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Thoughts On Smaller Collections (Especially From Those With Them)?


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#1 The Blue Knight

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 12:24

I've been gravitating towards the idea of moving to a smaller collection for a while? However, I haven't quite managed to muster up the courage to sell on quite a few pens I've owned for a number of years. For various reasons such as not seeing the value in the return I'd likely receive from them and in some cases there relative scarcity and the difficulty in possibly wanting to re-purchase examples in the future.  

 

At last count, I think I have 18 pens with 6 of them being duplicates in one form or another.

 

I wanted to get views on the subject especially from those who have say sub 15 pens and especially those have been in the hobby for a number of years and have resisted accumulation?

 



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#2 Arkanabar

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 15:23

I'm currently resisting accumulation.  I've considered any number of purchases and it's been ... probably a year or two since I've made a pen purchase.  And I've made a couple of PIFs to coworkers.

Part of the thinning process is determining what you like, and what you want.  I'm down to two pens for now (it's Lent) -- a Hero 616 that I use at work, and a 1.5mm Pilot Parallel I use (intermittently) for journaling.  But I also have plenty for when I return to school -- two Plaisirs, a Prera, my ebonite Himalaya, my Pelikan M200 and M205, and my Dad's "51".  Most of my other pens don't get seem to get much use, and there's a pretty good chance that I could do without them.  There are some of which I'd actively like to dispose.

There's no real issue with duplicates, if they're pens you really like.  I have two Plaisirs, and three Hero 616s (which are, in turn, clones of the "51"), and I've given serious thought to purchasing either another Prera or another Himalaya.  I'm holding off on getting a Lamy 2000 until I pass the NCLEX.



#3 The Blue Knight

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 16:59

I'm currently resisting accumulation.  I've considered any number of purchases and it's been ... probably a year or two since I've made a pen purchase.  And I've made a couple of PIFs to coworkers.

Part of the thinning process is determining what you like, and what you want.  I'm down to two pens for now (it's Lent) -- a Hero 616 that I use at work, and a 1.5mm Pilot Parallel I use (intermittently) for journaling.  But I also have plenty for when I return to school -- two Plaisirs, a Prera, my ebonite Himalaya, my Pelikan M200 and M205, and my Dad's "51".  Most of my other pens don't get seem to get much use, and there's a pretty good chance that I could do without them.  There are some of which I'd actively like to dispose.

There's no real issue with duplicates, if they're pens you really like.  I have two Plaisirs, and three Hero 616s (which are, in turn, clones of the "51"), and I've given serious thought to purchasing either another Prera or another Himalaya.  I'm holding off on getting a Lamy 2000 until I pass the NCLEX.

I've slowed right down too with pen purchases 0 in 2017 and 1 in 2018 



#4 CraigR

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 17:14

I have been a member of FPN since 2008, but started collecting fountain pens many years before that. At one time, my collection exceeded 150 pens, all of which were in working condition. In December 2012, my wife and I sold our home and furnishings, moved into our 32 ft motor home, and set off on a full timing adventure. During that period, I sold most of my pens keeping only about 30 that I loved most. This past December, we came in off the road, bought a small home, and set about putting down roots again. It is my intent to only keep a small collection of pens, inks, and pen stuff. I love to use the pens and that provides more pleasure than the collecting. I have six vintage pens that need restoration and/or parts. As soon as I complete them, I will sell them too.

 

For me, the pen collecting became an addiction or an obsession. I would rather focus on using and enjoying the pens I have now. 


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#5 pseudo88

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 17:17

Well for me pens are the vehicle to use specific inks; if those inks were fewer I would use less pens; in all truth the appreciation of those inks also depends on the light, access to decent paper (for me, I know others don't have the choice, can make do or don't care), smooth nibs and reliability, so in the middle of winter my several blues looked waaay too similar. At 22 pens I think I finally found my limit, not that I'm going to stop drooling when I see a Pelikan in solid blue or a Parker 75 (too small for my hands :(). Yesterday I wrote with Mandarin, I couldn't stop smiling at it.


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#6 Driften

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 01:06

I think you need to look at why you are thinking of going to a smaller collection. Are you not enjoying the pens you have, or want to trade quantity for getting a few that are higher priced? 

