[ search ]

Wahl #3 Gold-Filled

Wahl #3 pen, gold fill with wavy-line chasing, c1922

In addition to hard rubber (for which they purchased their own rubber company), Wahl also made a specialty out of metal pens in the years around 1920. Most were gold-filled (i.e., a heavy layer of gold was fused to the brass base metal rather than being chemically or electrically plated on), and had chasing in various geometric patterns (Wahl had a particularly fine repertoire of such designs).

This example is from about 1922, and comes in the rather tiny #3 size -- too small for me to get much use from, unfortunately. That's just as well, since I won't be tempted to drag it around with me and will therefore keep it in the very fine shape in which it came to me.

The high quality of early Wahls is in evidence here, particularly when you look at the detail shot below; it shows the very fine wavy-line engraving and the firmly-attached clip, along with the top-notch flexible 14k #3 point.

Surprisingly, these metal pens from Wahl (and others) don't often sell for the kind of premium you'd expect over hard rubber examples, perhaps because they tend to stay in better cosmetic shape over the years than their black or red cousins. On the other hand, they aren't quite as sturdy as they look; they are particularly liable to pick up dents and dings. Polishing, if required, should not be a chore, since the gold fill responds well to only mild buffing, and is heavy enough not to rub off.