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Why so few vintage Cross pens in the collector marketplace?


ToasterPastry
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Here's a question that's been bugging me...Why, after attending pen shows, scouring internet sales, and trolling eBay, do I see so few (make that zero) vintage Cross pens on the marketplace? Cross is one of the oldest (if not the oldest) pen manufacturers in existence. Most of the pens available are 1980s or newer.

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As I understand it, and others know better than I, Cross specialized in mechanical pencils and ballpoints which contributed to the demise of FP's in the latter half of the 20th century. They only entered the FP market in the 1980's, IIRC. A Cross Century I is probably the oldest FP you will find - - I'd like to know of anything older myself.

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Actually, I've seen a 1930s Cross fountain pen in one of the blue books...beautiful. They used to make a lot of stylographic pens before 1900. Still, you just don't see them.

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Cross was big in stylographic pens from the late 1870s up to the turn of the century. But Cross fountain pens with nibs were very few, and are extremely rare today. Cross only moved into large-scale fountain pen manufacture in recent decades.

 

PS If you want more info, look at Barbara Lambert's book. I see that I need to update my Pen Profile on Cross.

Edited by Vintagepens
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About a year ago, there was a vintage Cross in the MP. It had a piston fill and a supposid semi-flex nib. It was 14kt. Sure didn't look like any Cross I'd ever seen. I almost got it for the oddity factor alone. It actually languished at the $100 area for quite sometime...but finally sold I think.

 

Bruce in Ocala, FL

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Not vintage, and perhaps not even really collectible, but I vaguely remember a Cross 35th Anniversary pen and pencil set (may have been a BP instead of an FP, but it was a Century I style) and their 150th Anniversary numbered sets. These 150th Anniversary pens are in either gold or silver as either BP or FP and quite unusual to my way of looking at them (I think these were to be reminiscent of their 1930's art deco style pen). Please correct me if I am wrong. Their 150th Anniversary pens are on ebay sometimes and worth taking a look at. I think there was also a 150th anniversary pencil. Some time ago an FPN member was selling at 150th set, I think, and I do not know if it ever sold or not.

 

All the best,

T

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  • 6 months later...

I have the Cross vintage ART DECO FP and P set with packard emblems on the clips. Rare as rocking horse **** Made c 1938. There are pictures in the Cross book writing history. I don't know how many of these sets exist buy I know mine was valued approx £1,500 for the set. It has a semi flex nib that Mottishaw smoothed the tip a little :rolleyes:

 

Could try and up load pics but my camera is not great.

 

Cheers

 

Gary

UK

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Just a thought: Cross was one of the great "gift" pens in the 70's & 80"s. Many of these were engraved with the recipient's name or initials and sit today in the gift box in which they arrived. Usually, personalized pens have less value on the collector market than do the non-personalized versions. My guess is that what you are seeing is a combination of a lot of pens that are engraved with initials that don't mean anything other than to the recipient, and an output that is still sitting in a lot of drawers, closets and attics. Speaking from personal experience, the Cross will sit in the drawer for a while because it was a gift from my sister, and I know the engraved initials will reduce its market value; therefore, might as well keep it.

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  • 1 month later...

I would be interested in the pics ... even it were a poor camera. :)

 

Send me your e-mail address and I will get you some pics off my blackberry which works fine :thumbup:

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I have only seen one original 1930's Art Deco Cross pen(the one in sterling silver with the zig-zag pattern

and three black bands)on fleabay,and it didn't have an original nib. I've also seen only one 150th anni-

versary set on fleabay. Both are rarer than an original CS 100 in cracked ice.

 

...........OK,maybe not that rare. But they are very rare.

 

 

John

Irony is not lost on INFJ's--in fact,they revel in it.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks for sharing this. As I recall, it looks very similar to their 150th Anniversary set, which sometimes appears on ebay in either gold or sterling silver, single pens and in sets.

 

All the best,

T

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  • 3 weeks later...

I just bought a Century 10K GF fountain pen in mint condition at the Dallas fountain pen show. It has a gold hallmark on the nib. This was in original packing (Solid faux leather box) with unused cartridges and converter for ...... a grand price of 50 dollars. Great for me. But it made me a little sad that an American made pen from an iconic company was not generating any attention at the show. The seller was mildly amused at my interest.

 

It has a fine nib and writes like a dream.

Mohammad Salahuddin Ayubi

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I read MSA's post yesterday, and was reminded of it when I made a stop in a mass market office supply shop (OfficeMax, but what's the difference?) on my way to work this morning.

 

If you go to the "fine pen" rack- it used to be a display case near the checkout about 10 years ago but is now a rack of pre-packed gift pens next to the Sharpies and Papermates- you see some no-name "luxe" pens (DiVoga?) and a couple of Parker IM's, Urbans & Jotters (the lower-end lines). Beyond that, I was pretty much looking at a wall of Cross pens.

 

I earlier posted a thought that the "issue" with Cross in the collector market is that there were too many Cross pens received as gifts still sitting in people's drawers and closets such that there's a limited market to acquire more. For my generation + or - (i.e., a diploma dating from the 1960's to early 1980's), I still think that might be part of the "issue". For younger folks, I also think the issue might be that the relative "availability" of the Cross line in mass market settings like OfficeMax makes it less desirable to collect compared to other brands.

 

Just another thought on the topic.

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I know this does not qualify for this topic but I bought a Classic Century in like new condition at an antique shop for $12.00! I am not really sure why there is such an indifference for Cross pens! Next to it was an old beat to death no name FP for $30.00!

 

That 1930 Cross is absolutely amazing! :puddle:

"What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving."

"When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for...that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation."

"You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it"

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Are there any stats to be had indicating just how many CCI fountainpens were produced and actually sold?

 

B

"What? What's that? WHAT?!!! SPEAK UP, I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!" - Ludwig van Beethoven.

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