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Help with Pilot, Sailor, and Platinum vintage pens


OldTravelingShoe
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1 hour ago, PithyProlix said:

criteria for whether or not a pen is necessary

 

Good question - but it is easy to answer.

 

Unnecessary first grade are the pens I never use and never look at (kept in boxes).

Unnecessary second grade are the pens which I would like to use but do not use at the end.

Necessary are the pens which I use - regularly or occasionally. 

 

So, I plan to get rid of all my unnecessary pens. I want to drastically reduce the pens in storage. Eventually a few of the necessary ones could also go to new owners if the price is right.

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@mke

Oh my god, This is my thoughts lately! hence I am selling a few of my pens.

 

It is hard sometimes since I am attracted to Japanese pen designs and its variety of nib materials, plus all the special craftsman pen body, like Yuzen Dyeing for example. But after I got them, I am so afraid to ink them up because they are so gorgeous and I don't want to get them dirty...I am at constant struggle with myself because of it.

 

If you don't have a clear direction and goal, it becomes a never-ending rabbit hole.

 

It is nice to chat about things like this with like minded people and see how others approach it. I get inspired by all the different perspectives.

 

(BTW, I love your picture of the cat. It has a bad-ass attitude, LOL)

 

Chi

 

Please check out my shop on Etsy - Sleepy Turandot

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9 hours ago, PithyProlix said:

 

I'm curious: what's your criteria for whether or not a pen is necessary?

 

For me: {set of necessary pens} = Ø

 

I suppose a pencil will suffice for most writing tasks, but at least one stylus capable of making permanent marks on documents can be considered "necessary" ;)

 

I will however admit that my pen addiction is completely unnecessary...

David-

 

So many restoration projects...

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On 1/9/2022 at 4:32 PM, stan said:

Suggest the following.

1. Ask yourself what you like or would like to collect.

2. Ask yourself 'Why?'

3. What do you think is the availability of what you want? How big of a challenge over what time frame will it take to satisfy you?

4. Do you want a big or small collection?

5. Are you willing to go the distance?

6. Can you afford it?

7. Do you need an acquisition plan. This is the hard part.

 

@stan, this is a well-thought plan. I can tell also because, alas, I have already not considered carefully several of these questions. As I said after your first post, back to the drawing board - I need to think.

 

Thank you! 

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18 hours ago, mke said:

[...] new translation system: https://www.deepl.com/translator

This service not only produces "understandable" but "very good" Japanese. The other direction is nearly perfect.

 

[...] a number of Japanese shops will [...] require a Japanese mailing address or even a credit card [...] you need to find someone in Japan doing the buy for you (with all the problems it might cause).

@mke, thank you for joining the discussion, this is very useful!

 

For the first point, about online translation, I was using until now Google Translate. It's decent, but even I could tell there are many issues - the English result is too clunky and if you use the live camera-capture-then-translate you get... whimsical results. So does Deepl do better? Also, does it integrate with any major browser, e.g., Chrome or Firefox or even Opera? (I can check the latter elsewhere, but I'm not able to really assess the quality of an JP-to-EN-and-back translation.) 

 

For the second issue, of using Japan-based intermediaries (jobbers?), have you used the services of anyone good? I saw several online names such as Buyee, From Japan, and ZenMarket, but have zero experience with them. I will search further on FPN, but I was curious to know your view on this. 

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2 hours ago, Chi said:

@mke

If you don't have a clear direction and goal, it becomes a never-ending rabbit hole.

 

It is after you go down the rabbit hole that the fun begins. 

Go ask Alice.

stan

Formerly Ryojusen Pens
The oldest and largest buyer and seller of vintage Japanese pens in America.


Member: Pen Collectors of America & Fuente, THE Japanese Pen Collectors Club

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10 hours ago, PithyProlix said:

I was just searching for info about an old Pilot and this worthwhile Reddit post came up on circa 1930s Pilots. Make sure you click through on the links.

https://www.reddit.com/r/fountainpens/comments/he3osp/prewar_pilot_fountain_pens_and_how_to_buy_them/

 

Also there's this page with historical Sailor material:

https://imgur.com/a/1H9bwcn

 

@PithyProlix, these are amazing links. Thank you for sharing, made my day! 

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2 hours ago, Chi said:

But after I got them, I am so afraid to ink them up because they are so gorgeous and I don't want to get them dirty...I am at constant struggle with myself because of it.

I recognize this - I have exactly one pen I am too afraid to use, for fear my lack of skill could ruin it. But I have a long-term plan: I will practice with the other pens, in increasing order of quality, until I think I am good enough to try this one. Gives me extra motivation 😉 - perhaps you could use a similar approach? 

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28 minutes ago, stan said:

It is after you go down the rabbit hole that the fun begins. 

Go ask Alice.

Hehe, we're all here, after all.

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@stan, all: perhaps related to your point 5. Are you willing to go the distance?, but I'd like to consider explicitly:

 

5'. Do you have the time, especially when the action requires it? 

 

I have a high-intensity job, which typically consumes well beyond the nominal work-hours. So my availability during auctions and even exhibitions may be very limited. This is something that I have to factor in regarding every commitment I make. (I also am aware life is short.) So, food for thought and perhaps others here see time as another (even the most) valuable resource. 

Edited by OldTravelingShoe
Edited for clarity.
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1 hour ago, OldTravelingShoe said:

I recognize this - I have exactly one pen I am too afraid to use, for fear my lack of skill could ruin it. But I have a long-term plan: I will practice with the other pens, in increasing order of quality, until I think I am good enough to try this one. Gives me extra motivation 😉 - perhaps you could use a similar approach? 

