Parker Duofold “Big Red”


You might think from my recent grumbling and growling that I was fed up with pen purchasing but it isn’t so, not really.  I have some exciting things coming my way.  My assistant is helpfully lurking behind the hedge watching for the post lady, which is a little unfortunate, given how intimidating she can be.  Post-people expect to be bitten by dogs, but the cat?  I leave it for them to sort out among themselves.  I have better things to do.
Like playing with this Big Red.  It’s the first one I’ve been able to get my paws on for years and I am reminded what a mighty beast it is and how glorious the colour.  This one was made in 1926, I believe, going on the fact that the cap band has been set level with the material of the cap, rather than a little raised as previously.  It hasn’t passed these eighty-seven years entirely unscathed.  There’s a very slight colour difference between the cap and the barrel.  Is one a replacement?  Also, the nib is certainly a replacement, though a very interesting one  It’s a great big No 6 size warranted nib, something I haven’t seen before.  There’s very little barrel imprint left.  I can see “Duofold” and that’s about it.
The pen I’m using every day is an early Slimfold, which is smallish but far from tiny.  Holding them in my hand in the writing position one after the other emphasises the great difference between them.  The Duofold is certainly bigger than the pens I generally use but it isn’t unwieldy or uncomfortable.  I think I could get used to it.  It must have been quite a shock when it was introduced back in 1923, when new pens were rather smaller than they are now.


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