Tim’s Thoughts

April 2017

JJ Lax Pen Co

I won’t do this often, but my Thought with this update is a plug for JJ Lax Pen Co. Joshua Lax, a friend here in New York, and I started doing pen work around the same time, each in his own direction. Happily for me, Joshua’s main interest grew into nib repair and customization. He […]

Continue reading

March 2017

A Restorer’s Mystery 

Benchtop surprises are part of restoring vintage fountain pens, and one appeared on my bench this past week. As I have worked my way through the large batch of a collector’s vintage pens, I knew there was a dark blue 1950’s Summit awaiting its turn. Summits, like Wyverns, Stephens, many Conway Stewarts, and the better […]

Continue reading

March 2017

Ever Seen a Brick of Esterbrooks?

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 […]

Continue reading

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 […]

Continue reading

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 […]

Continue reading

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 […]

Continue reading

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 […]

Continue reading

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 […]

Continue reading

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 […]

Continue reading

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 […]

Continue reading