Tag: parker 21

Review: Parker 21, Fine


This is one of the pens that I picked up in my first flea market dive. I did find a few other pens but wasn’t confident that I could fix them if I bought them. This one seemed intact except for some brassing on the cap. No clanking sound when I shook it, no brassing around the aerometric filler, and the nib looked beautiful.

The Parker 21 was produced between 1948 to 1965. The pen was redesigned in 1952 because the initial production of these pens (Mark 1) leaked a lot in the cap and the ink dried up after a few days of not being used. This pen’s color is called charcoal grey, which is different from the navy grey of my Parker 51.


The nib is quite similar to Parker 51’s hooded nib. I believe the nib material is octanium and the iridium point is very bulbous. The nib of this pen looks to be fine, though there aren’t any markings on it. It also looks almost new. In fact it’s the only thing that looked clean about the pen when I first found this. Absolutely no ink stains or signs of brassing and wear.. It didn’t seem like the previous owner used it a lot.

Size Comparison (Top to bottom): Parker 51 Special, Parker 21, Full-sized Parker 51

At first glance, it’s easy to mistake it for a Parker 51. The size is close to a full-sized 51, though it’s noticeably shorter. The immense difference is when you hold the pen. Parker 51 definitely feels more weighty, and the Parker 21 feels like a low-budget version of the 51.

Some brassing on the cap

The jewel is also metal instead of black, grey or pearl plastic. The cap is very thin and light, though it slips on comfortably and securely.

Jewel comparison (L to R): Parker 51 special, Parker 21, Parker 51 full-sized


The cap has “Parker 21” etched on it and it looks similar to a Parker 51 cap at first glance if not for the thickness, weight, clip and jewel.

Some brassing on the clip

The clip has a modern-looking quiver with seven lines on it. It looks exactly the same as a Parker 45’s clip. I like the 51’s arrow clip better.

Arrow clips (L-R): Full-sized Parker 51, Parker 21, Parker 51 Special


This pen is an aerometric filler, and I’m pleasantly surprised that the sac is still intact. It looked pretty rough when I got it, and I was ready to send it off to Pentangeli Pen Spa and Nibworks for resaccing, but when I tried to fill it with water, there were no leaks. The sac was still soft and the unsightly white stains on the surface washed away easily. That says a lot about the quality of vintage Parker pens.  Continue reading “Review: Parker 21, Fine”

Thrift Shop Finds!


Today my husband and I had a family dinner to attend so we decided to visit my brother’s family who lives in the same area. My sister-in-law took me to this cluster of thrift shops and antique stores in the area and we snooped around for some pens. I discovered a bit too late that I shouldn’t have been asking the vendors if they have any pens because they always say “no” but when I do a little digging around, I do find some. Perhaps they don’t take good inventory of their merchandise.

Anyway, I found a few Parkers and Sheaffers but I passed on them because the nibs looked pretty banged up. I was able to score a few things, though.

Parker 21, Circa 1952-1965

This is a charcoal grey Parker 21 with a fine nib. I bought it because the sac looked intact, the body had minimal scratches (looks like scratches from daily use) and the nib looked straight and clean. It has a name engraved on the barrel, though I don’t really mind these things. I think it adds more to the history of the pen. Whoever the previous owner is, she took very good care of the pen.

IMG_1653 (2)I tested the aerometric filler with water and it was filling properly, without leaks. So I filled it up with Diamine Dark Olive and whoa, I did not expect it to write as smooth as that. I was thinking of sending it off to the pen spa for restoration but it looks like this pen works right out of the box. Or, in this case, out of a tin can of pens. Definitely my favorite find of the day.

Sheaffer No Nonsense set for a whopping P85

This looks like a set of Sheaffer No Nonsense made as a promotional item by Korean Air. It’s a rollerball and fountain pen, and the section looks to be interchangeable. So I can use either the red barrel and cap or the blue one for the fountain pen. Which will work out great for me since the blue barrel (which is for the fountain pen) is a little rougher than the red one.


The pen had dried blue ink in it and the original Skrip cartridge. I took out the converter from my Sheaffer 300 and it’s a good fit. After cleaning out the residual ink, I filled it up with Sailor Blue Black. It actually writes really well. It’s a very wet and smooth medium nib. For P85, I think this is a great find. Continue reading “Thrift Shop Finds!”