Wednesday, December 27, 2006

No Pens = Wrong

In what can only be termed as a cruel twist of fate, the arrival of my Nakaya has removed all thoughts of other pens from my mind. My Urushi Piccolo is seriously special, and certainly perfect - but this perfection has been my downfall.

I no longer crave more pens.

It seems appalling to admit this. It seems wrong! So very, very wrong!

There are no pens coming in the mail. There are no exciting eBay snipes. There are no eBay blurry-pictured, bargain-priced mystery pens! There is *nothing*.

The only pen news on my horizon is the fact I have ten (10!) fountain pens set aside to send to Richard Binder. Will some of these ten pens return with nibs so delightful that my interest is rekindled?

I for one, bloody well hope so. Frankly, the whole situation is highly disturbing and odd.

Monday, December 18, 2006

21 Days Off

I finished working for 2006 today, and now have three weeks to myself before I am due back on-site. I wouldn't have minded working over Christmas, because you get a hell of a lot more done with that many people away, but it wasn't to be. The end of year systems-freeze is in place, so my projects will have to wait until 2007.

Ha! The SAP Enterprise Portal work came my way again today. I last looked at that Portal in April and it was a load of crap back then. Unfortunately when I looked at the QA environment again today, I found that nothing has changed.

We're pushing for local site administration so that I can manage our content like I do for the current Plumtree Portal - if we have to have head office manage every little thing, I think we'll kick up a stink and ask to remain on Plumtree...

I cannot believe how ugly the Portal is either. No one seems to have idea how to effectively manipulate the interface, there are scrollbars galore in every single portlet/gadget and the positioning and layout is terrible. As a complete perfectionist, it offends me to even look at it.

Ok, enough nerdy ramble... onto pens!

Except that I have no pen news, other than I intentionally filled my Nakaya with Private Reserve Shoreline Gold, without rinsing out the Copper Burst. The resulting colour is delicious. :)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Pen Ramblings

More of an update today... no new news to share. :)

Firstly, my Nakaya Piccolo. It is incredibly perfect - I love this pen so, so much.

Next, my Aurora Mini Optima. Not long after I bought it, I felt the ink flow was a little too much. The wonderful Pamela B sorted it all out, and in a roundabout way also gave me the opportunity to have an Extra Fine stub nib ground for the pen. I’m really looking forward to getting it. :)

Two cute Pilot 78G's arrived from HisNibs today - a Teal and a Cinnabar with Fine nibs. Being Japanese this means they are more like extra-fine nibs, and so far the dip-test has indicated these pens are winners! Lovely service from Norman, as usual. :)

Perhaps it's just the combination of the EF nibs and dry-writing pens that I use, but my FPN Special-Edition ink isn't really so brown at all. In fact, it's a middle-of-the-road dirty red-orange. I can see with a wet writer that the colour would deepen, but really, there's a heck of a lot of red in there.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Nakaya Urushi Cigar

I took some good photos of my new Nakaya today, and have posted a comprehensive review over at the Fountain Pen Network: Nakaya Urushi - Cigar Piccolo


Monday, December 04, 2006

My Nakaya Arrived!

I picked it up this afternoon and it is exquisite! I think I will be buying a second one next year. :)

The Kuro-Tamenuri (Blackish-Red) Urushi finish is stunning...

More on this beauty later. :)

Sunday, December 03, 2006

December Pens

I've decided to do a post at the beginning of each month which summarises my current pen and ink combinations. Here's what December looks like:

- Bordeaux Pelikan M250, 0.5mm Cursive Italic nib / R&K Solferino.
Not having owned Pelikan Violet, I didn't realize how identical Solferino was to this ink until I tried it. Solferino is a beautiful ink and shades much better than the Pelikan. I don't think this ink colour suits the pen very well but the combination isn't unpleasant.

- Copper Esterbrook SJ, 2550 nib / R&K Scabiosa.
I'm always obsessive about ensuring my inks match or compliment the pens I put them in, so I wasn't sure if I liked seeing dusty grey-purple ink coming out of my Copper SJ, but now it's really grown on me. The 2550 is very fine and nice to write with, though slightly toothy.

- Pearl Grey Omas Dama, EF nib / Levenger Smokey.
Quite a dry writer with a very fine point, the mid-grey hues of Smokey look perfect coming from this pen. As the nib has a moderate amount of flex, the occasional wetter dark-grey strokes make for an interesting look to the page.

- Pilot MYU 701, F nib / Levenger Fireball.
An impressive pen with another superb nib, I take this one to work a lot. The ink is no longer red-orange - it's kind of a dirty-but-nice red-brown now, since there was some black in this pen which I couldn't clean out.

- Burgundy Esterbrook J, 9550 nib / Noodler's Tiananmen.
I had planned to use this pen for my Christmas cards, but it didn't look quite right as this is not a pure red 'festive' ink. While scribbling with this pen earlier today, I remembered how much I liked it and have packed it in my pen wallet to take to work tomorrow.

- Red Sailor 1911M, EF nib / R&K Magenta.
Again, not the best combination of colours. This pen will soon have a bright R&K red ink in it and I'll be much happier. The 14K nib is excellent, so I always have this pen inked.

- Yellow-Orange Aurora Sole Mini LE, EF nib / Stipula Moss Green.
One of my best writers ever, my Aurora hasn't been out of commission since I bought it. The nib just glides on the page and the warm brown-green tones of the ink suit the pen admirably.

I'm at a loss as to what to fill my Urushi Nakaya with though... hopefully inspiration will come when I have the pen in my hands.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

I've Sinned Terribly...

