Fountain Pen Restoration

Artcraft Gold Ringtop Fountain Pen

Sometimes good things come in small packages. I am normally not a collector of ringtops, or small fountain pens. The exception to this rule is when it is a brand that I am researching or interested in. The opportunity to pick up another Artcraft (Birmingham, AL) for a ringtop price was too good to pass up. I have written about Artcrafts on three separate occasions ~

Artcraft Fountain Pens – August 18, 2009

Cromer Artcraft Lifelong Fountain Pen – March 2, 2010

An Artcraft Wedding – January 11, 2011

You can see from the photo below that this one comes in three pieces.  The reason for this is that the lever is intact and the feed and nib appear to be fit extremely securely into the section.  I tried to move them with heat and with water help and they did not budge.  This is not a problem as long as you can clean each of them.  I let the ultrasonic cleaner do the work here.  After several cleanings, the assembly was very clean and channels appear to be fully open.

I was careful on the barrel and cap at first, being careful in case the gold was a thin gold plate.   This does not appear to be the case and I was able to clean them using the ultrasonic cleaner and a jewelers cloth.

Finally, I attached a trimmed down (1 3/16 inch) size 14 sac to the section.

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The resulting pen is below, a gold ringtop pen with a screw in barrel.  It measures 3 5/8 inches closed and 5 3/16 inches posted.

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For the sake of comparison, the Artcraft (Bottom) next to a 1920s Wahl Ringtop. The sizes are identical, though the chasing, section configuration, and lever is different.

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Here is a close up of the chasing, the common lever, and clean barrel end.

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The ringtop is also quite clean.

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Finally, a nice medium Artcraft No. 2 nib with the familiar artist’s easel logo.

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The pen has no markings on it at all and I have no proof of whether this is actually an Artcraft, but the nib and its apparent molding to the feed and section lead me to believe that it is.  An Artcraft collector has commented to me that he believes this is indeed an Artcraft.

I am not sure what attracts me to Artcrafts – maybe it is the fact that they were located in Alabama, away from the centers of Fountain Pen production, or maybe the fact that they mysteriously left for South America in the mid 1930s and I don’t know why.  Whatever the reason, I always enjoy hunting them down and learning a little more each time.

Addendum:  I have recently come across some fantastic Artcraft / Argentina ephemera which I will be photographing and posting soon.  Thank you so much, Rodrigo!

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September 2, 2011 - Posted by | Artcraft Fountain Pens |

2 Comments »

  1. Phil,
    That Artcraft is a beauty! I bid on a silver one on ebay a while back but didn’t win. The silver one had the tiny “ART” in a palette imprint on both the clip and the tip of the lever. It did not have a silver section, just black rubber, and it was fitted with a Wahl nib.
    I also have a photo, perhaps I have sent it to you previously, of a silver chased pen and pencil set in a box that says Artcraft inside the open lid. This picture is on the wwpenclub web site. If I have not sent it to you, let me know and I will. The picture is small, but the pen resembles yours pretty closely, except for having a pocket clip.
    I”d be curious to find out where you got the gold one. I’ve hit a long spell of not finding anything Artcraft.
    John Hubbard

    Comment by John Hubbard | September 2, 2011 | Reply

    • John,

      I hope you are surviving the torrential rains and are safe and dry. I picked this one up on ebay about 2 months ago. I would love to have a photo of the set you refer to.

      Phil

      Comment by PKM | September 3, 2011 | Reply


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