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• HOME • PENOGRAPHY • PENOGRAPHY romb PARKER 41
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aka Parker Debutante
1956—1958

anfanghe Parker "41" is a very attractive and rather rare pen that for some reason for long failed to attract the eye of the main collector community. It has all the features of the late style Parker "21" and some parts are in fact interchangeable. It is an aerometric filler with an octanium (eight metal alloy) nib, a steel cap and a black clip screw, and it was offered as yet another cheaper alternative to the famed Parker "51". The clip was made from heat-treated beryllium copper. It was introduced in 1956 and was positioned in a price range between the rather popular school pen the Parker "21" and the much more expensive Parker "51". In 1956 a standard Parker "51" cost $13.50 and a Parker "21" $5.95, and the Parker "41" cost $8.75, $12.75 for a matching set. The top-of-the-line Parker "61" was priced from $25
anfanghe Parker "41" came in bright colours of pink and light turquoise, and was intended to win the attraction of the the ladies. There had been complaints regarding the conservative colours of the "51'", but since the Parker "51" was so terrifically hyped, it turned out that few chose the Parker "41" anyway, in spite of the colouring and the lower pricing. The idea of more colorful pens was however later adopted in the Parker "21" and Parker "45" lines. The Parker 41 was in a way replaced by the 21 Super, in 1956, but a version survived as the Debutante, introduced in 1957, with a Parker "45" style clip.

parker 41anfangt seemed that women felt more comfortable with the smaller version of the Parker "51" – the Demi, also aimed at the female population. One reason for this was that The Parker "41" was made out of a more brittle plastic and could often not withstand the hard life inside womens purses, together with keys, compacts, coins and steel hair brushes. So, within a year, in 1958, also the Debutante Parker "41" was discontinued.

The Debutante caps were however re-used on the Parker "21" from 1958. They already had the correct "45" style clip, so the switch was easy. Most Debutante "21" have been found in Dark Blue.
anfanghe Parker "41" is very similar to the later style Parker "21".
The differences:
    romb The design of the clip, the clip of the Parker "41" was of the Parker "51" style.
    romb The number denotation on the cap
    romb The imprint on the filler mechanism (The Parker "41" are imprinted as such, the Parker "21's" are not)

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A Parker "41" with Fishscale cap, aka Debutante, 1958
Note the Parker "45"-style clip.

anfanghe Parker "41" originally came in the four standard colours of grey, black, pink and turquoise, but they seem to exist in a wide range of colours. Since the some parts are interchangable it is quite probable that Parker used old 41 stock and fitted to 21 filling mechanisms, and vice versa, leaving both Parker "21's" and Parker "41's" in rare colours. The following Parker "41"/Debutante colours can be found in the Parker Archives:
    romb Black
    romb Coral
    romb Grey
    romb Turqoise
    romb Pale Green
    romb Pink
    romb Aqua
anfanghen the Debutante was discontinued in 1958 the white enamel cap (with a gold pattern usually referred to as the "fishscale") was instead offered on the Parker "21" range.
Especially the fishscaled Debutantes are very sought for by collectors, but also the brightly coloured Parker "41" are getting more and more popular, fetching high prices on auction sites.

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A selection of Parker "41"/Debutante 1956—1958

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A fish scale Parker "41" Debutante, 1957

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Image courtesy of Matt McColm

 

 

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