By Daniel Zazove & Ramón Campos. February, 2023.

Commencing in the latter half of the 1920’s there was a sea change in the marketing of business and office writing products. Until then, it appeared that the desk set would require many years before its acceptance as an indispensable piece of office equipment.

It is worth noting that Parker was uniquely able to capitalize on a structural advantage that only its Duofold possessed – simply screwing a taper to the end of the barrel transformed a pocket pen to a desk pen. Similarly, removing the taper restored it to a Pocket Pen. The conversion of an ordinary pocket pen to a desktop unit and vice versa, accelerated the process of public acceptance. Through constant research and improvement, unique and exquisite designs, and expansive advertising campaigns the Company promoted the benefits of getting two pens for the price of a single fountain pen. Parker demonstrated why this value could not be obtained from any other writing instrument manufacturer.

”Like two pens in one” By getting a free cap and clip with the purchase of a desk base the public  had the feeling of purchasing a more valuable product than from its competitors George Parker in his complementary statement thus promoted the benefits of  the Parker desk sets.

The desk set revolutionized the writing instrument market and eventually led to its acceptance as an essential item for home and office. The Parker desk pen played a prominent role in this process.

Walter Guyot moved to Janesville from Attleboro in 1921 with George Gilman to work at Parker Pen and at American Metal Co. In January of 1926, Guyot filed a patent application followed by two subsequent improvements for a “ball-and-socket” swinging and collapsible movement, which was a substantial improvement over the rigid sockets theretofore produced. Guyot’s patent was not awarded until 1929* because of a competing application filed by the Wahl Co. which filed its own patent application for a more basic adjustable socket a few months earlier.

(*) In May of 1927, the lawsuit was settled in favor of Parker who received the patent while Wahl receiving a license. Pursuant to subsequent agreement among both companies and Sheaffer, this patent was assigned to their jointly  owned Pen Desk Set Co.

Faced with competition from other pen makers, Horace Blackman, Parker’s Sales Manager and William Palmer’s son-in-law, filed three patent applications for improvements upon the invention disclosed in Walter Guyot’s patent. The Blackman designs feature a socket able to tilt in any direction and containing an inner sleeve which formed an airtight seal with the nozzle of the pen to keep the nib from drying out.  In the spring of 1926 Parker introduced this entirely new and hopefully successful product to its writing instrument group.

George Parker waxed eloquent about this new item and expressed his optimism like this:

“When you compare the Parker Desk Set with that of any other and see its flexibility in range, its refinements, and improvements over the existing Desk Sets, you almost wonder why a man would buy one of the other fellows when he can buy the Parker”.

The Parker desk set with a single pen was announced in April of 1926, simultaneously with the first offering of the Duofold Jade pen. It was introduced in “a container handsome to look at richer and more distinctive in appearance and retailed for $15.00”. Due to dealers’ favorable reception, a few days later they added a double pen set to the line. To begin with all bases were made in black hard rubber or polished black glass. The tapers were made of hard rubber without the metal ring that we see later.

First Parker double pen desk set. The model F.
1926 Parker pen desk sets brochure.
1926 Parker Duofold desk set blotter.


Parker single Azure Mist base. December 1926.

For  the autumn sales  campaign, a slender single pen  base was offered in azure mist, apple green mist, and crystal mist, equipped with a Pastel Pen designed especially for women.  These new items sold with any Parker Pastel pen for  $13.50, or  for $15.00 with a Lady Duofold or  Duofold Junior.

 Two additional versions were introduced shortly thereafter: a base of polished Permanite Ivory, Green, or Black, with a depression for clips, with either Duofold Junior or Lady Duofold at $12 or at $14 with a Duofold Senior.  Double pen versions were also available for $19 and $23 respectively.

Parker Duofold desk base in polished Ivory Permanite.

To the easy and inexpensive transition from pocket to desk pen which already gave Parker a decided competitive advantage, they added another benefit for dealers; namely the convertibility of the desk bases themselves, which allowed the exchange of holders, so the same base could be fitted with a Junior or Senior Duofold by simply mounting the corresponding size socket in the dealers’ shop. Parker provided its dealers with appropriate written technical instructions for this purpose.

