Mark Ferth was originally founded in the late 1800s by the J.W. Middleton Company. They made school supplies of every type including steel pens. However, at the turn of the century they sold the rights to Esterbrook. During this time they were known as Mark Ferth’s English Chilled Steel (It was called ‘English’ because at that time the steel was imported from England and no one in the US was making chilled steel of high quality). The Mark Ferth line ceased production during WWI but was later revived by Esterbrook in the 1940s. They are now simply Mark Ferth Pens Chilled Steel.
The distinction between the Mark Ferth line and Esterbrook’s standard pen line is how the steel is treated. The “Chilled Steel” has the advantage of being more durable. It accomplishes this by using extreme cold temperatures to cool the steel rather than quenching the steel in oil/minerals. This rapid cooling or “chilling” strengthens the bonds between the steel crystals. In fact, when I have compared Esterbrook’s production steel against Mark Ferth’s steel, I can see that the surface is a bit smoother. Additionally, I have found that the Mark Ferth line has better action and writes a bit more smoothly than the Esterbrooks. It makes sense when one considers that the surface on the points are smoother.
The Mark Ferth you are considering is the #2 Oval Point pen. It is an identical copy of the Esterbrook #788 Oval Point pen. Evidence of this can be found in a comparison photo provided for this listing. Mark Ferth pens are extremely rare as they were not as widely distributed and not largely produced. Considering the advantages that the Mark Ferth line adds to the pen, this will outperform its Esterbrook counterpart in both longevity and action. Don’t miss your opportunity to own this rare beauty! At present I don’t have the #788 Oval Point listed, but I do have quite a few of them! If you’re interested in doing a side by side comparison of the Mark Ferth #2 and the Esterbrook #788 Oval Point please message me and request a custom order.
This pen is new old stock and maintains its original factory finish. There are no signs of rust or oxidation, however this particular line of pens can have some discoloration or patina. This pen is coated with a varnish that protects the pen from rust. This varnish must be removed prior to use to ensure correct ink flow from the pen. Dipping the pen into ink and wiping away the excess is the best way to remove the varnish. You may have to perform this task 2 or 3 times. You will know that it has worked when the ink evenly covers the pen and does not bunch up into blobs.
If you have any questions about this pen, or other pens, feel free to contact me or visit my website at: http://www.whiteapplemultimedia.com/vintagenibs.html.
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Shipping & policies
URGENT NOTICE FOR INTERNATIONAL BUYERS: I process all my shipping and declaration forms within Etsy. Etsy will automatically add the item's description, value, and amount paid in shipping to the declaration form. This information cannot be altered. Please consider your country's tariffs and import costs when making a purchase.
NOTICE: As of January 16th 2016, USPS has increased their shipping rates. Sadly, that means I have to increase my shipping rates. :(
I ship via USPS within 1 - 3 business days (depending on if Sunday is in the mix). I do not try to make money with shipping. I put an average cost and quite often the actual amount is more than what I quoted. Don't sweat it, I will not be asking for more money :). If an upgrade in shipping is available for less than a dollar more, I will upgrade at no extra charge. That's just how I roll! Also, if I fail to ship within 3 days (Sundays excluded) I will upgrade the shipping to Priority. If I am unable to ship within three business days, I typically upgrade to Priority. I cannot do this for international orders, I apologize.
I do ship internationally to anywhere USPS ships! However, it can take a bit of time to get the package, so please be patient! :) There is no method of determining how long a package will take to arrive at a foreign country. Typically, I have seen the package leave the USA within 3 - 5 business days. It will likely take a day to fly to any destination. It must then go through foreign customs. Then it will be sent to that country's delivery system. In my experience it can take as little as 8 - 10 days and as long as a month. Etsy does seem to have a way to track these packages when they are in other countries, so if you are concerned about where the package is, let me know and I can check the tracking.
PLEASE do not wait a month to notify me that you have not received your package (unless this is an international order). I will attempt to track down all packages before I consider them a loss.
Payment seems to be straight forward. :) I accept credit cards and paypal. I prefer either.
Returns & exchanges
- Custom or personalized orders
- Perishable products (like food or flowers)
- Digital downloads
- Intimate items (for health/hygiene reasons)
These are items to be used as a supply and therefore they cannot be returned once used. I spend a good deal of time writing out the description of each item, so there should not be any confusion as to what is being purchased. I am available for questions regarding usage, so please do not hesitate to ask.
In regards to refunds, there would need to be a serious error on my part or a circumstance beyond normal control to warrant a full refund from me directly. Please contact me through Etsy to discuss any issues with the order. If you need to, please exercise your right to file a claim with Etsy.
In regards to lost packages, Etsy offers both buyer and seller protection. I will work through Etsy's official channels where these matters are concerned. I will do everything in my power to contact the postal service and fight to get the package back or to its intended destination. PLEASE NOTE that these procedures take time. Postal offices have to commit to an investigation as does Etsy. The sooner you report a lost package the quicker it will be to track it down. I also purchase insurance on every order.
I keep pristine records of all transactions, including receipts for shipment. I keep them on file for seven years. If proof of shipment is required by any party, it can be given easily.
With that said, I am more than reasonable, if there is an problem with the order I am happy to resolve the issue to mutual satisfaction where applicable.
In regards to EU customers, the online selling laws have changed. A customer is required to fill out a refund form and mail it before a refund can be processed. Please check your country's website or Etsy to locate such a form.
Prices and availability of the pens are subject to change without notice. The price of the pens are based on age, demand and availability. I will not price match other shops.
Understand that these pens are no longer made. Their value is increasing and their availability is decreasing. These pens are vastly superior to modern day dip pens. Therefore, they have an inherent, intrinsic value. Modern day dip pens cost between .75 to 1.25 USD a pen. The pens in my shop are vintage or antique as well as being tempered steel and thus are going to be more valuable. Some have plating made of gold and or silver, increasing their value further. Some are extremely popular as well as being very difficult to find. Especially for the renowned "Dream Nibs." Many times, an investment of hundreds or thousands of dollars is required to get these pens. It is becoming more and more difficult to acquire even for the most common of pens, because the price point is beyond my comfort level.
With that said, if you find these pens elsewhere for cheaper, by all means buy those pens up! I will not price match. People seeking a discount will have to contact me privately for a custom order. An order of 10 or more pens will receive a 10% discount.
Again, if you have questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me. I am here to help.:)