STREAMLINING THE COLLECTION

DSCN4304xI’ve been using fountain pens for a long time now.  When I started I probably used only two pens and two ink colors for 20 years.  And then I learned how to buy online, and went on eBay.  You know how things can escalate.  It doesn’t help that I have so many friends who are enablers.

When people ask me, “Are you a pen collector?” I have a hard time answering, because when I think of collectors and collections, I think of people who have a certain focus or goal in mind, in terms of what they collect.  For a good while all I wanted was to find some interesting pens that wrote well.  It was my goal to rotate and use them all.  I think of myself as an enthusiast, a user/accumulator.

As I learned more about fountain pens, I began to move away from the cheap and cheerful, toward pens of better quality.  One day I realized I preferred using some pens more than others.  I used to justify my acquisitions by saying that I try to use everything, but that’s not so true anymore.  Since my wallet (and storage space) has its limits, I figured it was time to downsize.

I gave away a number of pens already.  It’s time to sell others that didn’t make the cut.  That’s them in the photo above.  I’ve sold a pen or two before, but I really need to be more decisive about which pens need to be sold.  Every time I clean and test a pen for sale, I feel like I’m getting to know the pen again.  And guess what, I keep changing my mind.  But a few days later I see something else I like better, and back it goes into the “declutter pile”.

Sometimes I feel like Meryl Streep in Sophie’s Choice, until I tell myself that these are only inanimate objects and I shouldn’t be too attached to any of them.  (Well, of course, except those I received as gifts from loved ones.)

The cull is the hardest part.  Photographing everything and putting them up for sale is a heroic and worthy effort.  Once I get over this first big pen sale I suppose it’ll come easier next time.

I see my fountain pen inks growing in number, too.  Fortunately they are consumables. There are just so many beautiful colors out there!  Once I get Rohrer & Klingner Alt Goldgrun, that’s it.  End of the ink-buying – for now. (Famous last words.)

Our local pen group membership is growing.  It’s time to spread the love.

 

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2 thoughts on “STREAMLINING THE COLLECTION

  1. I liked this post – I used to work at fountain pen and art supply stores, so I’ve amassed a bit of a collection myself. For sketching, I love my Safari Lamy fine-point, but for writing, I’ve got a whole host of pens, including my grandfather’s 1927 Waterman made from cardinal red ebonite rubber.

    • Thanks, Jason 🙂 Right now most of my pens are either Pelikan, vintage Sheaffer or Esterbrook. I learned to resac lever-fillers and lubricate piston-fillers because of those pens. I think I would like to try a few Japanese pens now (other than the Pilot Vanishing Point, which I love), for the nibs.

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