God help me, I was innocently cruising around the internet not two hours ago, when I saw it. "It" is a Nakaya Piccolo Blackish Red Tamenuri fountain pen with a 14K Extra Fine nib! I wrote about here, and I was going to get the Nakaya next year, but when opportunity knocks...!

Anyway, it will be here via FedEx in a couple of days - joy!

*Happy Dance*

So, I've sinned terribly by buying the Nakaya not three weeks after my Aurora, but what the hell - you're a long time dead. :)

Pilot MYU / Redipoint

My bargain Pilot MYU 701 arrived the other day and the engraving is so faint you can barely see it! Just as I'd hoped... :) It took all day to clean the old ink out - and I'm sure Black ink is still working it's way through - but it's a sweet, sweet writer. I had it at work today and it performed great.

Also, my vintage, rolled-gold Redipoint pen arrived today. It's a very handsome pen, and the condition is very, very good. However, the nib is not a superflex by any means (more a semi-flex), and there are one or two small dings. Overall though, it sure is a neat little pen.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Inky Fingers

Yesterday my FPN ink arrived. :)

I was a bit surprised by the packing method (newspaper in a cardboard box), and as I lifted the third bottle out of the box I saw a suspicious red smudge on the bottom of the box. The bottle had cracked, and was slowly leaching its contents all over the place. I couldn't find an empty ink bottle for the life of me, so I poured the whole thing into a zip lock bag. Probably not the best solution, but oh well.

Since two of the bottles were for friends, I don't actually have a bottle of FPN ink now - I do have a bag of ink (which looks freakishly like a bag of blood), and I have a bottle with ink stains all over its beautiful label. I don't know what to think of the ink, it very much reminds me of timber stain and has an odd opaqueness to it. I think it's all good though. I put it in my Pilot MYU. It writes very well and the colour is also really nice - very much a rusted red-brown.

I have enquired about the broken bottle, but don't really expect to hear anything. Sigh. Guess I had to run out of good fountain pen luck eventually.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


I snapped a pretty picture of a couple of my Esterbrooks this afternoon:

The Red J is the newest member of the family, and was very kindly traded from JimG. The condition is fabulous.

I have no idea why I ignored Esterbrooks for so long... I guess the colours didn't appeal at the time. Now that I know how great the SJ size is, I can't believe I went without one for so long. :)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Mini Optima!

It arrived yesterday and I love it! The colour is just gorgeous!

Happy, happy, happy!

See my FPN Review for more information.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Ooo... Shiny Gold

This morning, like the true fountain pen addict I am, as I was checking out posts on FPN a few minutes after having woken up, I FINALLY got a pretty rolled-gold flexible-nibbed pen from The Marketplace.

Usually I miss out on good pen deals because the board is most active while I'm sleeping, but today I saw a post made within minutes of my logging on. It is a Redipoint advertising pen - the price was good, the nib is superb (fully flexible extra-fine to extra-broad) and the condition is stellar. I was so excited I could barely type the PM and email to say I wanted the pen! (I'm pathetically obsessed, I know. ;)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Another Pilot MYU

Picked up a second gorgeous Pilot MYU 701 today. Condition isn't the best, but it will do for everyday use while my other pristine one stays safe in the collection. :)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Finally - Aurora Optima Mini

Yesterday I purchased the very pretty Bordeaux Auroloide Optima Mini fountain pen with EF nib! The price had been the lowest I had seen for some time, and I decided to put my Nakaya off until next year. (The fact that the Aurora was half the price of the Nakaya was important too. :)

Just before I began writing this post, I was checking out the WorldLux site when I noticed they had an Aurora Clearance Sale. My heart began to thump very slowly. As I clicked the link, I thought maybe I should just close the browser window as I would be better off not knowing how much cheaper the pen was compared to what I had just paid. When I saw the price, my relief was audible - it was $5 more than what I had paid.

When I see the pen - and I may see it by Friday - I will have to decide what ink to use for the first filling. The current contenders are Parker Penman Ruby or Private Reserve Burgundy Mist; however, I am concerned about the Optima’s ink-view window. I don't want one of these heavily-saturated red dye inks to stain the clear resin, although the chance of this actually happening is pretty slim.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Vintage Pen Sadness

A lovely Green Esterbrook Dollar Pen arrived this week, and I was very excited. However, the ‘rare’ 2314-M nib is annoyingly large, and the section has a crack - which I discovered after I inked it. Of course.

The last two vintage pens I have bought have been very disappointing. I should really be saving my money toward the Nakaya instead, which if it ever breaks; it's someone else’s problem which I don't have to pay for!

In addition, I sent my Fiesta Red Snorkel away for a service recently, and it came back filthy! I didn’t even think it was my pen – I thought the barrel had been swapped! So very disappointing and unnecessary. It’s too much trouble to wipe down a pen after you work on it? Sheesh.

As someone who cannot repair fountain pens, this is when collecting vintage stuff really bites.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Nakaya Pens

In my endless pursuit of super-fine nibs, I have looked several times at Nakaya pens. Their selection certainly is tempting, especially since the Danitrio Urushi pens I want are not available with EF nibs.

Hmm... a Nakaya Piccolo may be my Christmas present.


I received my ring top from Pendemonium yesterday, and it's pretty disappointing. "Very Good Condition" obviously means a 15% brassed lever, a 95% brassed ribbon ring, and 25% brassed cap rings. The nib is also useless - badly re-tipped with the majority of the tipping ball on the end of one tine. Unusable.

