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2017 La Pen Show Report


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#1 AltecGreen

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 19:27

LA Pen Show Report 2017




Intro

The 2017 LA Pen Show crept up on me.  I’ve been so busy that the show was almost an after thought.  Given the drama that occurred last year (see my 2016 report), I was curious to see how things would shape up.  As a quick re-cap, the way the LA show was scheduled last year caused many problems because the show did not have the full ballroom on the first two days of the show.  Thus people arrived to find they did not have a place to set-up.  This generated a lot of real anger and those feelings put a pall on the entire show.  So going into this year I did not know what to expect other than it would be ‘interesting’.  Off the bat, I noticed that the show scheduled had the show beginning at 1 pm on Thursday rather than the traditional 8 am.   Hmmmmm……….. would it be a repeat of last year?




Wednesday

I usually arrive on Wednesday afternoon which is a day before the show starts (at least for those with a trader pass).  I arrived this year without the traffic issues other than the 405.  (i.e. no overturned big rig blocking the entire interstate).   The market I deal in starts very early in the show and it all really kicks off the night before the show.    I have said this many times, but the pen market is divided up into different segments and they each cater to different groups within the pen world.  The LA show format tends to heighten these distinctions.  Upon arrival, the usual crowd is already in the lobby waiting for check-in.  I make arrangements to look at pens later in the evening with one dealer.  It was then off to introduce the boys from Singapore to the wonders of fried chicken and waffles at Roscoe’s.   After dinner, several of us met with a dealer from Japan for a first crack at pens.  So we start going through the pens in the lobby.  This is what happens next.



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So even arriving at the show, the issue about the 1 pm start was not resolved.  The organizer said they would not set-up registration until 1 pm.  Fortunately, the ballroom and show area were all set-up for us when I arrived.  Thus, we did not have to worry about another party using up part of the ballroom.  There was a bit of confusion.  I figured that since the room was set-up, people would start early in the morning whether the organizers showed up or not.



Thursday



I got up early to see whether I was right.  I headed down to the ballroom at 7:30 am.   I was right.


Registration area is empty
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The syndicate planning world domination.
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Dayne and Myk
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Time to set-up
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An was ready to go
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Some of An’s stuff
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Some rare ephemera for sale and discussion
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Some of Dayne’s pens
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Edited by AltecGreen, 21 February 2017 - 00:43.

2019 San Francisco Pen Show        
August 23-25th, 2019
Pullman Hotel San Francisco Bay
223 Twin Dolphin Drive
Redwood City Ca, 94065


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#2 AltecGreen

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 19:27

The action is usually inside the ballroom.  The outer area is usually devoid of life at this time.
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One person who is set-up outside is my good friend Maxim of Artus pens.  So I spent a bit of time looking at the new pens for this year.  The artwork is always incredible.  These are pens done in various techniques including traditional styles of Russian painting.  


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These were done using a technique similar to Japanese Chinkin
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Incredible detail
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The different Artus nib sizes
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My personal favorite from this year’s pens

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Farmboy looking at an interesting demonstration pen
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2019 San Francisco Pen Show        
August 23-25th, 2019
Pullman Hotel San Francisco Bay
223 Twin Dolphin Drive
Redwood City Ca, 94065


#3 AltecGreen

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 19:28

I spent quite a bit of time at Manu’s table.  For those who don’t know, Manu bought the physical stock of Omas and the name.  At LA, he brought the first of the new pens and showed off some of the things they were doing.  He also owns the name to Conway Stewart in the US and some of these pens were here too.   First off, don’t ask him to sell you rods of celluloid.  Second, don’t e-mail or message me asking how you can buy rods of Omas celluloid (I’ve been getting ping’ed on and off about this).  Manu is not selling rods.  The manufacturers are not really making the pen celluloids anymore and companies like Mazzuchelli may fold.  It is more than likely that the celluloid rods that exists will be the last and once they are gone, they are gone.

