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Why Do You Collect Pens?


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#41 richila

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Posted 31 October 2016 - 17:59

I love the sensation of writing with a fountain pen.  In order to continually have that sense of satisfaction, I find myself waiting for a new pen to arrive in the mail!  Help!  Help!

I collect pens because Helen, Ian and Richard keep posting beautiful pens that I can afford.



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#42 pajaro

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Posted 01 November 2016 - 03:39

I like to look at them, work the fillers, draw with them and admire the mass of them.


Edited by pajaro, 01 November 2016 - 03:39.

"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.

 

They took the blue from the skies and the pretty girls' eyes and a touch of Old Glory too . . .


#43 PAKMAN

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Posted 01 November 2016 - 04:18

I guess I collect pens because they make me happy, partly the hunt for particular pens and my desire to find just the right pen at just the right price. It is a relatively inexpensive hobby up to many others. I enjoy writing with a beautiful piece of history as well as with some modern beauties! My daughter has a few nice pens that she appreciates and is interested in inheriting a number of my pens. She doesn't use them much these days but does appreciate them. When I'm gone she can do with them as she wishes, keep, sell, trash. I won't be around to know or care what happens to them! If I grow tired of some of my pens then I sell them and use the funds for different pens. I may thin down the herd one day and cash out some of the money I have sunk in this hobby, but for now I'm happy with the status quo!


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#44 VodnikVolsovecek

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Posted 01 November 2016 - 17:43

I guess I collect pens because they make me happy, partly the hunt for particular pens and my desire to find just the right pen at just the right price. It is a relatively inexpensive hobby up to many others.

These are exactly my reasons. Considering the "right price" part, I find it analogous to collecting the art; FPs can make a good investment, too.


It may be worth to have a look at my classifieds :)


#45 pajaro

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Posted 01 November 2016 - 19:02

I find it hard to sell any of my pens, in spite of the reality that I only use about half a dozen of them at most.  It's probably not fair to put it on my heirs to figure out what they are and dispose of them.  So, I thought about a great funeral pyre in the fire pit.  Delusions of an old madman.


"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.

 

They took the blue from the skies and the pretty girls' eyes and a touch of Old Glory too . . .


#46 ian1964

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Posted 02 November 2016 - 02:43

I find it hard to sell any of my pens, in spite of the reality that I only use about half a dozen of them at most.  It's probably not fair to put it on my heirs to figure out what they are and dispose of them.  So, I thought about a great funeral pyre in the fire pit.  Delusions of an old madman.

 

Take them with you, you never know the Pharaohs may be right after all :)



#47 ca49reber

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Posted 02 November 2016 - 09:26

I am a user rather than collector. I have just under 30 fountain pens. What I really collect is ink. I have enough for several life times.



#48 Tancred

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Posted 03 November 2016 - 01:13

Hi everyone,

 

I am still only a few years into fountain pens and by no means do I consider myself a collector. Lately though I've been bitten by a bug I guess. I'm 46 and over the past 3 years lost my grandmother, mom and Aunt. While my health is good I have still begun looking at things like diet and annual preventative medical procedures. I recently made finance/perm life and retirement arrangements and have realized that I am mid-point in life and soon there will be more years behind me than in front. Maybe this has caused me to look a little differently at my pen collection and consider what they might be worth years down the road as my sons are delivering my eulogy (hopefully many decades down the road.) They will take ownership of this collection. Sorry to dip into a little morbidity there, let me bring this back to point.

 

A few questions for you all, hopefully this will spark a nice conversation. First, why do you collect pens? How do you focus your collection and what is the goal/purpose? For me, I didn't really "collect" as much as I found neat looking pens that wrote well. After time I amassed several thousand dollars worth of (mostly Cross) fountain pens.

 

I have been bitten by the Townsend bug, and have been consulting Steve Long from the forum here for his expert advice on how to tell them apart. So far I have a neophyte collection of....5. One of them is a Darth Vader fine nib, 1343 of 1977. I had it ground to an italic cursive though, and I wonder if I have decreased the future value? I inked and used it once and now it's back in the box. Should I replace the nib with a standard fine nib for the future? I have other Townsends I can use that nib on for sure. 2 of the 5 I have are "regular" Medalists.

 

My collection is now sort of focusing itself I guess, Townsends and all "Year of" collectibles. So far I have the 2012 Dragon, 2014 Horse both in red. And the 2013 year of the snake in blue. I obviously have a mental problem, but maybe some others here share that particular problem.

 

Welcome any thoughts. 

 

Interesting thread. At 46 you are likely to have another 40-50 years ahead of you (unless there is something you haven't told us) so I wouldn't worry about your death just yet!

