Thursday, June 17, 2010

Swarna 'Sumo' and other Swarnas

The pattern on the barrel

All Swarna fountain pens

The cap

The whole pen...

Continuing with my explorations for handmade fountain pens from the state of Andhra Pradesh in India, I came across the SWARNA brand of ebonite fountain pens…this was an unexpected lead given to me by my colleague, who I had infected with the FP virus. He had gone hunting pens in his hometown and hit upon a stationery shop which stocked these pens. He called me while still in the shop and told me about the pens and asked me whether I’d like to have them in my collection. The proprietor then took over and then I had a chat with him and decided to buy a set of whatever he had in all colours. After I had started collecting and using ebonite FPs, I had seen that ebonite FPs came in many designs and styles and sizes and colour variations. And true to form, the SWARNA pens that I received after a week were all different from the ones I had (i.e., Ratnam, Guider, Deccan, Prasad, and other smaller brands), but the biggest surprise was the biggest one in the gang. The object of my penfection here is the big ebonite ED filler pen from SWARNA. This pen did not have any name and I decided to call it the SWARNA SUMO…it is a solid looking pen, worth being mentioned along with the ebonite greats of AP...the pen has a very unusually shaped cap...we have all seen tapering down caps, but this cap has a completely black cap jewel...I think a separate part...not part of the swirling mottled brown ebonite body...and I think (again), for this reason, the pen maker decided to have a separate black part at the bottom too, to seal the barrel...normally the barrels of ebonite pens are stand alone single pieces, because ebonite for pens is available as rods and the rods are hollowed to make the caps and barrels...so, this design here is unconventional...the natural swirl pattern on the cap is really nice...and that is the beauty of ebonite pens...no two pens are alike in terms of colour patterns, whether mottled green or mottled brown...

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