The first new pen is a re-issue of the Armando Simoni Club Arlechino pen.  This is a limited edition of 100 pens and used up the last of this celluloid.  That is it folks.  The new version has a cap band and a German brass piston mechanism rather than the 90’s Omas plastic piston filler.  Manu said that morning that 63 of the 100 were already sold and one buyer from Hong Kong wanted to buy all 100 pens in one go.

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Manu also had other older Omas pens for sale at the show.  (Sorry for the blurry picture but I had a bad angle and these three were in the process f being sold.)

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Some more pens.  Don’t ask about the Spina de Pesce.  Manu had two.  I bought one and Mario Campa bought the other.
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Rod Stock samples
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Speaking of modern Omas pens.  I know the market has reacted and prices have gone up.  There were plenty of modern Omas pens up for sale.  I saw some old style Omas Paragons go for $650 ea.(one Wild, a Galilieo, and something else) and some go for $1200. You can still find them at fair prices.  I chatted with a lot of dealers and we all shook our heads looking at the eBay prices.  And no, we cannot find a brown Arco 360 nor the transparent purple 360.






Some afternoon action
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Last year a young man attended the show and said his grandfather passed away and he wanted to sell his grandfather’s pens.  This year he brought the entire collection with the intent to sell.  Some people not to be named (but can be seen in the pictures below) went through the collection and bought the whole thing.  Generally, the process begins with going through every single pen and noting issues.  Then an offer is made and negotiations begin.  And finally a deal struck.

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I’ll leave it an an exercise for people to figure out what Waterman pens were in this case.
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The deal was concluded successfully.  The seller stayed around and was walking around the show with a big smile on his face.  I ended up with the cases that the pens came in.  Of course, the buyers disappeared for most of Thursday to sort the pens.  The chaff ended up in a bag of gullibility.  We will return to that story later in the report.
 


Edited by AltecGreen, 21 February 2017 - 01:34.

2019 San Francisco Pen Show        
August 23-25th, 2019
Pullman Hotel San Francisco Bay
223 Twin Dolphin Drive
Redwood City Ca, 94065


#4 AltecGreen

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 19:29

Style Art from Japan make awesome pens.  I’m good friends with Motoshi and his wife and they are kind enough to always send me pictures of what they are bringing before they come.  Of course, I pass that info onto the Pen Posse.  A few members wanted some of the urushi pens.  They were all lying in wait as they were setting up Thursday afternoon ready to pounce.

They weren’t even set-up yet.  
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Someone got their happy face pen.  
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Pens were going fast
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Thursday miscellany


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Everyone needs light
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Beautiful
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Liquor is quicker. (This bottle moved from table to table)
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Rollstoppers for Ranga pens at Peyton Street Pens
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The “F” word
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Edited by AltecGreen, 20 February 2017 - 19:32.

2019 San Francisco Pen Show        
August 23-25th, 2019
Pullman Hotel San Francisco Bay
223 Twin Dolphin Drive
Redwood City Ca, 94065


#5 AltecGreen

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 19:36

So unlike most pen show attendees, I actually want good food for dinner.  So several of us went to a Korean BBQ place in Koreatown (1 hour drive away) to a place recommended to me by a college classmate.  It was good.  I have no idea what was in that tea but it was lick crack.

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The marinated beef short ribs.  Franz’s favorite
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When we returned from dinner, Farmboy broke out the junky pens from that collection.  He made a bag of gullibility and we sorted the pens.  We made a pile of ‘disco’ pens for Gale.

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All in all, the mood was much better than last year.  There was a lot of stuff to buy and a lot of money changed hands on Thursday.  A friend on Facebook commented on how empty everything was.  I responded by saying yes but a lot of deals were being done in private and in the hotel rooms.  There was so much to buy and I had already spent everything I brought by Thursday afternoon.  Which means a trip tot he bank on Friday morning.
 


Edited by AltecGreen, 20 February 2017 - 19:38.

