I sell pens; it’s what I do. There is no other way I could handle, understand, appreciate and write about so many pens. I couldn’t afford to keep them all.
I do keep some. I have a rather pretty Japanese box containing about forty pens. Most are retained for their writing characteristics, one or two because of their rarity or oddity and some because of their sentimental value.
I like a fine or extra fine nib and there are some other nib types I like: a fine stub or left foot oblique. Due to the size of my writing I could never use a broad nib or even a medium but I do appreciate their qualities. I no longer use flexible nibs, but again, I quite see why others like them.
I’m sometimes reluctant to part with the pen that suits my hand well but I have learned that I will mourn its absence for a day or two, then move on to the next thing. When you handle as many pens as I do there are bound to be some that write in just the way you like.
There are a few pens that I regret selling: an early Onoto that I have mentioned before, a splendid lapis lazuli Macniven and Cameron Waverley with the leaf-shaped nib and a fine-point Mentmore that was everything a pen should be, for me.
But I can’t dwell on regrets for long because I have so many pens that perform just as I like. I am very fortunate in the few pens I keep and even more fortunate in the many pens I have the pleasure of restoring and sending out into the world again.