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Purchasing Advice for Esterbrooks


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23 replies to this topic

#1 Crewel

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 16:04

Hello, newb here. ;) I am interested in getting my hands on an Esterbrook Pen because it seems that this pen has a wide variety of nibs that I can experiment with - read flex nibs for Italics. I know there are several different models out, but personally, if it fits in my hand, I'm not too concerned. The barrel design is important, but not so much as functionality.

Questions:
(1) What price range should I be aware of for most common models? I am not too concerned about vintage as long as it works, i.e., new or restored are my preferences.
(2) What price range should I be aware of for nibs?

I am in the process of trying to secure a purchase with one of the FPN members here, and the price seems to be about right. If I manage to get it, it will be my first Estie. Unfortunately, it probably won't be long before I want to get another one, so I would appreciate any advice you veterans may have. :)

#2 watch_art

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 16:54

i just bought a blue estie sj from an FPNer for $37 with a 9668 nib or something... a medium nib. i began looking over ebay for extra nibs just for the fun of it and DANG some of them are HIGH. and it's not even how you'd think with the 9xxx being most expensive... what i saw were lots of 5 or more of the same nib, either 1x or 2x, didn't seem to matter, for 35-45 bucks US. why would i want 5 of the same nib??? then i saw a few with 2 of the same for sale, several 9x series, for lower prices. then i checked binder and a couple other places for the same thing. !!!!!!! i'd rather find them on ebay, personally. just search for esterbrook nibs on ebay and look until you find some for a price you don't mind paying. 5-10 a piece doesn't seem too far out for any of the nibs with a box. i don't care about the boxes, and will throw any away that i get (b/c i could care less about the box), but i wish there were more for sale without the stupid things.

good luck.

oh, and i'm no veteran. this is my first estie.

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#3 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 17:08

There are some Fleabayers (Memphis pen shop comes to mind) that while they DO have some of the harder to find nibs, are WAY, SERIOUSLY PROUD of them.

You should be able to find NOS or near 1XXX/2XXX nibs for $6-10 and "the usual" 9XXX for $10-20 or so. Now yes, the 2048 Flex and 2442 Falcons may be $15-20 and the 9 series Flexies $30-35 but this $50-75 foolishness on The Bay is just crazy talk.

Another source is Dr. Isaccson. He is (IMO) on the pricier end of the price scale but he also has some of the harder to find nibs too.

Bruce in Ocala, FL (Has "a few" Esties... ;) )

Edited by OcalaFlGuy, 21 May 2010 - 17:09.


#4 smoores

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 17:28

Bruce in Ocala, FL (Has "a few" Esties... ;) )



:roflmho:

Edited by smoores, 21 May 2010 - 17:30.


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#5 gregamckinney

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 17:42


Bruce in Ocala, FL (Has "a few" Esties... ;) )



:roflmho:


A few?!?! Heck, Bruce is one of the best known Esterbrook collectors on FPN!

greg

#6 Lisa Anderson

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 17:58

Not sure why Bruce left out about Brian's site www.esterbrook.net. We currently have over 3000 nibs (yes, I counted them in Chicago for insurance purposes). You might want to check out the website - many people find it highly useful. We also are prepping for a consignment lot of about 50-75 Esterbrooks (plus some cool Sheaffers & other stuff).

Ebay is always a gamble with condition unless the seller knows pens & is reputable. Buying on the boards is always my 1st preference (sort of like buying local lol). You will find that most pen people will be very helpful, friendly & genuinely interested in your search for a new pen.

Oh, and the book is practically writing itself these days - it's gonna be awesome!!

Lisa Anderson
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#7 Crewel

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 19:51

Thanks all for the help so far. I know eBay is a (Potty Mouth) shoot sometimes. I've been browsing the selection of nibs, and they are all over the place. I would like to get my hands on flex and italic nibs to refine my handwriting as long as the prices are reasonable.

I think I'm in good company because *cough* collecting can easily, eaSILY get out of hand. :roflmho:

Thanks for all the advise so far. I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for whatever Bruce and Richard has to offer on these boards. Have to really curb my enthusiasm for some items though.

BTW, do lever fill systems need the clip around the bladder or no? I'm still trying to learn about these pens.

Whatever info you can provide would be much appreciated. Oh, and Lisa, I have visited that Esterbrook.net site. Will do so again to educate myself. Thank you all.

#8 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 20:17



Bruce in Ocala, FL (Has "a few" Esties... ;) )



:roflmho:


A few?!?! Heck, Bruce is one of the best known Esterbrook collectors on FPN!

greg


Surely you can't possibly mean 'lil ole Accumuluser me. I'm not even up to the mid-double digits yet. There's Several Here with much, Much larger piles-o-Esties than I. I don't even BEGIN to rank amongst the most ranked here. :D


Not sure why Bruce left out about Brian's site www.esterbrook.net.