 

I am sitting on around 35 pens if I count the vintage pens I don't seem to care much about any more. It's gotten to the point there really is nothing more I am interested in. I have stopped my quest for the ultimate pen. There is really not one that fits me better then others. I do like thicker pens over thinner ones and found I like M to B widths for nibs. I do think I may have some of my wider nibs reground into stubs or cursive italics.

 

After a while for a user of pens, it becomes more about inks and the writing experience, then a collection. You might find later it shifts back to collection and wanting to have a of each Parker '51' or something. The reason for having your 18 pens will change with time.

 

One way to find if you should thin out a pen is see if you are using it. If you never reach of a pen and you are having them for using, then it's time for that one to go. 



#7 sdbruder

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 01:27

I am into the 40-ies in term of collection size: Ive started small and cheap, lot of really cheap pens. Now Im buying less and more expensive pens (still cheap for a lot of people here, Im now into the ~$100 and something mark as for my most expensive ones: Already bought my first 2 gold nib pens (2 Sailors, one new and one vintage), yet to arrive coming from Japan to Brazil.

 

Im already out of space to store my pens: I have one 36 pen case and 2 pen holders which theoretically was one for pens-with-ink and the other with the pens to clean. Some pens are permanently in the to-clean pen holder because of lack of space in the pen case.

 

So Im beginning to think about a downsize of my small collection: Already gave some away as gifts, already sold some, thinking about selling some more to keep my 36 pen case as my natural limit.



#8 Driften

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 01:37

Actually just a few days ago I was thinking of keeping the number of pens static from this point on, but then I setup a second 20 pen box which would have empty spots in it ;) It does not mean I will not endeavor to try and stay static and just enjoy my pens but temptation there there.



#9 Rosendust2121

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 03:04

I entered the hobby in 2015 & kept myself to the budget pens(like Pilot Metro, which I adore) and I tried a Lamy Al- Star and discovered it wasn't my cup of tea(for reference, I'm a lefty). For me, my collection is a small one-Only about 6 total and that's because I do like to keep at least 2 Metros as backups, especially with me being a student and all. But I'm currently saving up for either one of my grail pens, either an Edison or a Pilot Vanishing Point!
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#10 Frank_Federalist_Pens

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 03:09

I have mentioned to others in the past-

 

If you have ONE Pen, and you treasure it, then you HAVE a Collection...

 

Frank


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#11 alanshutko

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 03:39

I started with fountain pens in the late 90s.  I picked up a few pens between that and about 2002 when I got my M800.  At that point I had three pens.  Over the next fifteen years, I bought two more pens and was gifted one.  This year, because of renewed interest and fortunate finances, I've gotten two, ordered three more, and am saving a spot for the Pelikan M120 Iconic Blue.  So the graph is all over the place.  

 

In general, I want to limit myself to a number of pens that I will use regularly.  Since I've regained an interest in writing more (notes, lists, journals, etc) and am carrying three pens to have different colors I can see myself actively using more pens and am allowing more into the stable. 

 

I've also gotten a few more cheaper pens recently from things like the Ink Flight, as they may toss in cheaper pens that fit the ink they're sending out, like the Platinum Preppy they sent out with the R&K pigmented and iron gall ink samples.  I don't really count those, since they're also the pens I might just give to a friend or kid to use.



#12 JayKay3000

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 08:54

Down to five. Looking to hit four.

 

Owned a lot of pens over the years, but like to keep the collection lean and the pens in more use.

 

Sold 15 pens this year.



#13 Innosint

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 17:17

don't' look at it as losing money when you sell

 

Look at it as passing your passion & pen you no longer use to someone else that will also treasure it

 

Who may or may not be financially stable enough to own a new one.



#14 CraigR

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 17:36

don't' look at it as losing money when you sell

 

Look at it as passing your passion & pen you no longer use to someone else that will also treasure it

 

Who may or may not be financially stable enough to own a new one.

