Style and Design: Items and Icons fountain pens
Saturday 27 December 1997
In theory, and in practice, old pens can work just as efficiently as new pens, if they are looked after properly. Buying old pens is not just the preserve of collectors and connoisseurs, they are an investment and don't tend to lose their value as modern pens do. A Waterman snake pen from the 1890s was sold by Bonham's recently for pounds 16,400, which was an exceptional price: there are cheaper alternatives. By and large, it is cheaper to buy a Twenties Parker Duofold pen than a modern version, or to get a 1930s Sheaffer celluloid decorated pen for around pounds 240. The main thing to take into consideration when buying an old pen is condition; after that, it's really down to your preferences for size, nib widths and design. There is no hard and fast rule of what collectors look for: some have been known to collect only green pens, others sets of pens, or limited editions. One thing is for sure, the image of President Reagan and President Gorbachev signing the historic INF Treaty in Washington in 1987 wouldn't have seemed so momentous if they had been signing their names with Biros.
From bottom, 1-7: UHF pen transmitter, pounds 600, from Spymaster, 3 Portman Square, London W1 (0171-486 3885); Parker Duofold fountain pen in red jasper, pounds 220, available from department stores and all major stationery retailers; Watermans No.7 (1928), red rippled fountain pen, pounds 185, The Battersea Pen Home (as before); Parker 75 (1966) sterling silver, Cisle design fountain pen, pounds 135, from The Battersea Pen Home (as before); Conway Stewart No.58 (1954) lilac marbled pen/pencil set, pounds 155, from The Battersea Pen Home (as before); Lamy Aluminium fountain pen, pounds 18.95, Liberty (as before)
Smooth runners, old and new; from top, 1-7: Yard-O-Led sterling silver fountain pen, pounds 205, Liberty, Regent Street, London W1 (0171-734 1234); Alfred Dunhill AD2000 carbon fibre fountain pen, pounds 575 (for stockists, call 0171-290 8600); Montblanc Meisterstuck mini Mozart fountain pen, pounds 295, from the Montblanc Boutique, 60-61 Burlington Arcade, London W1 (0171-493 6369); Montblanc Meisterstuck silver pinstripe solitaire fountain pen, pounds 579 (as before); Graf von Faber-Castell fountain pen in Pernambuco wood, pounds 320, from The Pen Shop, 199 Regent Street, London W1 (0171-734 4088) and branches nationwide; Conklin Nozac (1935) grey/black striated fountain pen with nickel trim, pounds 185, from The Battersea Pen Home (0171- 652 4695); Sheaffer Balance (1930) brown striped Radite fountain pen, pounds 245, The Battersea Pen Home (as before)
Life & Style blogs
Rugby players risk infectious skin condition by swapping bacteria on shared razors and towels
Jennifer Lawrence nude pictures leaked: Reddit removes 'The Fappening' board dedicated to sharing naked pictures of celebrities
Bulletproof Coffee: is adding butter to your coffee a good way to start the day?
Vogue under fire for 'Big Booty' article
With likes and selfies, the Yes Campaign takes the lead in the Scottish referendum on Facebook
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
- 1 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 2 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 3 Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
- 4 John Travolta addresses former pilot's gay romance allegations publicly for the first time
- 5 Kanye West stops concert after two fans don't stand up - doesn't realise one is in wheelchair and the other disabled
£35000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior QA Engineer (Agil...
£26000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Executive (SEO, PP...
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our retail client ...
£400 - £450 Per Annum possibly more for the right candidate: Clearwater People...