Jump to content

The Fountain Pen Network uses (functional) cookies. Read the FPN Privacy Policy for more info.  To remove this message, please click here to accept the use of cookies






Photo

Small Batch European Makers And Their Pens

custom

  • Please log in to reply
66 replies to this topic

#21 zaddick

zaddick

    BROADside Ambassador

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,488 posts
  • Location:SF Bay Area
  • Flag:

Posted 26 May 2017 - 21:41

Goldfink #12 Safety

 

Goldfink is a vintage name in the pen world. You can find pens with that name made from the 1910s to about the 1960s, with the 1930s being the peak of their popularity. The brand name was taken over and revived (somewhat) by FPN member Tom Westerich who is more famous for selling pens on penboard.de in Germany (although I seem to find him mostly in Italy nowadays). Tom does not seem to have a website just for his pens, but you can find his current offerings on sale on penboard.de in the Goldfink section of the shop. Tom makes all of his pens by hand on a lathe, without the aid of fancy computers. Pens can be made of celluloid, acrylic, and hard rubber, but I have seen one recently that has a wooden barrel. He seems reasonably flexible on the materials he will use. The pens vary in size, price and filling mechanism – button, twist and eye dropper seem to be what I have seen him offer.

 

The pen I have is the Goldfink Safetyfiller no. 12 size, short version, red mottled ebonite. (That the long name from the website.) The pen is a slightly updated take on the old #12 size safety pens from the 1920. Although he is not specifying a maker, it sure looks a fair amount like the old MB pens to me. The pen does offer some technical advantages over its historical counterparts with a few rubber O seals to keep ink where it belongs.

 

fpn_1495834118__20170520_134202_resized_

 

The pen is a real beast in terms of size, but it is still plenty light. It holds a lot of ink (although I have never measured) and is easy to use. The nib is a 14K nib. It was made by Bock and is their large #8 size. It is stamped with Warranted and the gold content as this is more representative of what you might find on a vintage pen. The body itself is hard rubber and is this prone to fading, which my pen has already started to do. However, the level of craftsmanship is truly top notch. From a smooth twisting action to extract the nib to a good tight seal, the hand-engraved name on the cap, to all the little knurling  on the cap and barrel, this pen feels like it was made with a lot of care to high tolerances. Even the feed is ebonite and has a groove to allow the safety in on the cap to settle in without issue when the pen is capped. I also like that the threads are next to the nib which gives ma a lot of comfortable options to hold the baton, er I mean pen.

 

fpn_1495834200__20170520_133611_resized_

 

fpn_1495834243__20170520_133559_resized_

 

The clip is not original. The first owner of the pen had it made. I think it originally had some plating that is now gone. I actually do not mind it in its current form as it looks a little vintage and funky.

 

fpn_1495834350__20170520_133814_resized_

 

The pen comes apart easily for cleaning and I have no complaints. Each component feels well-made and robust. The downside of this pen (and all safety eyedroppers) is that it is not ideal for jotting quick notes. If you are the kind of person who carries a pen in your short pocket, this is not the pen for you. It also cannot be posted, but it would be ridiculous to post anyhow.

 

fpn_1495834395__20170520_134016_resized_

 

Tom lists this pen for sale on his website at 1,680 Euros ex. VAT and 1,999 Euros with VAT included. Not a trivial amount by any means. A lot of work goes into making the pen so maybe the price is reasonable. Maybe he does not like making this pen and wants to discourage orders? You can judge value for yourself. I can say you are unlikely to see another one at any local pen clubs!

 

Here are a few comparison picks to help you judge size. One pen is a Pelikan M800 and the other is an  MB 149. All pens are lined up at the bottom when the photos were taken.

 

fpn_1495834822__20170520_133426_resized_

 

fpn_1495834846__20170520_133533_resized_


Edited by zaddick, 26 May 2017 - 21:42.

If you want less blah, blah, blah and more pictures, follow me on Instagram!


Sponsored Content

#22 Ghost Plane

Ghost Plane

    Indescribable

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 28,424 posts
  • Location:USA
  • Flag:

Posted 26 May 2017 - 21:54

This may finally be the pen I'd call "big enough"

#23 Scribs

Scribs

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 57 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 26 May 2017 - 22:48

Now this is a fantastic thread! And I'm liking the look of your pen collection Zaddick... a lot.



