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Where In London Uk To Buy Collectible Fountain Pens?


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#1 Lough Loon

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 15:30

I am going to be in London England for a couple of days in February and am hoping to pick up a collectible fountain pen as a souvenir. What places would members recommend that I visit. Is the Saturday market at Portebello a good place to look?
Thanks

#2 cliffp

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 15:38

Harrods has a lot of pen brands.

#3 Lough Loon

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 15:44

Harrods has a lot of pen brands.

Thank you. Do they have used as well as new?

#4 Ellen

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 15:53

There is a thread about this somewhere on this forums. Try using the search function. I think someone mentioned a place on Picadilly Circus.
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#5 twdpens

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 16:05

Is the Saturday market at Portebello a good place to look?


Yes. No bargains, but it will be quality stuff. Find the covered market building with the red teapot sign outside. Inside you will find Simon Gray, Hans Seiringer and Henry "the Pen Man" Simpole.

Also take a trip to Penfriend in Burlington Arcade. Prices are sky high but it's worth a visit if only to savour its delights before the arcade's new foreign owners destroy it all :crybaby:.

HTH,

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#6 Lough Loon

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 16:12


Is the Saturday market at Portebello a good place to look?


Yes. No bargains, but it will be quality stuff. Find the covered market building with the red teapot sign outside. Inside you will find Simon Gray, Hans Seiringer and Henry "the Pen Man" Simpole.

Also take a trip to Penfriend in Burlington Arcade. Prices are sky high but it's worth a visit if only to savour its delights before the arcade's new foreign owners destroy it all :crybaby:.

HTH,

Martin

Thanks Martin, sounds like fun! I will check that out.

#7 Azuniga

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 16:42


Is the Saturday market at Portebello a good place to look?


Yes. No bargains, but it will be quality stuff. Find the covered market building with the red teapot sign outside. Inside you will find Simon Gray, Hans Seiringer and Henry "the Pen Man" Simpole.

Also take a trip to Penfriend in Burlington Arcade. Prices are sky high but it's worth a visit if only to savour its delights before the arcade's new foreign owners destroy it all :crybaby:.

HTH,

Martin



I agree with Martin, sky high prices at Penfriend in Burlington Arcade but it is worth the visit, wonderful pens, nice presentation and nice people too... do not miss it.
You can not miss Henry Simpole in Portobello either, really a nice guy... I am not sure Simon is always there but great guy too.
Best

#8 mongrelnomad

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 18:06

Penfriend are taking the p!$$ on their prices. As if that weren't bad enough, they are also incredibly rude.
Too many pens; too little writing.

#9 Lough Loon

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 19:11

Thanks to all who posted. I now have some places to visit. One thing I noticed however, was no information on where to get deals on reasonable priced used collectible pens. I have all the high priced fun places to look but nowhere for any "deals". I still need to do a search on the site for a similar thread.

#10 snowblink

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 19:37

Check out John Lewis stores. Sometimes they have bargains on either display models or end of line stock.

#11 Stompie

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 09:06

Google: Write Time. You can not visit them but they have a good selection and their prices are good.
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#12 Beechwood

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 09:18

And if you are in Burlington Arcade over the road is Fortnum and Mason, thereis a tiny Conway Stewart selection on the third floor and the rest of Fortnums is worth a look road.

Penfriend sells Junior Vacs for GBP 440+, no bargains in London

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#13 Truffle Finder

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 09:34

Hi, I just thought that I would jump in here, just to let you know that Simon Gray of The Battersea Pen Home is no longer at Portobello, John Mackenzie is still at the Red Teapot, although he sometimes is only there for limited periods of time.
I am not in the Red Teapot as has been stated here, I am in the Admiral Vernon, right at the back on the ground floor, I think that there is a good possibility that you will be able to find what I would call 'virgin pens' [in need of restoration] all the way along Portobello Road, I would suggest that you try to get there [on a Saturday] as early as you can, as it does get pretty busy as the day progresses, and if you are thinking of 'trawling' along all the stalls and arcades down the road looking for the 'Pen-Gems' it will take you quite a time!!!
It will be a pleasure to see you if you come to the Admiral Vernon.
Truffle Finder. [AKA Henry Simpole!] :thumbup:
PS.Just so that you know, I try to get there at about 7.00am, and I think about packing up to leave between 1.30pm, and 2.00pm.
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Beautiful handcrafted fountain pens by Henry Simpole....

#14 Lough Loon

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 15:00

Hi, I just thought that I would jump in here, just to let you know that Simon Gray of The Battersea Pen Home is no longer at Portobello, John Mackenzie is still at the Red Teapot, although he sometimes is only there for limited periods of time.
I am not in the Red Teapot as has been stated here, I am in the Admiral Vernon, right at the back on the ground floor, I think that there is a good possibility that you will be able to find what I would call 'virgin pens' [in need of restoration] all the way along Portobello Road, I would suggest that you try to get there [on a Saturday] as early as you can, as it does get pretty busy as the day progresses, and if you are thinking of 'trawling' along all the stalls and arcades down the road looking for the 'Pen-Gems' it will take you quite a time!!!
It will be a pleasure to see you if you come to the Admiral Vernon.
Truffle Finder. [AKA Henry Simpole!] :thumbup:
PS.Just so that you know, I try to get there at about 7.00am, and I think about packing up to leave between 1.30pm, and 2.00pm.

