It’s amazing what little treasures one finds when sorting out art supplies….
Since I prefer to use dip pens more often than calligraphy fountain pens, these two little gems had migrated over to my “Art Supply Overflow” storage box.
I expect both these items are now obsolete, but still great calligraphy tools:
Primarily targeted for engineering and drafting, the Pelikan Graphos pens and nibs were available in a wide range of styles to accommodate lettering, drawing and sketching.
It’s been so long I don’t remember exactly what originally was included with this set as it has a variety of nib styles ranging from straight cut (“T” series), oblique cut (“N” and “Z” series), ruling nib (?) (“A” series) and what looks like a sketching nib (“S” series).
The pen holders are designed to easily slip the nibs onto the front of the shank and have a “hole” in back for loading ink. As I’m guessing the original Pelikan tube ink has gone the way of the dinosaur, ink can loaded by removing the plastic insert reservoir and loading directly with a dropper instead of through the “hole.”
The nibs produce very sharp, crisp letters (“T”, “N”, “Z”) and the sketching nib is flexible enough for drawing.
While the ink cartridge is quite short and will not hold a lot of ink, and the nib must be removed from the pen before attaching the pen cap (I suspect this is by design), the overall quality is worth grabbing up a pen holder and a few straight/oblique cut nibs if the opportunity presents itself.
If you enjoy a well-designed nib and don’t mind a little extra maintenance work, the Pelikan Graphos pen might be found treasure.
A review of this pen (in Spanish) can be found at the estilograficas.net website.
Reform Calligraphy Pens
This set was given to me as a gift so I’m not sure where or when they were originally purchased.
The nib sizes included are 1.1, 1.5, 1.9 and 2.3 – suitable for most calligraphy lettering projects. Each nib contains two vent holes and are marked with the nib size, “Italic Reform” and “Germany.” Nibs can also be unscrewed from the pen holder if necessary for cleaning or replacement.
The most interesting feature of this pen is the piston filling system – no ink cartridges or converters required! Simply turn the piston forwards, dip the pen nib into the ink, and turn the piston back to the starting position. No mess, no fuss! The clear “window” section shows how much ink is left so you don’t run out in the middle of letter.
The nibs produce very clean lines, the pen is comfortable to hold and handles very smoothly. The pen caps contain a seal and are screwed onto the pen barrel to keep the ink from drying out.
The “Instructions” paper lists Calligraphy, Lettering and Sketch pens. I have not seen the Lettering or Sketch pens, but I would love to try the “Extra Fine Sketch Pen” if one turns up somewhere.
A very nice addition for a Calligraphy Fountain Pen “collection” if you happen to find one or better yet, find an entire set!