This post is a special tribute to Graham Greene. He was my number one favourite novelist for the genre. He wrote his magnum opus, “The Heart of The Matter” with an olive green Duofold. This is the novel’s first edition cover.
It’s only natural for a fountain pen and Graham Greene fanboi as I am, the Parker had to be one of my “semi-grail” pen. I’ve been chasing a facsimile ever since I read a post by user grr at FPN; for whom I also would like to express my gratitude for his research.
The Georgetown University Library found the pen that Greene included in his collected papers for The Heart of the Matter [good novel, BTW], and I went over to see it this morning. It is a Parker Duofold New Style, produced in the UK at the Newhaven pen factory in, I believe, 1946.
The New Style Duofold appears to be an inexpensive copy of the Streamline Duofold that was produced in the U.S. from 1929 until 1936. When I first saw the pen, I assumed it was from the 30s and that Greene must have owned it long enough for it to have sentimental value before he put it in his collected papers. But now I see that he must have bought it in 1946 or 1947, shortly before he started to write The Heart of the Matter. Maybe he bought it just for that purpose?
A few observations: the pen is a button filler, the color is Olive Green with gold trim, and the nib is 14K gold and appears to be a medium (but there was no size marking, and I couldn’t be sure about that). The cap screws on, and it has two small holes drilled in the sides which at first I thought might indicate the pen had once been mounted in a display case, but it turns out they are vent holes that are original to that model. The pocket clip and the cap and barrel bands are gold-filled, and the non-metal parts of the pen are made of celluloid. All very unadorned and utilitarian. The nib had been cleaned before the pen was put away, and I didn’t see any clue to the color of ink Greene used. The pen showed hardly any signs of wear and tear, except that the tip of the the pocket clip was bent about 4mm away from the body of the cap.
I don’t know how common it is for authors to place the pen(s) they used in with their collected manuscripts, but I think it is a great idea.
Source: http://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/145595-graham-greene/ *Emphasis mine
I hope grr had managed to find one to restore (last post above), because for the last fortnight I did manage just that—after six long years scouring the bowels of the beast— this pen came up. There weren’t much interest in it, probably because of its condition, and it was even listed as burgundy! HA! But I knew it was the one, so I didn’t hold any punches. So here we are.
Don’t worry, this time I won’t bore you with the restoration process. In fact, I had just finished a black one in the previous week, here they are at the finishing line; resaccing. But if you’re keen, here’s another I did quite sometime ago.
Now I have four black collateral damages from hunting down the olive colour.
Pen: Parker Duofold NS (New Style)
Year of manufacture: 1946, Newhaven Parker plant
Nib: 14K Broad, hard rubber feed
Materials: All celluloid, gold filled furniture
Misc. photo props; Design.Y record 216 notebook, Iroshizuku Yama-budo, Edelstein Sapphire.
“That’s a fine pen you’ve got there, Mr. Greene! I have one exactly like it.” —TR