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Sheaffer's 'Blue Pigmy'


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#1 Mike Krut

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 12:20 AM

I found a very little blue Sheaffer's pen. Someone told me it was a 'blue pigmy'. It looks like Sheaffer's one(?) attempt at competing with the peter pan pens. Does anyone know anything about this little pen?
Please advise on line or off.
Mike Krut
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#2 Rick Krantz

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 12:28 AM

I would love to see a picture

#3 david i

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 12:38 AM

I found a very little blue Sheaffer's pen. Someone told me it was a 'blue pigmy'. It looks like Sheaffer's one(?) attempt at competing with the peter pan pens. Does anyone know anything about this little pen?
Please advise on line or off.
Mike Krut
goldennib@aol.com


Mike, this is a big little pen so to speak, if it is the real deal. ;)

Blue is a catalogued color for Pygmy.

The pen should have a #1-marked Sheaffer nib and have a Sheaffer imprint on barrel.


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Here is a video I'd recently posted about a gem red Pygmy boxed set I had picked up.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyDQHPML3Hw


I have photo'd the blue Pygmy but do not own it.


Posted Image



Do post pics.


Regards


David



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Email: isaacson@frontiernet.net

Posted Image

#4 Mike Krut

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 02:48 AM

Mike, this is a big little pen so to speak, if it is the real deal. ;)

Blue is a catalogued color for Pygmy.

The pen should have a #1-marked Sheaffer nib and have a Sheaffer imprint on barrel.


Posted Image


Posted Image


Here is a video I'd recently posted about a gem red Pygmy boxed set I had picked up.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyDQHPML3Hw


I have photo'd the blue Pygmy but do not own it.


Posted Image



Do post pics.


Regards


David




#5 Roger W.

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 03:41 AM

The Royal Blue Pygmy is in the 1928 catalogue along with the Cherry Red Pygmy. This is the only Sheaffer with a rounded tab lever. It is also the only flattop that is this small - completely out of character with the rest of the line.

This is mine -

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The pygmy is known to exist in a green model -

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Dan Reppert's collection


I've also seen a small hard rubber Sheaffer barrel that may have been a pygmy as well.

Some ringtops -

Posted Image


Roger W.

#6 Hugh

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 04:00 AM

The Royal Blue Pygmy is in the 1928 catalogue along with the Cherry Red Pygmy. This is the only Sheaffer with a rounded tab lever. It is also the only flattop that is this small - completely out of character with the rest of the line.

This is mine -

Posted Image


Posted Image


The pygmy is known to exist in a green model -

Posted Image
Dan Reppert's collection


I've also seen a small hard rubber Sheaffer barrel that may have been a pygmy as well.

Some ringtops -

Posted Image


Roger W.


Hi Roger,

Are these a fairly durable pen? While I haven't come across any I do tend to avoid older pens without cap bands ( I like to think the cap band reduces the risk of cracking) but these look to have a fairly thick cap but this might just be the overall "smallness" that gives this illusion.

Regards
Hugh
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#7 david i

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 04:17 AM

Mike sent some images. I put 'em together...

Posted Image


It is, obviously, the real deal and looks to be in nice shape.

Barring the discovery of specific memos from Sheaffer, obviously we cannot know why this particular Sheaffer is uncommon. The usual speculations can be tossed, tweaked for the quirks of the variant.


  • Brief run

  • Fragile Plastic

  • Easily lost (it is... small)

  • Novelty item not of much use to typical buyer of not inexpensive pens.
I raised similar question/point in discussion of the Wahl Equi-Poised Purse Pen in the Stylus Magazine article



regards

David




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Email: isaacson@frontiernet.net

Posted Image

#8 Hugh

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 11:13 AM

Might I add, not at all unattractive when presented like that .

Regards
Hugh
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#9 Roger W.

