My personal collection, to the amusement of everyone I’ve told “it will never exceed 30…” is generally a few over 50, with ongoing effort to keep it there. I have not previously admitted to having a collection, since I don’t collect things, but as fountain pen people know, it just happens. To help keep it manageable and enable me to use almost every pen for at least one fill each year, I periodically let a pen or two loose to the public.
Truth be told, I do know how it happened. First, some years ago I started buying cheap and teaching myself how to repair and restore. My tastes expanded as I read and studied, and I began seeking new adventures. My exposure broadened to French, Italian, English, and German pens when friends left their pens with me to restore and sell for them, brought them back for me from trips, and a collector started regularly leaving pens with me to bring back to life (“I bet you’ve never seen one of these“). In this way, my eye started telling me more often that “maybe you should keep this one…”, and as pen people know too well, that’s how collections happen. If there is a common thread, almost all of my pens are my restorations, from 1930-1960, user pens with some intrinsic elegance — these are not coffee table pens, but dignified, handsome, and ready for use. Enjoy my collection!