Parker “17” Lady

This is the Parker “17” Lady. I don’t know why we have to have quotes around the 17 but Parker put them there so it seems we do. Like the rest of the 17 range, this pen is a descendant of the Aerometric Duofold, differing mainly in the hooded nib. It’s quite a small pen at 12 cm capped, and it is slender and light. This is because we ladies have tiny little hands that can’t hold anything as huge and heavy as a Parker Junior. I don’t think that pen makers condescend to us in quite this way today – at least I hope they don’t, other than Bic, with their (widely mocked) sparkly pink offering. However, until recently it was assumed that we needed tiny pens.

Having got that out of the way the Lady is a pretty decent pen. The 14 carat gold Parker nib is made to the usual high standards and the Aerometric filling system is, as always, designed to last, if not forever, for a very long time. The sprung barrel ring ensures that the pen closes firmly. This example has retained its box and guarantee, which suggests that it wasn’t used all that much. It is in pretty pristine condition.

As it is quite late, I will have a tiny snack and a tiny cup of tea and get off to my tiny bed.


4 thoughts on “Parker “17” Lady

  1. if you like small then yes, it’s o.k. – at least a tad longer than the C.S. Dinkies – and better nibs, though the boring polystyrene colours are no match for the Dinkies coloured and marbled livery. As a collector you need examples of all these models, though I’ve never tried writing with one.
    No idea as to why quotes round the “17”, though I did wonder if it was simply to indicate that it was an updated version of the original LADY from the late 1950s – but can’t imagine that’s the real answer. I have a French made 18 ct. LADY with open nib, but not sure Newhaven ever did a LADY with an open nib – Peter will probably put me right 🙂
    I can’t see any relevant comments on Tony Fischier’s site.

    Don’t get the feeling the that this odd number is related specifically to the LADY, as “17” is also applied to one or two other Newhaven aerometric Duofolds ‘types’ – however, can’t imagine it means nothing – someone somewhere must have used it for a reason – it really is irresponsible to leave posterity with such a conundrum. Perhaps it was first released seventeen years after some particular event – something akin to the rationale behind the No. for P51.

    There is a LADY Insignia which is a bit of a looker – came out first in ’67 I think, and mine carries a personalization showing a date in 1968 and with traditional feathers on the clip though the cap omits the word LADY. There is a slightly later LADY Insignia which does carry the word LADY and has the P45 clip, and the range also includes a LADY (the word not shown on the body though) with r.g. cap only and again a P45 clip. All these models have hooded nibs, and variants and model changes within this small group aren’t as simple as perhaps first thought.

    Whilst all models from the LADY group are v.g. value for money and very usable, my opinion is that their design lacked innovation and imagination, when compared to much of Parker’s output from the ’30s and ’40s. though of course we all want more ‘Maximas’! I don’t think it helps either that I’m biased against hooded nibs.

    Too long I know Deborah – bin it all if you wish – nothing special anyway:-)

  2. As far as I know the first Duofold Lady’s had a hooded nib.
    I thought the 17 was the base level hooded nib pen that succeeded the Duofold series in the early ’60’s although, being Parker, some had standard nibs to begin with.

  3. thanks Peter – so probably the only LADY pens with open nibs were those made in France and having 18 ct. nibs. I have just one black example and whilst the barrel imprint is very worn I can just make out PARKER – MADE IN FRANCE, but it lacks a model name. I’m assuming it must be a LADY as aside from the nib it’s otherwise a dead ringer in size etc.

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