Friday, May 11, 2012

Bummer of a Birthmark

I've admitted that I'm addicted to collecting Sheaffers, but I'm not a hoarder.  If I've got one, I don't need another. 

So why, you may ask, would I pull cash out of my pocket fast as a jackrabbit when I saw this one on Alan Kaufman's table, without even bothering to check to see if I had one like it? 


Yes, this is the big boy among rigid radius clip Sheaffers, measuring in at a hefty 5 1/2 inches, but that's not it. 

There's been discussion among Sheaffer collectors lately about what has been nicknamed the "Cathedral weave" effect that can be seen on some striated Sheaffer pens.  Some striated Sheaffers were made with square rods of celluloid that were glued together in a grid, so that when the block was shaped into the streamlined profile of a pen cap or barrel, the rounding off results in black arches that resemble the graceful arches in a Cathedral.

When it occurs, it is more pronounced on the pens, which have sharper curves at the ends, than it is on the pencils -- and that's when the rods are straight.  What happens when the rods are not straight for some reason before they are milled into a pencil cap? Say, for example, when they are as crooked as this:


This pencil doesn't have a Cathedral weave.  It's got a bullseye!


Instantly I remembered my Gary Larson.  In one of his "Far Side" cartoons, one deer comments to another, who happens to have a bullseye on his chest, that he's got a "bummer of a birthmark."  How did this get through quality control checks?

Incidentally, the other side is every bit as neat to look at:


And the best part of all?  It turned out that I didn't have one in this color and size!

1 comment:

Apgamai said...

I have a similar pen. I use it many years...over and over