2019 San Francisco Pen Show        
August 23-25th, 2019
Pullman Hotel San Francisco Bay
223 Twin Dolphin Drive
Redwood City Ca, 94065


#6 AltecGreen

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 20:42

Friday

Friday was a bit of odd day.  The rains that have been plaguing California came in full force on Friday.  I got up and went downstairs early to see what was going on.


While I was getting coffee
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It was a typical Friday morning with more dealers setting up.



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Vanness set-up on Friday morning

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Kyoto Inks
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After Mike came back with lights.  The outer area is dim when the sky is overcast but super toasty in the full sunlight
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The squirrels are a bit fat in this area.
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This is a bit blurry but remember this picture for later
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At this point, I left for the bank to withdraw money before the rains came.  First trip to the bank to refuel.  



The reason I needed to to go to the bank is that I bought a lot of vintage Japanese pens.   Here are some I didn’t buy.  You gotta leave stuff for others.

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2019 San Francisco Pen Show        
August 23-25th, 2019
Pullman Hotel San Francisco Bay
223 Twin Dolphin Drive
Redwood City Ca, 94065


#7 AltecGreen

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 20:42

More Stylo Art and Eboya.

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The blurry Karas guys
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I spent some time looking at the Taccia urushi pens.  Taccia started to introduce some interesting urushi pens.  

The three new LE pens
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Some one off artists proofs
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Edited by AltecGreen, 21 February 2017 - 01:35.

2019 San Francisco Pen Show        
August 23-25th, 2019
Pullman Hotel San Francisco Bay
223 Twin Dolphin Drive
Redwood City Ca, 94065


#8 AltecGreen

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 20:43

In the world of modern pens, there was a lot of buzz about the new Aurora Flex It 88 nib and pens.  Aurora came with their nibmeister and translator.  On Friday night, they held a presentation but more on that later.

Here is a teaser.
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Kenro also had the Montegrappa Game of Thrones pens on display.  Choose your house.
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Visconti came with a large display of pens.  Nothing really new that I saw.
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Lots of watches
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My friends from Straits pens brought a lot of stuff ranging from expensive Les to interesting Chinese pens.  They had the full range of stuff.  They would have ad more stuff but the Pen Posse cleaned them out of some stuff the weekend before.

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2019 San Francisco Pen Show        
August 23-25th, 2019
Pullman Hotel San Francisco Bay
223 Twin Dolphin Drive
Redwood City Ca, 94065


#9 AltecGreen

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 20:43

Franklin Christoph was missing Scott.  But Jim carried on.
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The picture does not do this pen justice.  It is bright,
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Friday Miscellany

A pre-Nakaya Platinum in Aka-Tamenuri
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It is possible to write with this
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You cannot escape the washi tape
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John Corwin’s Ballon
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Pen Show dog
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For your dip pens
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The brain
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Edited by AltecGreen, 20 February 2017 - 20:47.

2019 San Francisco Pen Show        
August 23-25th, 2019
Pullman Hotel San Francisco Bay
223 Twin Dolphin Drive
Redwood City Ca, 94065


#10 AltecGreen

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 20:43

Friday night is the traditional night for our annual Pen Posse dinner.  Unfortunately Joi could not organize but Franz stepped in.  We ended up with a smaller event this year, only 25 people instead of 45.

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Back the hotel, the Aurora presentation started.  We got back from dinner late so I had a bad spot and it was hard to hear because this was held in the hotel bar.  Aurora are really hyping this and sent their nibmeister and a translator.
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The pen in action
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More testing
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My impression is that it is the best stock modern nib for ‘flex’ and it is somewhere on the semi-flex flex border.  The nib itself has really long tines which help.  I suspect it will be a good platform for further modification.  The. nib width is still a bit too fat for Spencerian and would need a grind.  The nib actually has snap back unlike the there modern pretenders.  A possible choice for Spencerian but the nib does not spread enough for copperplate.  A reasonable nib if one keeps their expectations in check.  It is still not on par with the best vintage nibs but this is a step forward.  The pricing could be an issue and we will have to see how casual people handle the nib.  


A follow-up from Thursday night, Gail gets her pens from the bag of gullibility.
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Edited by AltecGreen, 20 February 2017 - 20:46.

