Sheaffer Imperial Sovereign


I find Sheaffers, especially post-war ones, hard to identify.  So many models, so little difference between them! I bought a couple of these cartridge/converter Imperial pens this week and my researches tell me that this one is a Sheaffer Imperial Sovereign.  If I’ve got that wrong I expect someone will be along to tell me.  Similarly, it was difficult to find a reliable date for this pen’s introduction.  It’s variously stated as “late 60s” and 1972.  Take your pick; I’m none the wiser!
I don’t think I would have gone into a shop and bought this pen for myself – it’s too blingy for me.  It is a very pretty pen, though, and the diamond-cut finish makes it glitter and reflect movement near it in an interesting way.  It’s quite a big pen at 13.2 cm but it isn’t heavy.  The chiselled finish prevents fingerprints, often an annoyance with metal pens.  The slip-on cap grips firmly.  The inlaid nib is a beautiful thing and the shiny black section contrasts with the gold.
It’s a nice writer – the nib with its round bead of tipping material is very smooth.  In the usual Sheaffer way, it’s firm.  Not especially my style, but it’s so comfortable in the hand and the nib glides over the paper so effortlessly that I could write with this pen all day.
It came in a box, a very nice brown leather look one and it was accompanied by a Sheaffer cartridge and a squeeze converter, indications that this pen has been hardly used.  The box is quite wide and it may be that the pen was accompanied by another writing instrument: a ballpoint pen, a rollerball or a mechanical pencil.

Several of the more modern Sheaffers have been a disappointment, but this, it seems to me, is a traditionally well-made Sheaffer of the kind that we expected to see until recently.  It all fits together with admirable precision.  As it is a “white-dot” pen we have learned to expect that it should be a superior model.  This one is.


5 thoughts on “Sheaffer Imperial Sovereign

  1. The metal Imperials fitted with inlaid nibs are impressive writers, and, as you note, very comfortable pens. I personally like the Sheaffer nibs quite a bit, and very often the finishes used on the pens as well. Thank you for this post about this impressive pen.

  2. You have identified this pen correctly IMO as a Sheaffer’s Imperial Sovereign in Guiilloche. It is dated c.1970’s. These pens are hard to find without dented barrel and/or cap ends. The inlaid nibs are deliciously smooth, especially if you can find one in medium. Here’s the matching ballpoint (don’t let the price sway you, it’s high in my opinion):

    Here’s the fountain pen (scroll down the page):

    A similar model in guilloche is the much sought after Sheaffer Silver Imperial. See the full three-piece set here:

    The pics are courtesy of Teri Morris at Peyton Street Pens (no affiliation). Thank you for sharing this lovely pen with us Deb.

    Best Regards, David in Jakarta

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