I haven’t had one of these for quite some time. It’s an English Waterman Ideal, quite large at 13.2 cm, an altogether substantial pen. It was made in the late forties and has been well looked after; the box and papers are in good condition like the pen itself. Neither the barrel imprint nor the nib engraving give any hint as to the name or model number of the pen.
Not that it matters. This pen really is all about the nib. These keyhole nibs are glorious, almost always flexible – this one is – and they are among the very best of the Waterman nibs, and that’s saying something! I think I was lucky to get this pen at the price I did. I use Alexa to remind me that it’s time to bid. I decided on the price I would go to and sat watching with my finger on the mouse button. I expected a barrage of bids in the last thirty seconds. There were one or two but the final price was well within my range. These little eBay battles do provide some excitement in the course of the day.
Working on the pen I remembered previous keyhole nibs I’ve had. They were all exceptional. Did Waterman market them in a special way? Were their qualities well known in the forties, famous enough that those in the know asked the shopkeeper for a keyhole nib? We may never know but I am delighted when one comes my way.