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 01:39 PM

Hi Roger,

Are these a fairly durable pen? While I haven't come across any I do tend to avoid older pens without cap bands ( I like to think the cap band reduces the risk of cracking) but these look to have a fairly thick cap but this might just be the overall "smallness" that gives this illusion.

Regards
Hugh



Hugh;

That's an interesting question. I don't think anyone ever uses them. You do see a few in rough shape but, how many do you ever see? I've maybe seen a little over a dozen of both official colors. I don't think these need a cap band as they are really small. I think this was an offering a bit outside what Sheaffer generally offered - see if they had something. Some pen companies certainly had niches. Wahl had always been a big company for small pens following up on Boston Fountain which they had purchased. Sheaffer was a big radite pen company with the big 8C in the 20's. They had even contemplated blue...

Posted Image

Prototype royal blue lifetime.

Roger W.




#10 Kirchh

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 08:03 PM

I'm not at all convinced that the green-appearing Pigmy wasn't originally blue, given the variation in color in examples of the blue item; even the one Roger posts is distinctly blue-green, while others are far more blue. Perhaps the material has a deterioration mode whereby it becomes greenish.

By the way, the one blue Pigmy I tested was not made of celluloid. I suspect casein.

--Daniel

#11 Roger W.

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 08:51 PM

I'm not at all convinced that the green-appearing Pygmy wasn't originally blue, given the variation in color in examples of the blue item; even the one Roger posts is distinctly blue-green, while others are far more blue. Perhaps the material has a deterioration mode whereby it becomes greenish.

By the way, the one blue Pygmy I tested was not made of celluloid. I suspect casein.

--Daniel


Daniel;

Having examined the green pygmy personally, I assure you that it did not start out blue. I think it very likely that Sheaffer would have looked at green as they come out with a very similar green for desk pens in the early/mid '30's.

As far as these being casein I think that too, is quite likely. They are small and unlike any of the Sheaffer line - right down to a lever they never used anywhere else. As to the later green desk pens I don't know their material either as there color consistancy between barrel and taper vary greatly now though, I assume they matched when produced.

Posted Image


Roger W.

#12 david i

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 08:59 PM

I took the liberty to tweak Roger's green Pygmy shot to correct its underexposure.

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Make of it what you will. I have seen some amazing color shifts in pens over the years (remind me to bring out my "copper marble" WASP), but I cannot comment on the issue Daniel just raised.


-david



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Email: isaacson@frontiernet.net

Posted Image

#13 Teej47

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 12:26 AM

You guys answered a question I was going to ask, namely, "What's it made of?"

It seems to me that the way the blue has faded to become more dull than brown is a bit unlike typical celluloid deterioration. Does that make sense?

The red and blue ones that Roger posted are stunning. Do the colors really look that good in person?

Tim
The only sense that's common is nonsense...

#14 Rick Krantz

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 01:01 AM

reminds me of the unstable nature of the Autopoint pencils in certain colors. Some that no one really knows what color they started out as. Keep outta light.

I think I handled one of the blue variations one time early in my collecting career, circa 1993~ had no idea what it was at the time, did not collect ringtops, go figure...

#15 David Nishimura

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 01:01 PM

 Don't forget that there is also a gold-filled HR version of this pen; don't recall if it was catalogued, and if so, what the catalog name/model number might have been.  Same size, same distinctive lever.  I've sold a couple of them, so have the pictures, just not handy at the moment.


I too questioned the green Pigmy.  Although my memory of actually handling it is now fuzzy, I do remember that I found it convincingly green, and not discolored blue.  



#16 Roger W.

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 01:26 PM

Don't forget that there is also a gold-filled HR version of this pen; don't recall if it was catalogued, and if so, what the catalog name/model number might have been. Same size, same distinctive lever. I've sold a couple of them, so have the pictures, just not handy at the moment.


I too questioned the green Pigmy. Although my memory of actually handling it is now fuzzy, I do remember that I found it convincingly green, and not discolored blue.