On a brighter note, in the same package was my long-awaited bottle of Stipula 'Moss Green' ink, which I love. The bottle is beautifully boxed and quite large in size at 70ml. I'm really happy with this ink - wonderful and super-smooth flow, terrific shading, and as it is not heavily saturated it has very good drying time.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Noodler's Russian Eternal Inks

There are some quite exciting new Noodler's inks on the Pendemonium website of late, especially the Russian Eternal collection colours, of which I have already ordered four. Currently my Pendemonium order looks like this:

- Diamine Umber
- PR Burgundy Mist
- R&K Morinda
- R&K Fernambuk
- Noodler's Russian Pushkin
- Noodler's Russian Dostoevsky
- Noodler's Russian Tolstoy
- Noodler's Russian Rachmaninov

Maybe I will also get Akhmatova if I find out a little more about the colour.

I am really looking forward to these inks, especially Pushkin! :)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Yay Money!

It was my week off this week, but I've been called into work to help out on an urgent corporate re-branding project. The hours anticipated are going to be long, but at the end of three weeks I should walk away with about 4K - woohoo!

Some pen news for the week...

I bought a neat little ringtop pen from Pendemonium earlier this week - Blue celluloid, fine semi-flex nib, but no maker. The lines put me in mind of a couple of Moore ringtops I've seen... but until I get the pen in my hands I won't know for sure. Before the pen shipped out, Sam e-mailed to tell me their Stipula ink shipment had arrived, and that they could add my back-ordered Stipula 'Moss Green' ink to the package and ship the pen and ink out together. Brilliant service as always.

Yesterday I sent off two Sheaffer's Snorkels to Melbourne Vintage Pens for repairs. One is my beloved Fiesta Red Clipper with the Needlepoint nib, and the other is a Black Statesman I am going to gift someone with.

What else... oh, my Waterman Lady Patricia! It has a great flexible nib which I love, but it just wasn't writing right, and I couldn't see anything obviously wrong with the nib. I spent the better part of a day carefully trying to widen the tines to increase the ink flow, but still keep the line fine. After a lot of fiddling, I finally got the pen writing well again, but it came at the cost of my neck and upper back getting very aggravated from the hunched-over posture I kept while working on the nib.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Handwriting & Lettering

I decided to resume my abandoned handwriting improvement lessons yesterday afternoon, and my first practise session went well. I resumed with italic capitals since I had been going quite well with them previously. My handwriting has never been bad, but in high school I acquired a rather torturous four-fingered grip. Last year when the amount of writing I was doing increased, muscle fatigue and pain started to set in, so I corrected my erroneous grip and at the same time started to learn basic italic to improve legibility at speed.

In other writing news, I recently found a slender paperback called "Pens and Calligraphy: The William Mitchell Guide", which was published in 1987. I found my copy of this book on the dusty shelves of my local art supplies store. The book isn’t an instruction manual, but it has some very useful hints and solid information. All through the book are handwritten exemplars and very useful illustrations of pen angles and the type of William Mitchell nib used to form each type of lettering.

As a result of this handy book, I have ordered some new dip pen nibs and holders. Some of the nibs I have ordered are:

  • Hunt Imperial 101
  • Gillott 303
  • Gillott 404
  • Gillott 290
  • William Mitchell Copperplate Elbow
  • Brandauer Oriental 342

Regarding the WM Copperplate Elbow, Copperplate has been on my mind for some time, so I looked through the handful of lettering books I have, and found to my disappointment that Copperplate will be a very difficult hand to learn. Not that any calligraphic hand is at all easy, but rather Copperplate will be even more difficult as it is an extremely awkward hand for right handed folk, due to the very unnatural angle of the writing slant. Hopefully the elbow nib which corrects the angle for my right hand will make life a tad easier.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Damn You, Omas!

So, I'm negotiating with someone for another Omas Celluloid Princess today, which if I buy it, will make five Omas Celluloid’s.

Since there are seven colours in the classic celluloid collection, if I buy that fifth pen, the collector in me will never be able to rest until the sixth and seventh colours are obtained.

I own four Celluloid’s now, and the collector is not demanding to be appeased, but if a fifth pen is bought, a threshold has been crossed and it would pointless to stop there. Stopping at four pens is, for some reason, much more acceptable.

Unfortunately the colour is not the only colour I really lust for – Senape (Saffron) Blue. My ultimate Omas Celluloid would be a Senape Dama. (Please alert me if you have one to sell, by the way!)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Aurora Optima Mini's

While I have wanted an Aurora Burgundy Optima Mini for some time, I ended up buying the Sole Mini LE instead. I still want the Burgundy Mini, but I have also been thinking about adding the lesser-known Black Optima Mini to my collection.

The pens are identically sized, but the chrome-trim Mini's have 14K nibs, whereas the Sole Mini has an 18K nib.

While obtaining the Burgundy model is no problem, the Black model is not distributed in the US. It appears to be widely available in Japan and parts of Europe, but the exchange rate in these countries is quite bad for the Australian Dollar.

Also, getting one with an EF nib is no easy task. Such a shame...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

An Esterbrook and a FOURTH Omas

In pen news, I received my lovely Esterbrook Copper SJ in the mail today, plus a wonderful little assortment of nibs as a gift! Some people in the fountain pen community are incredibly kind. :) I also ordered two bottles of the FPN special edition ink, "FPN Galileo Manuscript Brown". I don't have a true brown in my ink collection, so I'm really looking forward to getting a nice 'bulletproof' brown. :)

In other pen news, I bought *another* Omas 'Princess' from the Celluloid Collection. This time it was the Scarlet Red colour.