 

I am 49, so older than you, but have no children. I collect purely for one reason: personal pleasure. Of course I wish I was 20 years younger and at the peak of my energies, but I spent too much time building a career and saving money to buy a house, start my retirement savings plan, etc. It was only in the last 7-8 years that I have been able to spend substantial sums on pens, though I have been been interested in fountain pens all my life. I don't have a specific purpose to collecting - in fact I don't see life in general as needing any 'purpose', I'm pretty much an existentialist. I could simply save all my spare cash and only use BIC ballpoints or those clever Japanese fine-liners and rollers, but I love beautiful things and it gives me pleasure to own visually stunning objects, so I buy high end pens. I don't collect one or two brands - my collection covers 25 expensive pens from around 11-12 brands. I love pens from Italy, Germany, France, Japan, Britain and the USA. I have Montblanc, Michel Perchin, Omas, Namiki, Onoto, Conway Stewart and others - all pricey stuff.

 

I expect my wife will outlive me, so I will probably sell most of my collection before I get too old and ill, but in the meantime I plan to enjoy what I have. I also have a modest collection of 20 automatic watches, but mid range rather than high end - top watch brands are too expensive to buy and insure.

 

You should never collect as an investment strategy - if you enjoy it it won't pay off and if it does pay off you won't enjoy it.  If I was only interested in the investment side I would only buy Montblanc limited editions and keep them in pristine condition for 20 years before selling them at sky high prices. There are people who do this, but not me.  I enjoy using my pens, not just storing them away in a cupboard. 



#49 pajaro

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Posted 03 November 2016 - 18:51

I think I persist in collecting pens because I have become more misanthropic with age, and I don't want any other collector to get any of my pens.  This way my wife will sell the pens at a garage sale.  I can just see some ignoramus buying a plum Parker 51 set for twenty cents.  There are few, if any, people around here who collect pens, and so these pens can disappear into kitchens and desks, to reappear at estate sales and be mined by ebay sellers.


"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.

 

They took the blue from the skies and the pretty girls' eyes and a touch of Old Glory too . . .


#50 inkstainedruth

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Posted 03 November 2016 - 20:50

I think I persist in collecting pens because I have become more misanthropic with age, and I don't want any other collector to get any of my pens.  This way my wife will sell the pens at a garage sale.  I can just see some ignoramus buying a plum Parker 51 set for twenty cents.  There are few, if any, people around here who collect pens, and so these pens can disappear into kitchens and desks, to reappear at estate sales and be mined by ebay sellers.

 

Well, I certainly paid more than 20¢ for my Plummer.  But last year I found a Parker 41 at an estate sale in a box of random pens and pencils ($5 for the contents, but I didn't want all those BPs).  And took the pen up to the estate sale cashier and said "How much for just this?" and got told "I dunno -- 50¢?"  :thumbup: 

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

#51 pajaro

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Posted 04 November 2016 - 18:18

Well, I certainly paid more than 20¢ for my Plummer.  But last year I found a Parker 41 at an estate sale in a box of random pens and pencils ($5 for the contents, but I didn't want all those BPs).  And took the pen up to the estate sale cashier and said "How much for just this?" and got told "I dunno -- 50¢?"  :thumbup: 
Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


You would be amazed at the number of Parker 51s I bought in new condition in the box at garage sales. I put several into use. The most I paid was five dollars.

Edited by pajaro, 04 November 2016 - 18:22.

"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.

 

They took the blue from the skies and the pretty girls' eyes and a touch of Old Glory too . . .


#52 CSSD

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Posted 11 November 2016 - 03:37

I'm not a collector, I just "collect."  In 2001 a good friend got me interested in higher-end fountain pens, not the nickel-and-dime type I had tried when I was a kid.  Cross Townsend, Montegrappa 1912, Conway Stewart Silver Duro, Omas, Bexley ..... those types of serious FP's.  Ebay and my semi-OCD did the rest, I find it difficult to avoid a bargain price on a superb FP.

 

So these days I have a nice stash of fantastic FP's that make writing a true joy.


Edited by CSSD, 11 November 2016 - 03:39.


#53 Mangrove Jack

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 04:50

Because variety is the spice of life.

#54 invisuu

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 21:25

I think I persist in collecting pens because I have become more misanthropic with age, and I don't want any other collector to get any of my pens.  This way my wife will sell the pens at a garage sale.  I can just see some ignoramus buying a plum Parker 51 set for twenty cents.  There are few, if any, people around here who collect pens, and so these pens can disappear into kitchens and desks, to reappear at estate sales and be mined by ebay sellers.

 

Well that's...depressing. 

 

I collect fountain pens because I love writing with them - and improving my handwriting.



#55 JohnD5633

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 22:37

I like nice things. Quality speaks to me.



