State of the Collection: December 2021

Well, the tidal wave of new pens from my suitcase challenge, Fountain Pen Day and Black Friday arrived, and with it has some some change and consolidation in my personal pen collection.

I made the hard decision to sell or retire several pens that were duplicates or only in my tray for sentimental reasons.

For one, I sold my Brown and Black Amber Lamy 2000s, leaving me with the Bauhaus Blue. Since the 2000 is my favourite pen overall, this seems an odd decision, but after long thought I decided that I’d rather bias towards variety and if I want to write with a 2000, I’ll just write with my favourite version, with my favourite architect-EF nib.

I haven’t brought myself to sell it yet, but I’ve also retired my Montblanc Agatha Christie. This pen has a sentimental story behind it, but I find its M nib an increasingly poor fit for my preferences, and I just don’t use it much. It feels like a lot of money to have tied up not being used just to hand it down to my daughter, who may not even want it ten years from now. If I don’t end up selling it (and feel free to make me offers by email), I’ll pack it up for her. I don’t feel comfortable having it ground.

Since I bought the Platinum-trim 149, I’ve retired my vintage gold-trimmed 149 until I decide what to do with it. It feels too good to sell, unfortunately!

I also snobbishly demoted a few less expensive pens. My Karas Ink Eggshell sold, and the Ystudio and Ecridor are in the queue.

So this is what the main tray looked like in October:

Seven of those 18 have gone.

That made a little space for some amazing new additions. This is what the tray looks like today.

The Platinum 149 I’ve already talked about. It’s inked with Dominant Industry Downpour. I’m undecided about doing a nib exchange from F to EF.

The Pilot Capless Wish I wrote about in my end of year wrap-up post.

The Visconti Homo Sapiens Dark Age came from Cult Pens in Black Friday. It needed a little nib work but now is an entertaining writer, and I am really enjoying having the lava material back in my hands. I prefer the look of the Steel Age I sold long ago, but those are discontinued so the Dark Age was the closest I could get!

The Desiderata Soubriquet Eucalyptus Burl is worth talking about. This is my fifth or sixth Soubriquet, my third made from wood, and it’s undoubtedly my favourite yet. It feels a bit chunkier, stouter, with a thicker cap lip.

The Eucalyptus wood has some imperfections, naturally for burl wood, but it’s rich and luxurious. The section is slightly matte finished which helps comfort no end. I fitted a 14k F nib and loaded with Dominant Industry Forest and I’m in love.

Then there’s the Schon Black Ultem KoP monster. To create this tiny stealth beast I pulled the nib and feed from a King of Pen demonstrator. Easier said than done: the feed is super long and a tight fit. By far the hardest part of the operation was pulling the nib and feed without damaging it. But once it was out, I push-fit the nib and feed into the Flexible Nib Factory housing, already installed in the #8 section purchased from Schon. Screw that section into the Black Ultem pen and generously eyedropper with Montblanc Lapis Lazuli. It’s absolutely writing heaven and my most-used pen in the past week.

What else?

The Santini Giant has taken a (big) spot in the tray — I wrote about it recently.

There’s my Radius Superior, which I posted some thoughts about a couple of weeks ago. I’m arranging with Radius to have it sent back to Italy for some finishing work on the cap, but other than that I really am enjoying using its tuned EF nib, loaded with Radius’s own black ink.

The Rotring Lava that I’d been waiting for my brother to bring over from the US… well, it left me cold. So expect that to be a catch and release.

So I’m back up to 18 again, excluding my handful of pocket pens that live in a drawer. Only Montblanc now shows up twice (but Sailor has two nibs). There’s only one steel nib. 11 have integral fillers. Six from Italy, four from Japan. Five from Germany.

Incoming? Quite a few pens for review, but personally I’ve just had notice that my Eboya Flute will ship soon, I’m waiting on a Stipula from Emy at Pen Venture, and a couple of pocket pens, including the copper top Franklin Christoph Pocket 25 that popped back into stock overnight.

Even if not all of those stick, I doubt I’ll be getting back to 15 pens any time soon, so it’s time I bite the bullet and get some slightly larger storage. I commissioned Toyooka to create a tray-plus-drawer box for 24 pens. Natural wood, olive green fabric to line the trays. I can’t wait.

3 thoughts on “State of the Collection: December 2021

  1. I usually do not comment on anything.
    But reading that you might sell the Agatha Christie Montblanc made had me talk to my computer/you: Don’t sell it. Safe it for your daughter. You can always sell it later.

    Everytime I see this pen I admire it. But I am not willing to spend that much money on one pen (yet?).


    • Well I’ll put it this way: if 250 readers of this blog (and I’ve had 250,000 visitors in 2021) donate £5, the price of a cup of coffee, I can afford to keep the Agatha.


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