#24 da vinci

da vinci

    Donor Pen

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,853 posts

Posted 27 May 2017 - 22:39

That is a wonderful Goldfink Zaddick. I have a had the pleasure of meeting Tom several times, and I also own a Goldfink (similar material and dimensions but not a safety). I can fully attest to the accuracy of the review, and the pen making skills of Tom :)

#25 zaddick

zaddick

    BROADside Ambassador

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,488 posts
  • Location:SF Bay Area
  • Flag:

Posted 28 May 2017 - 05:43

BB Pen Prototype

 

For the next pen, I am sharing one of the most uncommon pens I have seen. Bernard Bernolet is a pen enthusiast who co-wrote a book called “The List” identifying what he considered THE reference guide to all limited edition fountain pens worldwide. (As an aside, this almost seems a laughable concept today when companies like Visconti, Stipula, Delta and others will make an LE pen to commemorate your 5 year old scoring a goal.)

 

To commemorate the launch of his book, he decided to make the “ultimate” pen. He listed out all the characteristics (as identified and paraphrased on the certificate provided with the pen) that drove the development of the pen for aficionados who:

  • Think regular pens are too small

  • Like simplicity in design

  • Don’t like cheap plastic

  • Don’t trust unstable celluloid

  • Don’t like ostentatious precious metals

  • Don’t like heavy pens

  • Don’t like fragile hard rubber

  • Don’t like stiff, Fine nibs

 

The pen is made of highly polished aircraft grade aluminum alloy. The claim is all of the pen is handmade except the converter. It does come with a rather lovely #12 size 14K nib that writes an B or BB width and is supplied by a nice ebonite feed with lots of fins. The feed is a lot like the ones I have seen behind the Bock A380 (#8 size) nibs, which makes me wonder if they make the nib also. The pen was a limited edition of 100, however I have heard from a reliable source that 100 were never made, more along the lines of 80. I have seen a few other versions where the barrel was not aluminum. In one ad here on FPN from 2010 the barrel was the late 1990s Sheaffer jungle acrylic. I have seen another where the barrel was black ebonite (kinda ironic given the philosophy of the pen). Finally I saw another one on eBay maybe a year or so ago, but I cannot recall what the body was made of – acrylic I think.

 

fpn_1495949306__20170527_185651_resized.

 

fpn_1495949230__20170527_184758_resized.

 

fpn_1495949700__20170527_184809_resized.

 

The pen is easily scratched. The person who had it before me must have used it a lot or carried it around loose in a pocket. I don’t mind all the scratches as I use most of my pens, but  I can see how a collector might be annoyed at how easily it can pick up a scuff. The aluminum is fairly durable outside of scuffing so you actually could carry this pen in a pair of jeans, if you didn’t mind all the “Is that an X in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?” jokes.

 

The pen is a good writer with good flow – no complaints here. It is a lovely large nib that weights almost 2 grams. The pen is limited to a C/C system. This makes it easy to clean though limited in capacity. You cannot eye dropper this pen given all the metal, which is a bit of a bummer. The ergonomics are good, as long as you can handle a fairly wide grip. The threads are smooth an unobtrusive and the grip flares out by the nib to provide a natural gripping point while keeping your fingers off the nib. The pen does tend to get people’s attention, but I don’t mind using it around the office.

 

Those of you who like larger pens may be saying this shape and size look familiar – a lot like a Namiki usushi #50 (often called Emperor). Well, that is because the pen is pretty much a metal emperor. Check out these side-by-side photos. Obviously the nibs are different, but the rest of the pens is very close.

 

fpn_1495949770__20170527_191548_resized.

 

fpn_1495949825__20170527_191704_resized.

 

fpn_1495949865__20170527_191720_resized.

 

I have no idea what these pens cost when they were new. I have never seen another metal one for sale so I am not sure if what I paid was fair or not. If anyone on FPN has one and is reading this, don’t be shy. Even if you have one of the metal cap and alternate body pens, they are pretty fun to use.

 

Also included are my standard comparison photos versus an Pelikan M800 and an MB 149. The pens are always lined up at the bottom prior to the photo.

 

fpn_1495949940__20170527_185313_resized.

 

fpn_1495950038__20170527_185151_resized.

 

fpn_1495950111__20170527_185226_resized.


If you want less blah, blah, blah and more pictures, follow me on Instagram!


