January 2017

Visiting Anderson Pens, and the Philly Show

With the change in years, two annual events on my personal calendar have arrived and passed — visiting Anderson Pens and the Philadelphia Pen Show. For two consecutive years, clearly a trend, I’ve spent a few days at the end of the year with family in my hometown, Milwaukee. Part of that trip, which reminds me every year that New...

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December 2016

A Grail Pen Arrives

Pen collecting, like many other hobbies involving vintage items, uses the term “grail” to describe a very few specific items that are long term collecting objectives but are only rarely found and affordable when they are found. While I don’t actively maintain a “grail” list, there are a few important pens I’ll admit to coveting — vintage celluloid Montblanc, Soennecken,...

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November 2016

Another false alarm…with a twist!

A few months back, I wrote about the almost-loss of my Parker 75, and how it brought home some lessons about collecting and possessing. Well, it happened again…almost. Another Parker, this one an English post-WWII Victory, in dressy navy blue celluloid and with a lovely wet full medium Parker nib, disappeared. I was using it because it needed some nib...

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September 2016

An eBay surprise!  And, The Grey Lady returns…again.

For many people, eBay is no longer a source of treats and surprises…it has become a shopping place, an Amazon Prime alternative. For those of us in the world of vintage pens, we can certainly indict eBay for ruining flea markets, but it has become a pretty accurate measure of actual selling price, as long as there are enough data points...

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August 2016

Two New Pens

Two new pens have joined me, and like our Presidential candidates, they are as different as can be. Unlike our candidates, they both have great looks, style, function well, and are probable keepers. The first is vintage:  a 1940’s Pelikan 100N with a grey marbled Binde. This is the first Pelikan I have purchased since the 120 I bought my first...

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July 2016

Forward to Vintage

What happened to June?  Suddenly, it’s July…June was an interesting month for the my personal evolution as a fountain pen restorer. I accepted, during May and June, just over a hundred vintage and modern fountain pens as a consignment from a significant collector, who is focusing his collection, even as it continues to grow. The hundred were split roughly a...

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May 2016

A Wearever Returns and a Parker Goes Home

Part of being a collector, even a bit player like me, is keeping track of the pens that got away. No, I don’t mean the the decisions to not buy the Hundred Year Waterman or the lapsed ebay bid — not those pens. I’m talking about the ones I owned and let leave, only to regret the loss. This past...

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April 2016

A Modern Pen Joins the Herd

Notwithstanding the physical evidence of my collection, I do appreciate modern pens. Really, I do. The problem has been that I just haven’t had much need for them. Vintage pens is where I started and they fit my love of cultural history, and most of what I use is a product of my workbench. Until recently, in fact, I did have three...

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March 2016

Aurora 88

I haven’t written much about pens I’ve bought for myself, mostly because there have been very few times that I’ve actually bought a particular pen because I wanted it — not a restoration project that appeared and then stayed with me, but for me. My Parker 75, the Columbus Stiliridio, carmine Vac-fill Sheaffer Balance, Waterman New Look, and most recently,...

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February 2016

Thinning The Herd, Again

Lately, I’ve been thinning my collection. Not drastically, but a minor change in direction. Until now, for a dozen or so pens I have violated my own rule of not keeping a pen that I didn’t use for a year, because they were interesting, would not likely come my way again, were among my first restorations, other reasons. So it...

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