It is in near perfect condition. For its age, I would give it a "1" in condition. I haven't seen many pre-war Japanese urushi pens in this condition. Extremely well made with a beautiful pre-war 14K nib. At 140mm, a large desirable size from this era.Berzel was a small maker of ha ndmade luxury pens up to WWII. In 1939, the Pacific war gained steam.
Luxury fountain pen manufacturing was outlawed, owning gold was outlawed and price controls were put in place. Citizens were ordered to turn over all gold, including gold nibs. During the early 1940's, air bombings destroyed much of Japan.Factories were targeted and an untold number of homes destroyed. Belongings, such as fountain pens and company documents were lost. As a result, far less is known about the early Japanese pen makers and only a comparatively small number of pre-war Japanese fountain pens exist today. All this makes "Berzel the Pen" an amazing find. The urushi quality and condition rivals anything made today. Only the feed and nib style and engravings on the clip and barrel reveal its age. Pens in the 1930's also tended to be much smaller, in the 125mm range. Larger urushi pens were a high-end luxury item. The lacquer is much thicker than average pens and completely smooth.
Its gloss and color is in like new condition. Only a very faint cap mark on the barrel shows it has been opened and closed. Only visible close up with the cap off.
Because of the ban on gold from 1939 until 1952, it's rare to find pre-war Japanese pens still with their original nibs. Most were replaced with stainless steel.The 14K nib on this pen, along with its 14K rolled gold clip and cap band are as perfect as the urushi. There are a few tiny dots on the nib to indicate its age, but other than that, its pristine. The nib engraving and brand engraving on the pen are mint.
I know I've gushed over this pen. If you love vintage fountain pens, you will be proud to have this in your collection.
Barrel: Brand engraving "Berzel the Pen". NIB: 14K with heart shaped breather hole. Engraved "Warranted 14K Gold Pen 3".Cap Band: 14K Rolled Gold. Filling Mechanism: Eyedropper with ink stop.
5.5in (140mm) capped/ 4 3/4in (122mm) uncapped/ 6 3/4in (173mm) posted. Have not inked or tested.
The item "Vintage Japanese Fountain Pen 1930's Lg. Handmade Urushi Pre-war 14K Nib- EXC" is in sale since Saturday, May 26, 2018. This item is in the category "Collectibles\Pens & Writing Instruments\Pens\Fountain Pens\Other Fountain Pens". The seller is "stchel2" and is located in Duluth, Georgia.
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