Wednesday, March 9, 2011

my first vintage fountain pen

Esterbrook SJ fountain pen in a lovely red. my first vintage pen.
noting the "jewel" on the bottom and top of the pen, this kind would have been made after 1948. it also has an ® engraved on the barrel so i'm guessing this one would be from sometime in the 1950s.

being first accustomed to the brand new nibs of new pens, this nib initially felt scratchy to me and seems to always catch on paper. but, it had grown on me since and this is one that i regularly use now.

the nib had some scuffmarks on the backside but it still writes well.

Estie. got it. love it. want more.
if you have one to offer, preferably in green, blue or copper, please leave me a message. But of course you can leave me any other message, too. I love comments :-)


  1. Truly a thing of beauty.

    Years ago I picked up an Esterbrook myself. It had similar problems, but I didn't get it fixed ... a road not taken. Collecting these instead of typewriters would have done wonders for my space problems.

  2. It's not too late, Richard :-)

    Beautiful Esterbrook, Au! I just tried out my first lever filler over the weekend and I have grown quite attached to it. The vintage pens have so much character and the nibs are lovely and soft; a joy to use. I haven't spied any inexpensive Esterbrooks yet, but I'll keep an eye out; I really like the finish on yours.

    What mix did you use for your dark burgundy? I'm a big fan of that shade and I have at least ten variations on it at the moment!

  3. hey Richard! yeah, you might want to pick that up again. no space problem BUT just as addictive!

    hi Adwoa, now i have to find all those Estie colors :-D it's now one of my favorite pens too. i'd love a heads up if you find an inexpensive estie! thanks bunches!

    as for the burgundy ink, i mixed 8ml Lamy Red with 1.5ml Quink black. It got to 8ml because it was too dark at first so i had to add red again. But if you like reds, I have to recommend J. Herbin 1670 ink! such a nice saturated red... something like a blood red with just some specks of gold. If you like it a bit darker, maybe add just a few drops of black. have fun mixing! :-D

  4. That's a very simple mix; I like the sound of it! I just wanted to file the information away for future reference; not sure if I'll get into ink mixing soon as I have way too many inks! I'm afraid to count, but I have a good feeling I have officially hit 50...

    And yes, I do have J. Herbin 1670. I actually bought two bottles because it was a "limited edition", and now... I'm not sure. It looks very very red on the page, a little too painful to look at for me! So bright it's almost orange. And the specks of gold are not so easy to see. But I filled one pen with it and put it in the rotation every once in a while; at this rate I have enough to last me for decades!

  5. I have two blue Esteys. I really do love them, especially with the accounting nib. I picked up some spare nibs on Ebay. I tend to use Noodlers in them. They're probably my favorite pens because they're just a good basic fountain pen, nothing fancy.

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