What's up at Ravens March.

Vintage pens-Handmade books-Silly statements

Small joys.

Posted by Dirck on 18 May, 2010

Yesterday I was kept from relating the weekend’s tiny triumphs by one of life’s unlovely chores– having tires changed on the car. “It’ll be done by noon” apparently means “If you get here at 12:15 you’ll have to stand around for twenty minutes or so.”

Let us now cast our minds back, pretending that Monday was but a dream. The weekend included not only some authentically magnificent weather that brought out some tardy tulips in the garden and a fresh display of dangling prowess by my son in his gymnastics class, but there were pens!

I was able to bring back to function a couple of Vacumatics sent by a client, one of which had the early “lock-down” fillers. I am a big fan of the lock-down, as it’s made entirely of metal and so lacks the nervous-making little plastic cup to hold the diaphragm pellet. To those who don’t know what the insides of a Vacumatic looks like, and feel that I’m speaking a bit obscurely, I offer a link to step-by-step instructions which reveal the mysteries of Parker’s big technology of the 1930s… although in it’s 1940s expression, with the terrifying plastic parts.

Wife and son came along to an antique sale, at which I found… a pen! It was not, I hasten to mention, a valuable pen. It was, to be perfectly blunt, a rather new pen. I had a good look at it, established that it was made at some point in the past ten or twenty years (and so, by my way of thinking, brand new)– plated steel point, modern piston filler, brand name no one has ever heard of… well, I’ve never heard of it, and I try to pay attention to that sort of thing. Ero is the make, and I find a couple of references to a German company that may be the source of this item. In any event, it was in quite good shape (as it ought to be) so I bought it.

A pleasant looking piston-filling pen for $12? Of course I bought it. Part of my motivation is the psychopathy I have regarding pens, but there is also a notion that if I buy it at that price, I’m saving someone the embarrassment of trying to “flip” a supposed vintage pen they got for far less than they think that sort of thing is worth. I, knowing that it’s a pen that is frankly worth about $12, am content, and the dealer is likewise, having got his asking price.

I don’t make any secret of my willingness to enjoy a cheap pen. Yesterday’s item, which should have capped this particular story, is a perfectly nice little pen that was never anyone’s idea of a splendid prize. The Parker 21 I used last week was likewise the means by which someone with a hankering for a 51 and not the budget could be brought to give Parker his money. A cheap pen can be a perfectly fine pen. I’m pleased that I’ve got another reasonably good pen that I can give away if mood strikes (ideally to someone who might be drawn into mannenhitsu-do).

The best things in life, I’m told by a song, are free. It stands to reason, then, that some pretty good things are at the low end of the cost scale.

Today’s pen: Waterman Crusader
Today’s ink: Diamine Majestic Blue (a case in point– great colour, and very low $/ml)

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