Yes, CERATINLY a HUGE omittance on my part.

Bruce in Ocala, FL

#9 jszh

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 20:25

BTW, are the nibs interchangable for all Esterbrook models? Thanks

#10 pwyll

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 20:52

...
why would i want 5 of the same nib???
...

good luck.

oh, and i'm no veteran. this is my first estie.


Some of us look for beaters to restore. When you're buying the sad and neglected the nibs are often casualties, either through damage or wear. Buying nibs in bulk can be akin to buying sacs, caps or J-bars--stock to have on hand...


:)

Scott

#11 watch_art

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 21:20


...
why would i want 5 of the same nib???
...

good luck.

oh, and i'm no veteran. this is my first estie.


Some of us look for beaters to restore. When you're buying the sad and neglected the nibs are often casualties, either through damage or wear. Buying nibs in bulk can be akin to buying sacs, caps or J-bars--stock to have on hand...


:)

Scott



AAAHHH!!! very good point. i didn't even think of it that way.

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#12 Brian Anderson

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 21:25

BTW, are the nibs interchangable for all Esterbrook models? Thanks


Yep. There is at least one variant I'm aware of that seems different (early V clip), but it is highly unlikely you will ever run into it, and I doubt I'll even see a second example.

Brian
www.esterbrook.net All Esterbrook, All the Time.
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#13 Brian Anderson

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 03:15


Not sure why Bruce left out about Brian's site www.esterbrook.net.


Yes, CERATINLY a HUGE omittance on my part.

Bruce in Ocala, FL


Wow, I've been dissed before, but wow, just wow.
www.esterbrook.net All Esterbrook, All the Time.
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#14 Crewel

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Posted 22 May 2010 - 03:29

Hello Brian, nice to meet you. Got any decent nibs for sale? Just joking...somewhat. Somebody please stop me from looking at pen shops! Must...not...click..... .... Buy! :gaah: *as my wallet shrinks*

#15 jszh

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 04:16

I think a 1314 nib for $60 plus shipping is too much.

#16 Brian Anderson

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 13:55

I think a 1314 nib for $60 plus shipping is too much.


The thing is you can't find them. They were made for a very short period of time in the early 1930's. If you want the same cut of nib you can get a 2314 for much less. I wouldn't consider this a nib to be used.

Best-
Brian
www.esterbrook.net All Esterbrook, All the Time.
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#17 ANM

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 02:10

In your first post you said "an Esterbrook Pen because it seems that this pen has a wide variety of nibs that I can experiment with - read flex nibs for Italics."

There are a very large variety of nibs available for Esterbrook pens but the flexible ones I have used aren't really very flexible and flexible nibs aren't the prime choice for italic style writing. There are very nice Esterbrook nibs for that but they usually aren't flexible.
And the end of all our exploring
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And know the place for the first time. TS Eliot

#18 jszh

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 05:54

Hi, ANM, I read some old thread on dip pen nibs that you had contributed to. Do you think it is a good idea to get large number nibs of different types (let's say two of each type) to try? Or is it more practical to get what others recommended for certain purposes? There are a lot of vintage nibs on ebay. Some are sold as assorted at relatively lower price, some individually or in small amount. Sometimes a dealer has a lot of variety in a lot but doesn't identify the brands and no. Even they do, it is pretty hard to figure out what that no. of a particular brand is best for. For instance, I heard most of the Esterbrook "art and drafting" nibs are very flexible so I assume they are primarily for calligraphy with a lot of shading because most people say they sketch with non-flexible nibs. But "art and drafting" seems to indicate that they are for drawing too. Very confusing. (I guess there are also artist who use flex nibs to achieve vitality instead of precision in drawing?)

The flexible nibs for Esterbrook fountain pens are not as flexible as vintage gold nibs of, say, Waterman or Mabie Todd, is it true to your experience?


In your first post you said "an Esterbrook Pen because it seems that this pen has a wide variety of nibs that I can experiment with - read flex nibs for Italics."

There are a very large variety of nibs available for Esterbrook pens but the flexible ones I have used aren't really very flexible and flexible nibs aren't the prime choice for italic style writing. There are very nice Esterbrook nibs for that but they usually aren't flexible.


Edited by jszh, 03 June 2010 - 06:16.


#19 ANM

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 13:01

I feel that either I or you are confused about what you are looking for. Esterbrook made dip pens long before they made fountain pens. Art and Drafting pens from Esterbrook were dip pen. I am not aware of any fountian pen nibs that they designated as being for art or drawing. When you see an assortment of nibs (often called pens) look closely to see if they are for dipping or for fountain pens.

