Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Painted Parker part

I was digging deep into the parts bins this afternoon, and ran across a cap I've had for at least fifteen years. It's a lined black cap from Parker's economy line of the 1920s, dressed up with swirled marbling of the sort commonly used in times past to decorate endpapers in fancy bookbindings. Back when I got it, few collectors were paying much attention to painted pens. Interest and knowledge has grown since then, yet very few examples of this type of painted decoration have turned up.

Although entirely different in appearance and effect than the hand-painted geometric patterns most commonly seen on Hollands, Sheaffers, and Conklins, this swirled decoration was surely aiming at the same result: to increase the saleability of pens that were beginning to seem a bit dull and old-fashioned next to newer models in colored celluloids.

NOTE: The cap is as likely to be black celluloid as hard rubber. The paint is probably oil paint. A site that discusses the various ways this technique can be implemented can be found here.


colin tatum said...

i am surprised the paint bonds well to the hard rubber. do you know what type of paint they used. are there any stock problems for painted pens, like chipping?

David said...

I suspect it was oil paint, which can be very tenacious on many different surfaces. I've added a link to a site which provides info on the techniques possible.

The cap isn't necessarily hard rubber. Parker made a lot of these economy-line black pens in celluloid.

Jon Veley said...

My first thought was Eagle, though their swirly paint was over wood or brass.