This black and pearl Sheaffer Balance Lifetime Petite was made in the USA in the either 1929 or 1930. Although the Balance production ran well into the 1940’s, there were slight changes to the design that can be used to indicate its date. In this case, the fact that the ball at the end of the clip reaches nearly down to the cap band is the indicator that it was one of the first models. More information about the design changes can be found on Richard Binder’s page here.
The Balance was the world’s first “streamlined” pen – back in the day when “streamlined” was a word that meant “modern” (the same way we throw around “the cloud” (meaning “someone else’s computer”) or “AI” (meaning “it won’t work tomorrow for a different reason than it doesn’t work today”) today). The design was radical enough that it was awarded a patent!
This is a very small pen, only 10.5 cm when capped, so it is not for a large hand…
As can be seen in the photos, the barrel has darkened more than the cap, as is common with this pen. The imprint is very clear and the nib is in excellent shape and has a fine line but with a nice flex.
Total weight: 12.3 g
Body weight 7.6 g
Total length (not posted): 93.5 mm
Total length(with cap): 104.7 mm
Barrel max diameter: 10.4 mm
Cap max diameter: 12.1 mm