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  1. The Pelikan M800 Souverän Fountain Pen- a general collector's viewThe Pelikan M800 series of fountain pens is one of my favourite, if not the favourite, type of fountain pen. In this I am not alone, as many consider the beautiful writing instruments produced by this German manufacturer to be some of the finest ever produced. But why? What makes these pens so special? Sharing my own experience in using fountain pens may explain my passion for Pelikan pens. I write a lot- both professionally and privately. This includes professional reports, fiction and non-fiction writing. I earn my living as a lawyer, but am semi-retired now, which has given me more time to devote to a series of historical projects (on early Byzantine history, which is one of my long standing interests) as well as fiction (I recently published a book of short stories “Entertaining Mona Lisa” through Scriptus Books, available on Amazon or via scriptusbooks.com). I personally prefer to produce a first draft by hand. It is not that I am old-fashioned or that I avoid modern technology. On the contrary I am fascinated by the changes the internet and portable devices like the IPad and IPhone have brought to our society. The range of information one can access and the vast number of things one can do online is truly marvellous. And I am sure I appreciate this development even more because I am lucky to have lived in the age of the typewriter, to have seen photocopiers, faxes and emails come into our lives: it has been as profound a revolution as the invention of printing. But when it comes to writing something “serious”- fiction or non-fiction- I find that the connection between hand, pen and paper produces text of incomparably better quality than if one writes directly on screen. Somehow, that subtle relationship between idea and expression is achieved much better through the handling of a writing instrument applied to place ink onto paper. So I write the first draft in long-hand, then go through it manually (adding or correcting) and only then do I type up the manuscript. Of course, while I am typing it up, I make lots of changes, but this second draft on screen is usually better by a distance than if I had composed direct on a two dimensional surface using a keyboard. I suspect this may be because a pen is handled to create just one line of writing, where the movements of the hand are intimately connected to the brain- whereas typing involves some concentration on judging where to place the fingers on the keys. By this I don’t mean that I am a two fingered typist, “pecking” at the keys: instead, I type as fast as most secretaries but still find there is always a small degree of concentrating on the physical process of typing that is absent when using a pen. This is the fundamental reason why I write with a fountain pen. But that immediately leads to the next question: which fountain pen? Why not a ballpoint or pencil? For me the answer is simpler: a pen has a weight and presence in the hand that a biro, ballpoint, roller or pencil simply don’t have. I would be prepared to concede that a good quality roller might be acceptable, but I would miss the wonderful and subtle feeling of ink flowing down on paper… But why the Pelikan M800? Several years ago, I still wrote with a very good Waterman “Laureat” fountain pen, whose medium steel nib I had cut into a fine italic. It was my constant companion and it would definitely have been a good thing for the family bank account if I had stayed there. Unfortunately (and you who are reading this will remember the same process) I started investigating other fountain pens. This is when I fatally came across Peter Twydle’s wonderful book “Fountain Pens“, (Crowood Press, 2009, see crowood.com). Peter Twydle is probably one of the leading pen experts in the world and famous for his skills as a repairer. In his book, he discusses the question “Which is the best fountain pen?” (page 145) concluding that the Pelikan M800 is “the pen against which all others should be judged”. As he eloquently and persuasively writes: “The one question people ask me more often than any other is, “What is the best fountain pen in the world?” My answer is always the same – Pelikan, and specifically, the Pelikan Souverän M800 . Since Pelikan made their first fountain pen in 1929, the overall concept of their quality pen range has changed very little. The traditional design and the filling mechanism with its enormous ink capacity has stood the test of time and, instead of being subjected to the whims of fashion, has been content with just a steady refining and improvement. Also, the nib is just outstanding. Whereas other comparable manufacturers have rolled their gold thinner to extract more nibs per sheet, Pelikan has continued to manufacture a nib of the highest quality and durability in a wide range of nib points.” Looking it up online, I saw that a Pelikan M800 would cost about £300. (I am giving the prices in UK £ as I currently live and work in the UK). That seemed a huge and unreasonable sum to pay for a pen, a small object that I could easily lose or break by accident. At that time, however, I was earning more than I do now: although £300 is a lot of money, I could afford and justify it as a luxury instrument that would see constant use. The pen I selected was the Pelikan M800 Blue and Black striped pen, one of the types of fountain pens that is always available. Why that colour? I was influenced by the photo in Peter Twydle’s book which showed a Blue Black Pelikan M800 with a gold clip and bands, and I followed his advice. So I bought it (as I recall from the excellent online seller of pens “Mr Pens” see http://www.mrpen.co.uk/). When the pen came, I was amazed. This was a pen of a totally different level of excellence in writing that I had ever experienced before. It effortlessly outclassed the Waterman Laureat. The medium 18 carat gold nib on the Pelikan wrote perfectly out of the box, its size and weight fitted my hand perfectly. Truly this was a Mercedes-Benz of the writing world. Of course, this was the start of a long and expensive journey “down the rabbit hole” of pen collecting. It did not take me long to start thinking that perhaps I should have another pen to use a different colour than the blue ink I had loaded into the Pelikan Blue Black M800. I then came across Ray Walters who had a stall on Thursdays in Spitalfields Market which was near where I worked. Ray is an excellent and charming salesman and I quickly found myself buying several Pelikans and a couple of Visconti Van Gogh Maxi size pens (now sadly discontinued but I will post a review about them soon). He has a website at https://www.vintageandmodernpens.co.uk/ Before I truly realised what was happening I was the owner of a growing pen collection, mainly of Pelikans…
  2. So I saw this this parker sonnet at my local book/stationary store. I didn't see any finish resembling the finish on that sonnet on parker official website. After googling for a while I found out that that was a parker sonnet laque moonbeam! It's a 1994 edition and it's still brand new, the price tag is $150. Is laque moonbeam a rare collector item now? I'm wondering if I should get that pen, if it were you would you take it?