 

My concern is more about how I can maintain the pen itself.

 

I am not sure if there is a way to clean the ink off leather without damaging it. With Yuzen Dyeing, each of the pen body is wrapping in sheep leather hand-dyed by Japanese craftsmen who specialized in this technique. I am not sure how many were produced at the time but what I have in my possession is a brand new old stock in impeccable condition... 

 

I would be really sad if I mess it up in the process of inking it or something. 

Please check out my shop on Etsy - Sleepy Turandot

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2 hours ago, stan said:

It is after you go down the rabbit hole that the fun begins. 

Go ask Alice.

 

hmmm... I am already in the hole, LOL... and can't help it...

Please check out my shop on Etsy - Sleepy Turandot

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Linking also to @whavkfdl, but I am not sure if they are still active on FPN. (As a (former?) student from Korea with an active interest in vintage and modern pens made there, I think @whavkfdl could have made a very valuable contribution.) 

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7 hours ago, Chi said:

I am so afraid to ink them up because they are so gorgeous and I don't want to get them dirty

I understand what you are saying. From the sides, it seems to me the pen would remain gorgeous even if it becomes dirty for a bit, and even if after you clean it you observe some signs of aging. As long as you are as careful as you can be with the knowledge and technique you have at present, you are also doing your best to preserve the pen, which seems to me the most one can do.

 

Being a long-time reader, I feel I can make a paralel with that part of my life: I don't like to wear down books. But a book is there to be read. It does not lose its value to humanity by being read; to the contrary, I think its value even increases with each reading. The wear is a sign of increasing value, as long as the book is still readable. 

 

But, all in all, I also understand this is not about how I think about this. 

Edited by OldTravelingShoe
Edited for clarity.
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7 minutes ago, OldTravelingShoe said:

I don't like to wear down books. But a book is there to be read. It does not lose its value to humanity by being read; to the contrary, I think its value even increases with each reading. The wear is a sign of increasing value, as long as the book is still readable. 

 

😕 My wife and I would sometimes go into a bookstore, inspect as many as ten new copies of a book, to find the one with the least signs of wear, damage in transit and handling, and even grime and dust, before settling on one to take to the checkout. Then, many a time, after the pristine volume has been sitting on our bookshelves (gathering dust) for months, I found my wife reading a copy of the title (in the same edition or otherwise) she borrowed from the public library!

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct, and valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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 Advisory / Apology: Entirely off-topic content 

 

5 hours ago, Chi said:

@A Smug Dill what you shared cracked me up!

 

In the past several years, my wife's family usually does this thing around Christmas, where everyone puts entries into a shared spreadsheet ‘in the cloud’ as to what they want to be given — and usually that means allowing for one present for each family member to give oneself. That's just O(n²) rigmarole, if you ask me; I can and do buy my own stuff as required (or whimsically) from a variety of retail channels throughout the year, thank you very much, and for that I have the reputation of being difficult to buy presents for, so in part that is supposed to make the gift-exchanging exercise easier for them; yet some of them wouldn't have a bar of just not exchanging Christmas presents.

 

Anyway… her brother was often tardy about filling the spreadsheet, and when he did, it was often not very specific. This past Christmas, long after everyone's (online) Christmas shopping was done — by the start of December, what with the well-publicised failures of Australia Post to just do its job, let's blame it on Round 17 of pandemic outbreaks and lockdowns — he deigned to add the rest of his entries, after the initial one that he put on the spreadsheet weeks ago (which we ‘claimed’ immediately at the time).

 

“Anything from [a particular clothing brand] (size XS)”, ”Anything from [a different clothing brand] (size S)”, “Any book from the 20 most recent additions to my ‘want to read’ list on Goodreads”, etc. Erm, OK. I guess he thought that was being easygoing and easy-to-please, two weeks before the family's Christmas get-together.

 

Black Friday sales were long over; ordering online may not get things delivered in time; and the number of daily new COVID cases was starting to go through the roof, so we didn't really want to be battling the hordes who felt compelled to enjoy their freedom from mask-wearing and vaccination requirements by retail therapy involving lots of in-store browsing.

 

My wife started looking into what (else) to get him and how, and was getting frustrated. I asked her which twenty book titles were on his list, and she read them out to me. I then went and pulled three New-Old-Stock books off different bookcases here at home, and dusted them off. “There. Pick the one that you think is most presentable, with the least signs of yellowing along the edges and such.”

 

He ended up getting a copy of the 40th anniversary edition of The Selfish Gene I must have bought from Book Depository or Amazon(?) back in 2018.

 

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct, and valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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4 hours ago, A Smug Dill said:

That's just O(n²) rigmarole

Great story, reminds me of so many things and people. I started cracking up while imagining the conversation starter that must have been complexity theory. 😁

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On 1/11/2022 at 4:11 AM, OldTravelingShoe said:

For the first point, about online translation,  does Deepl do better? 

For the second issue, of using Japan-based intermediaries (jobbers?), have you used the services of anyone good? 

 

1. YES! In addition to living in Japan for nearly 30 years and knowing a bit of Japanese, I asked my Japanese colleagues, how they feel about the Japanese output. All of them said, it is very good but not 100% perfect Japanese. A Chinese colleague said the same about the Chinese output. The other way around is the same level. => Since I know Deepl, I have never used Google Translate again.

 

2. As I live in Japan, I don't need it. But look on FPN, there were a few threads about such forwarding/buying-for-you services.

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