One bonus that comes from having a blog about pens is that I occasionally get some interesting hand-me-downs. This Sheaffer Caligrapher is a good example. Purchased sometime in the 1980s, it was found by my mom at the bottom of her desk drawer, where it sat in its original packaging, unopened and with two black-ink cartridges.
After my bad experience with the Zebra V-301, I was eager to break open the packaging of a new fountain pen and pop one of the ink cartridges in. I gave the cartridge a squeeze to get the ink flowing, and to my surprise, this 30-year-old pen began to write without any issues (though I did manage to make a small mess).
Up until now, I haven’t gotten into much detail about nibs. The nib is the tip of the fountain pen; the part the touches the paper and distributes ink to the page. There are a lot of different nib styles – fine point, medium point, stub, flex, etc. And a fountain pen will produce different line variations, depending on the type of nib being used.
The Shaffer Calligrapher uses an italic nib, which has a tip that flattens out into a broad area. Rather than providing a consistent line width, this nib design is meant to produce broad horizontal lines and thin vertical lines. And If you hadn’t guessed by this pen’s name, it makes an ideal tool for calligraphy.
As far as I can tell, the Sheaffer Calligrapher is an older model of the Sheaffer Viewpoint, which sells for under $10 and is commonly bundled with special calligraphy sets. The Calligrapher is built nicely for this purpose, too. It has a threaded cap with a flat end that can stand up vertically when posted, making it ideal for longer writing sessions. Surprisingly, it’s also a pretty durable pen. I inadvertently threw it in my backpack where it banged around for a week, and when I took it out to write, it still worked great.
All said and done, It was nice to use the Calligrapher. It’s a good-quality pen at a low price, however, I can also tell that it isn’t the right pen for me. I’d like a pen that’s more practical for every day use and something that fits my block writing style better. In the mean time, the Calligrapher will rest in slot number three on my fountain pen stand, waiting until the next time I need to write a thank you note.