2019 San Francisco Pen Show        
August 23-25th, 2019
Pullman Hotel San Francisco Bay
223 Twin Dolphin Drive
Redwood City Ca, 94065


#11 AlexLeGrande

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 21:55

OMG!  WIWT!



#12 AltecGreen

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 23:05

Saturday


On Saturday, the rains subsided.  You can see the result if you compare to the blurry picture from Friday.
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Saturday is usually more lively with the added weekend crowd.  The ballroom was already pretty active at 8 am.

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While I was wandering the room, someone yells out, “Do you still buy vintage Italian pens?”.  I take a look and said I’ll be right back.  I’m going to the bank.  Doh!  Trip #2.   This will work out later so it wasn’t too bad but I went over budget again.  There was so much good stuff for sale.  The reality is that a lot of the older collectors are selling off their best pieces now.  So the good stuff is beginning to come out.  I have never seen so many vintage Italian pens come out with perfect clarity in the celluloid.  These pens were all mint.  Bad for my pocket book.  I never even made it out of my primary focus.  I had to settle to look at some of pens that I might have bought if the good stuff had not been out for sale.

Pens I might have bought.
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I went around looking at modern pens for a while since these tend to start coming out on Saturday.

Here are the new Aurora 88 Flex pens.  These were the pens we tested Friday night.
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They need to put the new nib on pens like these.
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I love the fluorescent pens from FC
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More colorful FC pens
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2019 San Francisco Pen Show        
August 23-25th, 2019
Pullman Hotel San Francisco Bay
223 Twin Dolphin Drive
Redwood City Ca, 94065


#13 AltecGreen

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 23:06

Pens are not the only things for sale
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More random modern pens.
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The pastel light blue seem to be a popular color these days.  You have the Sailor Fresca and a bunch of other pens using similar colors.
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Pilot  LE.  I have story about this pen later.
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Edited by AltecGreen, 20 February 2017 - 23:13.

2019 San Francisco Pen Show        
August 23-25th, 2019
Pullman Hotel San Francisco Bay
223 Twin Dolphin Drive
Redwood City Ca, 94065


#14 AltecGreen

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 23:11

Our Bay Area friends Osprey pens are new on the scene and they came to LA for the first time.  Abhi and his father run Osprey pens.  They brought an exclusive Noodler’s Ink as well as their own line of pens.  These are inexpensive and they contribute a portion of the proceeds to various charities.  One cool thing Abhi brought was the AxiDraw from Evil Nad Scientist Laboratories.

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Here it is in action with their Scholar pen.
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The nibs they offer
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A pen for a cancer charity
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One of our members had a hard time getting to the show.  Most of the flights from the Bay Area were cancelled and the rest were now really expensive.  Fortunately, her boss let her use his hints to fly to the show.  Here’s Katherine #2 (we have to number our Katherines) fondly eyeing a Classic Pens Blue LB5??.  
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2019 San Francisco Pen Show        
August 23-25th, 2019
Pullman Hotel San Francisco Bay
223 Twin Dolphin Drive
Redwood City Ca, 94065


#15 AltecGreen

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 23:11

I spent a fair amount of time at Osman Sumer’s table.  I bought quite a few pens from him at the show.  Of course, he comes to me on Friday and says he has a collection of pens incoming and he suspects I would be interested and to come and find him on Saturday.  The trip back to the bank was not wasted.  He was brokering a deal for someone else who wanted to liquidate a group of Italian pens.  So I grabbed Brian and Christina and looked at the pens.  Wow.  The short story was that we were invested but he had to go negotiate prices. So we waited.  I took these while waiting.  These are some seriously nice pens


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Now the story about the Pilot LE.  I saw Franz sitting at Mike Masuyama’s table getting some work done.  Mike finishes the first pen and Franz gives him his Vanishing Point Twilight to work on.  So Mike starts working on the pen and then out of the blue he tells us that he has two BungBix exclusive Decimos in his bag.  He pulls them out and gives them to Franz.  Franz opens the box.   This is the result.



