Monday, 13 September 2010

Burgundy Marbled Soennecken Rheingold 1917 Largest of the Top-Line Range from 1938

The Rheingold series was Soennecken's finest line of pens, inspired by the name of the treasures of the saga of 'DerRing des Nibelungen' by Wagner. The Rheingold was Soennecken's reply to the colourful Duofolds and other celluloid pens emerging from America. As well as in classic black, Rheingolds came in blue, green, burgundy and brown marbled as well as a special model in Pearl and Black.

The new models in celluloid were available in three sizes, 912, 913 and 916, accompanied by the economy model, the Seneca (also an extremely rare pen to find these days). These pens were produced in wonderful celluloid but did not have an ink window. In 1933 the Rheingold series was revised and produced in four different sizes, with beautiful yellow ink windows, and the models took the numbers 1911, 1913, 1915 and 1917.

The Rheingold series was characterized by an ingenious take on the button fill system. To operate it you would turn a hard rubber collar to reveal the button, which could then be decompressed to operate the pressure bar within. This system meant there was no need for a blind cap (which would often get lost when removed) and so marked an improvement on the Duofold button fill design. Another emblem of the Rheingold was the decoration on the head of cap consisting of an "S" surrounded by a white circle in turn surrounded by rays.

In 1935 model luxury Präsident series was introduced, marking the new top line of Soennecken pens. However these pens were only produced in black so the marbled Rheingolds remain arguably the most sought after pens by Soennecken collectors.

The 1917 is a beautiful, large pen. As mentioned, it is the largest of the fours sizes produced in the second series of Rheingolds. It can be seen pictured next to a modern Montblanc 149 to give you an idea of just how big it is ( 5 & 5/8 inches when closed ) !

The pen presents like new, the plastic is bright glossy with little or no signs of age. The hard rubber parts are again glossy and bright and the cap top in particular looks like new. There are none of the usual scratches and marks that you find on vintage pens.

The hard rubber collar has the '1917' heat imprint and also 'BB' Indeed, the original Soennecken B nib is fitted. It is a beautifully crafted nib with a finely chiselled tip and with the responsiveness associated with 1930s goldcraft. A real delight!

The original pressure bar and breather tube can still be found inside the pen and are in working order. I have removed the ossified sac to remove any risk of oxidation to the barrel.

The 1917really looks perfect at first glance. Indeed, this pen would be mint were it not for the following matters. There is a helical hairline running through the ink window (it does not leak), and one of the fins is missing from the feed. The good news is that all of these things are quite easily fixable. For example, you can easily replace the feed and the section for the section (including the ink window on these pens) can be unscrewed so that a donor part from an inferior pen (eg a black or damaged pen) can be used to replace the ink window on this pen.

All in all a superb example of a top of the line Soennecken Rheingold !


  1. Is the Burgundy Rheingold sold? Can you contact me about other Soenneckens that are a available? Thank you

  2. Lovely! Really like this brand.

    A while back you had some Tower fountain pens. I have a broken (in the mail, curses) Tower Queen and am looking for complete the royal family. Would love any info you have or to chat about the brand as I'm having a hard time finding information! Sorry about the blog comment, but couldn't send a message through FPN.

    Jo (tandaina AT gmail DOT com)