Monday, March 8, 2010

Put It Away

For years I made do with an old high school denim zip pen case that lived inside my backpack. But that didn’t seem to work very well after I bought my first “expensive” fountain pen. Care and protection became more important, and an interest in better pen cases developed.

I never did buy a pen rack, but three or four years ago I got one for a Christmas present, and it has been a pleasure to have and use. Made by Levenger, with its reputation for quality goods, the rosewood fountain pen rack in the pictures here lives up to that reputation. The photos show how it can be used two ways—open or closed. It makes a very handsome display either way, but particularly when it is open and displaying the fountain pens in a standing row of ten. Hard to see in the photo, but my initials are engraved on the front, near the bottom. This model is no longer available at Levenger, but they are offering now another good-looking pen rack on their website that’s worth looking at.

As for pen cases, I have six that I use regularly, though one of them was never meant to be a pen case, despite its efficiency as such. My description may be hard to follow, but begin with the black pouch case on the left, with the orange Lamy Safari sticking out. That is a soft leather case with a tie cord that I got at Shosaikan Pen Boutique in Aoyama. It was a complimentary gift with the purchase of $250 worth of goods. Moving up and slightly to the right, is a black leather case from Montblanc for one pen. It was included in the purchase price of my Montblanc Platinum 167 mechanical pencil. Directly under that one, at the top, is another gift, another Levenger design, the Ink ’n Blink. Look closely and you will see the eyeglasses on the right end, and the silver clip of a pen on the front edge of the case. This is a tremendously convenient pen & eyeglass case which I am never without. It too is leather. To the right of that is a three-pen Pelikan case, which is fairly standard. This one, too is always in my bag. The largest pen case (brown) is one I ordered from a Japanese magazine that I have since thrown out, and since there is not a word or label anywhere on the case, I can’t say now who the maker is. It is a ‘book’ type leather case for four pens, with pockets on the left for memos and cards. Last is the ‘Coffeebeat’ candy cylinder resting on top of the brown case in the center. I’m sure it never occurred to Meiji chocolate makers that their container makes an ideal single pen case. Hard, strong cardboard, with an added bonus in the wonderful coffee bean fragrance that wafts out when you remove the top. Unfortunately, that doesn’t last more than a month or two. Enjoy the chocolate coffee beans, and then keep the container as an ideal pen case.

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Oak Hill, Florida, United States
A longtime expat relearning the footwork of life in America