Monday, June 29, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 36

While looking for Canadian online pen stores a couple of months ago, I came across one located in Ancaster, Ontario (just outside of Hamilton) called Fendrihan, and ordered this Faber-Castell 'Ambition' "Rhombus" fountain pen from them:

(photos by Maja ~ please click on images to enlarge)

Fendrihan describes itself as "Your destination for shaving gear, leather goods, luxury pens, and gifts for men" and currently sells fountain pens made by about a dozen different manufacturers. My 'Ambition' fountain pen cost $ 115.00 CAD (with free shipping) and had the option of being paid for in 4 interest-free installments of $28.75 CAD each via Sezzle.com. Getting a pen I'd wanted for quite a while *and* being able to pay for it in installments?! How could I refuse that? :)

The pen arrived very quickly via FedEx and I was not disappointed. The 'Ambition's' tubular barrel is made of glossy black precious resin with guilloche engraving. The rhombus pattern on the barrel looks very nice and the whole pen has a simple elegance to it...

The shiny chrome cap posts securely on the back of the barrel, but in doing so, makes the pen top-heavy (which I expected, based on reviews I'd read/seen) unless you are a "high-gripper", as I am. I tried using the pen uncapped, and it was fine for me if I held the pen a bit lower down the barrel than I usually do. As mentioned above, I tend to hold my pens higher up on the barrel; if you don't do this, you might not have to adjust your grip in order to use the pen comfortably without its cap on.

As for the steel nib (a Medium)....Well, I've been a huge fan of Faber-Castell's steel nibs for a very long time and this one is excellent, as expected. It writes smoothly out of the box with no start-up or ink-flow issues at all.

In summary: It's a great fountain pen and if Faber-Castell had made the barrel slightly longer or if the cap posted more deeply, it would be the perfect size for my hands (I wear Womens Large gloves). As it stands, I don't mind adjusting my grip when I use the 'Ambition' because it's such a smooth, reliable writer.

(The wonderful pen roll with the nib motif in the photos above was made for me by my ever-thoughtful mother-in-law, whose birthday it is today :)

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 35

Today's virtual "show & tell" features another blue fountain pen recently acquired by Stuart from the Vancouver Pen Shop--his TWSBI 'Diamond 580 ALR' in "Prussian Blue":

(photos by Stuart ~ please click on images to enlarge)
Stuart's initial thoughts on the pen: "I picked up the Prussian Blue TWSBI, haven’t inked it up yet but tested it and am happy with the Medium point." Later, he writes: "I just inked up the TWSBI with Iroshizuku Tsuyu-kusa, or Asiatic Dayflower, and I love it! The Medium nib is super-smooth, and the pen is comfortable in hand."

The TWSBI 'Diamond 580 ALR' is essentially a TWSBI 'Diamond 580' with an aluminum section and aluminum piston mechanism. Unlike its cousin, the TWSBI 'Diamond 580 AL, the '580 ALR's' cap finial and section have very fine grooves. These grooves are an attractive design feature and help to prevent hand slippage. For a good overview of TWSBI's most popular fountain pens, check out this page.

Congratulations on another nice fountain pen purchase, Stuart, and many thanks for all your online "show & tell" contributions!

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 34

From one blue Japanese fountain pen to another... Meet René 's beautiful new Sailor 1911 "4am" fountain pen!

(all photos by Rene ~ please click on images to enlarge)



René:"This is a Sailor North American exclusive from last year, the "4am". This is the Standard size model of the 1911 pen. The body is a demonstrator pre-dawn-blue, with black ion-plated trimmings."



"It's a gorgeous pen with a fine, rhodium-plated 14kt gold nib, and is meant to represent the state of mind of late-night-owls or very early morning risers."



"The only things that don't quite jive with me is the visible plastic cap insert and the bright rhodium colour of the nib, which contrasts with the trim. But they are relatively minor and subtle, so they don't really detract much from the beauty of the pen."



(Note: In case you were wondering what the "1911" in the Sailor model name stands for, it's the year in which the Sailor pen company was founded. It was the first Japanese company to produce fountain pens, and is still going strong :)

Many thanks to René for another fine contribution to our virtual "show & tell"!

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 33

A few weeks ago, Stuart stopped by the Vancouver Pen Shop in downtown Vancouver and picked up a lovely Japanese fountain pen that was on sale...

