through several sites, but I eventually stumbled across Pelikan Guide.
I clicked on the first “black caps” option, not realizing that there was more than one. But it worked out for me, because I hit the research jackpot. The first image was my pen. And I what I found amazed me!
I’d purchased a Pelikan 100 in Black/Jade Green from 1929-1930. I had picked up what was now the oldest pen in my collection. But, one site wasn’t enough to end my research. So I searched for “Pelikan 100 black jade green” and got a lot of results.
I can’t actually find my info on whether the green version really did come first, but it’s clear I have the first model Pelikan ever made. And that’s pretty freakin’ cool.
I continued my research, mainly to try to determine if I had the jade or marbled green version, and found that this pen is apparently rather rare. I’d like to think this is my cosmic recompense for stupidly giving up a super-rare mini Conklin Nozac from the 30s (I think) last year.
I also determined that the ink window on my pen is normal. In every image I found where you could see the ink window, it was equally dark. Which seems odd to me, as what’s the point of an ink window you can’t really see the ink through?
But, I’m hardly going to complain at this amazing find. It’s super cool to have this piece of history. So, pen identified, I’ll leave you here, with some pen porn and writing samples.
Click on any image to view it even larger.
I get it, sometimes you don’t want to read the full story, so here are the sites I mentioned in the narrative above: