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Celluloid 149S - Just A Bunch Of Parts?


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so i have been on the fence with picking up an old celluloid 149... i have many from the 70s, 80s...

 

talking to a noted dealer at a recent show, it was made clear to me that many of the examples of this pen out there are basically a synthesized build-up of old 149 parts. in other words, dealers amass old pens, take the best parts and "build" a mint condition example. accordingly, the price of the pen reflects its newfound "mint" condition.

 

i want to believe there is a secret romance inherent in the history of a vintage pen - e.g. all the people that owned it, how it was used, and how it survived for nearly 70s intact... a collection of parts seems more like, a collection of parts.

 

so does this practice bother any one? is it actually fulfilling a service - more useable pens in the world? would paying a premium for such a pen bother the cognoscenti among us? would love to hear your thoughts as i continue to rationalize this purchase.

 

and apologies if this topic has been covered previously.

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Not this precise topic, but the definition of 'mint' has.

 

IIRC a franken pen does not fit the criteria for that definition although I don't see anything wrong with a franken pen per se.

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In a perfect world, a pristine example that had been hidden away for 50 years is a great notion. They're also exceedingly rare. I'm fine with a collection of pristine parts used to put together a pristine example.

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In a perfect world, a pristine example that had been hidden away for 50 years is a great notion. They're also exceedingly rare. I'm fine with a collection of pristine parts used to put together a pristine example.

interesting feedback - thanks guys. i was just surprised at the practice and wondering if it was "controversial" amongst the hardcore MB dudes. i am getting closer and closer to taking the plunge.

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talking to a noted dealer at a recent show, it was made clear to me that many of the examples of this pen out there are basically a synthesized build-up of old 149 parts.

 

I'm prepared to believe this happens. Can't imagine why not.

And I'm sure the pristine pens, which sat unused in boxes for 50 years also pop up.

 

I don't think I'd be too bothered if my pen was made up of (correct) parts.

After all, that's what happened in the factory in Hamburg.

Any history comes after. And all the parts in the reconstructed pen will carry their own history, to boot.

 

There's also a good argument for recycling parts, to keep these pens useable, as you say.

But I can't imagine paying a premium for such a pen.

And I'd hope for full disclosure from the seller

 

I would think of the practise as 'controversial', if it were sold under false representation (eg as an unused pristine find).

That'd be a lie. Or the start of a new history?

 

Interesting topic. Thanks.

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Nowadays in the UK we'd call it Trigger's Broom but here's the original phrase:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ship_of_Theseus

 

Another thing to think about, is that in the process of officially repairing pens, MB has done far worse to themthan pen dealers looking for originality! There are loads of pens out there with newer feeds, nibs, clips and caps. My celluloid 149 must have lost its star in the sixties, as it has been replaced with a newer one by the factory (the owner may have even seen it as an 'upgrade' to the old yellowing one!). If I could find a celluloid star I'd replace it like a shot...

"Truth can never be told, so as to be understood, and not be believ'd." (Wiiliam Blake)

 

Visit my review: Thirty Pens in Thirty Days

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