[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [Rollei] OT: WAS: if you can't beat 'em . . .NOW, value of vintage Parker 51s

The good news is that this set is very usable--that's why the 
"aerometric" (i.e.) squeeze filling) Parker 51s were AFAIK  the most 
popular fountain pens ever made. The "repeater" type pencil (where 
the lead is advanced by pushing, rather than twisting the cap) is 
also very reliable. The pens are nearly indestructible--the PVC ink 
sacs were IIRC designed to last 30 years, but I've never actually 
seen one that was worn out. Parker 51s, with their stiff hooded nibs, 
are also probably the easiest fountain pens with which to write for 
someone used to ballpoints.

The only bad news is that they're rather common and therefore not 
worth a great deal--perhaps US$50--$100 for the set (from what I've 
seen of vintage pen prices in the UK, I suppose you could just 
substitute a £ sign for the $). I recently sold a similar set to a 
friend in my camera club for the low end of that range.(I MUST get 
around to putting my duplicates on E**Y). Only 51s like the all 
stainless steel "Flighter" sets, the all gold-filled "Signets", a few 
rare colors, and, of course, the two-toned solid gold capped "Empire 
State" sets go for high prices (VERY, VERY high for the latter).

My prices may be a bit off though because I've ignored the vintage 
pen market for about 4 years since returning to my first love, 
photography. Although I love old cameras (especially my Rollei 2,8 E) 
I don't feel compelled to accumulate hundreds (maybe thousands) of 
them like I did with vintage fountain pens. I still use fountain 
pens, of course, but since retiring in 2001, no longer change pens 
daily and mostly use an early '50s Parker 51 Flighter on which I've 
substituted an uncommon (and wonderful) half-stub nib and section 
from a much later English Parker 51.

The new reproduction 51s made by Parker are quite pricey--hard for me 
to believe with so many vintage examples around--my advice would be 
to keep this set and USE it--it goes well with Rolleis

Bob Marvin

At 12:01 AM -0700 5/26/03, Bob McClelland wrote:
>Ok, you pen freaks.  You've got me wondering. I have several Parkers, but in
>particular I have a 1955 Parker 51 pen and pencil set, bought for me as a
>reward for passing my '11-plus'.  The set has gold caps, with Mother of
>pearl clip screws, both work well (the pen fills just fine) and they are
>both in good nick for their age.
>Are you suggesting (from what has been said in recent weeks) that this set
>may be worth a few pounds?  The set can be seen at
>If one of you knowledgeable types would take a look and comment I'd be very
>grateful.  (off-list, if you prefer).

- --