Thursday, July 30, 2009

One More From Bonhams

Just another tease. We will also be offering a matching skeleton watch.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Playing Around With the Camera

We're in the middle of another update on the site and to break the boredom, I'm playing around with some images that will shortly go up on the Gallery feature of the website. Thought I'd post them here first, with captions for those for whom they are not immediately recogniseable. (Does anyone but pen folk still read this?)
Pelikan 400NN, this took heavy photoshopping to come out even as well as it did. Maybe it was the black background, since I've had it easier shooting other transparent pens.
The 1964 Parker 75 Spanish Treasure Fleet started the mania for Limited Editions. The pen is made from salvaged Spanish silver, taken from the Anocha, an unfortunate Spanish Galleon caught and sunk by the Brits off Florida.
The OMAS Nishiji-Nuri, sprinkled with gold dust, another challenge to depict.
These Parker Senior Duofolds in the rare Mandarin colour are one of the highlights of the collection. Not only are they rare, but they are flawless, even the imprints are crisp and proud. I've used them a few times, not often though.
Parker 75 bicentennial, in pewter.
Pelikan 700/750, all 14 Karat gold pen and pencil. They are not a set, however, as the guilloche patterns do not match and the pencil is earlier than the pen, regular 750, 700NN.
Looking at it here, the rainbow capped 61s did not turn out so well. Capturing the stripes in the drawn metal is another challenge.
I think I did it better with these rainbow Parker 75s
The ne plus ultra of later Parker Vacumatics, made for less than a year in 1937, the so-called Vac Band. The Band featured the words Parker Vacumatic in high relief and turned out to be too expensive to manufacture. I need to do a close-up of the bands.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Tease

As many of you know, my daughter Anna (also known as research assistant and web designer) and I are writing the catalogue for the next big Bonhams Pen Auction in New York City tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, October 13, 2009, just following this year's blockbuster New York Pen Show.

Just to tantalise, here is an advance peek at two of the pens that will be among approximately two hundred lots.

Part of OMAS's Exploration series, this 18 K white gold overlay pen celebrates the moon exploration. Only 69 of these were made, and the packaging is almost as spectacular as the pen.

In 1997 OMAS offered a series they called Legni Pregiati (precious woods), made of a series of rare and beautiful woods. I have one of them in my collection. Some lucky bidder will walk away with the entire series, number 8 of 500.

And here are a few more:
You can find out a bit more about the sale at The New York Pen Show website

Stay tuned for more information.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Not Just Pens

It seems like the roses this summer have been even more spectacular than usual.


Happened to look over at the corner of my desk while packing up some pens to go out to clients and noticed what I had been writing and playing with over the holiday weekend.

This is not to be boastful, but grateful.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Return to Bonhams

Those of you who read the blog regularly know that last fall Anna and I were involved in researching and writing the catalogue for a big sale of of about three hundred lots, comprising four hundred pens, mostly modern, ultra high-end, limited edition pens that took place in Los Angeles in February. Unfortunately, I was not able to attend as I was just starting the semester in England. But the sale was a big success, especially in these difficult economic times.

Well, to cut the long story short, what we offered was just the proverbial tip of the iceberg. We still have another six hundred or more pens, including a number of the Chinese lacquer and very limited edition pens from large makers and small.

And, the sale was enough of a success that we are now planning and working on a sale to be held in New York in the fall.

So I thought that folks might like to see what we do to prepare for the sale and how we do it, basically following the process along from start to finish. I won’t be blogging the work every week, but will post entries as the process moves along. So here is the start:

The rear entrance to the building where we work
My colleague Ivan Briggs gave a far better name to what we formerly just called "the pen room." I'm not sure, though, who is in purgatory, us or the pens.
and more pens
Even after the first sale there are more than six hundred pens waiting
Tradition notwithstanding, we both work on laptops using print catalogues and books and online sources to create first the sales lists that will become databases that will form the core of our own catalogue for the second sale to be held in the fall in New York.
Here Anna examines a pen before including it in the first cut.