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33

Maker: Merlin.

I wish I could say more about this pen, but most of its best attributes are of a tactile sort that defy easy explanation, not unlike the problem of describing a smell without resorting to simile.  It might be thought of as an excellent distillation of all the lessons of pen-making that were there for the learning up to 1940 or so; looks, materials, and reliability are all there, but all slightly past the expected date.  The effect is similar (oh, look, a simile) to what one gets watching the Alastair Sim version of A Christmas Carol, in that it is wonderful in all its parts, but you have trouble accepting that it was made as recently as it was.

Production Run: c. 1950 – c. 1955.

Cost When New: Apparently low, and if so it was good value.

Size: 11.9 cm long capped, 13.8 cm posted, 10.5 cm uncapped.

Point: 14k gold, which it also expresses as “585″.  While marked “Merlin”, it also carries the logo of Degussa, the German precious-metals concern that for a time owned Osmia.

Body: Celluloid.

Filler: Button , capacity approx. 0.5 ml

The Merlin 33, which stands here as a poster child for the difficulty of taking a nice picture of really good celluloid; in giving a sense of the visual texture, I’ve let it be a little too radioactive-looking.

 

 

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