Thursday, November 05, 2009

Candy Score

At the risk of being called a skite, look what I just scored…it’s like eye-candy from yesteryear.

Conway Stewart No 15FP and Nippy No 3 mechanical pencil
During the current tough economic times I have been amazed at how the prices of local auctions for vintage fountain pens and pencils have held up, and even increased. A luxury asset increasing in value during recession? Still, everything comes to he who waits. I’ve refused to buy into the current price scenario and lost auction after auction for over a year, and then just last week, somehow the other bidders were absent, and for the price of a home delivery pizza I got this. Beautiful.

I have previously blogged about these two writing instruments – the Conway Stewart No 15 fountain pen and Nippy No 3 propelling pencil, in green marble with black veins. In the past I’ve paid nearly three times as much for these sets. Even better, unlike most sets, this latest one is in fantastic condition. It’s probably forty or fifty years old and it might not be NOS, but it’s so close you really do need a magnifying glass to find any blemishes. The tip of the fountain pen nib shows no sign of any wear under examination with a 10X magnifier.

Bright and shiny gold fittings - there’s no brass here.
Nippy No 3 propelling pencil
Lustrous marble. True depth of colour. Talk about the cat’s pyjamas, the bee’s knees.

Recently I posted about the Pentel P205M Limited Edition marble pencil. No contest.
Nippy No 3 and Pentel P205M
I include this closing note because spell check didn’t like that word up at the beginning. I had no idea it was Australasian only.

From the Oxford Dictionary website

/skit/ informal
• verb 1 Austral./NZ boast. 2 Scottish & dialect move or glance off quickly and forcefully.
• noun Austral./NZ 1 a boaster. 2 boasting or boastfulness.
— ORIGIN perhaps from Old Norse


Julia said...

Ah, I was going to ask you what a skite was! Thank you for the education; I love learning new slang.

Those are some beautiful instruments. Are they for use or display?

che pablo said...

They are beautiful and the self-propelled pencil is quite elegant—nice lines, nice clip. I think the depth of color comes out because
1) because the section of acrylic is long enough to highlight the marbling. Often the section is too small to appreciate the effect.
2) The black "frames" the marbling nicely and brings out the black.

As for the backlash in the mechanism, it can't be helped. I just turned a 1.18 pencil on the lathe and decided to rip apart a mechanism to see how it worked. The lead is held in a brass tube that has a U-shaped notch on the side. This U-shaped notch rotates down a spring to advance the lead. There are two difficulties with the mechanism. One is that the U will slowly wear generating more play. The second more pernicious effect is that you have to push on the lead to insert it and if you push just a little too hard then you bend the U and you have lots of slop. To fix the slop, you need to disassemble the mechanism and squeeze the U back together but that is impossible or impractical in most pencils. So, be gentle.

Congratulations on the win.

Kiwi-d said...

Hi Julia, well thats the thing. I didn't know skite was slang. I thought it was a real word.

Che Pablo - thanks for the comment and thoughts. I agree the black veins help accentuate things. i wonder though if old acrylics aren't just better? Maybe the method of making the resin has changed over the years, and not for the better? maybe I'm just biased and seeing things :-)

Kiwi-d said...

JUulia - forgot to say - this set is in sucj great condition its display only, but I do sometimes use another old Nippy pencil. Not really an FP guy though.

Henrik said...

Nice, nice, nice… Love your backgrounds! I love my Nippy nr. 3 too.
Congratulations Dave.
They do look good in green.
Regards Henrik

Germ said...

not my cup of tea. :(

Kiwi-d said...

Hi Henrik, well I thought there should a variety of eye-candy, especially for fussy people like Germ.

Unknown said...

Had a freudian moment there and thought it read "no bra's" instead of "brass".

Lovely set.