Review: A Simple Story

A Simple Story (Modern Voices)A Simple Story by Leonardo Sciascia
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"Communist China paying tribute to a Fascist victory, Communist Russia helping a government that put Communists in prison: who knows how many of these contradictions, inconsistencies and absurdities there are in the world — Candido and Francesca told themselves — which elude us, which we do not see, which we would rather not see but have elude us. Because if we saw them, things would become simple, whereas we have a need to complicate them, to make complicated analyses, to find complicated causes, reasons and justifications for them. And when we do see them, they no longer have those justifications: let alone when we suffer them."

– from "Candido", p. 142, 143.

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Aurea, black and burgundy celluloid, button-filler

The imprint’s almost entirely worn off, and I can barely make out a stylised cursive word. But thanks to Ambros on FPN, I’ve managed to identify the pen as an Aurea. Here’s the relevant FPN thread.

Aurea seems to be an obscure vintage Italian pen maker. After some searching on Google, I found an Aurea pen offered for sale on FPN in Nov 2010. Marbled celluloid and also a button-filler. Another reference to Aurea came from Mr Goldfink’s blog, where he’d put up an Aurea made from “Arco Platinum Lined celluloid made by Du Pont. Same material as used on the Montblanc 246 PL series.” Rare and pretty and I can see why he withdrew it from sale 🙂

But back to this pen —

The nib is a large Waterman semi-flex IDEAL 14K nib with a “5” on the bottom is mated with what looks like a Vacumatic feed. Thanks to rhosygell on FPN who nailed it as a Waterman Commando nib.

Fairly large. Just a bit shorter than a Pelikan M800 –

The barrel, cap and blind cap are thick black and pearlescent burgundy celluloid, with a few transparent patches which have ambered. Nice weight, size and appearance!

Is the clip a replacement? It seems too small, as the holes the tabs of the clip fit into are clearly visible. The clip itself looks like it came from a Waterman 32 but is smooth and has a differently-shaped end. On closer examination it’s a flat piece that’s been folded into a clip.

The workmanship seems a bit slipshod:
– The cap bands are uneven. Made of aluminium?
– Traces of polish stuck between the cap bands and their grooves suggest the bands were once plated
– The button hole at the end of the barrel is off-centre, and the blind cap is not completely flush with the barrel.
– The slits cut into the stem of the button are not symmetrical

Anyway, it’s a textbook button-filler –

Takes a #18 latex sac. And the Waterman nib is very smooth, with a little flex 🙂 Currently inked with Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-ryoku.

Esterbrook 116 Desk Set, Green

From the photos I thought this would be a lighter colour, closer to my first desk set (the Esterbrook 2140 Lime set I blogged about previously).

The Better Half calls the colour “jade”. To me it looks like a dark matcha.

The pen barrel has darkened (I assume it was once the same colour as the base). Other than that the set’s in excellent condition.

The felt bottom still has its printing:

After resaccing the pen, I switched the 9668 nib the set came with for another 9668 I had. The set’s 9668 nib is a bit scratchy and drier. Similar design — you have to look closely to find the differences — but completely different writing experiences.

Currently inked with Noodler’s FPN Tulipe Noire. The ink and the colour are a pleasant combination 🙂