Happy Christmas!

A Happy Christmas to one and all, and if you celebrate something else, may that be happy too. I don’t suppose that I will do a lot of business before the New Year so this is a good opportunity to look back at how 2018 went.

It’s been a good year. Selling prices for unrestored pens continued to rise though not as steeply as before. The price increase is a good thing. Unless people with old pens to sell can make some money on them, they’ll strip out the gold nibs and trash the rest. That’s the last thing we want to see happen. Quite a few previously unknown pens (to me, at least) have turned up in the course of the year. There is still more work to be done on vintage British pens.

I will remember this as a year of Parkers and German pens. The Parkers that came my way in great profusion were American, Canadian and British. They are always a pleasure to work on and sometimes hard to part with. They are admirable pens and many of them are just my style of pen. I love nails but they have to be good nails.

I started buying in Germany early in the year. Strangely, many German sellers will not send pens out of the country. Thankfully there are quite a few that do and it enabled me to begin an education in vintage German pens, mostly piston and button fillers. I know more about the subject than I did but I will never have a comprehensive knowledge; there must have been hundreds of brands, reduced now to about half a dozen still in business.

Swans and better Conway Stewarts remain at the core of what I do. Both have become expensive and rightly so. Few modern manufacturers, if any, turn out pens of that quality. Both still remain quite common, reflecting how well they sold when new.

Old pens continue to fascinate and excite me. I hope that 2019 will be as good a year as this has been, especially in finding pens to write about.

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