Friday, June 29, 2012

Market Sightings: Pity Purchases and Other Stories

Here is the Hermes, reproaching me for leaving her behind. You can just make out the missing Y key in the bottom row (on the left, next to the shift key). The red-and-white box next to it contains the skirt marker. While I kept telling myself it would have been a pity purchase, I did notice some people stopping by to take a closer look and I am sure at that price it would have sold quickly.

Later that day, we swung by the thrift store and discovered a freshly stocked typewriter section, including this Olivetti Lettera 25 (terribly damaged, I'm afraid) and a '70s Brother (with fake woodgrain accents) next to it.

Lurking in the back row, though, was this absolutely splendid Hermes 3000, which even has a nicer case than most (with the green handle). Quite rare to come across two 3000s in one day, and I briefly thought about getting it for Peter, but he already has one. So I stayed strong and resisted temptation yet again. Whew.

Also in the pile was this AZERTY Underwood 319...

And a rather nice Hermes 2000. Speaking of which, a later one of those was sighted at the market last week:

Again I contemplated holding it for Peter, but he already has one of these (at least the Media version).

It is not often I come across non-pica/ elite typefaces, but this no-name (I suspect it's a rebadged Erika and I can't recall what the label said, President or some such) had a round epoca-like typeface, which I think is exactly the one Dirk showed off on his blog. The plastic body turned me off and I left it behind, but now I sort of wish I had brought it home to play with for a while. Oh, well. I should bend on my "no new typewriters"/ "no plastic typewriters" policy sometimes, I guess.

The round-up ends with a few Americans - this Remington Standard 12 baking in the sun;

A Royal QDL (?) with the dreaded French keyboard...

And a Royalite that I hope for the seller's sake is not the same one I spotted in the market last year. It probably isn't; while they are rarely sighted, I think they were imported in sufficient numbers that seeing one a year is not outside the realm of possibility.

And that is it for now! No more sightings in the queue to show you, unless I see anything else over the weekend. Happy Friday, everyone! Any exciting weekend plans? We'll be off sauntering about Lausanne, and who knows what we will find there...


  1. I'm off to a brocante on Sunday - and it usually is a good one - but I have never seen a typewriter there. Sewing machines, on the other hand...

  2. I enjoyed the stroll through the markets. Thanks!

  3. The Remington 12 is just crying for adoption - and Royal portables are most excellent machines, I would definitely go for this one.

  4. Woo! Yay for the resurrected Voss! Seems to type quite nicely now.

    It's a shame you don't live near a typewriter repair shop. If I say a curvy H3k for 5 francs, I'd take it with the missing key just to offer it to my repair guy for parts.

    Note: I've taken to carefully inspecting the Platens on cheap machines I otherwise would not buy because of the condition. If the platen is in good shape, I'd buy it just for that part alone (especially an H3k).

  5. PS: you haven't by any chance taken down the Hermes 2000 serial numbers, have you?

  6. so many pity purchases from the bins here...I feel your pain,

  7. Wow, that scarlet Olivetti Lettera 25 looks irresistible. Too bad it has serious issues, I would have swiped that without a thought.

    By the way, I added a link to this to my "I dream Geneva" post. I figured that new visitors to my blog must get a glimpse of the real Geneva sightings. ( :

    Cheers to your weekend in Lausanne!

  8. The Hermes 2000 looks awesome in black. I like the gloss accents.

  9. I really need to start visiting the local flea markets, looks like a fun experience even if you don't find typewriters... XD

    My plans for the weekend include trying to resurrect the carriage of the old Corona 3 I'm restoring; and trying to re-attach the small hooks that connect the keys to the typebars.

  10. More than once I have found Vosses with carriage return levers that scrape the ribbon cover. The solution is simply to bend the lever back to its original position. Slowly and carefully, of course -- but I have done this without any damage. Grip the return lever and twist so the front is pulled up and the back is pushed down. Stop as soon as it clears the ribbon cover by a few millimeters.

  11. Several very decent typewriters. Again, most that would not survive an American market for very long. Both of those Hermes 2000's are quite nice, and I have a soft spot for later Underwood labeled Olivetti's. I think the 319 is the last to have the Underwood name, if I remember correctly.


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