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Post Info TOPIC: A compairson of three vintage pens, Osmia-Farber-Castell, Artus, Pelikan 140, and a newer 400


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A compairson of three vintage pens, Osmia-Farber-Castell, Artus, Pelikan 140, and a newer 400
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A comparison of Pelikan, 140, 400, an Artus (the pre-Lamy..Lamy) New Balance and an Osmia-Farber Castell.

The Artus (pre-Lamy) is a Schaffer New Balance copy, as far as I can tell.

Some times it is good to have a few days between writing and posting. The Pelikan 140 also has a New Balance form. It is smaller and thinner than the Artus and did not strike me as so. A couple of my other no name German piston fillers have a similar form to the New Balance, also.

I now have three late 40s or early 50s German piston fillers. The Osmia-Farber-Castel, the 140 Pelikan with an OB nib and the Artuspre-Lamy.

I hope that the 84-96 Pelikan 400 is a very close match for the older model 400s. If not I hope that some one can do a closer comparison.

With the help of a paper bag, one Artus..pre-Lamy was made to work.

Size done in inchesmm would have been easier with all the 1/8s and 1/16ths, but a foot ruler was at hand.

The Pelikans are not blind cap, the other two are. With blind cap you have to remove the end cap, to twist the guts.

Osmia-Farber Castell 140 Pelikan 400 Pelikan Artus (pre-Lamy)


4 7/8 4 15/16 5 5 3/8


4 5/8 4 4 4


5 7/8 5 11/16 5 13/16 6


2 3/8 2 3/8 2 9/16 2 1/2

Nib material, writing width and length.

Steel B 9/16 14 K OB 14 K M Steel M/F

All feeling are subjunctive. I have a nine inch spanyet as a man, my hand is thin. My hand (span of palm) is 3 1-2, to make a hand I count my thumb to come up to the hand's 4 inches. A hand is the measurement of a horse, in that a hand is four inches. Bigger, shorter or thicker, or a womans thinner hand will give a different impression, along with experience. I am noobie still.

All the pens weigh about 14 1/2 grams. I used a Back in the Day fancy blue velvet lined box with its balance pans.

In all cases, the body of the pens, barrels and caps weighed close to each other that the pans were near even.

I ended up brown paper bag smoothing all four pens. Keep your eye open for stores that have or sell old fashioned brown paper bags. Stay away from stones, nibs are not hard steel like a knife. It cost me a nib lightly done, to find that out. Luckily it was mox nix, or nothing special.

Un-posted it sat well, it is of course by design with a piston filler top heavy. It does make the point light. Perhaps it is as it should be, a light point. I had not noticed this before doing the comparison. I ran it across the brown paper bag a while and it smoothed up, is not now toothyor to me slightly scratchy.

The Pelikan 140 is from the same time. It is too small un-posted. It of course feels heavier posted; solid, more balanced than the Artus.

Checking the 400 .I had been surprised the Artus, wrote smoother. A few passes over the brown paper bag, caught the 400 up to the Artus.

Un-posted the 400 is nearly the same size as the Artus.(so it felt to hand and eyewhich in my case was wrong, after measuring.) It sits well. For me it is unusual to write with any pen not posted. (I can see that I will be writing with my new Cross Townsend un-posted. My Silver Parker 75 sits well posted.)

The Artus feels lighter in the hand. The 400 feels a tad heavier, but not as top heavy or light nibbed as the Artus.

3/8ths of an inch makes a difference when posted. The 400 is a Pelikan M, the Artus is M/F in comparison.

Posted both pens write very close to even. The 400 wins the balance test. Feeling is so subjunctive, the then cheaper pen comes very close to the more expensive 400.

The Osmia-Farber-Castell is my only wet writer, and smoothed up well on a brown paper bag. It writes very nicely.well balanced. Posted or un-posted.

(It will not be in rotation until after it is repaired. It needs to be re-corked. And while I will screw around down the road with the no names, a pen that is worth $250 is going to a pro.)

It is very close to the 140 in size.

The 140 is too short un-posted in my thin medium hand. The Osmia-Farber-Castell seems to sit better un-posted. It is odd that 1-8th an inch can make a difference.

Posted the 140 sits a tad lighter in the hand.

What is oddest, is the 140 and the 400, are the exact same size un-posted, one is the 400 is acceptable and the other the 140 is not. The mechanisms are not the same, the newer 400 has a slightly different design. The end cap is the same size, how ever the 140 is more streamlined, there for a smidgen lighter even by design of the end cap.

The last scribble test


Tie for firstOsmia-Farber Castell and the 400. Then the Artus is a nose behind. I would be quite comfortable writing un posted with any of these three pens. The 140 does not feel good to my hand un-posted. I would never write with it un-posted.

Posted is a completely different question.

The 140 wins, second and third by a nose, was a tie between the Osmia-Farber-Castell and the 400. The Artus (pre-Lamy) is last by a step.

The Artus New Balance the cheaper pen, is a very good pen, but because of the longer cap from copying the New Balance, and its piston filler at the end of the pen, makes it just a tad top heavy. If I were to write with it, I would not post it. (I would have, with out a thought, before doing this comparison.)

The 140 also has a long nose cap tip, how ever is 7/16s inch shorter than the Artus (Lamy) New Balance.

Posted the 140 is shorter, and with the mechanism in the rear of the pen; that makes the difference. It is the better pen for me.

The 140 has a gold broad Obliqueand my hand writing with it is readable, and looks like it was done by some one who knew how to write. Im up to P in a Calligraphy book, two or three letters a day and soon Ill be able to writewell print like a champ.

Pictures posted to be posted as soon as I master a camerathis week.

140, Osmia-Farber-Castell, 400, and the Artus.

The Ebay box that started it all


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In Atavar
Osmia-Farber-Castell with the famous Osmia Supra nib, Pelikan 140 with 14 K OB nib, Pelikan 400 14 K medium, and Artus with Artus 92 nib.
Sorry about the lousy picture...

The Ebay box that started it all


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Thanks. They are four interesting pens and I hope you enjoy all of them.

And welcome to the world of Imperial Measurements.

-- Edited by jar on Thursday 12th of November 2009 10:53:02 AM



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Since then I discovered the steel Osmia Supra nib is a semi-flex...not just a wet writer.
The Pelikan 140 OB is also a semi-flex.

It is astounding, how ignorant one can be, but ignorance is curable, thankfully.

Somewhere along the line, I pressed on a semi-flex nib and said...AH HA!!! Then I went back and checked a number of pens.

I now have seven or eight semi-flex nibs.

I don't expect to buy a regular flex nib again, except by accident or a most beautiful pen at a cheap price.

For me, semi-flex dances and one can write fast with them...they dance. Regular flex are now the wall flowers.

The day is coming where I will start selling my regular nibbed pens.
Well some of them.

The Ebay box that started it all


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i'd gladly take some of your regular nibbed pens, sir! you know where i'm at. and i've got plenty of art to trade! wink.gif



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