#26 Barkingpig

Barkingpig

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,140 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 28 May 2017 - 07:35

Thank you for sharing this interesting pen.  I appreciate the values it expresses & like the way it looks, scratches are a BIG plus for this pen.  That nib is a beauty & more interesting is the man who created the pen.  Thanks to you I have learned a lot tonite & met a new pen.  The "Pen World" is a lot smaller place than I ever imagined.



#27 fountainpagan

fountainpagan

    Poetry soothes and emboldens the soul to accept mystery

  • FPN Supporter - Platinum

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,087 posts
  • Location:South of France
  • Flag:

Posted 28 May 2017 - 11:34

This is a great thread, Zaddick, thank you!

 

That Goldfink is superbe!!!

 

Thank you for sharing with us.


A silent response: it shows you didn't lose anything

 

My avatar is a painting by the imense surrealist painter Remedios Varo

SUPORTER OF uh2SgO.jpg AND OHg34j.jpg


#28 cunim

cunim

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 242 posts
  • Location:Niagara
  • Flag:

Posted 28 May 2017 - 13:38

Interesting topic Zaddick.  If you are going to continue it, can I suggest you break it up into discrete postings so we can keep track of what is new?



#29 da vinci

da vinci

    Donor Pen

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,853 posts

Posted 28 May 2017 - 22:01

Zaddick, more very interesting posts thank you.

Thought I would contribute a photo of my Goldfink, and my BB Pen:

IMG_0554_zpsezcwrvbm.jpg

Both are excellent.

I had not heard of "The List" before. Is it possible to obtain a copy somehow?

#30 fountainpagan

fountainpagan

    Poetry soothes and emboldens the soul to accept mystery

  • FPN Supporter - Platinum

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,087 posts
  • Location:South of France
  • Flag:

Posted 29 May 2017 - 10:17

Zaddick, more very interesting posts thank you.

Thought I would contribute a photo of my Goldfink, and my BB Pen:

IMG_0554_zpsezcwrvbm.jpg

Both are excellent.

I had not heard of "The List" before. Is it possible to obtain a copy somehow?

 

That BB is gorgeous Nick !!! Love it, love it. The body and roll-stop are galalith made, aren't they?

Could you show it opened, please?

 

The Goldfink is beutiful. But I find Zaddick's snake clip to be more unusual.


A silent response: it shows you didn't lose anything

 

My avatar is a painting by the imense surrealist painter Remedios Varo

SUPORTER OF uh2SgO.jpg AND OHg34j.jpg


#31 da vinci

da vinci

    Donor Pen

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,853 posts

Posted 31 May 2017 - 12:48

 

That BB is gorgeous Nick !!! Love it, love it. The body and roll-stop are galalith made, aren't they?

Could you show it opened, please?

 

The Goldfink is beutiful. But I find Zaddick's snake clip to be more unusual.

 

It is a great pen, but very large as Zaddick says.

 

I am not sure if it is Galalith but it is a nice resin, and as you noticed the roll stopper does match the barrel.

 

I will try and get an uncapped photo up soon!



#32 zaddick

zaddick

    BROADside Ambassador

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,488 posts
  • Location:SF Bay Area
  • Flag:

Posted 31 May 2017 - 22:57

Zaddick, more very interesting posts thank you.

Thought I would contribute a photo of my Goldfink, and my BB Pen:

IMG_0554_zpsezcwrvbm.jpg

Both are excellent.

I had not heard of "The List" before. Is it possible to obtain a copy somehow?

 

So you add to the list of BB pens I had not seen before. Exciting. I think the material looks like Sheaffer Tiger Eye compressed acryllic. Sheaffer seems to have sold off a lot of rod stock as i have seen custom pens, Bexleys, and others in the materials. Thanks for sharing your pen. Should you get bored of it, look me up. :)

 

The list was published in 1999. The book is soft cover, 136 pages, 8.25 x 11.75 inches, full color, published in Belgium, text is all English. I have not seen a copy, but with only 100 they do not come up for sale often. I have maybe seen one or two change hands. You may contact Bernard through the M2Bpens.com website. I just looked at teh site today and there appears to be a cover for a second version of "The List" book, but i cannot seem to find more info.

 

Bernard's partner on that site is Emmanuel Caltagirone, who is the fellow who is selling all the old Omas stock on eBay and started the ASCpens.com to create new pens with some of the old rod stock and nibs from Omas. He also helped revive the Wahl Eversharp brand with Syd Saperstein several years ago.