I have sold many pens from my collection in recent years. When I first started seriously collecting, I did not look at it as an investment. I bought pens because I loved using them and wanted to experience a wide range of writing instruments. My focus quickly turned to vintage and I sold my modern pens, including a number of commemorative and limited editions. Of course, sales occur at market prices - the price someone is willing to pay you for your pen, usually less than I paid for it. Pens that I have found in the wild i.e. garage and estate sales sometimes sold for more than I paid. The profit/loss was never my focus. I just want to own pens that I enjoy and use regularly, so the herd has been thinned and all is well.


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#15 Tseg

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 18:58

I have a Pilot Metropolitan (F) and a TWSBI 580AL B.  A Pilot 823 smoke (F) on the way.  I've been considering many others but am committed to my next one being my grail, Namiki Emperor, M or B, and calling it a day.   That's my plan, hopefully I can stick to it.


Edited by Tseg, 09 March 2018 - 18:59.


#16 Zookie

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 19:12

I don't seem to have too many left, having sold or given away most of them. I might have 20 or so, new and vintage mixed. I'm going for as cheap as I possibly can. I found a vintage American with an interesting nib and feed for 50 cents on my last flea market excursion which might be good for my next frankenpen creation.



#17 Bluey

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 19:23

When I sell my pens I try to get similar to what I paid, and as apart from my cheaper Chinese pens they(less than 10 in number) are all in the £80-150 bracket.

Any difference between what I paid and what is sell for I just see as 'rent money'. If I lose £20(ie if I have to pay £20 rent money) after a year's usage then that loss is more than made up from the experience and knowledge that i've gained from that 1 year's usage.

So all is good because experience counts more than mere possession.

 

If, when you're writing with one of your chosen few pens, you don't feel as if you would be happy if it were the only pen that you own, then you should say bye bye to that pen. That's a way to get your pen collection down to an absolute minimum.

When you think about it, many pens are simply kept "just in case", because it looks stunning looking, or simply because you want to own it and no other reason, but you should really only keep them if, as I say, you would be perfectly happy if each of your chosen ones was the only pen that you owned.


Edited by Bluey, 09 March 2018 - 19:31.

Mediterranean blue, Asa Goa, China blue, Royal blue, Sapphire blue, Indigo, Washable Blue....the colours of the rainbow.

#18 TheDutchGuy

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 19:39

I'm just starting out and have just a few pens. Collecting doesn't interest me, at least not in the sense of owning every colour of a particular model, or every model from a particular brand. My pens are all very different from each other and are used quite intensively. I'll add a few more, just to have various types (nibs, filling systems) so that the general principles of fountain pens are represented. But I doubt that I'll ever go beyond 10. My joy is in writing and in admiring the skill that goes into a great design that's been carefully brought to life.

#19 flyingpenman

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 17:35

I'm in the process of slimming down as well after about a year since getting into fountain pens -- had about 12 pens at my peak, including a couple duplicates. I found that I was only using about 4-5 of the pens regularly and not wanting to write with a few of them. I've since given away most of my duplicates and lesser-used pens to newbies or other enthusiasts.

 

My goal is to have a "collection" of pens that are all being used and have a specific function -- I'm currently saving for a custom Edison to replace my Conklin stub (my primary pen for my Bible transcription project), and plan on ordering a few extra nibs to make it my true "go-to" pen alongside my L2K.

 

I just found that "collecting" and obsessing was becoming the goal, not using them. I hope to keep my collection small and focus on paper, ink, etc. to get more use out of my pens.

 

~AK


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#20 Zookie

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 18:11

I'm in the process of slimming down as well after about a year since getting into fountain pens -- had about 12 pens at my peak, including a couple duplicates. I found that I was only using about 4-5 of the pens regularly and not wanting to write with a few of them. I've since given away most of my duplicates and lesser-used pens to newbies or other enthusiasts.

 

My goal is to have a "collection" of pens that are all being used and have a specific function -- I'm currently saving for a custom Edison to replace my Conklin stub (my primary pen for my Bible transcription project), and plan on ordering a few extra nibs to make it my true "go-to" pen alongside my L2K.

 

I just found that "collecting" and obsessing was becoming the goal, not using them. I hope to keep my collection small and focus on paper, ink, etc. to get more use out of my pens.

 

~AK

 

You are handwriting the Bible ? What paper, ink, etc.?








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