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So beware the next time Mike works on your pen.  You might end up buying a pen.   The funny thing is that I posted this on my Instagram feed.  I run into Brian’s wife and her where’s Brian.  She goes,”Buying the Bingbox Deimo” and gives me that look.  



Ryan Krusac came in late Friday with Brandon.  That means one thing pens and chocolate.

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2019 San Francisco Pen Show        
August 23-25th, 2019
Pullman Hotel San Francisco Bay
223 Twin Dolphin Drive
Redwood City Ca, 94065


#16 AltecGreen

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 23:12

Saturday Miscellany

The sole surviving bottle of Kingdom Note Ink from the Pen Posse Frenzy the previous Sunday.  The other three surviving bottles were old leaving this lonely bottle.

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Pen Repair
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Nik’s always writing
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The Anderson’s picked up a bunch of Japan only Sailor pens on Wednesday.  They also told me the Chalanas are now discontinued.
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We will be trying this one out soon.  Where’s the ketchup and relish
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The fountain pin
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Some good stuff here
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Some pens from the collection already for sale
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Double Trouble
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Jim Rouse’s work area.  He hid his giant bottle of aspirin.
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Down the aisle
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2019 San Francisco Pen Show        
August 23-25th, 2019
Pullman Hotel San Francisco Bay
223 Twin Dolphin Drive
Redwood City Ca, 94065


#17 AltecGreen

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 23:14

For Saturday night, I took the guys from Straits Pen for some authentic Mexican food.  I wanted some mariscos so we headed out.


I found El Chuy #1.  Yay!    But they were closing,
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They told us to go to El Chuy #2 so off we went.  El Chuy#2 offers a but more stuff than #1.  Something about Mexican sushi
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It was all good.  Here’s the food.
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When we got back to the hotel, there a bunch of lively groups.  It hasn’t been like this in a few years.  I joined the group near the ballroom with Sarj and Maxim.  Later Eddy from Airline International came by with two primo bottles of high end Tequila.  We were already working on the port that Sarj brought from England.  We were drinking, talking and one person was watching Bollywood flicks.
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Don Julio 70th Anniversary
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It was a good time for all.  This is the LA I remember.  
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I went to check out the other groups.  A mix of Pen Posse, Vanness Pens, and others at this group.
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I didn’t go down but the old timers were down by the pool smoking cigars,  Roger Cromwell spoofed them all.  He went down with his youngest daughter and told everyone that she was his new girlfriend.  Apparently it got real quite.   The atmosphere was more relaxed than last year and it showed.  
 


2019 San Francisco Pen Show        
August 23-25th, 2019
Pullman Hotel San Francisco Bay
223 Twin Dolphin Drive
Redwood City Ca, 94065


#18 TheRealMikeDr

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 00:20

Superb! Wish I was there!



#19 AltecGreen

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 00:27

Sunday

 

Sunday in LA is a madhouse.  That is to be expected.  There was some extra stress on the dealers because there was a snafu with table numbering and a bunch of dealers who had already set-up had to shift everything.  Most dealt with it in the morning.  It was going t be interesting whether the weather would affect the crowd.

As usual, the morning was frantic set-up and let minute buying by the traders before the horde arrives.

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Edited by AltecGreen, 21 February 2017 - 00:30.

2019 San Francisco Pen Show        
August 23-25th, 2019
Pullman Hotel San Francisco Bay
223 Twin Dolphin Drive
Redwood City Ca, 94065


#20 AltecGreen

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 00:31

Last minute look at stuff before the opening


Upscale Rotring
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Over the top
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Laban is coming out with some interesting stuff
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Sailor brought their own ink and pen testing station
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Three of the five new Conway Stewart pens
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Edited by AltecGreen, 21 February 2017 - 00:33.

2019 San Francisco Pen Show        
August 23-25th, 2019
Pullman Hotel San Francisco Bay
223 Twin Dolphin Drive
Redwood City Ca, 94065







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