For  the 1926 Christmas season the Company  introduced the model HS, a new base featuring a tortoiseshell Permanite edge with a gold design complete with a Parker Pastel desk pen  at $15.

1926 Parker pen tortoise shell Permanite desk set model HS.
1926 Parker pen desk set ads.

In April 1927, Blackman filed patent application for a pencil holder as a precursor to the introduction of a pen-pencil desk set.

In the same month and having favorably concluded the litigation with the Wahl, the Company introduced a new beautifully stylized socket incorporating   Guyot’s original patent application of January 1926. This desk base was made with a small gold-plated ball which allowed for a great range of motion. The graceful new socket was trimmed with a gold-plated band at the ball intersection and a thin gold-plated band to match the ring that ornamented the taper. Parker allowed its dealers to exchange new sockets for old ones they had in stock at no cost. Each new socket could be mounted with an inner coupling in four sizes: Senior, Junior, Lady, or Pastel.

Parker Guyot's socket. April 1927.
April 1927, Parker begings shipment of new socket in their pen desk bases.
Parker desk socket parts. April, 1927.

In the same month Parker introduces the model B, a double set made in polished Crystal Clear Glass at $11 without pens, and two new simple bases; the N.S. model Square, and a model M.G. Round, both finished in gold or silver metal, at $8.00 with taper only.

Parker new pen desk set for the Spring of 1927.

In the summer of 1927, in collaboration with Sengbusch of Milwaukee, WI, the Company produced desk pen bases made specifically to fit an Emeralite lamp. Parker manufactured model CE, and CS bases to be sold with a Sengbusch Emeralite lamp and inkstand. In return Sengbusch incorporated some Parker Statuettes into their Dipaday desk sets line.

Parker made two pen desk sets adaptable to the lamp Emeralite #8734, type E.


By George Safford Parker

George Safford Parker (1863 - 1937)


A collaboration by Dan Zazove, Chris Odgers, Len Provisor, and Ramón Campos. February 2023.

In the summer of 1927,  in an effort  to expand its range of desk sets and to incorporate the recently introduced chromatic line of its fountain pens, the Company, at the direction of  Kenneth Parker, introduced oval porcelain bases in five solid colors; blue, green, coral-rose, mandarin yellow, and black, with either a junior or Lady Duofold in any of the five Duofold colors with black taper at $8.75; or with a black lined pen and one of seven colored (yellow, green, mauve, coral, blue, magenta, or gray) moire tapers at $6.75. As depicted in the 1927 catalog, these bases had vertically straight sides and completely flat tops. We refer to these bases as Type I. A variant of this base was produced with vertically straight sides and a domed top that we identify as Type II. Type II bases were never shown in any piece of Parker literature as far we know, and it is not clear why the different design was used. It may simply be that Parker had two different ceramics firms making the bases for them. We believe that the Type I and Type II bases were sold at the same time.

Three Parker Duofold pen desk sets Oval with different silhouettes.

Initially Parker considered producing desk sockets in colors to  match the bases. Perhaps because the difficulty of its enameling, these colored bowl retainers were only experimental and were not commercialized.

Parker Duofold experimental color sockets. (From Tsachi Mitsenmacher's collection).
Parker Duofold experimental color sockets. (From Tsachi Mitsenmacher's collection).

By autumn of 1928, Parker changed the shape of the bases to a dome. This we call Type III. Made in porcelain with transparent glazes of greater brightness, color complexity and beauty than the previous models, we believe they were manufactured by J.A. Bauer Pottery Co. Type III bases were produced in four new colors; a mottled blue (model OB), mottled green (model OC}, mottled mahogany (model OM}, and a color combination of pastel shades (model OP). With any $2.75 pen (black lined with the moire taper or bandless Black and Gold pens) the bases were $6.50, with any $3.50 pen (banded Black and Gold pens), the bases were $7.25, and with any $5.00 pen (Lady Duofold or Duofold Jr.), the bases were $8.75. The bases could also be purchased without a pen for $4.75.

