07 January 2018

Sailor Double Sided Nib

Double side nibs are not new to this blog. Not so long ago we saw a Vanco pen with a beautiful “duet” nib. On more recent years, several of the Sailor’s “specialty nibs” sported that same feature; that is, the nib points are cut and polished to provide a good writing experience both on the regular and on the inverted (upside down) positions.

Older than the Vanco Duet is the Sailor on display today. Everything on it points out at the 1930s as the production date. The pen is a flat top Japanese eyedropper inspired by the fashion set by the Parker Duofold, as was often the case in Japan at the time. It is made of ebonite and is coated with urushi lacquer.

There is an inscription on the pen body: "Sailor / Fountain Pens / PAT. O. 116315", together with the logo of the company.

The nib –the real protagonist of this story— is made of 14 K gold and is labeled as size 30. This number does not say much –or anything at all— about its actual size. If fact, it is very modest in dimensions: its total length is 23 mm, perfectly comparable to sizes 2 or 1 nibs by Pilot at the time.

The size 30 nib by Sailor.

The beak-shaped point of the lower end of the nib.

Its point is carefully cut. On the lower side –regular writing— the point takes the form of a bird beak with a very thin ending, thus drawing a very fine line. The upper side, on the contrary, is cut as a broad nib. The writing sample shows the final effects of these two points.

Writing sample of the double sided nib by Sailor. The square on the paper is 5x5 mm2.

These are the dimensions of the pen:

Length closed: 135 mm
Length open: 120 mm
Length posted: 168 mm
Diameter: 14.0 mm
Weight (dry): 18.5 g
Ink deposit: 2.4 ml

And these are the dimensions of the nib:

Length: 23.2 mm
Shoulder width: 5.8 mm
Weight: about 0.25 g
Material: 14 K gold

The engraving on the nib reads "14 CRT GOLD / Sailor / REGISTERED / PATENT OFFICE / -30-".

The manufacturing date: 11.4. Probably November of 1934.

The nib is dated on the lower side: 11.4. According to the regular way of dating Sailor pens and nibs, this means that the nib was probably manufactured in November of 1934.

The experimentation with fountain pens in Japan has indeed a long history.

Athena (1950s), lever filler – Pelikan 4001 Royal Blue

Bruno Taut
Nakano, January 5th 2018
labels: Sailor, plumín, Vanco, soluciones técnicas


Saltire Turquoise said...

Starting 2018 with a stunning nib. Amazing find, thanks for sharing this. Following the previous article on the 'Duet' nib, I contacted Pablo of FPNibs who created a nib based on the idea. A very useful and practical nib that offers an eef line, and when flipped over, the reverse side offers a wider, fine to medium line for underlining and headings.

Nikos said...

Happy New Year! Fascinating nib, and really nice to see how far back the specialty nib goes back for Sailor. Thank you very much for yet another great post!

Bruno Taut said...

Thanks to you both for your best wishes for 2018 and for your continuous support. May this 2018 be full of exiting pens for all of us.

Saltire, could you please contact me on my email address katsura.rikyu at gmail dot com?

Specialty nib? Why not! Nobuyoshi Nagahara, though, only joined Sailor as an apprentice in the 1940s... This nib, however, really shows that experimentation with nibs is nothing new in Japan.



Ruurd said...

I would buy such a thing on a pen provided it was not overly expensive.

Bruno Taut said...

Thanks, Ruurd, for passing by and commenting.

Old Sailors are really hard to find. Therefore, prices are never low and the conditions are often... not perfect.


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