(all photos by Stuart ~ please click on images to enlarge)

...so we'll let him tell you about it :)

Stuart: "Here’s the new baby I mentioned earlier! Pilot Custom Heritage 91 in Tsuki-Yo. Resin barrel and cap, rhodium-plated trim and rhodium-plated 14k gold nib with a Medium point."



"It has the smoothest nib of any pen I own, absolutely silky on the page. I filled it with Iroshizuki Kon-Peki. Another great addition to the stable and a great writer."

Side notes:
--The "Tsuki-Yo" 'Custom Heritage 91' pen colour is based on the Pilot "Iroshizuku" ink of the same name (the other two pen colours in this line--"Yama-Budo" and "Yama-Guri"--are also named after "Iroshizuku" inks).
--The 'Custom Heritage 91' is considered a mid-range Pilot that falls, price-wise, between the Pilot 'Custom 74' (a similar model but with rounded ends and gold trim) and the Pilot 'Custom Heritage 92' (a slightly-shorter demonstrator version of the '91' that uses a piston-filling mechanism).

Confused about those model names and numbers? This article explains the Pilot naming/numbering system. This other article has excellent photos and charts showing the relative sizes of several gold-nibbed Pilot fountain pen models and other helpful information.

Stuart---congratulations on your new Pilot, and thanks for sending photos of it to us!

P.S. A couple of days after this blog post was made, Stuart confirmed with the Vancouver Pen Shop that the Pilot 'Custom Heritage 91' pens were a "Japan-only" issue (ie. a model not exported to other countries). They managed to acquire some for their store, though, and still had a couple of pens available for purchase. If you're interested in buying one from them, please give them a call at the phone # on their Facebook page (The Vancouver Pen Shop's Facebook page) to check on availability.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 32

Jerred was kind enough to send some more photos of his newest acquisitions for our virtual "show & tell". When I asked him how he was able to find so many obscure Italian fountain pens, he replied "You'd be surprised at what you can find while digging through international eBay sites..."

Here's the latest pen he found there---a Delta 'Nabis' Oversize:

(all photos courtesy of Jerred ~ click on images to enlarge)

Jerred: "This is the Delta Nabis Oversize. 'Les Nabis' were a group of young, influential French artists of the late 19th century, often called the vanguards of the modernism movement in art. Delta produced two series of pens in the Nabis line in the mid-1990s, and this is the larger version."

"It is longer and broader than the standard Nabis, and uses a #5 instead of a #4 nib. I've included a picture showing the difference between the two models (see above). My particular version is in a very dark blue celluloid with gold plated trim, with a smooth, well-used steel nib in Fine".

Jerred--thanks for sharing your photos & info about another interesting Italian-made fountain pen!

Friday, June 19, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 31

It's always nice when you come across a complete set :)

This handsome pair is one of Stuart's latest acquisitions---a vintage Sheaffer '1000' fountain pen & matching mechanical pencil:

(photos courtesy of Stuart ~ click on images to enlarge)

In Stuart's words: "This one was simply called by Sheaffer the '1000', a digital code for its price of $10.00. It’s a cartridge/converter pen, and the gold nib is firm but smooth, classic Sheaffer. They seem to have been marketed by Sheaffer as a budget line below the Imperial series. So a quality, simple workhorse pen of the first half of the 1960’s."

The nib on the fountain pen is affectionately called "the Dolphin nib", as Stuart explains: "The Dolphin: The name is a nickname retroactively applied by collectors, for the resemblance of the nib and section assembly to the head of a dolphin.

Many thanks to Stuart for sharing his new vintage pen and pencil acquisition with all of us!

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 30

Do you often find yourself desperately scouring a website for something to add to your online shopping basket in order to reach the free shipping threshold? You don't want to spend too much because you're just a few dollars short of the threshold... but you also don't want to buy something cheap that you don't need and won't use....Well, it happened to me a few weeks ago when I was looking for a coffee tamper on Amazon.ca. I was a few dollars short of the $35 CAD minimum for free shipping, so I looked through the Amazon Warehouse Deals section. I didn't plan on buying a new pen, but I found an inexpensive fountain pen that I'd heard good things about, so I ordered it on a whim.

Meet my new Waterman 'Graduate' fountain pen...

(all photos by Maja ~ click on images to enlarge)

At $13.43 CAD, I really couldn't go wrong, even though the condition was listed as "Used - Good - Small cosmetic imperfection on top, front or sides of item. Item will come in original packaging. Packaging will be damaged."