That makes four Omas Celluloids.

In two months.

I think I must join Pen Collectors Anonymous.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Uh Oh - A Third Omas...

Omas addiction is a terrible thing.

Before I talk about my third Omas (which I bought today), I have good news considering my second Omas - the custom XF which was ground for me is being replaced for nothing with a genuine Omas 18K EF nib. Thank goodness. :)

Today I added a third Omas to my collection, the Omas Dama (1930 size) model from the Celluloid Collection. The Dama is like the Princess, but slightly larger and has a cap clip. As it was the last pen in the store, I had no choice in the colour, which is Pearl Grey. It does look striking with the rolled gold trim though, better than the rhodium (HT) trim looks, in my opinion.

I now have the following Omas Celluloid beauties:

• 1993 Omas Princess, Saft Green.
• 1994 Omas Princess, La Royale Blue.
• 1996 Omas Dama, Pearl Grey.

I think my Omas craving has been satisfied - for now. :)

Friday, September 29, 2006

The Second Omas

Today my long-awaited Omas Princess in La Royale Blue, with custom EF nib arrived - and it is crap.

The pen wasn't packed properly, the box is missing and the custom nib is completely terrible.

I'm too upset to even write any more about it.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The First Omas

My perfect Omas Princess arrived yesterday, and it is superb. This is the 'Saft Green' colour from the Omas Celluloid Collection.

The nib is a Fine, but writes more like a Medium, so I guess it will go off to Brisbane to get a little nib work done. I am toying with the idea of having the nib made into an Extra Fine Cursive Italic.

I've removed the ribbon ring from the top of the Princess, and will replace it with a similar brass ribbon ring - this is so that the silk tassel stays perfect and the pen is more practical.

Sadly, I think Omas addiction has begun. I am enquiring about the price of an Omas Dama, or for a little more money I could get the Omas Venice Carnivale. The Carnivale has been in my sights for a little while now, and I would love to add it to my collection for the right price. The right price is of course, much less than anyone will ever sell it for.

In other news my Pilot MYU 701 arrived this morning and it is great! The Fine nib is more like a superfine - just the way I like them. :)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Pilot Pens Are Sexy

I bought a Pilot MYU 701 Stainless Steel fountain pen this weekend - it's very, very sexy. This is the 'short' version, not the Murex.

Two Omas Princess pens I am awaiting should arrive this week. (Yes, I caved and bought a second one.) I can't wait to test the custom nib on the La Royale Blue. If it's right, I'll send the Saft Green down for the same treatment.

I've also just ordered several bottles of ink, so my mailbox will be a very exciting place for the next few weeks!

Sometimes I simply have no discipline when it comes to pen collecting...

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Early Kaweco Toledo

Well, the mystery lever-filler I bought last month turned out to be a bit of a prize! It is an early Kaweco ladies model, and the Toledo overlay work is stunning!

A big thank you goes to Thomas, whose help was invaluable in determining the maker. :)

You can read all about the pen on the FPN.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Pen Arrivals + Omas!

It's been a nice couple of weeks for pens! My Parker Petite Pastel is gorgeous, as is my Waterman Lady Patrician. I will have to take some pictures to post this weekend.

Yesterday while I was in the city I encountered, by sheer luck, an Omas Princess. This long-discontinued ladies fountain pen is quite collectable, and to find a NOS one is superb. The store I found it in also had an Omas Dama - both pens were gorgeous. These were the last two pens the store had from Omas, as there has not been an Omas distributor for Australia for a couple of years now. I bought the Princess at about 60% off its original tag price - very sweet. :)

Monday, August 21, 2006

Yet More Small Pens

I added three more nice pens to my collection in the last few days: a Parker 'Petite Pastel' in Apple Green, a Sheaffer Flat Top Junior in Jade Green, and a Waterman Lady Patricia in Onyx. The Waterman is especially nice, as it has an attractive red hard rubber section and nib feed.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Ring Tops & Odd Lever-Fillers

I picked up half a dozen small ring top fountain pens in the last week, most are from the 1940’s and were priced from $6 to $40, with only the cheapest one needing to be restored. Amongst these is a very nice 1926 Parker Lady Duofold, in Red Permanite plastic with a wide gold cap-band - at last I have a Lady Duofold!

The other ring top pens I bought are from ‘third tier’ manufacturers – Majestic, Arnold etc. The pens are in excellent condition, they have barely been used, and some have 14K nibs, so I’m sure a couple will be very sweet little writers.

This week I also overspent a little on a weird lever-filler which had captured my interest. As a fountain pen collector I have no brand preferences. I will buy a pen because it appeals to me – the purchase is usually based on the shape, colour or size. A pen may be complete tat, but if I think the colour or finish is great, I’ll buy it.

When I saw the weird lever-filler, the latent ‘organized collector/accumulator’ in me must have surfaced. I sometimes get a bit fixated on an object, and even though it may be of little use/importance/value, I must have it. I'm not sure who made the lever-filler, but I think it's an early model from a German brand. The pen does have quite a bit of gold Toledo decoration, but bits are broken and missing and the overall condition is poor. So while it is old, funky and fairly unappealing, the history of the pen interested me.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Morton Pen & Pencil Set

In my search for vintage flat top and ring top pens, I picked up this cute set over the weekend:

A Morton (sub-brand of Morrison) 'Duet' set, which looks just like a 1920's Mandarin Yellow Parker Lady Duofold... minus the third cap band. Hope it's a nice writer. :)

Friday, August 04, 2006

Fiesta Red

Today my last eBay Mystery Snorkel arrived, and it has turned out to be Fiesta Red Clipper. It's in good condition, but the best thing is that it has a beautiful PdAg "A4" Triumph nib - a true Accountant (Needlepoint) nib, which is scarce in itself.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Sexy Black Sheaffer

Another little pen arrived at the post office for me yesterday - a very gorgeous Sheaffer 46 Special Short Ringtop. This is a black Radite pen with gold-filled cap band, ring, and lever.

