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How Far We Can Define A Pen As Vintage!



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Just my two cents: every pen older than a Parker 45 is vintage to me. And every pen after it is modern (Parker 45 included). Simple classification.

 

This is different from saying a pen has vintage looks. For example, that's the case of Pelikan M101N and M120N: modern pens that look like actual vintage pens.

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The first couple of fountain pen collecting books that I got ahold of seemed to bring vintage (the golden age) into the early 40's, followed by modern from late 40's or 1950 up to the 80's, and contemporary from the 80's on. That's how I learned to think of them.

 

Of course, those books are 20 or more years old now themselves, and while they are useful they are no longer "contemporary" ;)

 

I concentrate on Pelikan with a growing love for MB and a large collection of Sheaffer types on the side (the beginnings of my pen addiction). Since I learned to call pens made up to the war years "vintage" and pens made after "modern", I now think of my collecting in terms of

1920-1948 or 1949 vintage

1950-1980 early modern

1981-early 1990's modern

mid-1990's to current contemporary

 

The term "classic" is then reserved for those key pens that marked something special... the Balance, P51, Lamy 2000, 400, Meisterstuck 149, etc. rather than a time period. Less confusing to me anyway, although perhaps not to other folks.

"Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working." -Pablo Picasso


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  • 1 month later...

Pens older than a hundred years

 

Was that also true in 1997?

 

How about in 1980?

 

Just trying to clarify your system for me. :)

X

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I don't understand why the cutoff should depend on a filling system (c/c). It's like saying a pen can't be antique unless it's a 19th century eyedropper, and all those lever-fillers approaching a hundred years old should be forever excluded. Even in the year 3000.

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FOUR X FOUR

I don't understand why the cutoff should depend on a filling system (c/c). It's like saying a pen can't be antique unless it's a 19th century eyedropper, and all those lever-fillers approaching a hundred years old should be forever excluded. Even in the year 3000.

When I said the cutoff point should be 4 years, I was just trying to be humorous. Every body knows it's really 5 years. 😀
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5 years, eh? Wow. All my ties are vintage! Who knew?

 

When you get done defining "Vintage" I think we should start another thread to define "Rare".

 

And the first person to post "walk the cow by the fire and then lead it to my table" has to buy the next round of inks.

"Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working." -Pablo Picasso


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There are two terms in this realm that I have completely given up on trying to pin down. People will constantly misuse the terms, and now are even indignant if you bring up any form of calibration so that they actually mean something. When they mean different things to different people, they essentially become meaningless.

 

The terms? Vintage and grail (pen).

"When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick; and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

~ Benjamin Franklin

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inkstainedruth

5 years, eh? Wow. All my ties are vintage! Who knew?

 

When you get done defining "Vintage" I think we should start another thread to define "Rare".

 

And the first person to post "walk the cow by the fire and then lead it to my table" has to buy the next round of inks.

 

A friend of mine wanted a burger made from beef on an animal who's mother had been scared by a fire.... B)

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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FOUR X FOUR

Off the top of my head, I would think 50 years would be a good starting point

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When you get done defining "Vintage" I think we should start another thread to define "Rare".

 

I have the eBay definition of rare, if that helps: common and/or in poor condition

 

ETA: I know it doesn't help.

Edited by Manalto

James

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And there are the 'extremely rare' and the 'hard to find' ones on ebay and other auction sites. Probably those are the frankenpens.

Khan M. Ilyas

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And there are the 'extremely rare' and the 'hard to find' ones on ebay and other auction sites. Probably those are the frankenpens.

 

 

My experience as well. Although my first ever Pelikan turned out to be a frankenpen, it also turned out to be a fantastic writer so I'm not unhappy and finding the "correct" model wasn't difficult. I did see an "extremely rare" M150 for $999 OBO awhile back :wallbash:

"Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working." -Pablo Picasso


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Frankly, I don't see the allure of 'rare' when it comes to something that may need replacement parts.

 

Isn't it nice, then, that it's not for everyone?

"When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick; and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

~ Benjamin Franklin

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This may make sense as a feeling one has, but on the other hand words should communicate something; and especially on the web where no one can see how old people are, such a subjective definition would make it very difficult to guess what a person means when he uses the word.

 

Doesn't get it.

"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.

 

 

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In the antique trade (in which I was slightly involved once) a piece was considered vintage if it was (roughly) more than thirty years old. So Eighties pens would be considered Vintage.

An Antique item would be a hundred years old, more or less, so most of my BCHR pens would hover around that designation.

In China, a ceramic piece would get a red stamp if it was 100 years old (a small selection of low-end plates from the Ming period came stamped).

I miss the antique shows.

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This topic has been bantered around here, on other boards, at pen shows, and in personal conversations for as long as I have been involved in the hobby. As is the case in this thread, there has been no consensus to date - not anywhere, not any time, no way, no how.

 

So, just to contribute to the confusion I'll offer my definition. I think of vintage as associated primarily with age of the object (pen). I tend to see 1960 as the delineation between vintage and 'modern' pens. This puts the cut-off over forty years ago, but, along with age, this date choice is also based on personal experiences. My parents used fountain pens until sometime in the late fifties to around 1960. At that point I began to see ball points in use in the house and the fountain pens went into drawers. That change has influenced my choice of 1960, however my affinity for using age as the primary determining factor has me waffling and beginning to consider some 1960s pens as vintage. See - I can't even be definitive in my own use of the word; how will we ever get to a commonly agreed to definition?

 

We won't.

 

When considering a pen, get the needed information to determine if it fits YOUR criteria and call it vintage or not.

 

Confused D.C.

D.C. in PA - Always bitin' off more than I can chew.

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