Just For Fun…

I am in the fortunate position of handling a great many pens – hundreds every year in fact. I take pleasure in most of them with the result that I have no real favourites. Swans, Parker, Onotos, Watermans, Mentmores – the list is endless and they are all a pleasure to work with.

Given unlimited choice, which pen would you particularly like to own?

35 thoughts on “Just For Fun…

  1. It would have to be a Mabie Todd of course, probably a Swan L245/62 – or if they actually made one, a L470/62!

    Either pen would have to have a flexible stub nib I think.



      1. In truth I am still very happy with my lovely un-numbered L300/64(?) in brown amber which you once wrote about, and as you know I have one or two others I should prefer to keep!


      2. There are so many beautiful ones. It takes a bit of discipline on my part to sell on some of the pens that I bring in. It would be nice to keep them all but then how would I pay for the cat’s insulin bills?

    1. I’m glad you gave me a link for that – it’s a bit beyond my area of knowledge! Very beautiful, and in a fine tradition. Parker, among others, was doing similar things many years ago. Would you use such a pen or treat it as a jewel?

      1. I’d not carry it with me, but I’d like to keep it on my desk and write with it. I’m not really a collector and I believe pens should be used.

  2. Waterman Patrician. The nibs are absolutely beautiful, but the price is ridiculously stratospheric.

    1. Yes, they are extremely beautiful pens but, as you say, the price has made them an impossibility for most of us. Good ones seem to go for about $5000 and I’ve seen really scruffy examples with cracks fetching more than $500.

      There were $10 when new 🙂

  3. I began my collection with Stipulas, Monteverdes and Deltas, then began finding working vintage pens for cheap, such as a fine Parker 51 for $2 and a late model Parker Vacumatic for $1. Of all the pens I have tried, my favorite would be either the Parker 51 or the Esterbrook J because they are wonderful workhorses that have stood the test of time, and all I want to of is write.

  4. Hi Deb-thanks for asking! Catching up on your blog these past few weeks, I’ve been infected with your tastes; quite the little carrier you! Penwise I can think of little else these days but a Swan SF2, or similar appellation (the numbering is still challenging for me). A Ship Of The Line that one! The BHR with three gold bands and red mottled cap top is particularly stately, but any color/material will do. I’m particularly fond of the later section (it think later, please correct ) – a bit longer, more gently tapered and without the groove. And if it were armed with a sharp cut italic nib with some flex…well…
    But then there’s those Stephens button fillers. And those Kingswoods. And those 6000 series De la Rue/Onotos…

    Doug Price

  5. regret I rarely write with these things, so practicality not a consideration – post 1950 Parkers are mostly boringly reliable and unexciting – a Patrician though would be good choice, and agree with the beauty of lizard skins – didn’t they do some real skins, or was that snake?
    Would rather go for history tho – how about one of the items from Luneburg Heath or Yalta – oh, to own such a piece with such association ……… didn’t Churchill use one of those massive C.S.’s?
    If it did come down to aesthetics – how about one of the 1930’s lacquer decorated Maki E Platinums – fantastic beauty – and if you want to buy one for my birthday, it’s on the ………..:)

    Sorry this sounds a bit unlike fun – but the question did say ‘given unlimited choice’:):)

    1. Some good suggestions there, Paul, but I don’t agree with you about the post-1950 Parkers. I think they were still producing good pens up until the 1990s. Not all of them of course and since then they have been pretty poor offerings.

  6. I don’t doubt they were/are very good pens, in the main – look how many they sold – just that perhaps they lack some excitement and character of earlier pens from the ’30’s and ’40’s.
    Of course you have vastly more experience than me re later C20 pens – perhaps I’m being a little unkind to some of them:)

  7. On my side, and if I could even dream of being able to afford it, would be the MontBlanc Lunar Year of the Monkey since I am a fire monkey (with this information you should be able to figure out my age).

  8. Deb –

    I would like to second the Nakaya nomination. There are many modern models with simple, elegant maki-e work I would love to own. Price, of course, is a concern, so it’s not to happen in what’s left of this lifetime, but one can always dream. And it would not be treated as an artwork, but as a tool, as would, e.g., a fine watch.

    Paul Bloch
    from the balmy (truly) Ft. Worfth, Texas area

    1. Yes, it’s a very fine pen. Completely outside the kind of thing I handle but it would be very nice to have one.

      Enjoy the balmy weather! There’s snow all around here and there’s a bitter east wind. Of course it’s nothing to what they are getting in my old home of Pennsylvania where the temperatures are constantly well in the minus figures.

  9. Unlimited choice? It would have to be an Onoto Magna,1876 model in candystripe….beautiful pen,though beyond what I could pay at the moment…..

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