In December of 1929, simultaneously with the introduction of streamlined Duofolds, the sockets on the bases were changed to the gracefully flared streamlined model.

1926 - 1929. Evolution of ball and socket action in the Parker desk bases.
1926 - 1929. Evolution of ball and socket action in the Parker desk bases.

At the beginning of 1930, the desk sets became available with the True-Blue pen at $6.50, (complementing the other two options that remained at the same price: at $7.25, with the moire taper or with either a Junior or Lady or Lady at a cost of $8.75).

By 1930, the price of the base alone without a pen had been reduced to $3.75, presumably to boost sales as the Depression deepened.  At the same time the bases were available with the $3.50 True Blue pen. By 1932 It appears that the porcelain bases went out of production as they disappeared from all catalogs and ads from that or subsequent years.

1927 – 1931.  Porcelain oval desk sets evolution through Parker catalogs.

The oval ceramic bases never came from the factory with senior pens, although dealers could easily accommodate customers’ special requests. From the first offering of pen desk sets, Parker provided appropriate written technical instruction to its dealers for exchanging sockets so the same base could be fitted with a Lady, Junior or Senior Duofold by simply mounting the corresponding size socket at the dealers’ shop. Curiously, Parker literature never showed Moire pens with Moire tapers, but any dealer could easily have made up such a pen for a customer on request.

During 1930 and 1931 desk sets were awarded  as prizes to Parker dealers as trade promotions. The Company sent one or two porcelain pen desk sets complete with a Duofold Junior and taper at no cost if the dealer made purchases worth $60 or $100, respectively.

Christmas 1927 to Christmas 1930.  The porcelain oval desk sets in Parker advertising.

 For its 1930 winter sale campaign Parker, who had  previously included  a free cap with  each pen desk set, offered a free desk taper with each pocket Duofold sold  thus inviting the buyer to purchase a corresponding desk base.

As the Depression progressed, Parker was clearly looking for ways to lower the price of some of their products.  From advertising, it appears the oval ceramic bases were discontinued. A cheaper line of smaller ceramic bases was introduced. These typically feature a less elaborate molded black Bakelite socket like those used on some other Parker bases ca. 1932 and they are found in three shapes; a rectangle with three pencil grooves, a small oval with scalloped edge, and a round with scalloped edge (referred to by collectors as “the bottlecap”).  These inexpensive bases have been found in three glaze colors: a navy blue, a mottled green like the earlier Type III oval, and maroon. Because of the similarity of the glazes, these bases were probably made by Bauer Pottery.  In addition, a very angular Art Deco ceramic base in the green glaze has been found. This was likely a prototype or piece used for test marketing since no others have surfaced. This base was likely produced contemporaneous with the Type III oval bases.

Putting together a set of all fourteen bases is an enjoyable challenge, A shorter set of nine bases could be assembled if one collects only by color and disregards the variation between the Type I and Type II bases. It should be noted that the Type Ill bases, especially the mahogany and pastel models, came in a wide variation of glaze patterns and color deviations. If you include these, you can put together a larger collection of far more than fourteen bases.


A collaboration by Dan Zazove, Chris Odgers, Len Provisor, and Ramón Campos. February 2023.

In 1927 Parker’s British subsidiary introduced attractive ceramic desk pen bases in Carlton Ware. Carlton Ware pottery was made by the English firm of Wiltshaw & Robinson. The bases were decorated using two of the pottery’s popular Chinoiserie patterns, namely Mikado and New Mikado. A more contemporary pattern, Paradise Bird & Tree, typical of the 1920s, was also offered coinciding with the beginning of one of the most original and creative periods of twentieth century English pottery. These patterns would have delighted George Parker, an admirer of porcelain and oriental styles.

Parker pen desk set model A.C.W. New Mikado pattern #2880 Terracotta ground in simulation of Chinese lacquer. Details.

Carlton Ware bases were made for Parker, Wahl-Eversharp, and Onoto but it is difficult to tell which pen maker first offered the stands with their elaborate gold printed and enameled decorations, since there are very few advertisements for them and no known ads or catalogs showing the Wahl-Eversharp Carlton Ware pieces, although we know that Parker began to market them before Onoto.