The pen is from around 1925, and I was lucky enough to find it in superb condition, and with a newly fitted sac. The 46 Ringtop measures about 4.5" long capped, and posts to almost 6". I immediately liked this feel of this pen in the hand, and find the simple black and gold combination really striking.

The 14K yellow-gold 'Sheaffer's 46 Special' nib is quite large compared to the size of the pen, and features a heart-shaped vent hole. While the nibs were not marked, I believe this nib is a Extra Fine - an added bonus. When I received the pen, I loupe’d the nib, and found the tines were misaligned, so I carefully corrected them, and now this 46 is a wonderfully smooth writer. I’m really pleased with this pen, and so glad it caught my eye!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

More Finds

The past week has been a good one for vintage pens. I picked up a small Sheaffer lever-filler which looked interesting - a black 46 Special Short Ringtop. A nice one for the small pens collection.

I found another Snorkel also, a Fiesta Red Clipper by all accounts! This is very exciting - it was such a bargain too... ;)

Still having very little luck locating Snorkels with EF nibs though...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Aurora Arrived!

This week has been an extremely good week, pen-wise. I went to the Post Office yesterday morning, and got a very pleasant surprise when I discovered that my Aurora Sole Minima from Oscar Braun had arrived - two days before it was expected!

After I opened the package, I set up a camera, took some photos and wrote a fairly comprehensive Review, which I have posted at the Fountain Pen Network. Lots of nice photos are included.

I'm very impressed with the Sole Mini, and very, very pleased that I bought it!

Some Small Pens: Orange Marble Montegrappa Micra, Green/Black Pelikan M300, Aurora Sole Minima LE.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Aurora Update

I had an e-mail from Huy this morning, he has received his Aurora Sole Minima! I raced over to FPN to look at his review, and I'm very pleased - the colour is great and the nib sounds excellent. Pam has confirmed that my Sole Minima has arrived in AU, and that I will have it on Friday!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Overview: Sailor 1911M (Colors)

In my continuing quest for fountain pens with truly extra-fine nibs, I put a Red Sailor 1911M on my wish list, having read many favourable things about 14K Sailor nibs. I purchased the 1911M from the Pear Tree Pen Company, in addition to a handy Write Fill kit. James was very helpful and pleasant to deal with, as well as happy to share his knowledge about fountain pens with fellow enthusiasts.

In the hand, the 1911M feel is comparable to my Pelikan 250, but the Sailor is heavier – a plus, as Pelikans always feel too light to me. I don’t think the 1911M feels cheap; indeed it feels no cheaper than the 250. I did notice that the threads on the Sailor grip feel smoother than the Pelikan grip threads - you don’t seem to notice them so much. The cap posts firmly, and the pen is the same length posted as a M400. Without the cap posted, the 1911M has a perfect balance for me and feels great.

One interesting thing which I don’t remember reading about, is that the conical end caps aren’t actually black, although they do look it – hold them up to the light and they are an incredibly dark, yet translucent red.

The 14K EF nib is the real star of the 1911M and definitely produces a fine line – this was the selling point for me, and it lived up to my expectations perfectly. I find the Sailor nib to be a little springier than the 14K EF nib on my M400. Upside down, the Sailor nib produces a line width almost identical to my Binder 0.2mm XXXF Needlepoint nib, but the Sailor line is marginally thicker, and the nib slightly smoother! Another plus!

The 1911M fills via a small piston-converter, which is included. This will be a downside for some, but I don’t mind – I go through the ink faster, and get to change colours way more often than with my Pelikan’s.

Overall I’m really happy with the 1911M, and would like to get a second one in Yellow. :)

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Pen & Ink News

Yesterday I had the nicest presents waiting for me in my PO box - a beautiful Sailor 1911M and the long-awaited Levenger ink!

Sailor 1911M
I'm really pleased with the Sailor - it's nib puts my Pelikan nibs to shame. I've filled the Sailor with Levenger 'Fireball' ink, and it's a very nice combination! I'm going to take a few photographs of the Sailor tomorrow, and then I will add a more detailed overview about the pen here.

Levenger Inks
I really love the Levenger 'Slightly Wild' ink colours. To my surprise, I find 'Skies of Blue' to be a very pretty blue, and normally I don't care for blue ink. 'Pinkly' is a great hot-pink shade also.

Snorkel Dislikes Noodlers
On an interesting ink note, my new (to me) Sheaffer Snorkel started to write very poorly the other day. It was two days after I had filled it with Noodlers Saguaro Wine, and the pen had started to write so dry that I thought I must not have filled it with enough ink. I filled it again, and there was no change. Then I rinsed it and tried some different inks, again, no change. I then figured something had gotten in and clogged the snorkel tube.

I sent a little e-mail to Peter Ford, who serviced the Sheaffer after I bought it, and he advised me to flush the pen with a weak ammonia solution. Sure enough, after doing that several times, the pen wrote a lot better when I had re-filled it with Caran d'Ache Blue ink. I guess the Noodlers is just too saturated for my Snorkel, which is a pretty dry writer.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Sailor Pens

I'm looking forward to getting my first Sailor fountain pen this week - a Red 1911M with an Extra-Fine nib. As my Pelikan EF nibs turned out to be rather wet writers, I started craving something truly fine to write with, and the 1911M seems as if it will do the job admirably.

