From the first time I saw one – a very, very long time ago – I have always loved the Duofold. It’s probably the most copied pen ever, even more than the Parker 51. Its huge influence carries on to the present day.
Much as I love the Duofold I couldn’t use one in those days because I always wrote with a flexible nib and Duofolds are not noted for flexibility. I know there are some that will produce a little line variation but most are nails.
Times change and so did I. I decided to try firm nibs and I have never looked back. I love a nail. Duofolds became right up my street and I have had one ever since, a beautiful black firm fine that is a treat to use.
Is there a best vintage Duofold? Best in shape, best in colour? Silly question really. We all have our favourites and mine is the original, the 1st version that was produced from 1921 to 1928. The only major differences in that period were the shift from hard rubber to Dupont’s Permanite and the change from a single medium cap band to two slender ones.
Which is the point where this pen comes in, a 1927 or 1928 Lapis Lazuli two-ring Duofold. Such a splendid thing, perhaps the answer to my earlier question. For me, this is the best Duofold. The mineral Lapis Lazuli has been well known since antiquity, used for carving and crushed to produce blue paint. It was an obvious choice for pen manufacturers once it became clear that celluloid could be made in such colours. Parker made two versions of its Lapis Lazuli, one being white on blue, the other pale blue on dark blue. I believe this one is the earlier white on blue.