A very kind friend sent me a box of pens. I had to go out this afternoon and I only had time to unpack them and give them a cursory glance. I hope to be home in time to examine them all this evening. Few things excel the pleasure of working through a batch of old pens, identifying them and deciding what’s needed to make them work again, if that’s possible. If not, that’s rather sad, but they go into the spares bin and the day will likely come when parts from that pen will complete another. In that way old pens never die.
When I first took an interest in old British pens, like most other people, I only wanted the very best, the Onotos, the Swans and the best of the Conway Stewarts. I’ve become less choosy over the years. Certainly for my sales site I would still like to present some special pens for my customers, but for myself, there are no pens I don’t really like anymore. The pens I use in preparing this blog are often the workhorses of the pen world – Platignums or Osmiroids, or the everyday output of the large manufacturers like, for instance, the Parker 45 or the Waterman Champion.
So as I go through the batches of pens that arrive on my bench, I’m mentally separating them into several groups. The first group is those pens that will be restored for sale. The second group is those pens that are beyond repair and will be consigned to the spares bin. Then there are pens that are low-value but write well. They will probably eventually appear in the ‘Bargains’ section of my sales site but only after I have enjoyed writing with them for a while. Finally there are pens that, generally low or no value, will go in my everyday writers box to go into such rotation as I operate. I love making a shabby battered old Osmiroid write as it should. That gives me as much pleasure as restoring a glowing celluloid Swan.