Washington DC Pen Show Haul

This was my first visit to the Washington DC Pen Show (or, as it calls itself on the website – ‘The Washington D.C. Collectible Fountain Pen SUPERSHOW The Largest Pen Event in the World’). I’d been saving all year and had a pretty good budget. I had no problem spending it. My pen haul is shown here…

Photo of my latest pens
My fountain pen haul from the 2013 DC Pen Show

The Esterbrook nibs came from Anderson Pens and complete the 9314 nibs in my collection.

The next three pans, all Sheaffers, came from Sarj Minhas. There’s a reason he’s called “the one man pens show”. He had some amazing pens. Just looking at what he was selling made me wonder what his personal collection is like.

The Marine Green Balance was my first pen purchase of the show and was before lunch on Friday. His table was right across from Richard Binder’s and the pen called out to me as I was waiting for some nib work. I did try to resist by looking around the room but soon returned to buy it. It’s got a custom Mottishaw stub nib and is a lever filler.

The other two Sheaffers weren’t mine until Saturday. Both have fine nibs. The Balance is a lever filler. Unlike the Marine Green Balance this one has a ink view window. The dark blue PFM I is my second Snorkel filler and my first PFM.

The first two modern pens were also Friday purchases. I stopped by the Edison Pens table to see the new Menlo filler and select some possible materials for a future pen order. Instead I walked away with the Menlo Pump filler shown. The picture doesn’t do justice to the material for this pen.

The small pen is the Franklin-Christoph Model 40 Pocket in the Smoke and Ice finish. It has a Needlepoint nib which F-C has ground by Mike Masuyama. I don’t think any Needlepoint nib can be called smooth, but with smooth paper this nib is very smooth. The pen is just big enough to jot a quick note without posting, but in general the pen is meant to be posted since it’s small.

The final pen was also the most expensive of the bunch and one I’d been debating about all day Saturday. It’s an Omas 360 Vintage Collection Turquoise with a medium nib. (It’s a modern pen, “Vintage” is just part of the name) Being able to handle it at the show confirmed the triangle design wouldn’t bother me. It was also the first time I’ve seen a new one selling for less than $500. By late Saturday I decided to buy it. I considered returning on Sunday to have the nib ground to a fine (the medium was the last pen they had) but decided I’d try the medium nib for awhile.

I also had nib work done on three pens. Richard Binder stubbed my Sailor 1911 Sterling with a medium nib. It’s a Sailor medium so it makes for a thin stub, but I like it.

Mike Masuyama stubbed a Pelikan Broad nib for my M620 cities series pens (I have three, the nibs are swappable). During the conversation I asked for a grind on the smooth rather than crisp side and on the thin (dryer) side of writing. I don’t like wet noodle nibs so this was perfect. The Pelikan Cities have gone unused because they all have wide nibs. This one adds some character so I’m going to use it more.

Finally, Ron Zorn repaired the nib on my Sheaffer Triumph. It’s again a usable pen.

In addition to the pens and nib work  I also returned with Franklin-Christoph Penvelope Six and 40 Pen cases along with a couple of their pads to try. There was also some ink and paper from Anderson Pens in addition to those Esterbrook nibs. While I skipped the Fountain Pen Hospital parts blow-out on Friday they still had bags of parts available on Saturday. I found one with some Sheaffer Balances and a Parker Vacumatic all suitable for practicing repairs so picked it up for $50.

I also returned with a sore throat which has added all the features of a cold, probably from the constant and cold air conditioning in the hotel. Hopefully I can shake it soon. It’s the only thing I don’t want to keep from the show.

All in all it was a successful pen show. Friday was leisurely enough to be able to browse and talk with the sellers (and other attendees). More detailed pen reviews will follow as I use them.

Did you attend the show? Return with any loot?

7 thoughts on “Washington DC Pen Show Haul

  1. I noticed you mention nib work by two different craftsman. Do you have a favorite craftsman or do you choose the craftsman based on the nib work you want performed? I have some nib work I need done, but not sure who to use. Your insight would be helpful.

    • Davey, I’ve only had nibs worked on at shows, so in person. I liked Mike Masuyama’s work best and would send off pens to him. He’s my clear first choice and I probably will send some pens off to him rather than wait for another show. I read he’s in the middle of moving and is not accepting new pens until he’s done in a couple of months. Ron Zorn did fine with my nib repair but he had a long turn-around time for pens left with him and I’d probably save him for restorations. Richard Binder doesn’t take nib work anymore, except at shows or when he’s selling a pen/nib. He was the most expensive of all of them. I’ve had a couple Greg Minuskin stub nibs come my way and really like them but they were already done when I got the pens. He seems a popular choice for re-tipping or nib repairs.


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