Jump to content


Photo

Waterman 452 Cardinal Overlay Set


  • Please log in to reply
18 replies to this topic

#1 pen piddler

pen piddler

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 112 posts

Posted 16 May 2013 - 11:00 PM

I recently had a nice stroke of luck on ebay. This beautiful cardinal overlay set in the basket weave pattern was listed early one evening. It was listed as a "buy it now" item for an insanely fair price. (Still not cheap!) There were only a dozen other viewers because it only stayed listed a little over half an hour. The condition is fantastic! The pen has never been inked and both pieces are like new save for one tiny, hardly noticable spot on the cap of the pen. The seller said the set was given to his dad in 1925 by a group of immigrants that his dad taught how to speak english. What a wonderful way to express their gratitude!


I've been collecting a few years now and I don't see cardinal overlays come up for sale very often, but I've only seen one other cardinal overlay pencil and it was 14 kt gold. Any comments about the availability of the pencils and the current value of the set?


A special thanks to David I.! This is what I needed the Sunshine cloth for.Attached File  8743194850_5958869ff8_z.jpg   131.36KB   66 downloads

#2 Procyon

Procyon

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 725 posts
  • LocationSouthern California

Posted 16 May 2013 - 11:47 PM

Wow, don't know what you paid, but that is a terrific set! I have a pen like yours and a gold filled in the older trefoil pattern.

Posted Image


I don't have the pencil for either. I would guess the pencils are harder to find than the pens, although they probably wouldn't be worth as much. I tried finding your auction on eBay - I was trying to figure out why my regular searches didn't turn it up - but I couldn't find it. Has it been a long time since you got it from eBay?

Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar.  And doesn't.

 

 

Regards,
Allan


#3 Procyon

Procyon

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 725 posts
  • LocationSouthern California

Posted 16 May 2013 - 11:56 PM

OK, finally found your auction. Yep, you got a heck of a bargain. It is probably worth at least 3 times what you paid. Great find! :P

Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar.  And doesn't.

 

 

Regards,
Allan


#4 pen piddler

pen piddler

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 112 posts

Posted 17 May 2013 - 12:14 AM

Wow, don't know what you paid, but that is a terrific set! I have a pen like yours and a gold filled in the older trefoil pattern.

Posted Image


I don't have the pencil for either. I would guess the pencils are harder to find than the pens, although they probably wouldn't be worth as much. I tried finding your auction on eBay - I was trying to figure out why my regular searches didn't turn it up - but I couldn't find it. Has it been a long time since you got it from eBay?


Those are two impressive pens! Thanks for posting the pic! I have several books that have cardinal overlays pictured, but none show the sterling basket weave pattern which kind of surprised me. I love the look of the 0552 or is it an 0554? I saw a 552 or 4 set many years ago and it was priced at $4500. As you can well imagine, it was a beautiful set!

#5 pen piddler

pen piddler

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 112 posts

Posted 17 May 2013 - 12:22 AM

OK, finally found your auction. Yep, you got a heck of a bargain. It is probably worth at least 3 times what you paid. Great find! :P


I knew it was a great buy. I couldn't hit the buy it now button quick enough! I was surprised at the way it was packed. It was in a single pen box. I'm sure it didn't come from the factory that way as it would've gotten damaged during shipping. I asked the seller to make sure the pen and pencil were well seperated to ship. I was also shocked by the condition the set was in. No sign of ink anywhere. I was glad I had the velvet case on hand. It sure makes a nicer presentation.

#6 David Nishimura

David Nishimura

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 701 posts

Posted 17 May 2013 - 02:13 AM

I don't want to rain on anyone's parade, but 99% of these overlays are post-factory assembled. Starting in the later 1980s, pensmiths would take an ordinary 452 (or less commonly, an 0552) Filigree and a 52 Cardinal, and switch the overlay onto the RHR body. The result would then be sold for three or four times the assembler's cost. Sometimes the end number would be altered, though usually not well enough to pass expert inspection.

Genuine examples of Waterman lever-filler overlays over red hard rubber are EXTREMELY rare. In fact, I've seen more solid gold examples than silver, and I don't think I've ever seen an unquestionably genuine 0552 or 0554 Filigree over RHR.

Again, I don't want to cast aspersions on any particular pen, but it is important that collectors be made aware that made-up examples vastly outnumber originals.