Thanks Henry. I will definitely come find you on Saturday Feb 11 when I am there. All I need to do is find the Admiral Vernon! I am sure I can do that. I will be there early as I am also a camera collector. See you then, all things going well.

#15 Truffle Finder

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 15:33

Lough Loon,
Having mentioned that you are a camera collector, there is a man called George, who is just across the gangway from my stand in the Admiral Vernon arcade, and he is considered to be 'the' man for cameras down the Portobello Road, he's a very nice chap, helpful, and obviously enjoys his subject. When you get to my stand, I will point him out to you.
BTW,I thought that I would mention, that you don't have to feel obliged to necessarily buy any pens from me when you find me, just mention that you heard about me through FPN, it will be a pleasure to meet you, and show you around my stock of pens.
Truffle Finder. :thumbup:
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Beautiful handcrafted fountain pens by Henry Simpole....

#16 Lough Loon

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 17:05

Lough Loon,
Having mentioned that you are a camera collector, there is a man called George, who is just across the gangway from my stand in the Admiral Vernon arcade, and he is considered to be 'the' man for cameras down the Portobello Road, he's a very nice chap, helpful, and obviously enjoys his subject. When you get to my stand, I will point him out to you.
BTW,I thought that I would mention, that you don't have to feel obliged to necessarily buy any pens from me when you find me, just mention that you heard about me through FPN, it will be a pleasure to meet you, and show you around my stock of pens.
Truffle Finder. :thumbup:

Thanks again and look forward to meeting you and the guy with the cameras!

#17 Florida Blue

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 18:43

Harrods Writing Room - has every brand under the sun plus an in-store Montblanc boutique. There is an adjacent stationary room that has different types of paper, cards, wax seals and drawing pencils.
Selfridges - has just about as good a selection as Harrods.
Fortnum & Mason - they have an impressive selection of Conway Stewart plus they sell Cross and Graf von Faber Castell including several of the Pen of the Year in stock.
Pen Friend -go to the larger location at the Bush House Arcade near the Strand across from the Imperial College of London. They have more vintage pens at this shop as well as custom nib grinding services in site. The Bush House location contains their repair shop. They had many vintage Sheaffers (several Snorkels), Parkers and a good selection of vintage and modern Montblancs there.
Pen Friend Burlington Arcade - they seem to focus on LE and SE pens here. Last time I was there they had several Montblanc Patron of the Arts pens including both Elizabeth I finishes.
John Lewis Oxford Street - they have a decent selection of Cross, Parker, Waterman, Lamy and Montblanc.
Montblanc Old Bond Street - the UK Montblanc flagship.
The Pen Shop - The Regent Street location is probably the best. They sell all the usual suspects but they are one of the few places that sell Pelikans in the UK.
Parker: Sonnet Flighter, Rialto Red Metallic Laque, IM Premium Chiseled Gunmetal, Latitude Stainless, 45 Black, Duovac Blue Pearl Striped, 51 Standard Black, 21 Super Red, Vac Jr. Black, 51 MK1 Black, 51 Vac Blue Cedar, Duofold Jr. Lapis, 51 MK1 Demi Black, 51 MK1 Demi Teal, 51 MK1 Navy Gray, Duofold Pastel Moire Violet, Vac Major Golden Brown, Vac Deb. Emerald, 51 Vac Dove Gray, Vac Major Azure, Vac Jr. Silver Pearl, 51 Vac Black GF Cap, 51 Forest Green GF cap, Vac Jr. Silver Pearl, Duovac Senior Green & Gold, Duovac Sub. Deb. Black.

#18 Lough Loon

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 19:06

Harrods Writing Room - has every brand under the sun plus an in-store Montblanc boutique. There is an adjacent stationary room that has different types of paper, cards, wax seals and drawing pencils.
Selfridges - has just about as good a selection as Harrods.
Fortnum & Mason - they have an impressive selection of Conway Stewart plus they sell Cross and Graf von Faber Castell including several of the Pen of the Year in stock.
Pen Friend -go to the larger location at the Bush House Arcade near the Strand across from the Imperial College of London. They have more vintage pens at this shop as well as custom nib grinding services in site. The Bush House location contains their repair shop. They had many vintage Sheaffers (several Snorkels), Parkers and a good selection of vintage and modern Montblancs there.
Pen Friend Burlington Arcade - they seem to focus on LE and SE pens here. Last time I was there they had several Montblanc Patron of the Arts pens including both Elizabeth I finishes.
John Lewis Oxford Street - they have a decent selection of Cross, Parker, Waterman, Lamy and Montblanc.
Montblanc Old Bond Street - the UK Montblanc flagship.
The Pen Shop - The Regent Street location is probably the best. They sell all the usual suspects but they are one of the few places that sell Pelikans in the UK.

