Guest post: Pruning my pen collection

Post Comment

This morning’s post, from guest blogger Kate Marshall, reminds me of a quote that’s usually attributed to May West: “Too much of a good thing is wonderful.” Still, sometimes you’ve gotta pare things down…

I first started using fountain pens when I was a child but I didn’t start collecting or using them on a regular basis until about four years ago. Next thing I knew, I had about 20 fountain pens: Lamys, Bexleys, Sailors, Pelikans, etc. Eek. I had too many pens and I didn’t use them often enough to justify keeping them. It’s time to sell some pens. As I do this, I’ve been rethinking the focus of my pen collection. When all is said and done, I expect to have:

four Pelikan M400s
three Pelikan M620s
one Pelikan M205
two Aurora Optimas
one Bexley Submariner SE
one Namiki-Pilot Vanishing Point (also known as the Pilot Capless)
one Sailor Professional Gear
two Sailor Sapporos (Professional Gear Slim)
one Levenger TrueWriter

In four years of pen collecting, I’ve learned that:

I really like Pelikans, especially when they or their nibs come from Richard Binder.

I favor piston-fillers and other filling methods over cartridge-converter filling systems.

Why didn’t I buy a Vanishing Point sooner? Despite the converter’s painfully tiny ink capacity, this is the best pen ever! And it comes in pink!

I’m really hoping that once my pen collection is slimmed down, I won’t snap up every new pen I see. By focusing on pens I really love, I hope to better appreciate their value and quality. I know there are others whose pen collections (or watch collections or misprinted calendar collections or what-have-you) number in the hundreds or even thousands. And that’s cool—Kate’s not here to judge. But I’ve decided that I just have too much darn stuff in my life and it’s time to pare it down.

Granted, the day that Pelikan announces a pink M400, all bets are off.

6 thoughts on “Guest post: Pruning my pen collection

  1. Interesting blog. I’m also in the process of thinning the herd. I’ll be holding on to my Parker 51’s, a Montblanc 146 and a couple Pelikans. I’ve been collecting for the past 30+ years and have far too many. Been trying to give them away to folks I know will give them a good home. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  2. I’ve basically got two pens at this point (I own more, but I hardly touch the rest these days):

    * Pelikan M250
    * Cross Radiance

    Both, oddly enough, were pens I got very cheaply because they were on sale (and I believe discontinued.)

    The Radiance in particular I’m fond of, because it was an inexpensive, steel-nibbed pen that writes far better than many more expensive, gold-nibbed ones.

    I loved my Vanishing Points as well, and if I still had one that worked, I would carry it with me constantly. But I tend to break them, and I’m reluctant to buy go through that heartbreak again… : )

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.