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A red and black herringbone-patterned 1930s Conklin Nozac fountain pen set features a 'word gauge' that helps it write 7000 words before running out of ink. It is for sale at the Eastern Pen Show on March 4 in Cambridge

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The pen is valued at £2000 and will be on display at the Eastern Pen Show event in the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Cambridge on Sunday, March 4.

These specialist fountain pen shows, which are run across England, offer the collector plenty of choice of antique, vintage and some contemporary pieces and have done much to focus attention on this collecting area.

This interesting rarity, for viewing only, is with fountain pen collector and dealer Jeremy Collingridge, one of the UK Pen Shows’ co-owners and organisers, with Ian Williamson.

Made by the Conklin Pen Company in Toledo, Ohio, from 1931 and promoted as “the pen that winds like a watch”, the Conklin Nozac was influenced by Art Deco designs in the late 1920s and early ’30s.

This was a time of brilliantly coloured pens including the V-line herringbone design, made partly to brighten spirits dampened by the Depression. When a word gauge feature was introduced in 1932, Nozac’s advertising proclaimed: “A pen without a word gauge is like a car without a gas gauge.”

Collingridge said: “This particular pen has a gauge on the side with an ability to see the ink level on the inside.

“The 7m means that it will write for 7000 words before it runs out. This follows a folklore story where a contract was lost because a pen ran out of ink. The gauge was a selling feature to support the sophistication of the writer. Cushion point was a description given by Conklin to that nib style to give the impression of its excellence in writing.”

ukpenshows.co.uk