Because of the description above, I was expecting the barrel and/or cap to be scratched or dented, but there were no visible flaws. I then took a close look at the nib (which was a Fine in stainless steel), thinking "Something has to be wrong with the nib...", but it looked ok. The small cardboard box, though, wasn't in perfect shape, but that didn't matter to me as the pen wasn't a gift. The pen actually looked in great shape, and there was no old ink in it, so I suspect it was returned to Amazon unused and listed as being in "Good" condition because of the box's condition.

The 'Graduate' is an entry-level fountain pen, but don't be put off by that--it has a simple, clean-looking design (and the chrome material is super-smooth and very pleasant to the touch), it's well-balanced (posted or unposted), it writes well out of the box and is a great value for the money. Even though it's a metal pen, it's not heavy...but it doesn't feel unsubstantial either (which I like). You can find them on Amazon.ca for less than $20 CAD in new condition, so if you're looking for a pen to give someone (like a graduate ;) as a gift, you might want to consider the Waterman 'Graduate'. Or, buy one for yourself!

The black pen case in the photos above is another recent(ish) new purchase---my new 'Pavia Hexa' leather 6-pen case by Ashlin. I found it on Walmart.ca when I was looking for household products and was surprised to see it priced at $9.99 CAD + shipping because it was listed as $49.99 CAD on Staples.ca! I thought it was a mistake, but the description matched the photo, so I took a chance and added it to my Walmart online order.

It arrived carefully wrapped in fancy tissue paper and its own mesh bag. Classy! This well-made case is made of supple 100% Tuscany cowhide full grain leather (mine is Black, but it's also available in Dark Brown and British Tan) and can fit six writing instruments the size of a Lamy 'Safari' fountain pen comfortably. When I went back to check the Walmart.ca website a few days later, the price of the pen case was $57.75, so I was lucky to have found it for the price I did. May you be as lucky as I was in my recent online shopping :)

~Review by Maja

Monday, June 15, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 29

Returning to modern pens now, with another interesting Italian fountain pen recently acquired by Jerred:

(all photos courtesy of Jerred ~ please click on images to enlarge)

From Jerred:"This is my second Filcao, a "Leader". The Leader model was commonly available in a variety of different celluloid finishes, and the majority were button-fillers with either gold-plated or two-tone steel nibs."

"My version has a fluted, solid sterling silver body, textured cap, and chrome-plated, Bock produced stainless steel nib. It's also a captive converter with a false blind cap instead of the button-filler of the other variants. According to Giovanni Abrate, a former Filcao distributor, the captive converter makes my variant quite late in production. A lovely, classy pen."


(Note: Jerred's first Filcao fountain pen---to which he alluded in the first paragraph---was his Filcao 'Roxi' featured in this April "show & tell" post).

Many thanks to Jerred for contributing to our pen club's virtual "show & tell" (he recently acquired another interesting Italian-made fountain pen that we'll be featuring a bit later this month).

A big 'thank you' to everyone in our pen club who contributed to our online "show & tell". Please keep those photos & mini-reviews coming!!

Sunday, June 14, 2020

2020 Northwest Pen Round-Up! ~ Cancelled ~

Posted two days ago on FPN & Pentrace by event co-organizer Michael McNeil re: Portland's Northwest Pen Round-Up:

"We are sorry to announce that the 2020 Northwest Pen Round-Up, scheduled for July 11th, has been canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Stay well and hopefully we will see you all in 2021!"

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 28

A few weeks ago, Christopher sent in a photo of his new vintage fountain pen for our virtual "show & tell", along with his research into the previous owner, as well as some speculation as to its provenance. It's a long story, but an interesting one...

In Christopher's words:
"I acquired another nice pen for my own personal collection but this time was able to trace its history back to the original owner. The pen in question is a Parker 51 Aerometric in Navy Grey, with a Lustraloy finished cap sporting a long arrow 1st generation chrome clip. It is date coded, first quarter of 1950, so a late comer just at the end of the first generation aerometric run. You know I haven’t had a navy Grey 51 to date, so this pen is welcome."

(photo by Christopher ~ click on image to enlarge)

Christopher continues:"But that is just the tip of the iceberg regarding this fine contender. Imprinted very clearly on the barrel (with 90% of the original text colouring {silver} is the name of the original owner, Judge Fred B. Cramer. I am a great one for trying to source the original owners of any pen I come across and in this case, I was able to find quite a bit on this Judge. He served for many years on the court of common pleas, in Butler County, Ohio and went on to serve on the court of appeals in Dayton, but stepped down into retirement in 1979."

