I’m So Blue

It is good that Sheaffer Snorkels came in colors. I find just having the choice of a pen in one hue to be rather boringly monochromatic. In the wacky world of collecting there are always some items that stand out in rarity due to such things as size, material, pattern and other differentiating characteristics. With Snorkels color is an important variable (along with nib type and build material) in determining value.

There are two separate periods when Sheaffer messed with color choices for these pens. The early pocket pens were made in what I’ll call (not that it’s unique to me) the “pastel” colors. These were Black, Pastel Blue, Pastel Green, Burgundy, and Pastel Grey. All pleasant colors but as 1956 dawned the U.S. was awash with fancy named choices for the finishes on the cars, appliances, and furniture people wanted. When a Cadillac could be had in bahama blue why not your pen? It was with thinking like that a new range of crazy colors was added to the Snorkel lineup: Fiesta Red, Vermilion, Mandarin Orange, Sage Green, Fern Green, Peacock Blue, Periwinkle Blue, and Buckskin Tan.

I’ve got most of the colors above and keep my eyes peeled for when rarer examples like Mandarin Orange appear. Another one that’s hard to get one’s hands on is Peacock Blue. The problem is that pictures of blue Snorkels tend be hard to interpret as pastel blue and peacock blue could look alike depending on exposure, lighting, camera quality, etc. I’ve seen many a pen for sale that looked “Peacocky” and just turned out to be over exposed. In order to help the two or maybe even three people who care about this I will provide the number of a good therapist. Actually, I’ll just show a photo I took of two side by side so you can see the difference. It probably won’t help too much but you never know.

Paste Blue set on the left and to the right is a Peacock Blue set.

  1. hazel
    February 9, 2010, 7:37 am

    was the “cheaper” set peacock or just peacocky?

  2. February 9, 2010, 9:09 am

    Gorgeous blues!! Now I’ll have to watch for colorful Snorks

  3. TAO
    February 9, 2010, 11:13 am

    Hazel: So far every chance I took that a blue set may be Peacock turned out to be wrong. They were all Pastel Blue.

    Julie: There are other nice colors too. The bright Fiesta Red and Orange are great. So is the purplish Periwinkle.

  4. February 11, 2010, 2:27 am

    Cna we see the other colors? 🙂

    1. TAO
      February 11, 2010, 1:10 pm

      Clem: Someday I’ll do a post with all the colors. For now you can look at this site which has them listed:

  5. February 13, 2010, 4:30 pm

    Beautiful photos of beautiful blue snorkels. Julie/Okami and you are beginning to convince me of the necessity to have a snorkel. You have a beautiful blue blog!

  6. TAO
    February 13, 2010, 6:30 pm

    LD: Julie seems to have the Snorkel bug. LOL! She got a blue set. 🙂

  7. February 13, 2010, 6:56 pm

    Thanks for the comparison photo. Now I know I prefer Peacock Blue over Pastel Blue. I also learned that I like Vermilion and Mandarin Orange in addition to the Sage Green that I’ve wanted for years. Am I in trouble or what!

  8. TAO
    February 13, 2010, 8:14 pm

    Inkophile: Yes, you are in trouble. Those are all harder colors to get. I don’t have Vermilion, for example. That color is hard to tell from Fiesta Red in photos much like the blues I discussed. Keep looking and good luck!

  9. February 20, 2010, 3:59 am

    I was able to get a pastel blue Snorkel Sentinel from a friend – pretty, but a rather sedate-looking color. Still on the lookout for a happy red one!

    1. TAO
      February 20, 2010, 11:20 am

      Mona: Blue is usually rather sedate. 🙂 Always happy to hear about someone getting another Snorkel. I need to take pics of my other less sedate colors.