Edited by zaddick, 31 May 2017 - 23:00.

If you want less blah, blah, blah and more pictures, follow me on Instagram!


#33 zaddick

zaddick

    BROADside Ambassador

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,488 posts
  • Location:SF Bay Area
  • Flag:

Posted 31 May 2017 - 23:00

Interesting topic Zaddick.  If you are going to continue it, can I suggest you break it up into discrete postings so we can keep track of what is new?

 

I am not sure i understand this request? Is it sto start a separate thread for each pen? If so, that defeats the prupose of what i am doing here which is an incomplete survey of small pen makers based in Europe. The thread will show you when new posts are added if you are logged in  as a user so keeping up to date should be fairly simple. But perhaps I am missing the idea of your post?


If you want less blah, blah, blah and more pictures, follow me on Instagram!


#34 da vinci

da vinci

    Donor Pen

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,853 posts

Posted 01 June 2017 - 05:43

That BB is gorgeous Nick !!! Love it, love it. The body and roll-stop are galalith made, aren't they?
Could you show it opened, please?
 
The Goldfink is beutiful. But I find Zaddick's snake clip to be more unusual.


Your wish is my command... :D

IMG_0555_zpsngioor1v.jpg

#35 da vinci

da vinci

    Donor Pen

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,853 posts

Posted 01 June 2017 - 05:46

 
Bernard's partner on that site is Emmanuel Caltagirone, who is the fellow who is selling all the old Omas stock on eBay and started the ASCpens.com to create new pens with some of the old rod stock and nibs from Omas. He also helped revive the Wahl Eversharp brand with Syd Saperstein several years ago.


Thanks for the information Zaddick, I will start looking around. The pen world is indeed a small world..!

#36 fountainpagan

fountainpagan

    Poetry soothes and emboldens the soul to accept mystery

  • FPN Supporter - Platinum

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,087 posts
  • Location:South of France
  • Flag:

Posted 01 June 2017 - 05:57

 

It is a great pen, but very large as Zaddick says.

 

I am not sure if it is Galalith but it is a nice resin, and as you noticed the roll stopper does match the barrel.

 

 

You are probably right, about it being resin. I just looked carefully at it, and and it looks like it. Moreover, I have a Tiger which has the same pattern, in grey.

 

Anyhow, beautiful!


A silent response: it shows you didn't lose anything

 

My avatar is a painting by the imense surrealist painter Remedios Varo

SUPORTER OF uh2SgO.jpg AND OHg34j.jpg


#37 zaddick

zaddick

    BROADside Ambassador

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,488 posts
  • Location:SF Bay Area
  • Flag:

Posted 01 June 2017 - 06:36

Your wish is my command... :D

IMG_0555_zpsngioor1v.jpg

I wish you would send me the BB pen.

Let's see of that wish/command thing works for me too. :)

Nice looking pen. I think the others I have seen had the aluminum alloy section. Where did you find yours?

Edited by zaddick, 01 June 2017 - 06:37.

If you want less blah, blah, blah and more pictures, follow me on Instagram!


#38 cunim

cunim

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 242 posts
  • Location:Niagara
  • Flag:

Posted 01 June 2017 - 13:43

 

I am not sure i understand this request? Is it sto start a separate thread for each pen? If so, that defeats the prupose of what i am doing here which is an incomplete survey of small pen makers based in Europe. The thread will show you when new posts are added if you are logged in  as a user so keeping up to date should be fairly simple. But perhaps I am missing the idea of your post

Purely a convenience issue.  I expect there to be lots of replies in this thread and long threads are tedious to navigate.  So, "small batch #1" then "small batch #2" when you introduce a new set of pens.



#39 fountainpagan

fountainpagan

    Poetry soothes and emboldens the soul to accept mystery

  • FPN Supporter - Platinum

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,087 posts
  • Location:South of France
  • Flag:

Posted 01 June 2017 - 14:43

Your wish is my command... :D

IMG_0555_zpsngioor1v.jpg

:lol:  Thank you, sir. ;)

 

Even more beautiful, uncovered. I really love it.


