type this Oct 3 2018. I've been collecting old pens a bit more than
twenty years... time flies. I've hunted Sheaffer's Balance all that time,
and for most of that time I've aggressively hunted the 1930s Sheaffer Balance in the color Rose Glow. I've tried to add
to my collection each new Rose Glow pen or pencil variant I meet, my collection
now numbering about 30 items. I've had my share of oversized
(Premier model) pens over the years, a scarce pen considered by many to be King of the Balances.
if the oversized pen is King of the Rose Glows and indeed King of
the plastic Balances, there remains... an emperor. The oversized model,
Premier, ever so occasionally has been found with an upgraded
wide/lined cap-band collectors call the Jeweler's cap-band. I've seen
or know of perhaps just four examples. A couple of those were quite
worn. It has pained me to lack an example in my Rose Glow collection.
Rick Krantz has been a friend in the hobby since the beginning. A well
regarded expert in his areas of interest, he has a knack for
finding great pens in the wild. So, I was all ears when he called me a couple weeks ago and mentioned
having spotted an oversized Rose Glow Balance at a country estate
auction and when he wondered if I might want it. .
Who turns down a Rose Glow oversized Balance, if it can be found "right"? We
discussed a price range. He planned to grade it before doing any
bidding. I was amazed he didn't want it for his own collection. He noted the auction website photo
for the pen showed it in cellophane in box. Could it be mint?
When he forwarded me that rough photo, my jaw dropped. Rick had not
mentioned the pen had the wide "jeweler's" cap-band. It was not just a
Premier, it was Premier Deluxe, just the fifth I've encountered the
past twenty years. Emperor of the Rose Glows!
We discussed value range. Rick noted he'd take better photos when he
visited the auction location. This thing was just sitting on a table,
amidst all sorts of old household tools, collectables and knicknacks.
Turned out the set was not in original Sheaffer boxes and plastic.
Those red boxes were Esterbrook boxes. The pen was not mint. It
was cosmetically clean, but had hefty barrel ambering, not uncommon to
plunger-fill Rose Glows. Clean trim. Tight clip. Razor-sharp
barrel imprint. No personalization. Very very nice. I did wonder if the
pencil in fact was not oversized, but rather standard size.
Yeah, the pen's blind-cap would need to be reattached to the
plunger stem, but I know restorers who properly can do that, and I
hoped local collectors might be put off by that issue, keeping the
price down. Rick took a more crisp photo of the set, posed
with his rare Waterman Pickle pen (oooh... I mean Tree Trunk pen). The pen
looked really quite nice.
We worked out a bidding plan. The pen sold for but a fraction of our
bid. Rick confirmed he was willing to let the set go, and he sent it my
way. I am grateful. Great shape for the pen. Great shape for what
indeed turned out to be the standard-size pencil. I find it interesting
an ancient set found in a non-collecting setting still had size
mismatch for pen and pencil. Perhaps back in 1938 the jeweler who
sold the set did not have the big pencil in stock. So it goes.
now have some 10 Rose Glow pen and pencil variants with the Jeweler's
cap-band. I truly am thrilled finally to own the Emperor of the Rose
Glows. I owe one to Rick. I placed the cap on a lever-fill
barrel for the art shot below, but it will rest happily in my
collection with its plunger-fill barrel.