The gold filled and solid gold #1's are from the 1925 catalogue and have a standard style lever. Good point to clarify that while the pygmy is without precedence in radite Sheaffer did have small overlays of this size.

Roger W.

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Modified 1925 catalogue page. Nibs are the same as pygmys but the levers are standard. Eight models available - three here.

#17 david i

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 01:32 PM

The gold filled and solid gold #1's are from the 1925 catalogue and have a standard style lever. Good point to clarify that while the pygmy is without precedence in radite Sheaffer did have small overlays of this size.

Roger W.

Posted Image

Modified 1925 catalogue page. Nibs are the same as pygmys but the levers are standard. Eight models available - three here.


Assuming these pens (the 1925 images you show are not formally Pygmy, iirc?) are the same as those to which David N. refers, the next question about the pens in your catalogue image... how many/ which patterns were made?

Actually, even if the pens in your image are NOT the pens to which David N. refers, the question holds ;)

I own two and have seen a third. I might have the catalogue upstate, but have not reviewed of late.

regards

David.
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Email: isaacson@frontiernet.net

Posted Image

#18 Roger W.

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 04:06 PM

Assuming these pens (the 1925 images you show are not formally Pygmy, iirc?) are the same as those to which David N. refers, the next question about the pens in your catalogue image... how many/ which patterns were made?

Actually, even if the pens in your image are NOT the pens to which David N. refers, the question holds ;)

I own two and have seen a third. I might have the catalogue upstate, but have not reviewed of late.

regards

David.


David;

Three paterns were made. The ring tops are in five with two being 14K repeats (just not in the basket weave). There are three long clip pens which makes eight. So alternating lines and bars (ribbon line chasing-official Sheaffer name) as shown in the catalogue page, squiggly lines and bars (brocaded) and basket weave (not named on the page). These midget pens (Sheaffer name) are smaller than pygmys.

Roger W.

Posted Image

Midgets flanked by pygmys - Cherry red, brocaded, 14K ribbon lined, basket weave, ribbon lined, Royal blue

#19 David Nishimura

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 12:00 AM

Two examples of the model I mentioned are shown below.  Note that they carry #2 nibs.

Attached File  Pygmies_etc.jpg   56.54KB   47 downloads

The end sticker on the greenish Pigmy may offer some indication of the degree of possible color change.  The model code of the red Pigmy is RIP; BIP is the code for blue.
Attached File  Pygmies_ends.jpg   10.71KB   42 downloads 

Note that the 1928 catalog lists the blue and red Pigmies as "unbreakable Radite".  The greenish Pigmy shown above is surely casein; it is likely that the red is, too, though not 100% certain.  The blue, however, appears to be celluloid.

PS Note that the spelling in Sheaffer's catalog is "Pigmy", and not "Pygmy".

#20 Roger W.

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 03:15 AM

Two examples of the model I mentioned are shown below. Note that they carry #2 nibs.

Attached File  Pygmies_etc.jpg   56.54KB   47 downloads

The end sticker on the greenish Pigmy may offer some indication of the degree of possible color change. The model code of the red Pigmy is RIP; BIP is the code for blue.
Attached File  Pygmies_ends.jpg   10.71KB   42 downloads

Note that the 1928 catalog lists the blue and red Pigmies as "unbreakable Radite". The greenish Pigmy shown above is surely casein; it is likely that the red is, too, though not 100% certain. The blue, however, appears to be celluloid.

PS Note that the spelling in Sheaffer's catalog is "Pigmy", and not "Pygmy".


David;

You never fail to amaze. I'd not seen metal pens in this configuration. I don't believe there is any documentation, not necessary of course but, always nice. I thought I had plenty of ringtops but not a one with a pigmy style lever (I forgot how to spell pigmy incorrectly - I'll have to recommit it to memory). Thanks, so much for the pic. Are the measurements of the metal pens identical (close anyway) to the pigmy? It looks as though they are as a conventional 2 nibbed metal pen is larger.

Roger W.




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