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Writing instruments on this page are part of my personal collection and are not for sale.Parker, Post Janesville
At some point along the way, I acquired a narrow-band Sonnet Flighter (with chrome furniture) that was made in the first quarter of 1998. I consider the Sonnet one of the landmark pens of the 20th century; it sometimes takes a little setting-up, but once it’s right it’s like the Energizer Bunny. My pen, 53∕16" capped and 513∕16" posted, originally carried an unplated steel nib; but I’ve replaced that nib with a broad 18K nib that’s nice and wet. Is it “correct”? Nope. Do I care? Nope. This pen also appears among my collection of Flighters.
I keep saying that I don’t collect foreign pens, but — as with the Pelikan 100 — there is something so magical about the bulletlike, smoothly streamlined Aurora 88 that I had to have one. This is a 1947 model designed by the noted Italian architect and designer Marcello Nizzoli. It is 53∕8" capped and 57∕8" posted, a size that puts it in the same general class as the magnificent Parker ”51”. And, like its size, its superb design puts it into that class. The 88 is not a European “51”; but Aurora of Torino, which lays claim to having produced the first truly Italian fountain pen in 1919, designed and built a close competitor for the “51” and a remarkably desirable pen in its own right. The 88’s richly finned feed, as capacious as a modern collector-style feed, produces a very reliable flow through its delicious flexible nib, and the traditional European piston filler gives the pen a very large capacity. The cap slips smoothly on and off despite its lack of a Parker-style spring clutch, and once in place it stays there.
Paul Rossi is one of today’s foremost custom pen makers. This Rossi pen honors the heroes of Britain’s Royal Air Force who won the Battle of Britain in 1940. The aircraft silhouetted on the sterling silver clip is a Hawker Hurricane. Not as famous as the Supermarine Spitfire, the Hurricane nonetheless deserves high honors; Hurricanes shot down more German planes than Spitfires did. This pen is 51∕2" capped and 611∕32" posted. It pushes my buttons in so many ways: it's World War II, it has Bexley guts, it’s a Paul Rossi, and it was a gift from a client who commissioned it especially for me.