Here’s one you won’t see often – a Conway Stewart Italic. This pen went into production in 1958, which was a peak period in Conway Stewart’s post-war business. The strictures and shortages of wartime and the subsequent era of difficult recovery were over. Their new torpedo-shaped design was selling well and they were expanding the model range.
The pen is similar in shape and dimensions to an 85L, but the metallic blue clip stud and medium cap band with milled edges indicate that this is something special. The nib is special, too. First of all, it’s a thing of beauty. Then, in use, it’s a pleasure to write with. Unlike more modern italics which are often sharp-edged, this one is quite stub-like, a little rounded at the corners and on the leading edge of the nib. It’s quite easy to write cursively with it, something that can be difficult with, say, the Sheaffer No Nonsense Italic. It gives very considerable line variation.
So far as I’m aware, this pen was only available in black and various herringbone colours. It wasn’t a very big seller, as it anticipated the vogue for calligraphy by quite a few years. As a result, it’s decidedly uncommon now, which is a pity, as it’s an exceptional pen.