Carlton Ware’s New Mikado pattern is attributed to Enoch Boulton and is thought to be one of his earliest designs, which the Pottery introduced about 1922, not long after Horace Wain, his predecessor and designer of the earlier Mikado pattern, left for personal reasons.

The Parker Carlton Ware bases were marketed in three shapes: rhomboid, oblong, with a groove for a pencil, and the rare oval, which had a depression for clips, rubber bands, etc. The bases with their exotic gold printed and enameled decorations matched the five voguish Duofold colors, Lapis Lazuli, Black and Gold, Lacquer Red, Imperial Mandarin Yellow, and Green Jade. While the former colors are found in many collections, the green and yellow examples are rare and hard to find. Sometimes these bases were sold with a matching small circular tray similarly decorated, perhaps intended to serve as an ink bottle stand.

Instead of New Mikado, the yellow base accompanying the Duofold Yellow Mandarin is decorated in the “Paradise Bird and Tree” pattern.

The Parker fountain pens were offered matching their bases with the following combinations:

  • Parker pen Lapis Lazuli, with a base «New Mikado» as #2882 Powder Blue ground. Gold printed with raised enamels.
  • Pen Black and Gold, next to a base «New Mikado» as #2881 Black ground in simulation of Chinese lacquer. Gold printed with raised enamels.
  • Pen Lacquer-Red, next to a base «New Mikado» as #2880 Terracotta ground in simulation Chinese lacquer. Gold printed with raised enamels.
  • Pen Green Jade, with a base «New Mikado» as #3201 Celadon Green ground. Gold printed with raised enamels.
  • Pen Imperial Mandarin Yellow, with a base «Paradise Bird and Tree» #3151 Yellow ground. Gold printed with raised enamels.
Carlton Ware decorators marks. They were used as a means of quality control. Marks in gold would be by the paintress who applied gold. Each paintress had his or her own unique mark.

To attract the already Parker pocket pen owners, in Christmas of 1928 the Parker-Carlton Ware pen desk bases could be purchased alone, without a pen but with taper, for 32/6. Accompanied by a Junior or Lady Duofold the price was 53/6. A free presentation case was offered with both options. In 1930, these fancy gift pen desk sets were marketed as Duettes with a matching pencil and a safety ink container in a price range from 69/6 to 76/-.

Parker pen desk sets with Carlton Ware of his own pattern. For higher photo resolution, «open image in new tab».

At Parker’s request, Carlton Ware was able to manufacture uniquely designed bases to order, such as this base on the right which has a crest of seahorses framing a shield with three towers, the symbol of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, (an industrial city in the North of England once famous for shipbuilding). The oval on the left of the pen desk base shows the Tyne Bridge, officially opened on 10 October 1928 by King George V. This is likely the event that the pen desk set commemorates.

The 1933 Parker-London catalog is the last time we see the Parker-Carlton Ware pen desk set. By that time the price of the base alone without a pen had been reduced to 27/6, presumably to boost sales as the worldwide economic depression deepened.

Parker England, albeit to a lesser extent, also marketed ceramic desk bases produced by two other British manufacturers.

Crown Devon Pottery designed two hexagonal shaped bases, one with their “Orient” Art Deco pattern and the other with chinoiserie figures, both with two small oval depressions on the sides for clips and a transverse oval depression, which along with the smaller depressions at each end, acted as a pencil groove and additional clip tray. Complete with a Junior or Lady Duofold the base retailed for 46/-.

Parker pen desk set model C.D. Crown Devon chinoiserie pattern.
Parker Crown Devon desk set from Susan Hill book, Crown Devon The History S. Fielding Co
Parker pen desk set Crown Devon art deco Orient Pattern

Parker also marketed desk bases decorated with a faux green shagreen pattern, produced by George Betjeman & Son for Royal Doulton. Shagreen (sharkskin) was popular at that time for covering fashionable articles. The base has two small oval depressions for clips with a transverse groove for a pen or pencil.

