Restoring a Fulgens Stilnova

I acquired a Fulgens Stilnova pen, made in Italy around 1950, quite by accident.  It was included in a lot of pens that I purchased on eBay.  I was immediately attracted by its beautiful design, but I found that the nib was missing its tipping material and the pushbutton filler was firmly stuck.  I first put it aside, but later felt challenged to restore it if possible.

With considerable help from folks on Pentrace and FPN, I finally understood how the filler system worked and how to get it apart.  Disassembly was not difficult, although things did not really want to come apart easily after nearly 70 years.

After a thorough cleanup to remove debris left by a long-gone rubber diaphragm, I crafted a replacement from a #16 latex ink sac and reassembled the filler.  A test with my finger over the open end of the barrel showed that the filler now made some vacuum, so I had hope that it would work.

Because the original nib was damaged, I found a suitable substitute in my parts bin and assembled the nib/feed/section/breather tube and screwed that assembly into the barrel.  A test with water showed that multiple presses of the pushbutton drew up quite a lot of fluid, so I emptied the water and partially filled it with ink.  It wrote!

The exterior of the pen was in very good condition, except that some previous owner had chewed on the blind cap.  I used micromesh to reduce the damage, then used Micro-Gloss liquid abrasive to polish the entire exterior.

I may opt to have the original nib retipped, or perhaps I will find someone in Italy who can source a replacement.  Either way, this very pretty pen – classic Italian design – is now restored to working order.

The barrel imprint, which is difficult to read without a loupe, says Fulgens Stilnova Brev. 26938, where Brev. means Patent.  The original nib also reads Fulgens Stilnova.  The clip is imprinted FULGENS.

The cap, section, and blind cap are black celluloid, while the barrel is alternating translucent and colored bands in the manner of the Parker Vacumatic pens.  The translucent bands are considerably ambered and I was unable to make much progress in restoring more translucency.

The clip is a clever and beautiful design, clearly inspired by the over-the-top clip of the Eversharp Skyline, but done better.  This clip pivots at one point near the top and is spring loaded.  An indentation in the very top of the cap allows the tip of the clip to move freely.

The cap has a single gold-filled cap band which is in excellent condition.

The manufacturer was Pagliero of Turin, who made fountain pens under a variety of names.  The Stilnova name was used in the 1930s, but they only trademarked the Fulgens name in 1946, and conflated it apparently with the previous Stilnova mark.

The pictures below show the restored pen, plus two diagrams from FPN and an exploded view of the pen while I had it apart. Click on any image to open the gallery for larger views.

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3 thoughts on “Restoring a Fulgens Stilnova

  1. I have never heard of this brand. Great restoration. Not very many things more satisfying than getting an old fountain pen working again. Thanks for the pics and the instructive pages.

  2. I had never heard of it either, but the pen was simply too pretty to dismiss. I am an engineer, so the challenge of figuring out how the filler system worked and how to repair it was a challenge as well.

  3. That is one beautiful pen, John. Congratulations on restoring this beauty! I’ve also never heard of the brand. You do find some amazing things on eBay.

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