Desire

Every now and then, people ask me which sort of fountain pen I collect. The answer is complicated; the simplest version is ‘I collect pens that sellers undervalue’ — that is, bargains. This is in part because of our family finances, and partly because of the fun of hunting (it doesn’t really feel like ‘collecting’…

Sheaffer Balance, Roseglow

Between 1936 and 1938, Sheaffer manufactured its Balance pens in this dusty-rose striated design. The roseglow — so-called — is relatively uncommon, and somewhat more valuable than your run-of-the-mill green, brown, or grey striated. It’s their plunger-filler design, and has a slightly stubbed nib. Its first owner seems to have been Dick Wynn. If it…

Parker Presence

Although I mostly attend to Sheaffer fountain pens — that is, among the sorts of pen I can afford, Sheaffer pens interest me most — they’re relatively less common here in England than they were in the US, and Parker pens are more common, so if I encounter a pen in the wild (or browse…

Meet The Parkers

I blogged a few weeks ago about the Parker 51s that I had recently encountered. I intended at the time to post some photos, but I didn’t have a tripod, and I hadn’t figured out the lighting here, and several reasons besides. This afternoon I undertook a massive fountain-pen shoot, and kept going till my…

Parker Sunday

A few months ago, I had only the most remote acquaintance with Parker 51 pens, one of the landmark models in fountain pen design. (I’m sure I handled one at a Triangle Pen Club meeting sometime, but just in passing.) I have several Parker 21s, which are very closely related to the 51 (and a…

Additions To The Gang

I was working away on my commentary on the Epistle of James this past week, when Margaret popped into the office with a small but bulky package. In that package was a very lovely note from my friend and former student Suzie Stark, and within were two very elegant pens that had been Suzie’s mother’s.…

Whose Best?

My student Laura Naysmith pointed my attention to yesterday’s feature in the Independent, the one that purports to identify the ‘ten best fountain pens’. It’s not clear from the website what criteria they apply, but the result is a very peculiar selection. Granted that they seem to draw only from contemporary pens (thus ruling out,…

Spors Unbound

After considerable strain (resulting in some damage to the section), I finally wrenched open my Spors glass-nibbed fountain pen a while back. Only Sunday, however, did I obtain an ink sac suitable (I used a 12mm sac) for the very narrow portion of the section to which the sac is glued. Since the thin-shelled barrel…

Branching Out

My business model has not attained the point that I could support myself yet — much less anyone else in the family — but today I posted a sale notice for five Sheaffer school pens I had accumulated this fall, and sold two right off the bat. In hard times, you take accomplishments where you…