This begins in reply to Mario’s comment on the “Getting the Right Nib” article. As I’ve said before, I began selling pens so that I could see more of them, not being able to buy every vintage British pen that came along. That worked. I saw, handled and wrote about most British vintage pens.
But there has always been a hint of regret about the whole thing. As I sit here I can think of many pens that I let go reluctantly and have thought about ever since. It wouldn’t be so bad if I forgot those exceptional pens but I don’t. There are so many pens that pass through my hands that I could describe in detail, even though they were in my possession for maybe a fortnight, ten years ago.
I’m not short of pens and those I have are great writers but I remember the Macniven and Cameron in lapis lazuli with the leaf-shaped nib. I do wish I still had it. It was such a mistake to let it go.
9 thoughts on “Regret”
You are not alone in this, it’s only as you gain more experience, you learn how foolish you had been to let some pens go. My biggest regret was not knowing enough about OMAS pens, when invited to their once a year staff sale, when they were owned by Louis Vuitton. Many people have heard that story.
It’s quite hard to ignore those regrets!
I’m quite fortunate that I have never had an over amount of “Liquid Asset”, so have never over paid for items often ?
Likewise, and almost all of what I buy is for resale so I’m not breaking my heart over the ones I don’t get.
Deb. I have very few regrets at all in this life, however, not going the distance on the auction for that gold Mentmore Spot is certainly one of them. There’s not a week when I don’t see the pics of it and sigh and wish I’d gone for it big time.
The lack of pots of money is a good check on ‘out of control’ buying too .
You’ve done very well with your buying, Rob!
A big hello to Eric as well who over the years has been a Saviour to some of my pens. As I’ve grown older (or maybe that should be ‘old’) I’ve gradually learned to regret fewer and fewer things … if each regret in my life were typed onto a 4″ x 1″ piece of paper I could probably re-paper my home!
When bidding at Auctions and dropping out as the underbidder, I used to think ‘if I’d gone one more bid!’ and kick myself for weeks after. Then eventually I accepted the fact that had I gone one more, then the other bidder might have, then I would and so on and on it would go …. Now I don’t think about it after I’ve stopped bidding.
There are a few pens over the years that I’d like to have kept, but when I look at the handful that I have actually kept then I think I’ve done alright (especially when I look at my recently acquired submariner’s Waterman’s … and the one that might or might not be a 1930s Dunhill) .
But there is always that one pen, and with me it was a John Whytwarth safety with a silver overlay. When I won it at Auction the pen was in a terrible state but Eric rebuilt it and did a wonderful job, and he probably recalls it. Not only was it a splendid looking piece which wrote beautifully, but it also had a bit of a history and came with all the provenance, and I like things with history. But I sold it on to a collector in the States, and for a profit that would probably have bought me a bottle of Supermarket wine. Ah well.
I only bid once. Of course there are several different kinds of buyers in any eBay auction. I won’t go through them all but the most important two are restorers like me and collectors. We have different prices in mind and I can never win against a collector.
Most of my pens come from bricks & mortar auctions, and one thing that I’ve noticed since the first Covid lockdown with more people at home on their computers accessing on-line platforms, is that the competition has grown. I’m often left aghast at some of the hammer prices.