"We have a good number of Judges in the Robertson family, so judges in general are always of interest to me. He was appointed in 1939, so his acquisition of this pen came eleven years later. Still, my educated guess was that the pen probably was gifted to him for his good service by the Ohio Law Society, which is often the case with such judges at a certain point of their career."

"Now being the responsible character I am, I felt in all fairness that if I could find a living relative, I should offer to give the pen back to the Cramer family. Personally, family pens go far beyond any monetary value. Well, I did manage to locate his grandson, Levi Cramer who was running for city council. In turn I touched base with him regarding his grandfather’s pen but there was absolutely no interest whatsoever. So this fine 51, in its just remarkable condition, will remain with me."

"In cleaning the pen, it is quite evident that it was well taken care of. Most vintage 51s I come across, have old dried up ink in them and are, overall rather grubby. With 51s it usually can be found in the collector, when I take the pen apart to service it. But this pen was well used but extremely clean and in near mint condition. Oh sure, there is a bit of wear on the tipping of the nib but considering the age quite minimal. As for a good writer, please check out the photo. Needless to say, I am very pleased with this Parker point."


I love knowing whose hands a vintage writing instrument passed through, so many thanks to Christopher for sharing his wonderful new find with us!

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 27

Continuing on with our virtual "show & tell" featuring our members' newest acquisitions, we have a couple of nice vintage fountain pens that René purchased since our last meeting in February---a Waterman/Aikin-Lambert 'Skywriter' and a Parker 'Parkette Junior':

(photos courtesy of Rene ~ click on images to enlarge)

René writes: "(These are) two vintage pens (neither has been restored) from someone in Penticton (Pen-ticton - heh), both Canadian-made. The yellow one is a Waterman/Aikin-Lambert Skywriter from the later-30s to 40s., with a semi-flex Aikin-Lambert (ALCO) nib (marked with a diamond with '14kt' and 'R' inside it, as is typical with ALCO nibs of the time). ALCO used to make nibs for Waterman until the latter eventually bought out the former by about the mid-30s. The brand, Aikin-Lambert, was used in Canada for longer than it was in the USA after the merger."

"The other one is a Parker Parkette Junior, made in the fourth quarter of 1937 (the nib is marked, "47", for Q4, 1937)."



René: "Other than the sacs having ossified, both are in excellent shape. I got the Waterman for $16 (oddly the seller identified it as a "no-name" with a steel nib - the nib was very dirty and blue when I got it), and the Parkette for $18 (it was only identified as a Parker), each with $6 shipping."

Trivia: The 'Parkette' was among the very few vintage Parker fountain pen models that used a lever-filling mechanism. For more information on these pens, check out this page at Parkerpens.net

Many thanks to René for his contribution to today's online "show & tell"!

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

National Ballpoint Day 2020!

Although our pen club is primarily a fountain pen club, over the years we've had meeting topics/themes that featured or included ballpoints (both modern and vintage).

In honour of National Ballpoint Day today (June 10th), I snapped a quick photo of the three ballpoints I'm currently using. Interestingly, all three have different trim - the pearl & black Parker 'Duofold' has gold-plated trim, the white Cross 'Calais' has rose gold-plated trim, and the red Caran d'Ache '849' has chrome trim.

The Caran d'Ache '849' is an iconic ballpoint, instantly recognizable by its hexagonal shape. Made in Switzerland, this pocket-sized all-metal ballpoint was first produced in 1969 and is available in a wide variety of colours and designs for every taste. Worried about finding reasonably-priced refills for your '849'? No worries--it also takes the widely-available (and more economical) Parker ballpoint refills found in office supply stores everywhere :)

~photo & post by Maja

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 26

Today's featured "show & tell" is courtesy of honourary VPC member Glenn Garside, a good friend of our club's co-founder Bill K and mine, who came all the way from Australia to attend two of our pen club's meetups! Glenn is a keen collector of both vintage and modern fountain pens who recently won a five-pen lot on eBay (for a very good price) that he wanted to share with us...

(all photos by Glenn Garside ~ please click on images to enlarge)

(Top to bottom): Conklin 'Heritage Conklinetta Senior', Pelikan M205 SE in Aquamarine, Conklin 'Victory', Parker 'Urban Premium' and Parker '95'.

Although he was primarily interested in the Pelikan, Glenn wound up getting four other modern fountain pens, all in working order. The pens needed a good cleaning in an ultrasonic bath, but as you can see, they cleaned up very nicely...


