Friday, 19 February 2016

My Merlins so far

I have just made a box for my Merlins, repurposing a rather nice humidor. These charming little pens had outgrown their previous accommodation, because they've been multiplying. So they now occupy a box with three separate levels of pen tray and room for an ink pot or two.

I'm fascinated by these pens. They are bright, without being gaudy. They are slim, without being stupidly tiny. They are really nicely put together. And apparently they are German parts assembled in Holland for the Dutch market. I've been told the parts may be by Osmia, but I don't have evidence for that.

Most of these are Merlin 33s. Single cap band, black cap tassie and blind cap; the clips vary. In the top tray, somce of the gorgeous marbled celluloid colours. This appears to be spiral wrapped celluloid.
In the second tray, more 33s including one of the pinstripes. These seem to be much less common than the marbled pens. Also two flowing streaky celluloids, which remind me of Esterbrooks in the slightly pearlescent material.
 In the bottom tray I have some real rarities. I paid up for the little cracked pearl Merlina. I've never seen another one. Then there are the green ones which remind me of the Parker 'toothbrush' Geometric, though the shape is not so strongly defined, and another one-off which I'm very glad to have, a herringbone.

And at the bottom, something completely different. It's a Merlin Osmi piston-filler. All the other pens here are button fillers, but this charming little pen I picked up on ebay has a piston, which works! The only difficulty was that, when I acquired it, the blind cap was firmly stuck on and couldn't be budged. On went the latex gloves and on went the hair dryer; what a nice moment when I finally felt the slightest give in the pen, and heard a little creak of threads grating against each other. Two minutes later, I was flushing the pen, and to my delight, the apparently dark blue ink window turned out - less the remnants of the pen's last fill - to be a light green. I'll certainly be buying more Osmis if I see them!

Birds of a feather

'Merlin' might possibly remind you of King Arthur's wizard. But I think that's not what the name is all about.

Quite a few pens are named after birds. Famously, there is Pelikan. There are the Swan family (Swan, Blackbird and Jackdaw) and the Merle Blanc (Blackbird in French). There's a Dutch pen called 'Heron' (Reiger, in Dutch) of which I have one. And of course the merlin is a bird of prey. So... here is one.
Courtesy of 'Just a prairie boy' on flickr, via Wikipedia - a Canadian Merlin feasting.
Collecting these little pens has given me a great deal of enjoyment over the past few years. One or two still need repairs: one needs a nib. I'm still looking for the 'coconut macaroon' that I once saw a photo of on Richard Binder's website and can't now find any evidence of... and I don't have enough blue. And there are two spaces left in the box.

4 comments:

  1. Very nice collection. I'm also a Merlin collector but I've targeted gathering as many different models as I can find. I'm up to 10 now, possibly 11 if the promotional pen I just posted about is really a Merlin. Have a look http://mtsstudios.blogspot.com/

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  2. Very nice collection. I'm also a Merlin collector but I've targeted gathering as many different models as I can find. I'm up to 10 now, possibly 11 if the promotional pen I just posted about is really a Merlin. Have a look http://mtsstudios.blogspot.com/

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  3. That's a nice collection. I've managed to diversify my little collection since I posted, with a piston filler, which arrived in a rather poor state but with a bit of a polish and a good soak of the insides soon looked as good as the others. But I'm still after what Richard Binder I think called the 'coconut maroon', a sort of faux-tortoiseshell in predominantly white with coffee and dark brown 'dashes'. (A celluloid also used by Kreuzer and Rodur, both German manufacturers in the lower tier of pens.)

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  4. Wow!I didn't know that so many merlins ectualy existed, I got a green marbled merlin 33, I'm in the middle of placing an order for a sac and presure bar (anchor bar) but while polishing the pen I got to the clip, I didnt know it was gold plated so I polished it and now it's looking terible. It also has some oxidisation on it

    if anyone could help me with a solution on how to fix it, I would greatly appreciate it

    Thank you in advance
    Lego Man 12345 12345

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