Tim's Collection

My personal collection, to the amusement of everyone I’ve told “it will never exceed 30…” now generally numbers 40-50. For years, I did not admit to having a collection, since I don’t collect things, but as fountain pen people know, it just happens.

Truth be told, I do know how it happened. As I taught myself restoration, I read, studied, and sought new adventures. It wasn’t long before my eye started telling me to “maybe keep this one…”, and that’s how collections happen. If there is a common thread, it is that most of my vintage pens are from 1920-1960, my restorations, and almost all, including the modern pens, have some intrinsic elegance and historical interest to me — these are not coffee table pens to be admired, but dignified and handsome user pens. Enjoy my collection!

PS — Generally speaking, the pens in my collection are not for sale, although I promise to at least listen to any unusually generous offer for all but a few…

Aurora 88

Italy, 1949. Classic black celluloid, gold-filled cap. The pen was so successful that it restored Aurora in Italy after WWII with its design that clearly emulated the Parker 51. This pen carries serial number 767195. Piston filler, M flexible nib.

Aurora 88K “Nikargenta”

Italy, 1953. The 88k was Aurora’s second model of the venerable 88 line. This pen is a Nikargenta, meaning it has a silver-plated cap, and it looks very elegant and stylish. Its serial number is 1910497 (yes, most 88s had individual serial numbers, which helps to date them), which places this pen in 1953, according to published research on the topic. It came in a Fiat-marked box, so was probably a corporate gift, and has its original certificate of purchase. The nib is a fine, which is responsive and a bit firm. Having three 88s is possibly enough but not too many.

Aurora 88P

Italy, probably 1960. Serial number 3272436, near the end of the original 88’s long run. The “P” line has the slanted cap crown and indented clip, a 60’s look for the new decade. Wonderful wet medium, usual Aurora responsive nib.

Bayard 450

France, 1937. Probably the Special Luxe, one of Bayard’s nicer pre-WWII celluloid models. It’s a favorite pen for its quiet elegance. Has significant unrepaired cap crack and rippling that limit it to occasional desk use. I like to think that the damage happened during a hot prewar Paris weekend, on the dashboard of a Citroën Traction Avant.

Bayard 560

France, 1939-48. This pen is probably post WWII. Model 560 Standard, with Lido nib, dark blue celluloid lever filler. 

Columbus Stiliridio

Italy, 1939. Beautiful brown and grey celluloid, button-filler, long tine fine flex nib. There is very little published in English about Stiliridios. My first vintage Italian pen; it got me hooked.

Conway Stewart

England, 1930s. I don’t know which Conway Stewart this is, imprint is 99% gone. Research points to the 200M made for Selfridges. It’s made of beautiful rippled ebonite. Cap threads don’t hold, though. Someday I’ll fix it properly; until then it’s a desk pen.

Conway Stewart No. 15

England, 1930’s. Too fragile for anything but limited desk use, I’ve kept this pen because its casein barrel and cap have “alligatored”, compromised by heat or water. Still beautiful to look at, nice desk pen. Proper CS nib.

Delta Fusion 82

Italy 2009-10. Limited edition #0132, green/gray marbled resin, Fusion nib. C/C filler. Currently with Edison B nib; Fusion overlay separated, so nib awaits its turn to be repaired. Was used for signing thousands of checks at work for years, filled with vintage Sheaffer Permanent Blue-Black, a very fast-drying iron gall ink.

Edacoto 87

France, late 1940s. Postwar pen with prewar styling. In black celluloid, at 14.2cm long, it’s an unusually large French pen. Original nib is missing its tip, so it carries a 1930s Waterman’s Ideal nib. Someday I’ll find le Super Edacoto Transparent Serie 208, le plus grande taille. That may be my grail.