  3. Hi everyone, As a fountain pen collection and restoration enthusiast it has been very hard in my city to come across more affordable pens, after exhausting the selection of easily available ones (I have a tight budget as I am a student) However, a few days back I went to a stationary shop for some work and say that they had some old chelpark inks on display (ofcourse I bought all of them), curiously I asked the man if he had fountain pens, he told me that he had many old unsold ones and didn't know where they were, after a lot of persuation he agreed to look for them and have them ready in a few days. So the next day I went and he said he didn't find them and to come back a few days later. So I did, again and again. (was pretty desperate to get a hold of some childhood oens) Fortunately, after a week or so, he finally had them ready. They were not exactly vintage, but old pens indeed, some quite damaged. I got a few Camlin No. 6 pens, some Flora Pens (the model number is not known) and a couple Hero 323. All of them were more or less usable atleast after some repairs. This brings me to my question, if this man had old stocks, probably other shops do too, and it would be great to have a few tips on how I can get these shops to sell me their old stocks, even if they're broken or damaged, how do I persuade them to dig them out for me, because every other shops I've asked, have said 'no we don't have fountain pens" to my face. Btw I'm new to FPN (this is my first thread) Regards, Anurag.
  4. I am not an addictive person. I own 11 fountain pens. Does a Pilot Kakuno count? I think I covered the major countries: Japan, Germany, Italy When is enough? Is it a number? Is it a gut feeling (like when your spouse reminds you in the love handles) Is it a limit on brand/model acquisition? My collection ranges from stinky Ahab to brightly sweet Aurora 88 I don't intend to sell my pens and all bought with hard earned dough. I'd say there's no irresponsible spending and yet some start a pause because they cost more than a laptop. Yet every time I think this is the last, very last, final, ultimate, "one", some thing else pops up. Are you sated yet?
  5. A-damreview

    At Home Storage

    Hello all, there are alot of pen cases, roll ups and notebooks, great for mobile storage, but now that my own collect is growing that I can't keep every pen on me. I have just been placing my pens that are not in use bare on my bookshelf, which feels wierd to just leave them there out in the open. I was wondering what kind of pen storage everyone uses. I'm looking for something that could hold 20 pens and preferably with a bit of a display aspect to it.
  6. Vintnorthrice21

    Collecting Vintage Nibs

    Hello FPN family. I am a younger collector and calligraphy enthusiast and I happen to stumble upon a book of pen nibs from my home town and thought it would be amazing if I could complete the collection of these old nibs. Now it's not like they are super well know like Esterbrook or speed ball. However I was wondering if any persons here would be able to help in and way possible, even be able to tell me if my search will be fruitless or if sifting threw hordes of nibs at estate sales is the only way to go? I'm attaching a photo of the booklet and the 4 nibs I have so far. If any other info is needed, just let me know. I am really excited to see if I can complete this set.
  7. A couple months ago I finally went down the rabbit hole and started collecting vintage pens after wasting some years "hoarding" unspeakable amounts of colors of the very same Lamy pen! So, now that am on this road, can you please point me to the worthy pens on Sheaffer history? There are many, many pens that show for sale locally, so I would like to spot any gems that may be lying around. As for worthy, I don't necessarily mean expensive, they could be ordinary pens with extraordinary details such as the in-laid nibs, the filler systems, or design features worth collecting. Thank you for your help!