#7 Procyon

Procyon

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 725 posts
  • LocationSouthern California

Posted 17 May 2013 - 02:22 AM

Actually, I had this discussion with you several years ago. I do have questions about my 0552, and wouldn't be surprised if it was actually done post factory. I do think my silver one is a correct factory job, and I bought it from a well-known collector. I guess the gold one would be fairly easy to fake, although I couldn't do it, and I can do most repairs with no problem.

Edited by Procyon, 17 May 2013 - 02:23 AM.


Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar.  And doesn't.

 

 

Regards,
Allan


#8 David Nishimura

David Nishimura

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 701 posts

Posted 17 May 2013 - 02:41 AM

I have never seen a genuine Waterman filigree lever-filler over RHR in the trefoil pattern -- all have been in the later "basketweave" pattern.

I should also note that a set (or a single pencil) is more likely to be genuine than a single pen, since the fakers were swapping overlays on pens exclusively, as far as I can determine. That's where the money was, so that's where they put their efforts.

I can't urge enough caution with these pens. Genuine examples are around, and will continue to turn up, and just because I haven't seen something doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Nonetheless, many veteran collectors (and dealers) don't have a clue about fakes, and simply aren't sufficiently suspicious.

#9 pen piddler

pen piddler

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 112 posts

Posted 17 May 2013 - 03:02 AM

I don't want to rain on anyone's parade, but 99% of these overlays are post-factory assembled. Starting in the later 1980s, pensmiths would take an ordinary 452 (or less commonly, an 0552) Filigree and a 52 Cardinal, and switch the overlay onto the RHR body. The result would then be sold for three or four times the assembler's cost. Sometimes the end number would be altered, though usually not well enough to pass expert inspection.

Genuine examples of Waterman lever-filler overlays over red hard rubber are EXTREMELY rare. In fact, I've seen more solid gold examples than silver, and I don't think I've ever seen an unquestionably genuine 0552 or 0554 Filigree over RHR.

Again, I don't want to cast aspersions on any particular pen, but it is important that collectors be made aware that made-up examples vastly outnumber originals.


I had no idea that these overlays were THAT rare. I know they're hard to find, but I didn't realize there were so many counterfeits out there. I do know that counterfeits are there because my first Waterman cardinal/sterling overlay was in the night and day pattern. It was a frankenpen created by a known New York penman who included his initials on the cap and barrel in an apparent attempt to keep it honest. The creation was not well done due to the wrinkles in the overlay and the imprint on that pen was merely 52. The pen in this set is embossed with 452 and the digits are quite evenly placed and appear equally deep. There are also no issues like wrinkles in the overlay.

How does one verify absolute authenticity? I'd be happy to send you some pics, but I'd also be glad to send you the set for you to inspect and possibly verify that it's genuine.

#10 Procyon

Procyon

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 725 posts
  • LocationSouthern California

Posted 17 May 2013 - 03:12 AM

I have never seen a genuine Waterman filigree lever-filler over RHR in the trefoil pattern -- all have been in the later "basketweave" pattern.

I should also note that a set (or a single pencil) is more likely to be genuine than a single pen, since the fakers were swapping overlays on pens exclusively, as far as I can determine. That's where the money was, so that's where they put their efforts.

I can't urge enough caution with these pens. Genuine examples are around, and will continue to turn up, and just because I haven't seen something doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Nonetheless, many veteran collectors (and dealers) don't have a clue about fakes, and simply aren't sufficiently suspicious.



David,

Those are in fact some of the reasons that I question the authenticity of my gold pen. I bought the gold one first, knowing it was risky. I wouldn't do it again, knowing what I now know. I have to say though that I like the pen, and don't really regret buying it, since I didn't pay a huge amount. I paid more for the silver one, but I am not exactly a novice, and it appears the overlay has been on there a long time.

Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar.  And doesn't.

 

 

Regards,
Allan


#11 brando090

brando090

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 719 posts

Posted 17 May 2013 - 03:38 AM

Great buy, and great information regarding reproductions in the 80's.

#12 pen piddler

pen piddler

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 112 posts

Posted 17 May 2013 - 04:06 AM

Great buy, and great information regarding reproductions in the 80's.



Thanks. I agree on both counts.

#13 brando090

brando090

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 719 posts

Posted 17 May 2013 - 04:27 AM


Great buy, and great information regarding reproductions in the 80's.



Thanks. I agree on both counts.


Definitely out of my price range, and you got it when nobody was looking.