#56 FlippyThePen

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Posted 26 December 2016 - 14:57

Why do I collect pens? I collect them because of the variety, and how fun they are to use.  There is something about getting ink stayed on your hands, and refilling pens that is enormously satisfying.  


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#57 Waski_the_Squirrel

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Posted 26 December 2016 - 17:09

I'm glad this thread was revived!

 

For many years, I was not a fountain pen collector. I had 3 that I used, and that was that. Then, in my mid-30s, I discovered the Noodler's Nib Creaper (the other models didn't exist yet) and Noodler's ink. I bought a few and was hooked. At some point I started reviewing them on YouTube.

 

What I've enjoyed is that I can and do use these fountain pens. This isn't like slide rules, something I used to collect. Slide rules look cool, do work, but I don't use them on a daily basis. Pens I do. I write a lot. It's fun to have a selection of pens and ink colors to choose from. And, just when I'm starting to wonder what else pens have to offer other than new models, I got into the vintage world. I've done minor repairs, and I'm finally trying my first restoration project.

 

Along the way, I've gotten interested in the history of fountain pens and various brands. When I do reviews of vintage pens, I'm starting to share history of the brand or model, especially when it's an exotic brand. Lots to learn. Centropen, for example, was a great education on exactly what it meant to be a private business under communist rule.


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#58 pennut

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Posted 22 January 2017 - 00:50

I confess to being a "collector" and an addicted collector to boot with about 350 in my collection at the moment. There is just something special about holding a fountain that is older than me (I am 71) and even looks better than me. :)
Fountain pens connect me to the past and it just makes me feel good to look at them, to hold them and to write with them. I have to use a computer and smart phone every day and in my opinion, all these technology tools have taken us into the darkness of endless work and pressure to always be "on," never "off." This is something you can't say about a fountain pen. My favorites are the Parker vacs. I have about 20 of them and one coming in the mail tomorrow. :)

Edited by pennut, 22 January 2017 - 00:51.


#59 pajaro

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Posted 22 January 2017 - 01:59

I confess to being a "collector" and an addicted collector to boot with about 350 in my collection at the moment. There is just something special about holding a fountain that is older than me (I am 71) and even looks better than me. :)
Fountain pens connect me to the past and it just makes me feel good to look at them, to hold them and to write with them. I have to use a computer and smart phone every day and in my opinion, all these technology tools have taken us into the darkness of endless work and pressure to always be "on," never "off." This is something you can't say about a fountain pen. My favorites are the Parker vacs. I have about 20 of them and one coming in the mail tomorrow. :)

 

I enjoyed reading this post.  I have enjoyed collecting pens made from the 1950s through about the early 1980s.  From when I was young to early adulthood.  I also have one Parker Vacumatic, a brown junior.  I enjoyed putting a new diaphragm in it and a brass filler.  A little before my time, 1945 vs. 1948 for me.  I have never figured how many thousand filler pushes it takes to fill the pen, but it is still near new and writes nicely. 


"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.

 

They took the blue from the skies and the pretty girls' eyes and a touch of Old Glory too . . .


#60 Barkingpig

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Posted 22 January 2017 - 05:52

The above posts were also enjoyable for me; I had an older friend, actually a contemporary of my Father, who when I was planning a return trip to England, said to me," I love going to England; it reminds me of what is was like here in the US, when things were still nice, not all hell bent on EVERYTHING new & improved, constant changes that didn't really make our life better." I truly understood what she meant & realised it was a part of what I also appreciated when visiting there.

 

It is a part of why I love using my pens & ink; 20 years ago while in a London hotel, I used a desk pen in the sitting room, that was one of many available for guest's use, to write a post card also supplied by the hotel; I returned to work a few years later to discover amenities in the hotel associated, with the restaurant I was managing were reduced to satellite/cable television, internet capabilities, without a daily newspaper, nor postage available for purchase, if a postcard was purchased.  When I returned home after a few years I fell into this hobby after clearing our desks used by my parents.  I enjoy everyday, @ times of my choice the ability to use something that restores a bit of dignity, excitement, artistry, thoughtful communication, without great difficulty.  

 

Just as a family meal was something that was enjoyable, yet served a purpose beyond supplying dietary needs, using a pen supplies MUCH more for me, than it's mere function. I remember advertisement campaigns from my youth that promoted a special coffee, because "it was a small pleasure that you deserved;"  food, alcohol & tobacco use have all been advertised in similar ways, yet writing with a pen does not lead to obesity, alcohol abuse nor health danger, but can be a pleasure that can be enjoyed on almost any budget, for as long or short time period as desired, almost anywhere.  I just feel better having pen & ink @ this time in my life; they have made my time spent with each a nicer experience for me.








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