That is a very comprehensive list. Thank you.

#19 PDW

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 08:48

Penfriend are taking the p!$$ on their prices. As if that weren't bad enough, they are also incredibly rude.


I bumbled in there one day, and got the feeling (unspoken) that I wasn't wealthy enough to cross their threshhold - and yes, the prices were alarming. No sale.

#20 rogerb

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 11:48

I hope that you are going to rush :rolleyes: down the M4 to see us at the SW Pen Show in Bristol on Sunday 12th :) (Or, if you are wealthy, take the train!)
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#21 soapytwist

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 12:08

Thanks to all who posted. I now have some places to visit. One thing I noticed however, was no information on where to get deals on reasonable priced used collectible pens. I have all the high priced fun places to look but nowhere for any "deals". I still need to do a search on the site for a similar thread.

I think if I knew any places that did deals and had reasonably-priced pens in London, I wouldn't go blowing its cover on a multi-national pen board...

The truth is that the only places to get deals are places not specialising in pens - general antique shops where the owner has only a general or sketchy knowledge of pens, and so on. Obviously this is a very hit-and-miss way to go searching and if you're making a flying visit it would probably prove to be fruitless.
The kind of places you're looking for would have been around 20-30 years ago (I once visited Penfriend's workshop in the City of London before they moved their repairs to Bush House), but rents and the internet mean that dealing online and at pen shows is a far more profitable proposition for most, and even then I still find prices from these sources to be reasonable, but not exactly 'deals'.
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#22 Lough Loon

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 15:14

I hope that you are going to rush :rolleyes: down the M4 to see us at the SW Pen Show in Bristol on Sunday 12th :) (Or, if you are wealthy, take the train!)

Well, poor planning on my part! I fly home to Vancouver at 2:00 PM on the 12th so that probably won't fit in my agenda. I should have checked first...oh well! Thanks for letting me know.

#23 Florida Blue

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 21:09


Penfriend are taking the p!$$ on their prices. As if that weren't bad enough, they are also incredibly rude.


I bumbled in there one day, and got the feeling (unspoken) that I wasn't wealthy enough to cross their threshhold - and yes, the prices were alarming. No sale.


I don't think either of these statements even come close to representing Penfriend. Before I found FPN I was attending college in England. I bought a fountain pen at an antique shop for £1. I didn't know anything about FPs then but I thought it looked interesting and many people I met while at school used them so I wanted to give it a try. I had a used Montbanc 144 at home that I bought at a flea market a few years before but I never used it and being in a country that used FPs my interested was sparked again. I went to Penfriend at the Bush House Arcade on a trip to London to see the V&A with an art class. I went in the shop showed the owner Amaya Cerdeirina my pen and she explained to me that it was a cartridge/converter pen and she took out the old converter which had a dried clear sac in it and popped in a new Waterman cartridge. We talked a bit she explained since I was left-handed that I might want to get a fountain pen with a fine nib and when I asked her about inks she told me that Watermans was good. She never tried to sell me anything, she wasn't rude, she didn't look down upon me because I was a student with little money. She was friendly and very helpful. I bought a Parker IM Premium fountain pen from her at 50% off for £15 because she was so helpful. I make it a point to visit whenever I can get back to London.

Edited by Florida Blue, 30 January 2012 - 21:11.

Parker: Sonnet Flighter, Rialto Red Metallic Laque, IM Premium Chiseled Gunmetal, Latitude Stainless, 45 Black, Duovac Blue Pearl Striped, 51 Standard Black, 21 Super Red, Vac Jr. Black, 51 MK1 Black, 51 Vac Blue Cedar, Duofold Jr. Lapis, 51 MK1 Demi Black, 51 MK1 Demi Teal, 51 MK1 Navy Gray, Duofold Pastel Moire Violet, Vac Major Golden Brown, Vac Deb. Emerald, 51 Vac Dove Gray, Vac Major Azure, Vac Jr. Silver Pearl, 51 Vac Black GF Cap, 51 Forest Green GF cap, Vac Jr. Silver Pearl, Duovac Senior Green & Gold, Duovac Sub. Deb. Black.

#24 rpmoyer100

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 22:34

Some time ago('04?)I bought a reasonably priced parker demonstrator from the 50's at Penfriend. If nothing else, it was a delight to visit and browse. It was the Burlington Arcade location--also a pleasure to visit with many other shops as well. And easy to reach.

#25 Toolattack

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 22:57

Penfriend are taking the p!$$ on their prices. As if that weren't bad enough, they are also incredibly rude.

I have bought a few things at Penfriend, you do have to watch their prices and I have more success if I find something I know more about than they do!
You can also negotiate prices with them and not pay the 'ticket price'.