What's up at Ravens March.

Vintage pens-Handmade books-Silly statements

The Wish List

Pure self-indulgent fantasy, or self-indulgent fantasy with a marginal utility as an aide memoire?  If I can’t tell, it’s a pretty good bet you can’t, but for the aspiring long-distance clinical psychologist I offer the following list of acknowledged desires.  If you find yourself struggling along under a burden of any of the following, and want to either spread the wealth or have interest in trading yours for something I’ve already got, drop me a note at my non-blog site:

Pens of Desire– I am not at all fussy about point width, and this is not really in any order:

  • Waterman Edson, Sapphire body.
  • Waterman 100 Year pen, first year Lucite body, red or blue for preference but I’d never say no to a green.
  • Pelikan M600 or M800, green striped body
  • Pelikan 1935 LE– jade, lapis or gold, they’re all stunners.
  • Mont Blanc Meisterstück 146 or 149 (not that I’m really that mad about the styling, but I’d like to be able to comment on the maker in an informed manner). Don’t have one, but have handled a 149.  Itch scratched.
  • Parker Vacumatic with a speedline filler– all mine are the third pattern plastic-stemmed type.
  • Parker 51 Double Jewel, any colour but Buckskin, Yellowstone or either grey.
  • Parker VP
  • Parker 41
  • Parker 35
  • Parker 75
  • Parker 180
  • Sheaffer PFM V
  • Sheaffer Intrigue, ideally in the “whale shark” finish
  • Sheaffer Legacy Heritage Centennial Limited Edition (say, that’s a mouthful; I’m not usually given to LE envy, but this particular maker is one I’ve a fondness for)
  • Conklin crescent-filler.  Modern and/or vintage.
  • Conklin Nozac, in a herringbone pattern.
  • Pilot MYU, either the original or the recent limited re-release.
  • Pilot Super Ultra 500.
  • Gate City Pens New Postal
  • Gate City Pens New Dunn
  • Gate City Pens Belmont (although I’m a little less enthusiastic about it than the previous two)
  • Aurora 88, the semi-hooded vintage sort.
  • Yard-O-Led Viceroy, barley finish (and since we’re spending phantom money, why not a matching pencil?).
  • Visconti Homo Sapiens (while I’ve got a house full of the actual H. sap., I’d still like the pen).
  • A couple of bottles of Akkerman ink– a very splendid 150ml example of the (industrial) glass-blower’s art which I wouldn’t mind a couple of.  I’m not even that bothered by the colour, as long as it’s not the magenta nor the pink; familie in Nederlands, take note.

Bookish things:

  • Bindery in a box. It would save some space.
  • A full set-up for hot tooling of the binding.


  • A decent 3 piece linen suit. The satisfying item is only two piece, but it fits real nice.
  • Several decent non-linen 3 piece suits with high arm-holes (which might be taken as “Vintage suits in 52 Tall” or “a tailor willing to work for nothing”) in a variety of sensible colours.
  • Vintage fedoras in size 7 5/8 or 7¾, blue, grey, brown, and loden green.  Scanty brims need not apply.
  • The address of a place in north-west North America a fellow might get his hat cleaned and blocked.
  • A Hamilton Ventura watch.


  • Volkswagen Type 2 (you might call it “van”, “station wagon”, “bus”, or “damn hippie thing” depending on where you’re coming from), properly restored, either a late splittie or an early bay.  Since we’re wishing, white upper with the lower part either orange or that sort of pastel teal.  And let’s include a full set of seat-belts in the restoration.

…and having said all that, let’s have a bit of philosophy to keep desire from running away with sense:

…Epictetus points out, “It is impossible that happiness, and yearning for what is not present, should ever be united.”  A better strategy for getting what you want, he says, is to make your goal to only want those things that are easy to obtain– and ideally to want only those things you can be certain of obtaining.

That’s from the early part of chapter 5 in A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy by William B. Irvine, and I quite recommend the whole book.  I could also mention something about the foolishness of grasping after any of the world’s ephemeral pleasures from Buddhist scripture, but I’m not a good enough Buddhist to stick firmly to the party line.


8 Responses to “The Wish List”

  1. You’ve got style, sir.

    Also, I tried out a Visconti Homo Sapiens last year–it’s an ENORMOUS pen, and very heavy when posted. But that 23K palladium nib is divine.

    • I’d suspected a pen made of the very stuff of the earth’s core (or at least the upper mantle) would have some weight; but it’s so darn interesting in its other aspects I’m willing to work out.

      …and now I’m wondering if anyone has the relative quantities of palladium and silver that Sheaffer was using in the 1950s. Hrm….

      • I certainly do not possess that knowledge, but it would be interesting to know.

        Yes, the Homo Sapiens is a heavy pen but it really is a beauty. The lava gives it such an interesting texture, and no matter where you grip the pen, whether right at the section or higher up, it’s just really comfortable.

  2. I just re-read your wish list. You MUST do yourself a favor and get a Pelikan M600 or M800. It’s divine. The nib even has a wee bit o’ flex.

    And I splurged on a Conklin 2NL crescent filler when I was at the Philadelphia Pen Show this winter. Stunning flex nib, writes like a dream.

    • Imperceptible amounts are even now trickling into a Pelikan fund. The new year (assuming the misinterpretations of a certain Mesoamerican calendar don’t bear fruit) should see an M600 in my hand.

  3. Walter Beaumont said

    Hah! i have a linen suit, by J. Petermans. I did own a vintage Type 3 VW, not a bus which is not a joy to drive. I like Hamilton watches, had a nice one pre-war that was my grandfathers, got stolen along with my rolex when they broke in the house. At present I’m more into collecting experiences, ie catching a trout on a vintage lure, or learning celestial navigation and operate my father’s sextant. Cheers, Walter.

    • I briefly and during a patch of financial hardship had a ’79 bus; joy is very subjective. For reasons no mechanic I met could fathom, it would slowly fill its oil pan with gasoline, so I sold it for cheaps to a friend with mechanical inclination and an enjoyment of mystery; joy is very subjective.

      Celestial navigation is intriguing, but I’ve never really progressed beyond “That’s north.” Sextant likewise, even if it does somewhat transgress injunctions against staring at the sun.

  4. […] The Wish List […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: