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Esterbrook Pastels


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8 replies to this topic

#1 kspers

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 22:33

I am a fountain pen newbie, having been acquiring pens for a mere three months now. I have loved fountain pens for years but had only two and I never used those. Now I know that is because they need tweaking. Anyway, I went to a pen show and... I'm hooked. I knew absolutely nothing about fountain pens but somehow managed to stumble across an Esterbrook [LJ] that I thought was a "pretty green" and it had the shorthand nib. Cool, since I write shorthand. I put down my $20 and went happily on my way, hoping I had not purchased a piece of junk. I love that pen! And from there I have turned into a very novice vintage person having added an Eversharp, two Vacumatics, a Parker 51, and a Schaeffer Snorkel set -- all of which I use and enjoy immensely. I also have some new pens (Pelikan, Sailor, Namiki, Waterman). But I enjoy the vintage pens the most, especially the Esterbrook.

So here is my question...

I have been learning about Esterbrooks and have developed an affection for the Pastels. However, I haven't found much info on them at FPN or any place else. What advice can you offer a newbie on these pens? Are they difficult to find? Are some colors more rare and therefore more sought after than others, or are all the colors regarded about the same? Is there anything in particiular I should be aware of when looking at pastels, e.g., problems that are common to pastels? I have seen a few on eBay that range greatly in price and quality, but very few anywhere else so I don't have a good point of comparison. I buy pens to use but I still want ones that are attractive and better quality.

And just today... I feel in love with the Dollar Pens, so any words of wisdom on those would be appreciated as well. I am just starting to learn about those.

I have enjoyed reading and learning from the posts here, and will continue. Thanks very much for sharing your experience with a newbie.

--kathy.

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#2 gregamckinney

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 22:55

QUOTE (kspers @ Sep 3 2009, 03:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I am a fountain pen newbie, having been acquiring pens for a mere three months now. I have loved fountain pens for years but had only two and I never used those. Now I know that is because they need tweaking. Anyway, I went to a pen show and... I'm hooked. I knew absolutely nothing about fountain pens but somehow managed to stumble across an Esterbrook [LJ] that I thought was a "pretty green" and it had the shorthand nib. Cool, since I write shorthand. I put down my $20 and went happily on my way, hoping I had not purchased a piece of junk. I love that pen! And from there I have turned into a very novice vintage person having added an Eversharp, two Vacumatics, a Parker 51, and a Schaeffer Snorkel set -- all of which I use and enjoy immensely. I also have some new pens (Pelikan, Sailor, Namiki, Waterman). But I enjoy the vintage pens the most, especially the Esterbrook.

So here is my question...

I have been learning about Esterbrooks and have developed an affection for the Pastels. However, I haven't found much info on them at FPN or any place else. What advice can you offer a newbie on these pens? Are they difficult to find? Are some colors more rare and therefore more sought after than others, or are all the colors regarded about the same? Is there anything in particiular I should be aware of when looking at pastels, e.g., problems that are common to pastels? I have seen a few on eBay that range greatly in price and quality, but very few anywhere else so I don't have a good point of comparison. I buy pens to use but I still want ones that are attractive and better quality.

And just today... I feel in love with the Dollar Pens, so any words of wisdom on those would be appreciated as well. I am just starting to learn about those.

I have enjoyed reading and learning from the posts here, and will continue. Thanks very much for sharing your experience with a newbie.

--kathy.



Purse Pens (pastels) are not too difficult to find, but very frequently have condition issues. The most common issues are cap lip cracks and staining of the threads (and smoetimes barrels.)

In my experience, the second series colors (darker, less "pastel" colors.) are harder to find. Pencils tend to be tougher to find than pens for a given color.

Prices have gone up greatly since I first started collecting. I can remember when even mint examples were $30-40 tops. Now, very clean examples often go for more than one hundred dollars.

Here is a quick/poor pic of most of my collection of pastels:



Brian has some information on his fantastic Esterbrook site: http://www.esterbroo...t/pastels.shtml

Regards, greg
Don't feel bad. I'm old; I'm meh about most things.

#3 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 23:02

First keep in mind that they are even shorter than the shortest J family member the SJ by I think around another 1/4". (A full 1/2" shorter capped than your LJ)

Yes certain colors seem more harder to find, there's a bright red and a goldish yellow I know are harder to find and pricier. The pinkie seems to be
especially wanted too but there are those to be found though the price can vary wildly from maybe $25-35 up to $50-60.

The plastic is more brittle than in the usual J family members, most often evidencing itself in cracks around the open end of the cap from being posted
too hard. No matter how good the pics look, quiz the seller with bright lights and bamboo splits about even the smallest of cracks forming. I've had sellers thank me after I told them to look VERY CAREFULLY around the open end of the cap as they said, they'd already looked it over and didn't see the cracks forming until the took an extra close look. The pen is probably still usuable with a small crack or two thanks to the cap band but it greatly decreases the pens value for sale.