  8. After checking in the "price increase" and the "my new pelikan" threads, I got to wondering what some of you folks might be searching for, hoping for, saving for, or planning to buy next to add to your flock? Are you happy where your flock is now? Frustrated by a rare one? Overwhelmed by the possibilities? Any regrets for missing one? Or for catching one that just didn't satisfy like you thought it would? I'm curious to find out a little more about Pelikan collecting from some of you who have done it longer than I have, and I'm sure there are others who'd find it enlightening too. And sure, I'll start. The next one on my list will likely be a 400 or 400NN with grey stripes. I think that would fit in the vintage side of my flock quite well. For modern pens, I'm telling myself to just wait and see what 2017 brings in the way of new offerings. I've grown the flock faster than I had intended this past 6 weeks so it's time to settle a bit... and wait for the stragglers to finally get here.
  9. mrqutory

    New Collector

    Hi, am a new collector. I purchased a couple pens from Amazon and that got me started. I have about a dozen pens but only a couple of vintage. I used a fountain pen in high school. I am trying to learn all I can. The pen in the pic is a Stratford I got yesterday. Thanks for all the info on this company.
  10. Many years ago the great author Patrick McManus wrote a classic essay called "Gunrunning" about the trials and tribulations of gun collecting. The same advice rings true for us as well, so I have given it a fountain pen slant and present it here for your enjoyment. Fountain Pen Collecting Advice for the New Husband ----------------------------------------------------------------------- First of all, let's consider the psychology of the young wife as it pertains to her husband's fountain pens. It is important to note that the first pen the husband brings home is likely to be greeted with considerable enthusiasm by the spouse, and she may even brag about it to her friends. "Fred brought home a fountain pen the other day for writing business correspondence and learning fancy writing," she will say. "I'll let him address all of our Christmas Cards!" Of course, Fred must then explain that for practicing fancy Spencerian script he will need a fountain pen with a flex nib. "Why can't you do that with the same pen?" she says, "I really think you could if you wanted to." Fred then explains the difference in the nibs and how they write and his wife finally agrees that he probably does need another pen. Now that's the typical situation that a new husband faces. He starts off with a base of two pens, his wife granting him the benefit of the doubt that two pens are actually needed. After the second pen, the argument that he needs a new pen will be dismissed by the wife with an upward roll of the eyeballs and a big sigh. We are talking only third pen here, remember, nothing more. If you are just married, upward-rolling eyeballs and big sighs may seem like formidable obstacles, but they're really not that serious. Go buy the fountain pen and bring it home. The eyeball-rolling and big sighs will let up after a few days. Now comes the biggie -- the Fourth Pen!! With the mere mention of the need for a fourth pen, the wife skips right over the eyeball-rolling and big sighs and goes directly to a recital of your deficiencies of character, weird masculine quirks, and all sins committed to date. She will bring up such matters as saving for the baby's college education, the fact that she is still wearing the same clothes that her parents bought her in High School, the threatening note from the Electric Company, etc. "And you want another pen???" she will finish, the sarcasm flickering around the room like sheet lightning. The fourth pen is the tough one, and in the face of this spousal assault, there is always the temptation to sneak the fourth pen. That's a mistake. Your wife's knowing that you purchased a fourth pen is essential to further development of your fountain pen collection. Here's why. After you bring the pen home and show it to your wife, she will shake her head and say, "I don't know why you need all those pens." Note that she doesn't say "four pens" but rather the vague and general "all those pens." Henceforth, she will think of your fountain pen collection not in terms of specific numbers but as a single collective entity -- all! To thoroughly grasp this important concept, suppose your wife is dusting the pen case. "Him and all those pens," she might say to herself, possibly with a very tiny tolerant smile. What she fails to notice is that there are now five pens in the case! Once the psychological barrier of the fourth pen is crossed, the pen collection can be expanded indefinitely without the wife's noticing, provided the husband uses some common sense and doesn't add too many pens at once. Eight or nine pens a year is about right, spaced at decent intervals. There is one pitfall in this strategy -- the pen case itself. Although the wife will never bother to count the pens, she will notice that there are three empty spaces in the case. Therefore, you must make sure that there are three empty slots in your case, even as your collection expands from four to sixty pens. If you plan on enlarging your collection, buy a pen case that can be expanded by adding new sections, so that there are always three or more empty slots. It works. My wife of thirty years told me the other day that she must be slowing down with age. "When we were first married," she said, "I could dust that pen case of yours in ten seconds and now it takes me nearly half