Vintage Pen Review: ca. 1929 Parker Lady Duofold “Lucky Curve”

This glowing yellow lilliputian pen is one of my recent antique store finds. It’s a circa 1929 Parker Lady Duofold “Lucky Curve” ring-top pen. I found it at an antiques store in Renton, Washington for the princely sum of $20. After some minor restoration work (I had to clean it out, replace the sac, and it still needs a touch of repair and cosmetic restoration), it is now fully functional.

The pen is really, really little. It is, without question, the smallest pen in my collection, and far too small for my hands. I don’t have particularly beefy hands, but I do have long fingers. (All those years of playing the piano, I guess.) So, in order to use this pen at all, it has to be posted. Unfortunately, posting this pen is somewhat problematic for me, as there is a small hairline crack in the lip of the cap, and I have not been able to stabilize it yet.  I will want to take care of that before I feel comfortable using this pen posted on a regular basis.

The pen is a button filler (the first one I’ve ever used), and comes with a 14K nib in what I could only call either an extra-fine or fine. For such a fine nib, it actually writes quite smoothly. The nib itself can be coaxed to lay down a fair bit of line variation, but I would in no way consider this nib a “flex” nib. I’m not sure I’d even consider it a semi-flex nib.

What I find most interesting about this pen, though, is not its attributes as a writer, but its history. Think about it. The pen is 85 years old this, and still works wonderfully. It shows a minor bit of wear and tear, but it is in remarkably good shape. And from what little research I have been able to do, apparently this Mandarin Yellow color is pretty uncommon for pens from this era. Apparently, Parker released the pen in this bright yellow, and they didn’t sell well, so there aren’t a lot of them around. I just love that.

This is a pen that I would love to be able to use, but simply can’t due to its small size. So, I am sure I will be putting it up for sale at some point (make me an offer!). Despite the fact that I am not able to use this pen because of my spider-fingers, it has really fueled my desire to go antiquing more often and find these abandoned and forgotten pens. I have had a lot of fun with this one.