Parker pen desk set Royal Doulton Shagreen pattern.

It appears that these Parker English ceramic pen desk sets were only distributed in England and other Commonwealth countries as they do not appear in catalogs, brochures, or ads in the United States.

The authors wish to thank Harvey Pettit, webmaster of, for his invaluable technical contributions in this chapter.



A collaboration by Dan Zazove, Chris Odgers, Len Provisor, and Ramón Campos. February 2023.

A Parker double pen desk set with statuette "Spirit of Aviation", with 1929 and later sockets.

In the fall of 1927 George Parker, who openly thought that manufacturers of fountain pens should meet to discuss their common issues wrote to Waterman, Sheaffer, Moore, Wahl, and Conklin. Somewhat to his surprise, each responded favorably. After this initial contact, they held several meetings which improved their reciprocal relationships. They visited each other’s factories and hosted dinners in their private homes. At the end of December 1928, these improved relations culminated with the incorporation of the Pen Desk Set Company by Parker, Sheaffer, and Wahl who pooled their individual designs and patents on the various devices involved in the manufacture of pen desk sets.

1927 11 12. US1801310 Heagney filed patent socket prototype.

In November 1927, Walter Heagney, by that time foreman of the Parker Repair Service, filed a patent application for a double-use socket to accept and retain a fountain pen or a pencil in a single socket for quick and ready use.

The Christmas copy of 1927 Parkergrams featured the new Parker desk sets which introduced a new single-pen base finished in antique bronze or oxidized cooper at $6.75 with a black pen and Moiré taper, or at $9.00 or with a Duofold Junior or Lady desk pen with taper.

Parker antique bronze pen desk set model PG.

In that season Parker increased the ornamentation and design of its desk bases culminating with the presentation of the star of the season; the Duofold De Luxe desk set with an inlaid walnut frame and genuine bronze plated finish designed by Chicago painter-sculptor James Cady Ewell. Two Duofold Seniors escort a central 8-day Waltham clock and compartments for accessories such as clips, pins, erasers, matches, or other office paraphernalia. At a price point of $100 it was truly a masterpiece of a desk set.

Parker Duofold De Luxe desk set by James Cady Ewell.
Parker pen desk set ads. Fall/winter, 1927.
Parker pen desk sets inside Winter 1927 catalog

Aimed at pen department stores as a way to increase customer sales, in May of 1928 Parker introduced a special walnut-base with a five pen desk set for display on retail pen counter to facilitate the manner  of demonstrating the five different pen points available on Parker pens.

In the summer of 1928, the porcelain desk bases which initially were oval  with straight  laterals sides  and flat horizontal surfaces, softened their silhouette,  by rounding the lateral perspective, and avoiding sharp edges where the porcelain finish was  easily chipped.

At the same time, the Company  approved samples of sculptures for the desk base animal line and the new hundred-dollar Desk Set, where a dark bronze metal base replaced the previous walnut base and a pair of the new Duofold Moderne black and pearl writing instruments replaced the red or  black  Duofolds. According to George Parker, “it will look 100% better than the Set of last year. It is a real work of art. The only thing that worries me regarding it is that they have put a such extraordinary value in this and run the cost up so high that it looks to me as though we would be donating every dealer who bought one of these Desk Sets… I wonder if you know who the sculptor Ewell is — the chap who designs the set. The Sculptor Ewell among artistic people who are versed in modeling and in sculpture generally could tell you a whole lot about who the sculptor for he has a national, yes, I might say, international, reputation.  If I were to tell you how much Mr. Ewell charges us for the designing of the creation, you would think that the management of the company had gone crazy, but I will say it ran up into a figure that would astonish you, and yet, I am inclined to think it is a good investment.”

In that connection, Parker put Ewell on retainer of several thousand dollars a year, with his sole purpose to increase the beauty of their writing instrument line in whatever way he could.

Parker pen desk sets inside 1928 catalog

Some new models were added to the 1928 Christmas season; the “Statuettes” model retailing at $16 and $17. Among them, on test models, George Parker found especially attractive, the elephant, and the dog, the latter, an image of his daughter Virginia’s little pet.

