Saying Goodbye: Deep Cuts

Five Sheaffer fountain pens being sold

It’s time to get back to work thinning my accumulation. Once I got rolling earlier this year, it was pretty easy to let go of the pens. While I did pull one back after listing it (the Pelikan M101N Lizard) I have no regrets or sellers remorse for any of the other pens that left my accumulation. It’s time to go deeper and get rid of pens that were part of two “protected” groups: Sheaffer fountain pens and vintage fountain pens.

I protected the vintage pens for two reasons. The biggest reason was that I expect them to be harder to price and sell than my modern pens. I told myself that the main reason was that I like the idea of the fountain pens as a bit of history, even if I don’t use them. While that’s true, I only have a tiny part of history, and I’d rather have pens I will use. The good news (for me at least) is that I have very few vintage fountain pens with features that would keep me from using them, such as being too thin. The bad news, again for me, is that I did, and still do, have some gorgeous Sheaffers that are just too thin for me to use comfortably for anything other than a quick note. Most of these are already sold.

The intersection of those two groups, vintage Sheaffers are still mostly protected although a couple being sold qualify as vintage. My birthday is how I define vintage. I’m not vintage, therefore a pen born on the same day (or later) is not vintage, but a pen made the day before I was born is vintage. Sheaffer PFM I fountain pens straddle the vintage/not-vintage line, although from what I’ve in some research is that most were made before I was.

I picked five Sheaffer fountain pens to rip off the band-aid and return some Sheaffers to the wild. The picks are:

  • A PFM I in blue was a natural choice. I have two PFM I fountain pens with the same nib and writing characteristics. I’m keeping the green one.
  • Both my Sheaffer Crests with Laque finishes (one red, one green). These are gorgeous pens despite having gold trim. They’re too thin for me to use for any length of time. It’s tough getting old.
  • A Sheaffer Targa with a green Lague finish. Like the Crests it’s gorgeous, has a lovely nib, and is too thin for me to use comfortably.
  • The fifth pick is a Sheaffer Snorkel. Like the Crests and the Targa it’s too thin for my use, and even lighter than the others which makes it even worse for me.

The pens with the Laque finishes are the real test for me. The pens are gorgeous, as beautiful as my Balance II’s and much more durable. Plus they have lovely nibs.

For the non-Sheaffer vintage pens, it was much easier to choose. Rather than picking ones to sell, I picked the ones to keep. More specifically, I picked three to keep. I’ll keep two Esterbrooks. The Esterbrook $1 Band-less pen was my first Esterbrook, while a dark blue Esterbrook J was my first Esterbrook restoration. Both are too thin and light for extended use by me but have a certain sentimental value. While I’ll be using my Esterbrook nibs in modern pens I do want to keep a couple of official vintage Esterbrooks around for testing, so it might as well be these.

The third vintage keeper will a Parker Blue Diamond Maxima with Silver Pearl celluloid and nickel trim. I love the celluloid on these pens and prefer the aesthetic of this model over the others that I have.

I’m hoping to spend some time listing more pens to sell later this week. I’m in the frame of mind to take a hard look to determine which pens I really like and will enjoy using. It’s time to start making some deep cuts, and the five Sheaffers were the beginning.