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Pelikan Vintage Fountain, Rollerball, Ball-Point Pens Review: 100, 400, Others

Updated on March 16, 2011

Pelikan Vintage

Pelikan vintage fountain pens reveal historical links to such modern collections as Souveran and Classic Series, and constitute an important item for pen collectors, with hundreds of pens and parts being listed daily on eBay. In this review we focus on Pelikan 100, an early classic, that some believe rivals the iconic Parker 51 in significance, and Pelikan 400, a precursor of the Souveran.

Manufactured on industrial scale in early 20th century and forward, these writing instruments routinely incorporate cellulose and various types of plastic – inexpensive, durable, and of high quality – lending the pens a casual appearance, designed with an everyday use in mind. At the time when fountain pens were considered a necessity for the literate, this affordable factor was crucial.

Several luxury variations employ precious metals, usually gold, filling the cap with it, or using it to make the entire cap or barrel parts. Nibs can be either stainless steel or gold (14K or 18K), and feature earlier versions of the logo and a linear ornament that differs from the one engraved todays.

Pelikan 250 Fountain Pen
Pelikan 250 Fountain Pen

Let's take a closer look:

Pelikan 100

This pen features a classic brand monolithic body design where the section links with the barrel almost seamlessly; this particular type of architecture reappears in Classic Traditional Series 150, 200, 205, and 215 – all of which aim to recapture the simplicity and effectiveness of the original one hundred.

Instead of bird encaged in a circle, the nib displays the word “Pelikan” embossed in decorative script below the breathing hole – gold standard mark appears below.

Pelikan 400

This model presents an updated look, more in line with collections that are more open to luxury (particularly precious metals) and artistic fancy – not only Souveran, but also Ductus and Majesty.

The section tapers more prominently, demonstrating a notable break from the barrel (an architectural trait that has also utility benefits), while the clip shows a more stylized shape – not so much a realistically reproduced pelican's beak, as a flat, miniature type of a man's tie.

Pelikan painted both pen lines with familiar brand palette: dark, saturated greens, red, and blues, complimented by black, or occasionally, white.

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