Some examples of Parker Animals line desk set bases with 1929 and later sockets.

The Statuettes were adaptable to the Onyx, Green Onyx and Marble Bases of the B, E and F series. They were not available on Black Glass bases. The B Desk Sets could be supplied with either single or two pens and a Statuette, whose prices were Bull (4″ x 2 ½»), $8.50.  Spirit of Aviation (6 ½”), $20.00. Golfer (6 ½”), $12.00.  Modernistic Dog (4″ x 3 ½»), $6.00. Hunting Dog (4″ x 2″), $6.00. Bear (3 ½» x 2”), $7.50. Lion (7″ x 3 ½»), $10.00. Elephant (3 ½» x 3 ½»), $9.00. Elephants per pair at $17.00.

Parker pen desk statuette "Spirit of Aviation".
Parker pen desk statuette "The Golfer".
1928 Parker pen desk set ads.


A collaboration by Dan Zazove, Chris Odgers, Len Provisor, and Ramón Campos. March 2023.

Parker Imperial The Golfer Drive pen desk set.

Parker participated in the Statement of Incorporation filed on January 21, 1929, of the Pen Desk Set Company Inc., an Illinois corporation with an initial capitalization of $30,000, of which one-half of capital stock was paid in pen desk set patents inventions. Joint owners of the new company were the Wahl Company, W. A. Sheaffer Pen Company, and the Parker Pen Company. The organizers assigned their rights and patents on the various desk pen devices to the new company. Licenses from the parent organization gave each contributor equal benefits, while other pen manufacturers could also be licensed at nominal fees. Representatives of the three companies included Thomas Trevor, president, and C. J. Frechette, secretary-treasurer of the Wahl Company, W. A. Sheaffer, president of W. A. Sheaffer Pen Company, and G. S. Parker, president of The Parker Pen Company. The registered office was established at 1800 Roscoe Street, Chicago, IL., at the Wahl factory.

Desk set labels of Parker and Sheaffer'S mutually sharing, along with Wahl, their patents.

At the end of January and beginning of February of 1929, Kenneth Parker held meetings with Ivan Tefft, Parker’s patent lawyer, and James Cady Ewell -artist-consultant- on his new Duofold design (streamlined) and redesigns desk sets.

In the summer of 1929, the Elgin Watch Company, designed four desk set models — built by them and equipped with Elgin clocks —. These desk set were offered to Elgin dealers through their regular jewelry’ sales channels. For these desk sets the Elgin National Watch Company purchased Parker pens and sockets. The two men’s models we will find a black Junior Duofold and, and in the ladies’, they used a Moire pen.

1929 Elgin clock pen desk sets.

In July 1929, Walter Guyot filed a patent application for a more stylized desk pen socket with an improved clutch. The new receptacle had two thin gold-filled rings on its lower part as an ornament. The new style socket was redesigned outside and inside with a new simplified clutch. When a pen is inserted, you find that it is just a gentle gripping of the pen around the threads on the barrel. It did not slide past the section as did the old style socket.

1929 07 05 US1772000 Walter Guyot Desk set receptacle
1929 07 05 US1772000 Walter Guyot Desk set receptacle
Everett Worthington socket for CC bases and a posterior art deco design.
Everett Worthington socket for CC bases and a posterior art deco design.
Parker pen desk sets in March 1929 catalog.
Parker model EM. A beautiful double pen set desk of polished Italian marble. The base only, was $22.00.

For the 29/30 season The Animal Line Statuettes were offered in doubles set with two animals as “the fighting elephants”, or “the bull and the bear”, well-known stock market symbols.

Parker presents “The Rolls Royce of all desk set”, the base Imperator -very soon called Imperial-, another Ewell’s design of a green onyx base, with the statuettes “Spirit of Aviation”, or “The Golfer” in Verde brass, English silver or Trophy bronze al extraordinary price of $250.

Parker. The Spirit of Aviation Imperial pen desk set.
Parker. The Golfer Drive Imperial pen desk set.