There is some thought I think that the pastels may be more prone to staining that may be harder to remove than the rest of the J family pens.

That should get you going for now.

Bruce in Ocala, FL

#4 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 23:06

QUOTE (gregamckinney @ Sep 3 2009, 06:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (kspers @ Sep 3 2009, 03:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I am a fountain pen newbie, having been acquiring pens for a mere three months now. I have loved fountain pens for years but had only two and I never used those. Now I know that is because they need tweaking. Anyway, I went to a pen show and... I'm hooked. I knew absolutely nothing about fountain pens but somehow managed to stumble across an Esterbrook [LJ] that I thought was a "pretty green" and it had the shorthand nib. Cool, since I write shorthand. I put down my $20 and went happily on my way, hoping I had not purchased a piece of junk. I love that pen! And from there I have turned into a very novice vintage person having added an Eversharp, two Vacumatics, a Parker 51, and a Schaeffer Snorkel set -- all of which I use and enjoy immensely. I also have some new pens (Pelikan, Sailor, Namiki, Waterman). But I enjoy the vintage pens the most, especially the Esterbrook.

So here is my question...

I have been learning about Esterbrooks and have developed an affection for the Pastels. However, I haven't found much info on them at FPN or any place else. What advice can you offer a newbie on these pens? Are they difficult to find? Are some colors more rare and therefore more sought after than others, or are all the colors regarded about the same? Is there anything in particiular I should be aware of when looking at pastels, e.g., problems that are common to pastels? I have seen a few on eBay that range greatly in price and quality, but very few anywhere else so I don't have a good point of comparison. I buy pens to use but I still want ones that are attractive and better quality.

And just today... I feel in love with the Dollar Pens, so any words of wisdom on those would be appreciated as well. I am just starting to learn about those.

I have enjoyed reading and learning from the posts here, and will continue. Thanks very much for sharing your experience with a newbie.

--kathy.



Purse Pens (pastels) are not too difficult to find, but very frequently have condition issues. The most common issues are cap lip cracks and staining of the threads (and smoetimes barrels.)

In my experience, the second series colors (darker, less "pastel" colors.) are harder to find. Pencils tend to be tougher to find than pens for a given color.

Prices have gone up greatly since I first started collecting. I can remember when even mint examples were $30-40 tops. Now, very clean examples often go for more than one hundred dollars.

Here is a quick/poor pic of most of my collection of pastels:



Brian has some information on his fantastic Esterbrook site: http://www.esterbroo...t/pastels.shtml

Regards, greg


Whoa.

Nice Greg!

Bruce in Ocala, FL

#5 Nancy

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 12:45

Greg - Wowwie! Nice collection. And gotta love the bright yellow pen and pencil with the yellow jewels.

OcalaFlGuy - That is another thing to look for in pastels. (No end to this collecting and I fear you have been bitten!) The jewels are most commonly black. Or they can match the color of the pen. Or they can be just about any color. Sometimes those guys in the Esterbrook factory must have had a happy Friday jewel party.

There are also doctors pens that are white but those are different than the purse pens that are white. Size is the difference there.

Confused yet? But half the fun is learning about all the Esties! And then wanting them.

#6 ladyinthemists

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 14:47

Greg, you most surely have a pastel collection to make collectors drool drool.gif and pine over. I only have my original old pastel yellow with black jewels that desperately needs a new ink sac. I would love to find a really good source to be able to purchase more Estie pastels without going to the poor house.

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#7 gregamckinney

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 16:19

QUOTE (ladyinthemists @ Sep 4 2009, 07:47 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Greg, you most surely have a pastel collection to make collectors drool drool.gif and pine over. I only have my original old pastel yellow with black jewels that desperately needs a new ink sac. I would love to find a really good source to be able to purchase more Estie pastels without going to the poor house.


Thanks. Pastels were one of the first areas I collected when I started into vintage. So, that group of pens represents more than 10 years of looking for decent examples at reasonable prices. Most sellers of pens know that pastels are desirable, so it is tough to find good deals on them. Generally, you have to run across a pen lot (or someone who doesn't know what they have) to get nice pastels inexpensively.

Regards, greg
Don't feel bad. I'm old; I'm meh about most things.

#8 kspers

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 20:00

Thanks everyone for the info and advice on Pastels. It has been very helpful to give me some perspective on what to look for, and to keep me from jumping on the first pen I see. I will be patient and wait for the right one(s). wink.gif

Greg, what a beautiful collection! I hope one day to have even just a few pens as nice as yours. Thanks for sharing!

--kathy.


#9 PAKMAN

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 23:34

W2FPN.gif Hi and welcome to FPN!! W2FPN.gif

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