Last night the mother lode of Esterbrook fountain pens arrived, along with numerous Parkers, Sheaffers, and other pens, including a group of fifteen 1930’s lower level pens that will make interesting restoration projects.
Esterbrooks J’s were made, to quote Richard Binder, in “vast quantities” from the end of WWII through the 1950’s, and are always desirable writers — attractive, well-made and incredibly durable, and their wide selection of interchangeable nibs means, as Esterbrook marketed, that you can change your writing style by just swapping nibs. While it is indeed a bit intimidating to face a veritable brick of Esterbrooks, now that they’ve arrived, I’ve figured out how I’ll deal with them. You will soon see a new section in Tim’s Bargain Pens for an ongoing sale of Esterbrook J family pens — Transitionals, J’s, L(ong)J’s, S(hort)J’s — in probably the full variety of colors, and available with a range of nibs. These will also be handled a little differently: rather than restore and photograph every one in advance, when a client says “I’d like one of those red J’s”, I’ll provide the full description of the next couple of available red J’s to give the client a choice, and ask for a nib selection. Details to appear very soon in Tim’s Bargain Pens!
A few months ago, I told the story of my finding an Edacoto 87, the unusually large wartime French pen, in great condition but with its original nib missing the tip. The happy conclusion of this story is that the pen appeared in front of me at a serendipitous workbench moment, when I had my box of nibs open for some other pen (how do these things happen?), and after a little digging around, I found a large Waterman’s keyhole nib from the 1930’s that fit perfectly. OK, so it’s not the right brand, or decade, or country, and yes, a Waterman’s nib is a much firmer writing experience from a soft flexible French nib, but the upshot is that the 87 is now in use on my home desk, and it is, as I’ve responded to everyone who has seen it, emphatically not for sale.