The other base designed by Ewell, the De Luxe which sold at $100, and had been marketed only with a clock, now, optionally, was offered with a desk lamp.

Parker De Luxe pen desk set with a lamp.

At this time Parker Pen also retained the services of Everett Worthington, an industrial designer who worked on modern art deco designs for some of America’s most iconic brands. As a result of their collaboration, the beautiful models’ CC -single pen- and CC2 -double pen- made in molded Cobalt and plated with bronze, were born. Both with a calendar memo in their central zones, lateral spaces for clips, pins, rubber bands, etc., and a spacious grove for pencils. These desk sets addressed the needs and requirements that 500 business executives and office workers mentioned in a previous survey. They were manufactured in an almost unbreakable material like Bakelite and plated with a genuine bronze giving them an attractive antique finish. These magnificent 13” x 7” desk sets sold for the unheard-of price of $12.50 with a Duofold Junior pen, a real bargain.

Parker double pen desk set model CC2. Worthington design. Courtesy of Gaston Vermosen.
Parker single pen desk set model CC. Worthington design.

Into the 1929 Christmas campaign Parker incorporated series J at $15, a green gold base with a hard enameled shield in green, blue, or black and pearl.

Parker pen set desk JP Green Gold base with Cloisonne enameled shield in black and pearl
Parker pen set desk model JG Green Gold base with green Cloisonne enameled shield.

The Company also introduce Series V at $6.00, a new modernistic chromium-plated base with three painted enamel triangles on top in red, green, or yellow, with matching Duofolds.  At the same time the Y series was introduced at $13.00, with a design of all black, black and red, or black and green painted enamel triangles and with an integrated cigarette lighter. The Y series was almost certainly manufactured by the Evans Case Company of North Attleboro, MA, as the integrated lighter was their design and Parker used outside specialty firms to manufacture most, if not all, of their desk bases.

Parker Models V Modernistic inlaid Enamel 1930 with smoking lighter
Models V Modernistic inlaid Enamel 1930

They also present Series I, a gold plated base enamel top in ivory -in this case chromium trimmed-, red, and green priced at $17.00 with a Duofold Jr. convertible pen.

Art Deco Parker pen desk sets serie I. The two with the red or green stepped motif are cloisonné enamel. All of the others are painted enamel.

Parker’s use of the term «‘cloisonné» is rather loose, as it is not true cloisonné but rather painted enamel on metal in most cases.

New for this season, and for a match with the Moiré pens, they introduce the Series L models, a little octagonal enameled set in a smart traveling case, “with its sparkling, Parisian chic”, listed at $8.00 with a $3.50 Moire pen. The models LB -blue-, LG -green-, and LL -lavender- chromium plated while model LE -enameled top in black- was green gold trimmed. Shortly after, there was also a more octagonal deluxe version, model S in black painted enamel with a gold-filled band and Bakelite travel case, at $8.75

Parker pen desk sets model L octagonal pastel colors enamel chromium trimmed,
Parker model U, the Metal Utility Desk Set.

At the same time, they introduced model U, the Metal Utility Desk Set, a base with space for a memo pad and compartments for small accessories. With a Parker Convertible Duofold Jr. it cost $10.00.

To accentuate this campaign, between October and November, the Company promoted the Parker Desk Set Inauguration Event; a commercial promotion encouraging dealers to display and advertise desk sets. Parker offered a $3.50 True Blue pen free to every dealer who put a Parker Desk Set display in its window and sent a photograph of the window to the Company.  Cash prizes of $250 were awarded to salesmen whose dealers sent the greatest number of photos of Parker desk set window display.

This commercial campaign culminated at Christmas with the famous Santa Claus ad drawn by Norman Rockwell featured on the inside front cover of the Saturday Evening Post. The ad showcased much of the Parker desk sets collection, led by the Imperial set desk.

Some Parker pen desk set ads from 1929.

End of part VIII.

The authors wish to thank  Tsachi Mitsenmacher, Gary (R.I.P.) and Myrna Lehrer, and PBA Galleries for his invaluable contributions.

To be continued