A lot of discontinued modern fountain pens are worth pursuing and can be found used or even as NOS (new old stock). The Danitrio Cumlaude is such a pen.
A long, long time ago… well, not so long, maybe two years ago, I acquired a Danitrio Cumlaude in blue/gray marble. Reasons: it was suggested as an inexpensive entry into Italian celluloid, it was supposed to be the size of a Montblanc 149 and an all-round nice writer. The Cumlaude was and is all those things.
The Cumlaude, however, exceeded my tolerance for large pens. Now I know a Mont Blanc 149 is not in my future. Sadly, probably not a Danitrio Densho or Takumi either—two other fountain pens comparable in size. Although the Cumlaude is lightweight at 17 grams inked and unposted, the pen’s section and barrel was too wide for my personal long-term writing comfort.
The large Cumlaude was re-homed. Two years later I bought another beautiful blue/gray as a gift for a friend who will appreciate it’s size.
It was a pity the pen fatigued my hand because the Cumlaude would make an amazing western-style, lightweight eyedropper pen. In the mere three Cumlaudes I’ve seen, there were no metal parts in the section or barrel.
Lucky for me there was a smaller version of the Cumlaude that had been manufactured. The small version has long been sold out and is not easy to find! They occasionally pop-up on Fountain Pen Network and Pentrace in used condition. It took a very long time before I obtained a used, small Cumlaude. It was worth waiting for.
A cartridge converter pen, both sizes of the Cumlaude were made in two different color patterns: blue/gray marble and brown marble. Made from rods of Italian-made cellulose acetate, the colors of the pens are rich. While the Cumlaude can be found with 18K nibs, they are more commonly found with steel nibs. There’s nothing wrong with steel nibs and these are smooth writers!
Note sizes are as close as I could get ’em.
Large Cumlaude length: 5 7/8″ capped; 5 1/4″ nib to barrel; section width 1/2+”, barrel width 7/8″.
Small Cumlaude length: 5 1/2″ capped; 4 7/8″ nib to barrel; section width between 1/4″ & 3/8″, barrel width just under 1/2″.
The converter for the small Cumlaude needed constant refilling during a day’s writing. Removing the converter, applying a little silicon grease around the section threads, the small Cumlaude holds a little more than 3ml of ink in its barrel. Inked and uncapped the small Cumlaude weighs 12grams as an eyedropper pen.
Be aware that any celluloid or acrylic barrel will likely stain if you ink it as an eyedropper pen. For this reason I have not yet tried turning the Bexley Submariner into an eyedropper as I’m concerned about losing the translucency in the material. Also always look to make sure there is no metal in the section threads or the barrel as you don’t want to corrode these parts.
Related Post: Dueling Cumlaudes
A Selected Reading List
- 2006 FPN Review Large Blue/Gray Cumlaude
- 2006 FPN Review Large Brown Cumlaude
- Different Types of Celluloid, Nov 2005, Fountain Pen Network (for those of you wanting to know the difference between cellulose nitrate and cellulose acetate)
- Danitrio Pen Company for more information about current Danitrio fountain pens.
- My favorite Danitrio pen
pusher good guydealer can be found on FPN as winedoc.
Please note: Danitrio no longer produces the Cumlaude or other celluloid pens, such as the Tosca and Alphaplus. Today the company focuses on quality urushi and maki-e pens made out of ebonite. Read the October 2010 interview with Danitrio’s Bernard Lyn in Stylus Magazine.
Update 8/18/2012: GoGirl Cafe’s March 2012 post on her large “closeout” Cumlaude shows metal in the section in one of her photographs.
An 2012 August interview with Bernard Lyn appears on PenandDesign.blogspot.com