It's been an interesting few days discovering a parallel universe of fountain pen design and nib taxonomy. Having received a new injection of enthusiasm for calligraphy from Monica Dengo's online materials, it occurred to me to find a 'quality' fountain pen that would allow italic script. Then the day to day drudge writing would acquire a new vitality and interest.
Art pens tend to be plasticky and severely italic with nibs that require the kind of care which prevents Byronesque currente calomo (is that the phrase? I remember reading some such phrase in connection with Don Juan - a flowing plume).
Entering into correspondence with someone at the delightfully entitled Pen Heaven I discover that there is a type of nib called 'italic cursive'. It gives the kind of thick/thin variation of stroke I'm after but with a greater tolerance of touch. Perfect.
So ... this afternoon I took the plunge and ordered the Lamy Scala with 1.1 'Joy' nib (pictured above). It should arrive for Christmas and I'll let you know how it goes.