Rose Glow. Today it is perhaps the most cherished Sheaffer Balance color. Offered for
just a few years near the end of Balance's 1929-1941 production
run, Rose Glow always is relatively uncommon, but it is frankly scarce
as the oversized model, Premier.
color might have taken name from the similarly hued barberry bush. Rose
Glow differed from the other striped Balance colors, offering its pearlescent
fuchsia against a pearlescent gray substrate instead of against black.
Rose Glow appeared in 1936-1939 Sheaffer-USA catalogues, ultimately in four tiers or trim levels. Pens also were offered with a well known off-catalogue cap-band pattern,
what collectors call the "jeweler's" cap band. Even more uncommon
cap-band patterns have (rarely) been found.
Glow Balances from Sheaffer's Canadian division generally closely
resembled the pens from USA, differing mainly in clip style.
Other Canadian differences turn up though, most charmingly "reverse
trim", for example chrome-plated trim paired with colors/models
usually found only with gold-filled trim.
Over the years I developed a strong interest in Rose Glow and
slowly assembled a rather significant focused collection of
Balances in that color, one that now might be our hobby's most comprehensive. A detailed review of the hundreds of variants of Balances is beyond the
scope of this profile. But, a peek at this Rose Glow collection
will also hit some of the key general espects of the Balances of
the striated-plastic era (1936-1941).
Image 2: White Dot (Lifetime) 1st Tier Rose Glows
Above:, The top-tier Lifetime Balance. Features: "Lifetime" nib,
smooth medium-girth single cap band, smooth "radius" clip, and White Dot symbol above the clip. Three
diameters and five total sizes.
The oversized pen, which
Sheaffer started to call Premier in 1938, historically has been
considered King of the Rose Glows, indeed King of the celluloid Balances. Most collectors have not owned one.
Original price for the White Dot pens was $8.75, but $10 for the
Slot 5 and 6 feature the "stubby" (standard-short) Balance, a very
scarce model during the striped-celluloid era which was offered only for the early
striped colors though used far more during earlier Balance eras. It was
offered I believe only in Lifetime trim for the striped pens. My set is
Canadian (note the tell of the full-ball "Sheaffer's"-marked clip). I
have not yet seen a USA-made Rose Glow set this size. I believe this size was
last referenced (not illustrated though) in the 1937 Sheaffer catalogue.
Balance pencils all were non White Dot. I've included the oversized and
stubby above, as they match only White Dot pens. Some pencils were paired with both White Dot and non White Dot models.
Image 3: Non White Dot Pens: 2nd, 3rd and 4th Tier
Above: 2nd, 3rd, and 4th-tier Rose Glows
Balance's 2nd-Tier: Smooth
radius clip as with the 1st-tier, two-tone nib marked "Feather
Touch #5", non White Dot cap, and cap band a bit thinner
Only two Rose Glows in the Feather Touch line were
done, the standard-long (Admiral) and slender-short (Milady). Both cost
$5. Slot #2 above should hold a standard-long pencil, which
could be paired with fealther-touch Admiral, with the White Dot Statesman and with the
slender White-Dot Sovereign. I accidentally sold my only pencil that
size. Sigh. The short-slender
radius-clip pencil in slot 4 could be paired with Milady, as shown
above, or with the White-Dot Lady Sheaffer in Image 2, Slot 8.
Balance's 3rd-Tier: Monotone
Sheaffer #3 nib, a still thinner cap-band, and flat-ball "Sheaffer's"
clip, that clip no longer used for higher tier Balances..
The #3-line Balances was done
only slender, both long and short, as Craftsman and Miss Universe,
respectively. The matching pencils lacked matching cap-bands. Both pens cost $3.75
Balance's 4th tier, the Junior: $2.75 original price. Chrome-plated trim, "Junior"-marked nib. Pencil is bandless.
started during the Balance era as a non-Balance with
flat ends. It became a $2.75 Balance
in 1937. Ultimately
Balance Junior was offered slender-short and slender-long, but even in
the 1938 catalogue still was offered only in the short size. I
don't know that a long-Junior Rose Glow ever was made. By 1939 Rose Glow was on the way out, shown only as the Junior model in that year's catalogue.
Missing from my collection:
Radius-clip long pencil and 3rd-tier short pencil (gold-filled,
"Sheaffer's" flat-ball clip, no cap-band). I'm still not sure
Junior-long was made. If you have any of these pens/pencils please do contact me.
Image 4: The "Jeweler's Cap-band" : Off-Catalogue Gems.
Above: "Jeweler's" cap-band Rose Glows
The "jeweler's" cap-band was factory original, despite the name
collectors have given it. It never appeared in the
dedicated annual Sheaffer paper, though I do have a couple general-merchandise
catalogues for niche jewelers that each have a precious page showing
some of these models. It is the most common of the
off-catalogue Balance cap-band patterns. A detailed review of pens with this cap-band
won't fit in this Rose Glow profile. Still...
