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Novice Looking For Advice On A Gift Idea. Please Help.


sting_rae
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I'm hoping to purchase a pre-owned Montblanc fountain pen for my mother as a Christmas gift. I've been doing some light research since yesterday, but this is a topic I know very little about. It should be noted that she also isn't a collector by any means, and I think also isn't particularly knowledgable about pens. But I noticed her admiring someone else's Montblanc a few weeks ago, and I think it would make a neat gift. Because of that, she's not likely to be nit-picky about smaller details, and an overall nice feel is what's most important.

 

I'd like to stay under $200 if possible. Based on preliminary research, it seems like a pre-owned 144 might be my best bet. I'm reluctant to buy one from eBay because I know I would have a difficult time spotting a fake (as would she, but obviously I want to get her the real thing anyway). I found a 1998 144 online for $189, which seems like my most promising lead at the moment. I'd love to hear any thoughts or suggestions on this. Thank you!

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From my own experience, just because someone admires a pen does not mean that they want one. My wife loves my pens, but no way does she want one.

 

If it were my call, I'd feel her out a bit more. Maybe casually show her a catalog or two. You might also ask if she has ever used one in the past and what she thinks of them.

 

Nothing worse (well, maybe a few things) than getting a gift for someone that they never use.

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You're absolutely right. There's definitely a bit of risk involved. But I'd rather take a chance and have it be a surprise, especially since there's not much time to feel her out about it without being super obvious. It might not be something she actively wants, but I do know she tends to treasure small fancy things like that. And it's the kind of thing she would never buy for herself. I know she'll enjoy it even if it isn't her favorite gift ever.

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The 144 is slender, similar in diameter and length to a Parker 45. It also takes cartridges or a converter; used, it may come with a converter but check. A new converter will run you around $10. Don't forget to get her some ink.

 

Check out martiniauctions.com No affiliation, etc.

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A further word of caution. Getting your mother a pre-owned pen is full of risks other than just the obvious chance of getting a fake. If I were getting one for my mother, I'd make certain it was in perfect working condition before I gave it to her. And perhaps more to the point, would she really want something that was used? I'd love to get a used Waterman Patrician for example, but then I'm into pens. There are a lot of people who don't want to get something used.

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