I was going to write about a different pen today but it was uncooperative and wouldn’t come apart for me, so that’s for another day. It takes time, patience and an absolute determination to have one’s way. In the end I will prevail and that uppity Wyvern will surrender to my will (cue evil laughter here).
I’ve had a lot of Croxleys lately, which is a good thing. They’re great pens with extremely good nibs, sometimes oblique, generally at least semi-flexible and often more. There are a couple of other Croxley models, but it’s this, the most common one that interests me today.
I suspect that these pens were made over a lengthy period. At first glance they’re all the same but on closer examination they’re not. There’s a noticeable difference in capped length between the longest and the shortest. To a degree, that’s almost universal in older pens. Measure twenty Waterman 52s and you’ll be unlikely to get two exactly the same. The difference I’m seeing in the Croxleys is greater than those minor variations, though.
Not infrequently, I take the clip screw off so that I can clean the cap and trim properly. Turns out there are two types of clip screw, one with an extremely long thread and the other much shorter. As the clip screw acts as an inner cap and determines where the pen will close firmly, there’s probably a relationship between pen length and which clip screw is used. Duh! I’ve been seeing this for a while without coming to any conclusions. Note to self: Try to be a little more observant!
And (you’re not supposed to start sentences with “and”. But I defy you, Syntax Police, and I might even start a sentence with “but”) here’s another thing. I haven’t missed this one by leaving the brain in neutral, I’ve just never seen one before: a two-tone 14ct gold Croxley nib. Two-tone nibs are uncommon in high-quality British pens, though plated ones are sometimes seen in low-cost pens. I would take them to be later rather than earlier, but perhaps that’s because they’re so common today. Regardless, it seems there was a period when Croxley nibs were plain gold and another time when they were two-tone. Whichever came first, there’s the possibility of a dating sequence there, which may combine with the long and short clip screws to give us a better idea of how this excellent pen developed.
My suspicion that the two-tone nib is later is immediately contradicted by the condition of this pen. It has some of the most worn plating I’ve seen on a Croxley, which would suggest that it had been around longer. Or maybe they scrimped on the plating on the later models. I don’t know, but I think some of these questions may ultimately be capable of being answered.
Anyway, I like the dark, almost bottle green in this pattern. It’s a nice pen and it will be a little nicer by time I’m done with it.