Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Coming Soon to a Website Near You

In early March I was contacted by someone who had brought some pens into a Bonhams appraisal clinic. Ivan Briggs, the business manager for pens, who I have worked with for more than three years, recognised immediately that there were some good pens there and directed her to me. We set up a meeting on a Thursday and I was able to review what we estimated to be about 1200 pens of all sorts, from the superb to the less so, but, in all, a collection worth having. We talked price and I left thinking that the pens were maybe, just maybe, worth the asking price.

On the way home, as I reviewed what I had seen and with the understanding, as we had left it, that the owner would shop the pens around, I called to say that I wanted to talk a bit more. We did. Bargaining ensued. I lost, and paid up.

As I came to understand it these pens were accumulated over two generations by the owner’s father and grandmother. The collection had none of the structure and theme that we associate with modern collecting. They were, in essence, an accumulation, but an accumulation of good pens. There were a handful of early Parker and Watermans eyedroppers, including a couple with overlays; a goodly number of Conklin Crescent fillers and Senior Enduras; and an assortment of later Watermans as well as Parker Senior Duofolds, several of them in red hard rubber and Mandarin yellow; and a somewhat lesser number of Wahls. You get the idea.

In the days before flea markets and upscale antiques shops one can only imagine these folks prowling dark, dusty junk shops picking up these pens for pennies. Ahh, the days.

On the following Saturday, I brought a cashier’s check to her home and took possession of the pens. What follow are images of the purchase and first examination and some images of the pens as they are readied for sale, followed by images of the first pens to be offered on The PENguin in the next few days. In the meantime, if, among them, you see something you want, give me a shout.

The pens barely fit into the shortened trunk of my wife's Hybrid Camry, no way I could have carried them in the roadster.

Lots of Parkers, the yellows and reds jumped out at me.

A first attempt to seriously examine and assess what I had bought.

A real mixed bag of early eyedroppers. I'll be sorting these out for a few months.
These are the first forty pens that I examined and restored. Some still need touching up.

These will go up on the site in the next few days. From left to right, 1897 Waterman’s 402 sterling overlay in the “Chased” Pattern, 1910s Parker 45 alternating abalone and mother-of-pearl slabs with chased barrel and cap bands, 1927 Parker Lucky Curve Duofold Senior in Mandarin yellow, 1920s LeBoeuf 55 in what I believe they called Tiger’s Eye, golden celluloid, 1920s Waterman’s 455 Sterling Silver Filigree overlay, 1920s Waterman’s 7 in red ripple hard rubber, Parker Lucky Curve Duofold Senior in red hard rubber with Large imprint, 1920s Moore Safety Pen in red mottled hard rubber, 1932 Parker Lucky Curve True Blue in blue and white celluloid, 1930s Waterman’s 52V in olive ripple hard rubber, 1928 Parker Lucky Curve Duofold Jr. in white on blue lapis celluloid

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