Majestic fountain pen, 1930s?

Majestic pen

A short pen – about 4.2 inches / 10.7cm long capped – but the celluloid is unique and attractive: pearlescent browns, greys and translucent parts ambered with the years. For fun, here’s a shot of the barrel and cap lit up from inside:

Maj2

Much of the gold wash on the furniture had worn off over the decades, typical of third-tier pens.

This pen took some time to clean up. The nib had glossy black marks around the edges and the slit, and there was some kind of hard shiny crud at the tip of the feed and in the fins. Maybe someone had tried using India ink in this pen?

The marks on the nib wouldn’t come off with water, and because they looked like shellac I tried rubbing alcohol on Q-tips. It worked but the gold wash came off too. I trimmed and scraped most of the crud and rough bit off the feed. Cleared the channels with a safety razor and a craft knife.

I salvaged a J-bar from an equally small Ambassador with a split barrel end, then resacced the Majestic with a silicone sac to prevent the celluloid ambering further. The pen had come to me with a plastic sac (from a Hero?) installed using rubber cement, and a plastic strip in lieu of a J-bar. To finish off I polished the barrel and cap a little.

The steel nib – a Fine – writes nicely with a little tooth. Good amount of gold wash and tipping left and not flimsy at all.

Based on what I found online, “Majestic” was a brand of pens from the Majestic Pen Company (originally J. Harris & Co), which also made “Harris” and “Ambassador” pens. Regardless of brand, models resembled each other very closely and were of the same third-tier quality.

More links:
– J Harris pens – http://www.richardspens.com/?page=ref/glossary/H.htm
http://oldfountainpensjustforfun.blogspot.sg/2011/10/j-harris-pen-and-sub-brands.html

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