At the time I bought my 1911M, I couldn't see any other Sailor pens which I wanted to own. That has now changed, after I did some looking around and discovered the Sailor Sapporo Mini. The Sapporo mini is an extra short version of the Sailor Sapporo, which is a slightly smaller pen than the 1911M. The capped / posted sizes are:

• 106mm/135mm - 4.1/5.3" (Sapporo Mini)
• 124mm/135mm - 4.8/5.3" (Sapporo)
• 135mm/150mm - 5.3/5.8" (1911M)

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Aurora Sole Mini LE Ordered

Last week I ordered an Aurora Sole Minima Limited Edition fountain pen from Oscar Braun. It will be here in a couple of weeks!

Today I phoned a local pen store, and was told the Sole Mini wouldn't be in Australia until September. Also, they will be charging an incredible $900AU for it. *Jaw-drops* - I'll pay less than half of that amount by buying online.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Fountain Pens: My Collection

My fountain pen collection tends toward smaller-sized pens which are generally no longer than 5"/130mm capped. While most of my pens are a great deal smaller than 5", there are a couple of exceptions - primarily for Sheaffer Snorkels.
I prefer celluloid or resin to metal, bright or unusual colours to patterns - and Extra Fine nibs. (But I will sometimes overlook the nib size if I find a pen with very appealing overall style or construction.)

Updated: 06.08.2009

(Pictures below!)


  • Aurora
    Optima Mini, Bordeaux. 14K XF Stub2.
    Fuoco Aurea Minima LE, Red Marble. 18K EF.
    Sole Aurea Minima LE, Yellow Marble. 18K EF.
  • Bexley
    Simplicity 2007 FPN LE, Blue Cracked Ice. Steel F.
  • Danitrio
    Takumi "Mt. Fuji" Maki-e. 14K Flexy XXXF Needlepoint3.
  • Duke
    Mini Torpedo, Black. Steel/14K F. (x2)
    Chaplin, Black. Steel/22K M.
  • Guider Pen Works
    Celluloid Eyedropper, Mandarin Yellow. Steel F.
    Acrylic Eyedropper Small, Rose. Steel F.
    Ebonite Eyedropper Medium, Olive. Steel F.
    Devika, Ebonite Eyedropper Mini. Steel F. (x2)
  • Hero
    329. Steel F. (x2)
  • Jean Pierre Lépine
    Attila, Champagne. Steel 0.3 Stub1.
    Indigo Murano, Orange. Steel XXXF Needlepoint1.
  • Lamy
    ABC Pen & Pencil Set. Steel F. (x2)
    Lady, Rosenthal Porcelain. 14K 0.4 Cursive Italic1.
  • Montegrappa
    Micra, Orange Marble. 18K XXXF Needlepoint1.
  • Nakaya
    Cigar Piccolo, Chinkin Nuri-hanashi Shu Palmet 14K SEF.
    Cigar Piccolo, Kuro-Tamenuri Urushi. 14K EF.
    Cigar Piccolo, Olive Green Urushi. 14K Elastic SEF.
  • Omas
    Dama, Pearl Grey. 18K EF.
    Princess, Blue La Royale. 18K XXXXF Super-Needlepoint1.
    Princess, Saft Green. 18K 0.3 Cursive Italic1.
    Princess, Scarlet Red. 18K XXXF Needlepoint1.
    Princess, Scarlet Red. 18K EF.
    Princess, Senape (Saffron) Blue. 18K 0.3 Cursive Italic3.
    Princess, Arco Green. 18K XXF4.
  • Parker
    Vector, Stainless Steel. Steel F.
    Vector, Matte Black Anodized. Steel F.
  • Pelikan
    M200, Yellow "Citroenpers" SE. 14K EF.
    M201 (Asia), Clear Transparent. 14K XXXF Needlepoint1.
    M250, Bordeaux. 14K EF.
    Souverän M300, Green-Black. 14K 0.3 Crisp Italic1.
    Souverän M400, Tortoise-White. 14K 0.3 Stub1.
    Souverän M400, Tortoise-Dark Brown "Kaufhof" SE. 14K 0.3 Cursive Italic4.
    Souverän M450, Tortoise-Vermeil. 18K EF.
    M640, "Polar Lights" SE. 18K XXXF Needlepoint1.
  • Pilot
    78G, Steel F.
    Capless Décimo, Pearl White. 18K F.
    Cashew Urushi, Gold Dust & Dark Green. 18K F.
    Custom 98, Deep Yellow. 14K EF.
    Desk Pen DPP-100, Steel EF.
    Etched Floral, Stainless Steel & Green-Gold Lacquer. 18K F.
    Elite Short, Floral White. 18K F Script.
    Elite Silver, Rolled Sterling Silver. 18K F Script.
    Legno 89s, Deep Red. 14K F.
    "L", Red Shimmer. 14K F.
    MYU 701, Stainless Steel. F. (H674)
    MYU 701, Stainless Steel. F. (H777)
    MYU M90, Stainless Steel. F.
    Penko Mini, White. Steel F.
    Prera, Lime Green. Steel F.
    Red Stripe, Red & White. 14K F.
  • Platinum
    Carbon (Desk) Pen, Black. Steel EF.
    Floral Relief / Karakusa, Gold. 18K F.
    Fluted, Floral Band. 18K F.
    Short, Clover Motif. 18K Semi-Flex F.
    Short, Deep Red Gold Sparkle 18K F.
    Stainless Steel, Black Squares. 18K F. (x2)
    Riviere, Sterling Silver, Ceramic Inlay. 14K F.
    Sterling Silver, Cashew Urushi. 18K F.
    Sterling Silver, Vermeil Relief. 18K F.
    (Original) Zogan, Gold Inlay, Black. 18K F.
  • Rotring
    Core, Red Balium. Steel XS.
  • Sailor
    1911 LE, "Hanshin Tigers", White-Black Stripes, 21K M. (77 pieces)
    1911M, Red. 14K EF.
    Chalana, Stainless Steel. 14K EF.
    Charmer, Silver Pink. Steel F.
    Ink Pen, Black. Steel F Stub.
    Manga/Comics (Desk) Pen, Green. Steel EF.
    Mini Flighter, Stainless Steel. Steel F. (x2)
    Professional Gear Slim, Black. 14K EF.
    Pro Gear Slim SE, Spring White. 14K F.
    Pro Gear Slim SE, Spring Orange. 14K F.
    Pro Gear Slim LE, "Hougado Brown", Demonstrator. 14K EF.
    Pro Gear Slim LE, "Hougado Green", Demonstrator. 14K EF.
    Pro Gear Slim Mini, Black. 14K EF.
    Pro Gear Slim Mini, Yellow. 14K EF.
    Pro Gear Slim Mini SE, "Morita Original", Turquoise. 14K F.
    Pro Gear Slim Mini LE, "Snow White", White. 14K EF. (100 pieces)
    Pro Gear Mini LE, "Naginata", Bordeaux. 21K MF Naginata.
    Pro Gear SE, Dark Metallic Red. 21K F.
    Pro Gear LE, "Dandelion", Yellow Demonstrator. 21K M. (50 pieces)
    Pro Gear LE, "KAN", Scarlet. 21K EF.
    Pro Gear LE, White with Pink Gold. 21K EF.
    Pro Gear LE, "Bunzo", Smoke Green. 21K EF. (25 pieces)
    Pro Gear LE, "Ujuku", Mandarin Yellow. 21K F. (100 pieces)
    Silver Fluted, Sterling Silver & Pink. 18K F.
    Silver Fluted, Sterling Silver & White. 18K F.
    "21" Short, Pink. 21K EF.
    Short, Steel, Chequered Band. 14K F.
    Short, Steel, Brushed. 18K WG F.
    Short, Steel, Black Stripes. 18K WG F.
    *RARE* Short, Steel, Arabesque Floral. 18K WG F. (Image)
    *RARE* Short, Steel, Egyptian Hieroglyphs. 18K WG F. (Image)
  • Sheaffer
    'For the Doll' Ringtop, Orange. Steel F.
  • Uranus
    NJF, Tortoise Lacquer. Steel F.
  • Visconti
    Viscontina, Dark Green / Vermeil. 18K M.
  • Waterman
    Laureat, Red-Gold. Steel M.
    Lady Charlotte, Orange. Steel F.
    Watermina Set, Rust Red. 18K B.
  • WTM Pens
    El Toro, Macassar Ebony. Steel XF.
1 Richard Binder Nib Modification
2 Other Nib Modification
3 Deb Kinney Nib Modification
4 Dillon Ang Nib Modification