#14 David Nishimura

David Nishimura

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 701 posts

Posted 17 May 2013 - 08:08 PM

I myself have never owned a genuine Waterman lever-filler overlay over RHR, and in over 20 years I've probably seen no more than three or four examples (including sets). And let me clarify: though assembly of fakes was definitely under way by the end of the 1980s, many more were made in the 1990s -- though I think things slowed down mid-decade as collectors got wise. In fact, resale prices on these pens dropped so far that many collectors picked them up as fantasy pieces, simply because they were so cheap -- in many cases with hardly any premium over a regular BHR example.

As for authentication, there are a number of telltale signs found on the assembled pens, but it should be noted that a really good faker could assemble a pen that would pass. So provenance definitely counts here. Virtually all the fakes I've seen have the overlay slightly loose on both cap and barrel, with the number at the end of the barrel incorrect in one respect or another.

#15 pen piddler

pen piddler

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 112 posts

Posted 17 May 2013 - 09:16 PM

I myself have never owned a genuine Waterman lever-filler overlay over RHR, and in over 20 years I've probably seen no more than three or four examples (including sets). And let me clarify: though assembly of fakes was definitely under way by the end of the 1980s, many more were made in the 1990s -- though I think things slowed down mid-decade as collectors got wise. In fact, resale prices on these pens dropped so far that many collectors picked them up as fantasy pieces, simply because they were so cheap -- in many cases with hardly any premium over a regular BHR example.

As for authentication, there are a number of telltale signs found on the assembled pens, but it should be noted that a really good faker could assemble a pen that would pass. So provenance definitely counts here. Virtually all the fakes I've seen have the overlay slightly loose on both cap and barrel, with the number at the end of the barrel incorrect in one respect or another.


Thank you very much for your reply. I've looked at this set several times since your first reply trying to find something amiss and I don't see anything wrong. I looked again paying close attention to the fit of the overlay and it seems right. Since my first RHR overlay was a fantasy piece that the seller had made, I did know to look at the number and, of course 52 would have been a red flag. The 452 stamp this pen has looks very good and is properly centered. It's positively not a mark that the 4 was added to as that would be way off center.

I'm new to the FPB, but I've been collecting for about fifteen years and my collection is mostly Waterman including several overlays, nevertheless, I still don't consider myself a professional. I had read these pens were rare, but when you called them "extremely rare" it surprised me. I value your professional opinion. This set looks correct to me and your comment about it being a set made me feel better about this purchase, but I still can't help but question its authenticity. Somebody did a very good job if it's not authentic.

#16 George

George

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 256 posts

Posted 17 May 2013 - 10:58 PM

A barrel imprint on the red hard rubber pen is also a usual sign that the pen originally didn't start out as a 452

Regards,
George

#17 pen piddler

pen piddler

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 112 posts

Posted 17 May 2013 - 11:14 PM

A barrel imprint on the red hard rubber pen is also a usual sign that the pen originally didn't start out as a 452

Regards,
George


I only have one other cardinal pen and it's clearly marked 52 V. There are three currently listed on ebay and all of them are also clearly marked. I believe some pens came out of the factory without numbers in BHR and RHR, but I've never heard or read that crdinal pens were usually not marked. I'm here to learn and hopefully help somebody else when I can. May I ask what your source of that information is? Any comments about this topic by the professionals and collectors on this topic?

Thank you very much for your reply, George!

#18 George

George

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 256 posts

Posted 17 May 2013 - 11:22 PM

Sorry- The wording of my response is unclear. I meant a regular barrel imprint opposite the lever which usually reads "Waterman's / Reg. US (Globe) Pat Office / Fountain Pen"

Regards,
George

Edited by George, 17 May 2013 - 11:22 PM.


#19 pen piddler

pen piddler

    journeyman

  • Members
  • 112 posts

Posted 17 May 2013 - 11:46 PM

Sorry- The wording of my response is unclear. I meant a regular barrel imprint opposite the lever which usually reads "Waterman's / Reg. US (Globe) Pat Office / Fountain Pen"

Regards,
George



Ah, I see. Thank you for clarifying that for me. That makes a lot of sense. There's no sign of an imprint there, but that area is mostly covered by the cartouche. There is an imprint that reads "WATERMAN'S REG. U.S. PAT. OFF.MADE IN U.S.A." imprinted around the lower end of the barrel. Thanks again, George!




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users