Most -- perhaps all-- of the typical White Dot models were
offered with this cap band. A number of non-White Dot variants
were done, some of which actually blend features found with
2nd and 3rd tier pens. Two different cap-band girths were
offered. Most pens have the wider band. The thinner version
(see slot 9/10) usually is found with slender low-tier pens,
with #3 or with Junior nibs.
In addition to what is shown above, I suspect the
thin-version of the cap-band can be found also with gold-filled rather
than the illustrated chrome trim, perhaps both in slender-short and
slender-long versions. Just as I don't know that long-Junior regular
models were done, I'm not sure long-slender-chrome Jeweler's band pens
were done. Any stubby (standard-short) Rose Glow is frankly
(I've yet to see one made in USA), but it nonetheless remains possible a stubby
Jeweler's cap-band Rose Glow was done. I am missing the known
slender-long White Dot pen (Sovereign Deluxe). Please contact me if you
have any of the pens/pencils mentioned but not illustrated above.
I'd like to photograph or buy them.
Image 5: Canadian-specific Rose Glows and a fish-scale cap-band pen
Above: Canadian Reverse Trim pens and a USA-issue "fishscale" capband
featured older-style clips (full-ball and flat-ball, both marked
"Sheaffer's") even on high-line pens that had the smooth radius clip in
the USA during the mid-late 1930s. Barrel and nib imprints
of course indicated Canadian origin. The 1st-Tier "stubby" White-Dot Rose
Glow set shown in Image 2 is Canadian. A full discussion of Canadian
Balances is beyond the scope of this essay.
Canada did more often feature "reverse" trim, gray
pens with gold-filled instead of chrome-plated trim and non-Junior
models in other colors with chrome-plated trim instead of
gold-filled. I own two Rose Glow pens and one pencil from
with reverse trim. The
standard-long pen at left, what would be an Admiral in the USA, is an
impressive thing. The slender-short set in middle is
more-or-less equivalent to a Miss Universe set from the USA (3-25 nib,
the niche equivalent to the USA-made #3 nib). Both pens have the
full-ball clip, which went out of production in the USA in 1934.
To the right of the Canadian reverse-trim pens is a USA-production
fish-scale cap-band pen, featuring a special cap-band
pattern far more rare than the "jeweler's" band. I've seen
Rose Glows with this cap-band, both slender-long. I'm
grateful to own one of them. With White Dot and Lifetime nib, this likely
served a similar niche to the Sovereign Deluxe Jeweler's-band pen.
paper ever has been found describing this cap-band.
Right: Closeup of the fishscale cap-band Rose Glow Balance.
Since this scarce pattern was used with Balances of all sizes, it is possible that other
Rose Glow models with this cap-band could turn up. An oversized Rose
Glow with fish-scale cap band would be... something.
Left: Triple Deco cap-band
rare Balance cap-band (more rare than fish-scale, dwarfing the rarity
of the "jeweler's" cap band) is the triple cap-band.
In a tragedy for humanity, I did not have
the winning bid a few months ago for the ebay auction for the pencil it
left, and it went to a pencil collector. I've not seen another
triple cap-band Rose Glow,
but since that cap-band was used for pens of most/all sizes, again it
is possible that Rose Glow pens could turn up. In twenty years
hunting I've seen
only one oversized triple cap-band Balance, the Golden Brown
example in my collection. If you find a Rose Glow pen with this cap-band, contact me ASAP.
Rose Glow Premier is considered
King of the Rose Glows, indeed King of the celluloid
Balances. During twenty years collecting I'd seen or heard of just
three or four examples of that oversized pen with the upgraded wide "jeweler's"
cap-band. I managed to buy one just this month, a pen we
perhaps can consider Emperor of the Rose Glows.
It is shown above in Image 4 with its plunger-fill barrel. I paired a
lever-fill barrel with the cap for this dedicated shot. You can see the
short essay about this lucky find HERE.
I've been collecting pens, including Balance, for about 20 years (as of
2018). My Rose Glow Balance collection hovers at 29 different pens and
pencils, perhaps the world's most comprehensive collection. It should be 30, but I think I accidentally sold a pencil I
didn't have in spare.
I already had a couple
Rose Glows in my collection back in 2001, my serious pursuit
was kindled that year by my encounter with an admittedly quite
trashed Premier (oversized pen) in an antiques shop in upstate NY, followed by
discussion a few minutes later with a more seasoned collector about that pen's
cachet. You can see the story of that encounter HERE.
charm and power in pursuing a focused sub-collection of pens. I would
be happy to hear about Rose Glow variants not shown above, either for
my database, to photograph or to purchase.
-David R. Isaacson
Sept 29, 2018