Mightier than the Sword
We are pleased to offer for sale two fabulous single-owner collections of mainly fountain pens from such illustrious manufacturers as Parker, Nakaya, Pelikan, Pilot, Montblanc, Sheaffer, Conway Stewart, Lamy, Omas, Waterman, Danitrio and more. They range from gorgeously layered enameled Japanese examples, which can take weeks to produce and are works of art in themselves, to futuristic custom made titanium models and rare limited editions.
In this age of touchscreens and keyboards we can often go for days without holding a pen, but writing is something so intrinsic to us that a pen falls naturally into familiar grooves when picked up again.
Humans appear to have always felt the need to make a (literal) mark, whether it’s prehistoric cave paintings in Lascaux or scrawling your name on a bus-stop. From Ancient Egyptian reed pens through quills, to the copper nib found in the ruins at Pompeii and on to ballpoints and felt-tips, the pen has a wide and rich history. Pen collecting is very accessible with many affordable options as well as much scarcer and expensive choices; unsurprisingly, it also has a correspondingly large network of collectors and enthusiasts.
One of the most desirable models in the auction is this Danitrio Fountain Pen Network (FPN) Fellowship maki-e fountain pen, which was originally only available to members and is therefore very hard to come by on the open market. It was made using the Byakudan-Nuri process of layering urushi (Japanese lacquer) and then further decorating with gold powder, leaf and enamel by a skilled artist. Only 60 of these beautiful pens were produced, so this is a wonderful opportunity to secure a very scarce and well-crafted pen. It carries an estimate of £400-500
A more other-worldly hand crafted example is this Classic Pens LB3 Jupiter fountain pen. They were manufactured in England but display the planet Jupiter, its orbiting moons and three constellations of 18ct gold and sterling silver stars. According to the craftsman Paul Rossi, the pens took a minimum of 10 hours to complete each inlay design and no two pens are exactly the same. Only 100 of them were produced and this example is No.37 and comes complete with the original box and paperwork. The estimate is £700-800.
At the more affordable scale of the range are many pens by Parker, who have been producing luxury pens since their founding in Janesville, Wisconsin, by George Safford Parker in 1888. While Parker have manufactured many high-end scarce models in their time (including this cased “Empire State” set example), their ‘51’ range introduced in 1941 is regarded as the most widely used fountain pen in the world. This collection includes approximately twenty examples of the ‘51’ in various designs and with estimates starting from as little as £40-60.
There is also a large selection of Sheaffer fountain pens ranging from early 'Touchdown' examples, Snorkels and PFMs (Pen For Men), through to No Nonsense flat top pens. Many of these are in their boxes with paperwork and original price tickets in some cases. The W.A. Sheaffer Pen Co was founded in Fort Madison, Iowa, in 1913, by ex-jeweller Walter Sheaffer. He pioneered a revolutionary lever-filling refill system and Sheaffer soon became a household name for luxury pens.
The auction will take place on Tuesday 4th October and includes rare and highly desirable models alongside a large selection of collectable entry-level pens to suit all pockets and tastes. A preview of some of the pens can be seen here.
Further entries are invited until mid-September.
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