If you want some nibs for an Esterbrook fountain pen, I suggest you get a one fine, one medium and a broad as well as a stub or signature pen for starters. If possible get new(er) nibs in good condition but get the cheaper ones to try out. Even the 1XXX pens last for a long time. You can upgrade when you find one or two that you really like if you feel the need. If you can find an Esterbrook nib rated as flexible, give it a try but don't expect it to perform like some vintage pens from the '20s. Nearly all pens that the seller knows has a flexible nib, will be higher priced than oh, say an accounting nib. Waterman and Eversharp are both pens that frequently have flexible nibs for fountain pens, a lot of them being on small ring tops but don't rely on a pen to have a flexible nib just because of the brand name. Every pen company offered a variety of nibs and any given pen might or might not have a flexible nib. Pens like Sheaffers and Parkers are far less likely to have pens with flex but they made them too.

Edited by ANM, 03 June 2010 - 13:04.

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#20 Crewel

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 15:47

Good Morning all! In my pursuit of that elusive uber nib, I'm in the process of trying out various different pens and nibs. As I mentioned in the original post, obtaining an Esterbrook and the corresponding nibs are steps I've taken in that general direction. BTW a BIG THANK YOU to Brian for the nibs I bought from him. They are very good NOS.

I managed to obtain a 2048 which is supposed to be flexible, but I have yet to try it out. In the meantime I've been pursuing my interests with calligraphy writing and managed to get a vintage Esterbrook 22 dip pen nib to try Copperplate. That nib has been excellent so far.

As far as trying to replicate the same style with a fountain pen, I'm not sure if that is possible even with the current lineup of Esterbrook fountain pen nibs. They may be close, but the design of the nib will be telling whether or not you can have that 'noodle' effect. Please correct me if I'm wrong. For example, the Esterbrook 22 has an extra fine point and an angled slit extending from each shoulder, which allows the tines to bend back and out easily with minimal pressure. A similar concept is seen in the Pilot Namiki Falcon nibs where they have a notch on the sides of the nib to permit more flexing. Although the 2048 does not have such features, the 2048 should still permit one to have some interesting line variations.

With respect to Esterbrooks in particular, I've managed to try other nibs from my recent purchases of Esterbrook J pens. For my particular tastes, it seems that I'm more partial towards the normal Fine, Medium and Broad nibs as suggested by ANM. For line variations, I suspect that the flex and stubs will be more complementary. By the way, if this hasn't been mentioned before, a cheap set of calligraphy pens will give novices a very good idea how a stub feels and the kind of line variations that stubs will generate. This is from personal experience in trying out a fountain pen with a stub nib as well as calligraphy fountain pens, so your mileage may vary.

The comments from Brian, ANM and others about the Esterbrook nib prices are very true. I've searched eBay, and the price range varies widely. The more desirable nibs, flexible and/or stubs, appears to be way overpriced, and I can't justify spending $50+ on a nib when that money could go towards getting another new or vintage pen. I have found better competitive prices from sources such as Esterbrook.net, David Nishimura, and some other online vendors. It does help to look around.

Edited by Crewel, 03 June 2010 - 15:49.


#21 jszh

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 16:12

I feel that either I or you are confused about what you are looking for. Esterbrook made dip pens long before they made fountain pens.


Sorry, I was off topic and didn't make it clear. I was talking about dip pen nibs in my first paragraph. I found sometimes it was hard to tell what a dip pen (nib) is for by just looking at the no. or name. For instance, the Esterbrook "art and drafting" pens. Were they designed for writing or both calligraphy and drawing? Or it is just a matter of personal preference and one needs to try the dip pens?

Edited by jszh, 03 June 2010 - 16:18.


#22 jszh

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 17:42

You are right, Brian, I guess 2314 and 9314 are the same as 1314 but more available.



I think a 1314 nib for $60 plus shipping is too much.


The thing is you can't find them. They were made for a very short period of time in the early 1930's. If you want the same cut of nib you can get a 2314 for much less. I wouldn't consider this a nib to be used.

Best-
Brian



#23 Brian Anderson

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 18:57

You are right, Brian, I guess 2314 and 9314 are the same as 1314 but more available.

Granted, the 1314 is listed as a "Flexible" stub, but that's a question for a different thread I suppose.

Best-
Brian
www.esterbrook.net All Esterbrook, All the Time.
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#24 ANM

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 03:10

Here is a link to Esterbrook dip pen and samples of what they can do. It was posted by Rabbit and I am very grateful to him for doing it.

http://www.fountainp...p-pens-booklet/
And the end of all our exploring
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And know the place for the first time. TS Eliot