Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Bounty of Pens

An interesting package came today. But it was one of those double-edge sword kind of things. I’ve had much of the afternoon to examine, clean and polish most of fifteen different fountain pens, a fun and also educational afternoon for me any way you look at it. The other side of it is, the pens are not mine and there is a measure of covetousness about handling so many classy fountain pens that have to go back to the owner in a week’s time.

This past Friday while in town for the day, a friend wondered if I would be willing to take a look at his collection of fountain pens and give him some idea of what he has. That might impress you as odd, someone with a fine collection of pens, but with little knowledge of exactly what it is he has lined up in a glass showcase. But this is someone who likes the look of fountain pens, finds the shape, the design and colors interesting, though isn’t driven to write with the pens, or to even ink them in some cases. At least five of the pens I looked at today have never been inked. Maybe his fascination with the pens is a little like my own interest in tobacco related objects. I don’t smoke, but am drawn to the paraphernalia of smoking.

Of the fifteen fountain pens (and one Montblanc ballpoint), so far I have only looked closely at ten of them, and have not written with any of them. For the moment, the ten are all newly cleaned and polished, but still without ink. Filling the pens and trying them out is something I will do over the next couple of days.

The ten I have chosen to showcase here are as follows, from left to right:

1. Lamy AL-Star with a fine nib

2. Montblanc Meisterstuck 146 / B nib

3. Montblanc Marcel Proust / M nib

4. Porsche P'3110 / M nib

5. Alfred Dunhill, model unknown / M nib

6. Visconti Voyager / B nib

7. Mabie Todd Swan Leverless / No. 4 Eternal nib

8. Louis Cartier, model unknown / M nib

9. Waterman Philéas / F nib

10. Visconti Van Gogh / M nib

I took photos of two pairs that I particularly like, though a writing test will come later. The first pair (second photo) is the Montblanc 146 and the Marcel Proust. I have a 146 of my own, but without the silver cap. The Marcel Proust is from the famous writers series and is very handsome.

The third photo shows the Swan Leverless, one I like because of its vintage look. It is paired with the Porsche P'3110, which has a very unusual barrel of woven gold and silver bands.

I will say more about these fountain pens after I’ve had a chance to try them out on paper with an assortment of inks. Stay tuned.

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