Friday, 7 November 2014

Six months on Ebay ... and a giveaway

I let my father take delivery of pens for me, as I'm never around when the postman calls. And for the last six months, I've been zooming around like a mad thing (including a trip to Iceland, one to Cambodia, a couple of trips to Andorra...) and besides, last time I visited, my father forgot to give me the pens that he had in his kitchen cupboard, so this time I got a double dose of about six months' worth of auction wins.

And here they are.
That beautiful big bright orange pen in the middle is an Edison Collier in Persimmon swirl. I'd set my heart on one ages ago, and wasthe underbidder on not just one but two ebay auctions. Third time lucky! Even better, it has a broad nib that writes like a dream, really wet. The size of the pen compared with the vintage pens in the photo rather illustrates the fact that we seem to like our pens larger these days, but it's quite light as unlike so many modern manufacturers, Edison doesn't use metal inserts in these acrylic pens.

On the right are two Waterman 'ladies', a Waterman Lady Agathe in violet and green galalith - vintage materials but a modern pen - and a Lady Elsa in lovely swirly grey celluloid. The Lady Agathe has lost its matching pen case, which is why I was able to snaffle it on the cheap! The photo doesn't really do them justice; the material is wonderfully shimmery and pearlescent. I am keeping an eye out for more of these Lady pens. They are tiny, but just on the edge of what I can actually write with rather than treating as a curiosity. Both came with gold nibs - though the Lady Elsa apparently came with a steel nib as standard.

The pair of pens on the left are a Lincoln oversize and a Sheaffer lifetime, both in jade green. I'm very partial to jade, so I was happy to get these two, though the Sheaffer has bad discoloration on the barrel. They almost match, which is a piece of luck. The white dot on this Sheaffer is in the centre of the cap end, not above the clip, which is something I hadn't noticed before, and it has a nice big 18 carat nib. I think it cost me just over a tenner!

I have two pens with the Vacumatic style 'brickwork' celluloid. The first is an Emerald Pearl Vacumatic, with a rather nibbled-away cap that will need a bit of restoration, but with its original nib. Nine quid! The other combines Vac-style celluloid with a 51- style hooded nib and gold filled cap, and is by Italian manufacturer Punto Rosso, as shown by the big red dot on the end of the cap (which like the white dot on the Sheaffer, you can't see in the picture). I simply could not resist it though I don't really collect 1950s/1960s pens. or Italian pens.

Then there's a Sheaffer balance set in striated grey celluloid, a facetted black and pearl pen, and two golden Parkers, a Lady and a Parker 51. The latter is very highly beaten up with dents all over and the clip and jewel missing (never mind, I have a spare clip for it so I just need to find a jewel for it somewhere), but it has a gorgeous broad nib. I've fired it up already with some Herbin 'Violette Pensée' and I'm enjoying it, though it may want to take a trip to the nibmeister to get a cursive italic edge put on it.

What else? Two little Watermans, a teensy 12 1/2 with gold bands, and a Hundred Year Pen with a lovely nib, horrible wrong clip, and crystallised ends, which I'll have to do a lot of restoration on. And for light relief, two Dollar demonstrators - made in Pakistan, and delivered to my door (or rather my father's) for rather less than three pounds the pair. I'm looking forwards to filling them up with some ridiculously outré ink like Diamine Pumpkin or Herbin Orange indien. And two leather cases which came with the purchases.
There are two marvellous things about getting all my ebay purchases in one big lump, like this. First of all, of course, it made the day into an unofficial birthday as I unwrapped all my presents. But secondly, it also let me revisit my purchases and think about whether I've made good or bad purchases. On the whole I'm very happy with this lot, particularly as the Edison is the only pen I've paid more than about £20 for, and some of them (particularly the Sheaffer balance set) were absolute steals.

Actually there are three marvellous things about getting all my ebay purchases put away in the kitchen cupboard by my father. The third: it was like a family Christmas all over again as I unpacked them, because I was able to share my enjoyment with him. (This is the man I bought a Parker 51 set for his last 'big' birthday, because he had always wanted one; but he's not a collector. Well, not of fountain pens. Just books, boat models, old woodworking tools, railwayana... The hoarding instinct runs in the family.) He hates the Edison, but I had serious difficulty getting the Parker 51 away from his covetous inky fingers!

And it's Fountain Pen Day today! Which is why SBRE Brown and Gourmet Pens are having a giveaway. Very generous, with lots of goodies, and as you might be able to guess, I've already had a go... you can too, till November 14th.

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