an hour." But how do you get all those pens into the house without your wife's knowing, you ask? Actually, it is all right if every few years you simply walk right into the house and say "Look, dear, I bought a new fountain pen." "Neato," she will say. "I'm ecstatic. Now tell me, what did you want to buy another pen for when you already have all those pens? I bet you haven't even written with most of them in the past five years." Written with them? Yes, a wife will actually say that. She will not be able to understand that you needed the pen because you needed it. She will not understand that you need the pens to just be there, to be your pens, to be looked at and fondled from time to time. She will not be able to fathom why you need the pens even though you don't need to write with them. Tell her that a fountain pen collection is like a wilderness. Even though we don't use all of it all the time, we need to know it's there. Probably won't do any good to tell her that, but it's worth a try. Stating the simple truth often works in explaining an occasional pen purchase to your wife. But why take unnecessary risks? Go with your best lie and get the pen stashed in your expandable pen case as quickly as possible. Oddly enough, there are a few really good lies for explaining the purchase of a new pen. There's the classic "A Fantastic Bargain," of course, in which you tell your wife that the pen you just paid $300 for was on sale for $7.50. If her eyebrows shoot up in disbelief, you maintain that three men in white coats showed up at the pen store and led the manager away before he could slash the prices on the rest of the pens. The "Play on Her Sympathy Ploy" works well on young, inexperienced wives. It goes something like this: Rush into the house wiping tears of joy from your cheeks. Then cry out, "Look Martha, look! A man at the cigar store sold me this pen. It's identical to the one my grandfather gave me on his deathbed. Gramps said to me, 'Boy, I'm givin' you the ol' Waterman here, because every time you write with it you will remember all of the good times we had together.' Oh, how I hated to sell that pen to pay for Momma's operation! But now I got one just like it! Or maybe it's even the same pen! Do you think it might actually be the same pen, Martha?" Warning! Don't ever try the Sympathy Ploy on a wife you've been married to for longer than five years, unless you want to see a woman laugh herself sick. It's a disgusting spectacle, I can tell you. The "Fantastic Investment" lie will work on occasion, provided you lay the groundwork carefully in advance. "That ol' Harvey Schmartz is a shrewd one," you say. "He bought a Mandarin Yellow Parker Duofold for $500 as an investment. Three weeks later he sold it for eighty-seven thousand dollars! Boy, I wish I could lay my hands on a 1927 Mandarin Yellow Sr. Duofold. We'd sell it when I retire and buy us a condo in Aspen and tour Europe with the change". After you've used up all your best lies, you are left with only one option. You must finally screw up your courage, square your jaw, and make up your mind that you are going to do what you probably should have done all along -- sneak the new pens into the house. Here are some proven techniques for stealth pen collecting: The Surprise Party -- You arrive home and tell your wife that you have to go to a surprise birthday party for one of your business partners and you picked up a little gift for him on the way home. "Oh how cute!" she will exclaim, "he likes fountain pens too!" The Artwork -- You fashion a clever sculpture out of a Triumph Sheaffer Snorkel and some empty vintage ink bottles. "Look Sweetheart", you say to your spouse. I made a little planter for our living room! She gags. "Not for my living room," she growls. "Take it to your den and don't ever let me see that monstrosity again!" A variation on this ploy is to tie a picture wire to the new pen and call it a wall hanging. The Loan -- A friend shows up at your door and hands you your new pen. "Thanks for loaning me one of your fountain pens." he says. "It worked great for my son's art project". Make sure your accomplice can be trusted though. I tried "The Loan" with Retch Sweeny one time and he didn't show up with the pen for three weeks, and that was only after I threatened to hire a hit man. Spare Parts -- Disassemble the pen and carry it home in a paper bag. Mention casually to the Mrs. that you picked up some odds and ends at a garage sale down the street. Works like a charm! By the way, does anyone know where the little spring clip gizmo goes in a Vanishing Point?
  11. An antiques dealer once told me: "If you have three of something, you're a collector." I happened to recollect this the other day when I realized I had too many pens to simply put in a drawer anymore. And If I buy that Moore ringtop on eBay I will become a Specialty Collector - a truly scary thought. How do you define, and possibly constrain, that acquisitive urge? Number? Kind? Condition? What makes you pull the trigger?
  12. Supposing you collect pens for writing, and that you really like to write with each of your pens (more or less). Then, each new pen means you have proportionally less time to write with each one of your pens, since you must divide the total writing time you have by the number of pens you have. The more pens you have, the less time you have to write with each pen. Time might come when you have only a couple of seconds to write with each of your lovely pens in a week or in a month... Does this sound like an ideal for a pen lover? Has anyone come yet with a solution to this sort of riddle for pen lovers?