A silent response: it shows you didn't lose anything

 

My avatar is a painting by the imense surrealist painter Remedios Varo

SUPORTER OF uh2SgO.jpg AND OHg34j.jpg


#40 zaddick

zaddick

    BROADside Ambassador

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,488 posts
  • Location:SF Bay Area
  • Flag:

Posted 02 June 2017 - 18:35

Manu Propria Tora-Negoro-Nuri

 

Martin Pauli is the artist behind Manu Propria pens. The name is a Latin phrase roughly translated as “by one’s own hand” which is appropriate as Martin is the one who hand crafts urushi pens in some fairy unique shapes, sizes, and finishes. Martin started the part part of his workshop in 2013 and is based in Ittigen-Bern, Switzerland. The pens are all turned and lacquered by hand with the exception of the Jowo  nib units and the off-the shelf converters. Pens are distributed from a few retailers, some of which are frequently mentioned on FPN, and directly from Martin. I encourage you to visit his website which shows off his pens, but also has a lot of information on his techniques, including PDFs you can download.

 

My journey to ownership started when I saw one of Martin’s posts announcing he was clearing out some old prototypes and early production pens from his inventory. The pens were all the kuro negoro nuri finish, that sort of worn away look where red peeks out under black or vice versa, depending on the finish. I had one vintage pen with this finish, but his modern pens were fairly large, and I like big pens. I went back and forth on it for a while. The prices were well below his usual list prices, but did I really need another urushi pen? I finally decided I wanted to see what his work looks like first hand, so I fired off an email looking to buy one.

 

He very promptly replied and sent me a photos of the remaining pens and their measurements. I did not really love the pens he had left (as others jumped on the offer faster than me) so I asked him to poke around in the back of his cabinets a bit more to see what else he had. Shortly he came  back to me with a few other prototypes/early pens that used a shape a bit different than his current offerings. I quickly picked out the pen I wanted and was ready to pay. However, in prepping the pen Martin noticed it had a crack in the cap and was thus unsaleable. He was kind enough to dig around a bit more and found additional pens with various techniques like stone surface or metallic finish. The one that jumped out to me was what he calls a tora negoro nuri (tiger stripes), although the colors are quite different than the typical negoro nuri examples. So in the end, I am not really sure how you would name this finish in Japanese.

 

fpn_1496427981__20170206_140308_resized.

 

fpn_1496427981__20170206_140308_resized.

 

fpn_1496428114__20170206_140701_resized.

 

fpn_1496428137__20170206_140731_resized.

 

As you can see this is a large pen, although it is not as long as many of his other pens and would be classified as medium in his catalog. The max diameter is 18.5 MM and the length is 165 MM. (His large pens tend to get to about 190MM.) So it is a big, fat pen, but the section is a reasonable girth and the pen is fairly light overall, being an ebonite base. The step is a little more pronounced than I would like (and makes the pen look a little clunky visually), but it is not a distraction when writing since it is not sharp. the little flare out at the end also provides a comfortable resting option for my fingers. You could eyedropper the pen, but I have not and likely will never do so.

 

fpn_1496428199__20170206_140449_resized.

 

Really I bought this pen to see the finish. It is a wide array of colorations and includes many rings of fairly coarse gold powders. This pen was made in 2014 when Martin was trying out new techniques. All the handmade pens are unique, but I think this one may use colors that did not go into the production pens. For me that is a plus. The palette is interesting with a wide array of colors, but all are very muted. I have nothing else like it.

 

fpn_1496428333__20170527_171925_resized.

 

I asked for a CI grind on my #6 size nib, and Martin was happy to oblige. I can report the grind gives good variation, although I am not sure if he ground it or had one lying about the shop he was able to fit into the pen. I am happy with the way it writes out of the gate.

 

Would I buy another pen from Manu Propria? I definitely would at the price I paid, but I did get it from the back shelf “clearance box” so the pricing was aggressive. I would also consider working with him on a custom pen as he seems capable of a wide array of techniques and you get the satisfaction of partnering with the craftsperson (vs. ticking off boxes on a form and sending it to a factory). His work is not cheap, but it can become an heirloom.

 

Finally a few comparison shots to a Pelikan M800 and an MB 149. Pens are all lined up at the bottom even if they look off in the pictures. I also took a few snaps next to a Namiki urushi #50 for fun.

 

fpn_1496428393__20170527_172127_resized.

 

fpn_1496428420__20170527_172217_resized.

 

fpn_1496428454__20170206_141411_resized.

 

fpn_1496428479__20170206_141517_resized.


Edited by zaddick, 02 June 2017 - 18:41.

If you want less blah, blah, blah and more pictures, follow me on Instagram!






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: custom



Sponsored Content




|