  • Astura
    Nova, 1930's. Green Marble Celluloid. Button. 14K XF.
  • Duchessa (Montegrappa)
    1930's. Pink-Red Celluloid. Button. 14K Flexible F.
  • Esterbrook
    J Double-Jewel. Red. Lever. 9250 EF Firm / 2550 EF Firm.
    J Double-Jewel. Blue. Lever. 2550 EF Firm.
    SJ Double-Jewel. Grey. Lever. 9128 EF Semi-Flex.
    SJ Double-Jewel. Copper. Lever. 2550 EF Firm.
    № 447 Dipless Desk Set. Black. 9668 F Firm.
  • Grieshaber
    Baby Grand Ringtop, 1920's. BHR. 14K F.
  • Kaweco
    *RARE* Toledo, 1923. Lever. 14K A. Morton Left-Oblique M. (Image) (History)
  • Majestic
    1940's. Green Stripe, Ink Vue. Lever. 14K M.
  • Melbi (Merz & Krell)
    № 6, ~1920. BHR. Safety. Steel M.
    № 1107, Wartime ~1938. Black Chased Celluoid, BHR. Piston. Palladium M. (Image)
  • Parker
    "21" 1950's. Black. Aerometric. Steel XF.
    Petite Pastel Ringtop, 1919. Apple Green. Button. 14K Lucky Curve B.
  • Pelikan
    Graphos, 1940's. Black Bakelite. 12 Nib Set.
  • Salz
    Peter Pan Ringtop, 1920's. 2.25" Mini. Gold-Filled. Bulb. 14K M.
    Peter Pan Ringtop, 1920's. 2.25" Mini. Amber. Bulb. 14K Stub.
  • Sheaffer's
    46 Special Short Ringtop, 1925. Black. Lever. 14K XF.
    Autograph, Black. Snorkel. 14K XF. (AU)
    Clipper, Fiesta Red. Snorkel. PdAg A4 Account / XXF.
    Valiant, Black. Solid 14K Gold Snorkel Tube. 14K XF.
    Valiant, Burgundy. Snorkel. 14K XF.
    Valiant, Fern Green. Snorkel. 14K F.
  • Waterman
    Lady Patricia, 1932. 'Onyx' RHR Section/Feed. Lever. 14K Flexible F.
    № 452½V Ringtop, 1920's. BHR Sterling Overlay. Lever. 14K F.
Vintage Japanese Pens:

  • Almite
    Wartime 1940's. Aluminium, Gold Trim. Lever. Steel F.
    Wartime 1940's. Aluminium, Nickel Trim. Lever. Steel F.
  • Ever
    Unknown 1950's. Ebonite & Resin, Gold Trim. Bulb Filler. Steel XF.
  • Pilot
    "R" Vest Pocket, Prewar ~1936. Red Celluloid. Lever. 14K XF.
    № 6, Wartime ~1938. Black-Red Celluloid. Lever. Steel F.
    Super, 1960's. Black. Lever. Steel 'Hardgilt' Flexible XF.
  • Platinum
    10 Year, ~1950. Ivory Celluloid. Lever. Steel F.
  • Sailor
    Wartime 1940's. Ebonite, Urushi. Eyedropper. Steel F.
  • Well
    № 12, ~1938. Ebonite, Black Urushi. Eyedropper. Steel XF.
    Diamond, Wartime 1940's. Ebonite, Urushi. Eyedropper. Steel F.
  • Yotubisi
    Oversize, ~1955. Ebonite, Red Urushi. Eyedropper. Pladium F.

Images: (Click for larger version.)

Italian Celluloid
Omas Princess Saft Green, Omas Princess Blue La Royale, Aurora Aurea Sole Minima LE Yellow Marble, Montegrappa Micra Orange Marble.

Nakaya Piccolo Red Black

Nakaya Piccolo Chinkin Palmet

Nakaya Piccolo Olive Green

Miscellaneous Modern
Rotring Newton, Duke 2007 Mini, Sailor 1911M, Jean-Pierre Lepine: Attila (2) / Indigo, Montegrappa Micra, Aurora Sole Minima LE.

Miscellaneous Modern
Pelikan: M250 / M300 Souveran / M400 Souveran / M201 Demonstrator, Laban Banker (2), Duke Ruby, Parker: 45 Classic / Arrow / Vector (2).

Orange and Green
Sailor PG Slim Metallic Dark Green, Montegrappa Micra, Pelikan Souveran M450, Sailor PG Slim Spring Orange.

Miscellaneous Vintage
Majestic, Townsend, Parker: Lady Duofold / Petit Pastel, Sheaffer: 46 Special / Jade Junior, Waterman: Lady Patricia / Overlay 452 1/2 V, Grieshaber Baby Grand.

Jean Pierre Lepine
Attila Champagne, Indigo Murano Amber, Attila Red.

Parker Ring Tops
Lady Duofold Lacquer Red, Petite Pastel Apple Green (Discoloured), Petite Pastel Apple Green (Heavily Discoloured).

Pilot MYU 701

Aurora Mini Optima

OMAS Princess, Scarlet Red x2

Japanese Pens I
Platinum Short Clover, Platinum Sterling Urushi, Platinum Stainless, Platinum Sterling Riviere, Pilot Custom 98, Pilot Penko Mini, Sailor Mini.

Japanese Pens II
Sailor Chalana, Sailor Eyedropper, Sailor Short Arabesque, Pilot Lever-Fill, Pilot Celluloid, Sailor Sapporo Mini, Platinum Karakusa.

Japanese Pens III
Pilot 78G (4), Pilot Custom 98, Pilot MYU 701 (3), Pilot Penko Mini.

Japanese Pens IV
Platinum Karakusa BP, Sailor Sapporo, Platinum Sterling Riviere, Platinum Black Squares, Platinum Sterling Red Squares, Platinum Zogan, Pilot Etched Floral, Nakaya Piccolo, Sailor Arabesque.

White Sailor Pro Gears
Snow White Mini LE, Spring White Slim, Pink Gold LE

Yellow Sailor Pro Gears
Yellow Mini, Ujuku Mandarin Yellow LE, Dandelion LE.

Sailor & Pilot
Sailor Arabesque and a pre-war Pilot vest pocket in rich red celluloid.

Sailor Egyptian Hieroglyphs

Danitrio Fujisan

Pen Assortment

Pelikan Souveräns
M450 Souveran, M400 Souveran Brown, M400 Souveran White.

Sheaffer's Assortment
1970's: CF School Pen, CF 'For the Doll' Ring Top. 1950's: Snorkel Autograph. 1920's: 46 Special Short Ring Top, Jade Junior.

Sheaffer's Snorkels
Black Autograph, Pastel Blue Clipper, Fiesta Red Clipper, Burgundy Valiant, Black Valiant.
(Fern Green not shown.)

OMAS Celluloid
OMAS Senape (Saffron) Blue Princess, Pearl Grey Dama, Blue La Royale Princess, Saft Green Princess, Scarlet Red Princess.

Small Pens I (Mostly Italian)
Sailor Sapporo Mini (4), OMAS Princess (4), Visconti Viscontina, Aurora Mini Optima (3).

Small Pens II
Pelikan M400 White-Tortoise, Pelikan M300 Green-Black, Pilot Prera, Pilot Custom 98, Aurora Mini Optima, Pilot Legnos 89s, OMAS Dama, Sailor Sapporo Mini, Sailor Sapporo.

Nibs by Richard Binder

Kaweco Toledo Size Comparison
Kaweco Toledo, Sheaffer's Snorkel.

Waterman Audace
Purple Link, Midnight Glamour, Ultra Lace, Blossom Kimono, Ethnic Chic, Indian Vibes, Lady Cordoba.
(Happy Pop and Enchanted Garden not shown.)