  13. I only own one actual fountain pen (a Pilot Metropolitan), and the Pilot Parallel pen. I don't care for vintage, I guess cause I grew up with alot of those things. But I'm beginning to start liking Retro 51 ball point pens. Not cause I want to just write with them, I want to own them. They aren't fountain pens, but there;'s only one store here that sells fountain pens. Thank goodness it's not too close. Everytime I visit the shopping area, that's one of my stops. I didn't understand the mechanism of fountain pens until I found out they aren't complicated at all. I use every day throw away pens for my medical coding job, no way would I use a nice pen with wonderful ink. But the pen store is one of my favorite stores. I travel for my job, and constantly look for pen shops. Frankly, I have no idea where to start, and often I don't want to over spend during job travel. Online is another story....But I have no idea where to start and how to refine this.....many pens, how do you start? Like the Springtime Lamy, It's gorgeous, affordable, and I'm getting it when i get my tax refund...would I then get 10 more Lamy's, or do people mix their collection? But every time I see a pen display I get an ecstatic feeling. There's a store that has the Retro 51 pens, here, and I know the exact one I'm getting. And I saw the other pens as well. Heck, on Goulet pens there's a case that holds 48. But fountain pens are gorgeous. When and if I do see them, I get the same feeling I do with the Retro 51 pens. I own a Pilot Ageless Future, and honor it. It's gorgeous. It feels so perfect in my hand. And it's a nice ballpoint. And ofcourse, I want the solid black Ageless Future. But I also want a Pilot Cocoon for the fine point nib. I don't care about vintage pens, or $1,000 pens. But I like looking at them. I don't know how to refine my interest in pens, or even where to start. Does one get every type of certain brands? Geez, with Pilots it would be 1,000's of pens. With Retro51, hundreds. I guess I'm asking, I don't know where to start, but i love pens.
  14. I was was tired of ballpoints. I found Jetpens and really liked all the tricky products with great aesthetic appeal. In March of this year, I bought a Keweco Sport and thought it was fun. I bought a Preppy 05 and liked it too. A better writing experience than BP. I always liked the notebooks on the site and ordered them for stocking stuffers. I also liked all the stationary/tape items and bought the fun ones (full disclosure: I worked at 3M for many years). I ordered Lamy Safaris for the twin grandsons. I read on the site that you could convert a Preppy to an eyedropper. I googled and found Mr Goulet and his videos. I ordered the kit and a bottle of Monteverdi Brown. This was suddenly fun. This was not my first view of fountain pens. I had learned joined up writing in the Philadelphis schools using stick pens, ink wells, and pen wipers. Then moved on to Esterbrools.I remember my Dad had a Parker 51. But at around 7th grade, the Reynolds pen made its appearance. And M. Bic. Years passed and I wrote a lot on yellow pads with a Dixon Ticonderoga # 2. I even persisted during the period I spent 3 years at Parker in Janesville WI as part of a team to get the company into lower price points. By definition this focused me of Jotters, Vectors, and the attempt at a disposable Parker BP, the Itala. Now, many years later, after a career involving using words glibbly, I am finding a real interest in pens. And in ebay! I bought two Heros and was amazed at what could be sold and shipped at a price from China we might have considered at Parker an unrealistic manufacturing cost before marketing and distribution!. I bought a Noodlers Flex, a Waterman Kulture and a Waterman Laureate and some blue ink. I was in the pool but hadn't found the right lane. Then I saw a fun-looking school pen ... The Resolve 1745 in black and green. With just a bit of research the Pelikan comes up and I bought a black and green 120. Then I saw that classic look, indeed remembered from two years in the Army in Germany in the '50s, black with striated green. Pelikan was the lane. The aesthetics, the look, the line, were right. I now have 2 100s, 1 100n, the 120, 2 250s, 2 400s and the MK 10 (shades of the Parker 51). I also have 2 brown inks, an orange, a blue, and a black/green. I load the Pelikans with either Pelikan Brilliant Brown or Diamine Black/green, depending on the pen. I don't really know that what I have is a 'collection', but to me they are great functional designsi ncorporating attractive materials and colors. I have examples of the pens in black with green, both marbled and striated, and in brown with boyh green and tortoise/gray. I look at the new Pelikans and don't find them as attractive. I do remember the Parker FP introduced in 1984. It was very big and had lost a sense of belonging in ones hand rather than in ones pocket as a status symbol. Is this what has happened with the models that go beyond 400 and have been dubbed Souverin?





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