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Collecting Parker Pens

Collecting Parker Pens


This article is very much a 'work in progress' and may remain so for some time.  I'll update it regularly as time permits, but if anyone has any tales or images regarding collecting Parkers that you wouldn't mind sharing, please let me know.

One of the joys of creating a vintage pen collection is that the ubiquity of the fountain pen during the 'vintage period' was such that there is a wide variety of 'survivors' of different makes and models still available.  Many collectors, myself included, are perfectly happy to indulge their passion, collecting anything that attracts their interest to produce an eclectic and 'open ended' collection.

At some stage, however, the thought often arises of the form; 'I'd really like to have one example of all the Sheaffer Imperials, or Conway Stewart Dinkies, etc.'.  I love this approach, it is in the true spirit of creating a collection and can be immensely rewarding but there are some practicalities to consider and usually some compromises to be made.  There are hundreds of Dinkies, for example, a 'complete' collection of all the models and colours would be a lifetimes work. For the Parker pen collector there are some much more achievable, and still very rewarding opportunities.

Parker Duofold Aerometric:

  The U.K. 'aerometric' Parker Doufolds, as an example, were only made in 4 colours: Red, Blue, Black, and Green. There are 7 different sizes: Lady, Slimfold, Junior, Demi, Standard, Senioor, and Maxima so a complete collection would comprise 28 pens, very manageable.  This excludes, or ignores, the 3 different Lady (4 with a transition model), and a couple of Slimfold variants, along with the Lady Insignia.

The photograph above shows, from the top down, the original Duofold Lady, the 17 Lady, a Lady Standard transition model, and a Lady Standard.  A glance at the photograph below shows that only the original has a screw cap, it also has a shorter gripping section and a rounded barrel.  I think a Parker Lady collection only including the original model could be considered to be 'complete'.

There are also a few variants of the Slimfold and the Junior but if we were only to consider the first edition of each we are back to just 4 pens for each Duofold size and 28 pens for a full U.K. Aerometric duofold collection.

The photograph below, from the excellent 'Penography' website, shows the U.K. Duofold aerometric pens.  The Parker Victory is shown in the photo but not included in my selection as it is identical to the Parker Junior in all respects apart from the imprint.

From the top, the pens are: Maxima, Senior, Standard, Demi, Junior, Victory 5, Slimfold, and Lady.

Although the term 'affordable' is totally subjective and can, in fact, be meaningless, the Parker U.K. Duoofold Aerometric series does offer one of the less expensive opportunities for an aspiring collector.  The Duofold also happens to be a very fine pen in terms of value for money, a new Gold nibbed fountain pen would be considerably more  expensive and, probably, not as good.

Parker Victory:

 On one level the Parker Victory also looks a good bet for a complete collection.  There were 5 models, conveniently now known as Mk.I,II.III, IV and V.  the Mk. I to Mk.IV models were button fillers and the Mk.V was an Aerometric, identical to the Parker Duofold junior, apart from the imprint.

The pens were:

Mk.I, Ball ended clip. Button filler. 1941-1946.

Mk.II. Ball ended clip, Button filler. streamlined. 1946-1947.

Mk.III. Ball ended clip, Button filler. 1947-1948

Mk IV. Straight tapered clip, Button filler.1948-1952

Mk.V. 'Arrow' clip, aerometric filler 1953-1960s.

Parker Victory MK. II:


Parker Victory Mk. IV:

Parker Victory Mk. V:

 At this stage we're probably thinking 'that looks ok a few solid colours of each model should be 'do-able'.  That's not the full story, however.  Richard Dorkings kindly sent me photographs of his collection of Mk.I  and Mk.II Victories:





This is an absolutely wonderful collection, and a reminder of what pen collecting, in a pure form, is all about.

As richard is mainly interested in English 1930s-1940s pens he also collects Mentmores:

He is always on the hunt for more patterns whether mottled like the Mentmore's or herringbone/ pearls of the Parker Victory, perhaps if you have one lying around you could let me know.