When I’m at the San Francisco Pen Show, I make a point to check out the the Peyton Street Pens table. They carry some of the most unusual items, particularly pens from the Indian manufacturer Ranga as well as many amazing restored vintage pens.
This year, I picked up an ebonite Bamboo Slim model made by Ranga in solid green with a fine italic JoWo nib that was ground by their in-house nib meister. I love how the seam of the cap is hidden so completely by the grooves of the bamboo design. From that standpoint, the pen is the most “novelty” design I’ve ever purchased but the ebonite and slim shape is incredibly comfortable in my hand and the fine italic grind makes writing a pleasure as well. What initially turned out to be a bit of a last-minute, impulse purchase at the end of a long pen show weekend has become a bit of an everyday carry for me.
The grip section is long enough to be comfortable to hold for writing for long periods of time which was surprising because again, it was a bit of an impulse purchase. I thought the pen was charming.
The nib is a standard JoWo nib but being at the show allowed me to get a slightly more customized nib option. This is a fine cursive italic nib which came with a slight upcharge but was well worth it to me.
The best part of this pen, of course, is the writing experience. I love writing with it. From the day I bought it in San Francisco, I’ve had it filled with PenBBS #224 Tolstoy which is a perfectly olive-y green ink. It’s like writing with bamboo.
What I did discover is that while the cap does post on this pen, I do not recommend it. It looks ridiculous for starters and the material around the cap is not strong enough to handle the wiggling that is required to put the cap on and off the end of the pen to post it without cracking. As you can see, within a few weeks, I weakened and cracked the ebonite around the edge. I’m hoping that I can get it repaired before the piece breaks off. So… don’t post your cap, even though I know you want to! The pen is long enough without it. The pen is 5.25″ long uncapped and 5.75″ capped.
Weightwise, it comes in at 16gms uncapped and filled with the converter . Capped, it weighs 20gms.
I recall the final price for the pen to be around $100-$120 with nib and material which looks to be the listing price on Ebay and their site. With a standard nib, the price is about $72 which is a great price!
While it doesn’t look like Peyton Street lists this particular pen color and nib configuration (they recommend if you want the fine italic nib to choose “no nib” and then go to the nibs section and choose the JoWo #6 nibs and select the custom nib units) on their web site, they often list pens on their Ebay site, including several of the solid ebonite Bamboo Slim models.
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I bought the Ranga Bamboo in Ice from Peyton Street Pens – because I can’t resist demonstrator(I use it as an eye dropper filler rather than the converter) or Orange Pens! I was surprised at how nicely it wrote and although I haven’t had any issues with the cap cracking as you discuss, it just feels awkward to post the cap. It is a real nice value pen…also similar you should look into the ASA Pens from India – I had a customer lefty architect grind done it when I bought it at the DC pen show. Remarkably nice pen. Have really been enjoying it.