A Red Parker Slimfold


I usually avoid the smaller nineteen-fifties/sixties English Parkers.  They’re excellent pens but the market for them is poor.  This one’s a Slimfold, dating back to around 1962 and it looks like this one has done a lot of work since then.  The gold plating’s still good, though.  I suspect there may have been a cap swap at some time, though, because the cap seems a little darker than the barrel.  The imprint is just discernible and no more.  We’re not going to be exclaiming “Minty!” (awful term) or claiming New Old Stock over this one.  No, it’s what it appears to be, someone’s old workhorse that has ended up on my bench.


The charm of this pen, though, is the nib.  It’s an oblique stub.  Parker didn’t do many of these but when they did, they gave them a sharp edge like an italic.  This one’s a beauty.  I have another with an oblique nib, an equally well-used Junior that is my current every-day user.

These smaller pens have gone out of fashion today.  Everyone wants a pen that will do for a walking stick these days.  Or perhaps provide compensation for physical shortcomings in another respect but I don’t know.  And I’m not going there.  The Slimfold, I must admit, is at the lower end  of the pens I’m comfortable with for extended periods of writing, whereas the Junior is completely fine.  As the arthritis proceeds (I’m not getting any younger, dammit!) I’ll graduate to a Demi and then a full Duofold, followed by a Senior and a Maxima.  After that I’ll scratch messages in the sand with a stick and take photos of them.


Everybody likes red pens, and rightly so.  I like them myself.  Where they really come into their own is as the pen you use for red ink.  It’s truly pernicious stuff.  I spent over an hour today trying to rid a toffee-coloured Waterman Junior of red ink staining.  Suffice it to say that I was not entirely successful.  Never mind.  Tomorrow’s another day.

11 thoughts on “A Red Parker Slimfold

  1. As one of the original purchasers of a Simpole Spirit of Life pen I am not sure what that is saying about anything other than that I have a theory about pen sizes. In my carry case this week I have a Baignol & Farjon Tank 400 as well as a MB 234 1/2. I always carry pens in a large range of sizes as I believe it will help keep my hand flexible and as a deterrent to creeping arthritis. Constantly challenging one’s hands is a good thing I believe and I even go to the point of having a different kind of mouse for each computer that I work at. Use it or lose I say.

    1. I confess I would have to look up all of those pens! However, I take the point that they are of various sizes and may help to keep the fingers from seizing up. That seems like a good idea. I think I’ve probably flogged that thing about big pens being a Freudian compensation to death. It helps to keep the eternal monologue from getting too elevated if I drag it into the gutter and shove its face in the ordure every now and again.

      Not that there was all that much chance of it getting too elevated…

  2. Deb, since I don’t know much about pens I enjoy your musings on different brands and learning about their history. Keep up the good work!

  3. Big pens, and in particular heavy pens – they’re really not my cup of tea at all. I note with interest that one or two of the new modern companies which seem to aim at the collector market have cottoned on to the fact that not everyone wants to write with a shillelagh, but others emphatically have not. They’re missing a trick.

    As for red ink, that’s what Noodler’s pens are for.

    1. There does seem to be a race to build the most unwieldy lump of pen. I’m glad to hear that some are showing better judgement. I never use red ink myself but some of the pens I buy in have been used with it and they can be exceptionally hard to clean.

  4. Pelikan (and Montblanc, actually) are astute in continuing to make a whole range of sizes with the same trim. No doubt there are plenty of enthusiasts with the full set.

    Quite recently I decided that Diamine’s Monaco Red was too good to miss out on, but as you say cleaning is troublesome – and that from a range which is generally quite benign. Best saved for a cheap and cheerful pen which is easily disassembled.

    1. No, but duly noted, thank you. My experiences with R&K inks have all been positive, especially when it comes to cleaning.

  5. Don’t know much about pens but have found these ones in antique shops over the years and they seem to be good writers with particularly nibs with a nice amount of flexibility about them. Thay have an appealing vintage look too.

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