The Bird Box

Looking back over the last three years, my pen restorations average out at about five hundred a year. Each and every one of those pens is in some way appealing and I consider keeping many of them, though usually only fleetingly.


Though I don’t collect pens I have accumulated a few over the years. If they’re in this box, they’re mine.


I counted them just now and there’s 35 pens in there, plus one on my writing table. Depending on what your own situation is you may think 36 pens is a lot, but I’ve been interested in fountain pen for a very long time. Some of the pens in that box have been in my possession since the early seventies. Actually, given how many pens I handle, I think I’ve been admirably disciplined in keeping the accumulation small. There was a time I had many more when I collected Conway Stewarts. Eventually I realised that possession conferred no benefit on me and I sold off my collection.

So what do I have now? There are quite a few pens that just suit my hand very well, several of them being obliques with varying degrees of flexibility. A few were gifts and some are mementos of people I knew who are no longer around. There’s a few 1920s and 1930s Conway Stewarts that I couldn’t part with because they are such admirable pens. There are one or two extreme rarities like the Fattorini pen ( and the Clipfill pen ( because I know that such interesting and unusual pens will not come my way again.

Not all of those pens get used. There are about fifteen that do because I enjoy writing with them. I hang onto the rest for other reasons. Will my accumulation grow? Probably not. Yes, another pen or two might take my fancy but there are a few in that box that could go and not be missed. For the most part, though, it will remain the same. I like my motley crew of pens that have found their way into the bird box.

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