Fountain Pen Restoration

Artcraft Filigree

I have written several pieces on Artcraft (Alabama and Argentina)  Pens and History ~

Artcraft Financial Certificate – November 2, 2011

Artcraft Advertising in Argentina – September 26, 2011

Artcraft Gold Ringtop Fountain Pen –  September 2, 2011

Artcraft in Argentina – June 23, 2011

An Artcraft Wedding – January 11, 2011

Cromer Artcraft Lifelong Fountain Pen – March 2, 2010

Artcraft Fountain Pens –  August 18, 2009

Certainly many more entries than I would have imagined back in August 2009, when I restored my first Artcraft.

I crossed paths with another this Winter; a gold filigree ringtop.  Similar in size to the gold ringtop restored in September 2011, it was not without its problems when I received it.  Below you can see the pen after I took it apart. The sac was completely hardened and broken.  The nib was badly discolored and the barrel stained inside and out.

I was able to clean the pen up pretty well.  The nib was cleaned with a jewelers cloth, and in an ultrasonic cleaner.  Filigrees are tricky and time consuming to polish as you have to try and avoid touching the Black Hard Rubber barrel and cap that are the foundation for the gold designs.  So, I took a long time to polish the gold filigree part by part, with a narrow, cut jewelers cloth.  The only part that I was unable to clean was the worn barrel end that had suffered years of posting of the cap (see below photos).  I was able to salvage the old pressure bar and cement a trimmed down size 16 sac to the scraped and cleaned section/feed/nib.

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The completed pen is below.

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It measures 4 inches closed and 5 3/8 inches posted.

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Here is a photo of two very different Artcraft Ringtops.  The lower pen is the Ringtop that I restored in my post of September 2, 2011.   You can see that there are several differences in the two pens.  The filigree is larger, has a different type of lever, and different imprints.

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The lever on the pen is another of the Artcraft questions.  The artists palette is the same as on many of the Artcraft’s that I own, but the lever is a new one to me.  I have seen “Artcraft” and Cromer Artcraft”, but this is the first “Edison Artcraft” that I have handled.  The only connection that I have been able to think of is with Edison /Arnold Pens of Petersburg, Virginia.  I have read that there may have been a connection between Ford Cromer and Edison.  This might point to a production connection early in Artcraft’s history.

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Finally, the nib.  It is an Artcraft No. 2, the same nib as found on the gold ringtop above.  Same familiar artist’s palette and heart hole.

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One thing that I am starting to see from the small number of Artcraft pens that I own, is that during the short time that they were in the the United States (Alabama), they had a wide variety of pen models, configurations, and names.  Then, they picked up stakes and moved to Argentina in the 30s.   Truly an intriguing Company.

11-12-12 Edit:   The following comment was received from Alabama native, and Artcraft collector, John Hubbard, which may shed some light on the Edison Artcraft name.  It also places this pen in the 1920 range ~

“The Edison Artcraft imprint certainly is interesting. On October 22, 1920, Ford Cromer, G.B. Forbes, and Harriet Cromer incorporated under the name “Edison-Cromer Pen Co., Inc.” The name of the company was changed shortly afterward to “Cromer Artcraft Pen Co., Inc.” Since Ford Cromer was originally a traveling salesman for Edison Pen Company, it would seem very likely that he had his first pens made by Edison under contract. But perhaps Edison objected to his use of their name in his company name because of the possibility of confusion and the name was changed accordingly.”

 

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November 12, 2012 - Posted by | Artcraft Fountain Pens |

6 Comments »

  1. Phil,

    That is a real beauty!

    The Edison Artcraft imprint certainly is interesting. On October 22, 1920, Ford Cromer, G.B. Forbes, and Harriet Cromer incorporated under the name “Edison-Cromer Pen Co., Inc.” The name of the company was changed shortly afterward to “Cromer Artcraft Pen Co., Inc.” Since Ford Cromer was originally a traveling salesman for Edison Pen Company, it would seem very likely that he had his first pens made by Edison under contract. But perhaps Edison objected to his use of their name in his company name because of the possibility of confusion and the name was changed accordingly.

    John Hubbard

    Comment by cigarboxpenstorage | November 12, 2012 | Reply

    • Thanks, John. I will add this to the post!

      Comment by PKM | November 12, 2012 | Reply

  2. I love these posts! Just when I think I know enough about fountain pens to be dangerous, I receive another of your posts and realize there’s so much more to know.ThanksBrian PhillipsAllentown, PA

    Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2012 16:25:23 +0000 To: brianp9@hotmail.com

    Comment by brianp5 | November 12, 2012 | Reply

    • Thank you, Brian.

      Comment by PKM | November 12, 2012 | Reply

  3. I have found what I believe is an Artcraft gold filigree top ring pen similar to your photo that belonged to my husbands grandmother who grew up in Brazil. I know it is restorable but the inner parts are missing except for that longer plastic part in your photo. Is there a good place to find its value and eventually sell?
    Thank you,

    Suzan

    Comment by Suzan Roll | October 8, 2014 | Reply

    • Suzan, if you can email a photo, I will give you a better idea. My email is phil.munson@ gmail.com

      Comment by PKM | October 8, 2014 | Reply


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