Glenn meticulously catalogs his acquisitions, so he sent these notes along with the photos above:
  • Parker Urban Premium, chiselled Black, Q1 16 (first quarter of 2016), Fine nib.

  • Parker 95, Black, Fine nib, 1988-93.

  • Conklin Victory, blue, EF nib, 2017:
  • solid brass barrel and cap.
  • triple lacquer finish that is durable
  • The polished chrome clip has a pivot design that is easy to insert into a pocket yet stays secure.
  • fitted with a stainless steel nib and a cartridge converter fill system.
    Product Specifications
    Length: 5.5 in.(139.7mm)
    Posted Length: 5.875 in.(149.2mm)
    Diameter: 0.4 in.(10.2mm)
    Weight: 1.0 oz.(28.35g)
    Nib Material: Stainless Steel
    Fill Mechanism: Cartridge/Converter - Standard International
  • Conklin Heritage Conklinetta Senior, side button fill, Black, 2015:
  • combines the original historic design and patented filling system using today's modern manufacturing and materials.
  • side-button fill system, which is similar to the crescent fill system. The chrome sleeve twists to open and lock.
  • chrome trim, clip
  • large fountain pen measuring 141 mm closed and 165 mm posted
  • Pelikan M205 SE Aquamarine, 2016, Medium nib.
There's a nice article on the Parker '95' as well as its predecessor, the Parker 'Arrow' on Jim Mamoulides' excellent Penhero.com site:
Parker 95 1988-1994
The Parker Arrow 1982-1988

Congratulations on a nice eBay win, Glenn, and thank you for contributing to our pen club's virtual "show & tell"!

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 25

Stuart has acquired some really nice vintage Sheaffer desk sets over the last couple of years, but since our last meeting, he also purchased a couple by the Esterbrook Pen Company. This is his vintage Esterbook model DB 116-L desk set (often referred to as the "eight ball" set) in the more unusual teal color...

(all photos by Stuart ~ please click on images to enlarge)

Stuart, in his email: "Here’s a couple of quick pics of the teal Esterbrook set that arrived yesterday. I love it, the colour is great and really jazzes up the base."

"I swapped the nib the pen came with, a needle-point that writes too lightly for writing to show clearly. I used Sheaffer Green, which is a great match for the base."

This desk set model sold for $3.25 USD in 1950 and came in a wide variety of colours, including black, grey, brown, maroon, teal, and pale/mint green.

Stuart-congratulations on finding this popular vintage desk set in one of the harder-to-find colours!

Friday, June 5, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 24

Today's featured newest acquisition is another unusual Italian fountain pen belonging to Jerred---his (adorable) Delta 'Y2K Mini Trend':

(all photos courtesy of Jerred ~ please click on images to enlarge)

Jerred: "The Delta Y2K Mini Trend was, as its name implies, released in late 1999/early 2000. There are a number of pens made by Delta with a similar design language, including the Y2K special edition that I've shown at a few meetings."

" The Y2K Mini Trend is a small, cartridge-only pen, and is consistently among the cheapest Deltas that are available these days. It's a bit of a shame, as they're both unique-looking and generally good writers. My pen has a lacquered red barrel and a rather pleasant fine nib."

And just how small is this fountain pen? I asked Jerred, and according to him: "The Mini Trend is about 11.5cm capped, and just over 14cm posted. I'm including a picture of the Mini Trend next to my Y2K Special Edition, you can see the difference in size." (photo above)

Congrats on another intriguing find, Jerred, and thanks for sharing it with us!

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 23

From the modern aesthetic of the Lamy 'Safari' to the timeless beauty of the Pilot-Namiki Maki-e fountain pen owned by Armando...

(all photos courtesy of Armando ~ please click on images to enlarge)



Armando: "Recently, I received a fountain pen that I have ordered in early March. I was so excited to open the box, since this pen is quite different from my other pens in terms of the finish. It was a suspenseful unboxing, and I was so happy with what I saw and held for the first time. I'd like to share with the club the photos, and my experience and impression of the fountain pen."

Fountain Pen: Pilot Namiki Maki-e Flowers of Plum Tree
Finish: Urushi Lacquer, Maki-e Technique
Design: Plum Tree and Flowers
Nib: 14 K Gold
Size: Medium
"The first thing that struck me when I first saw and held the pen was its graceful design. My fingers felt the flowers and the branches that were designed in the cap and barrel, due to the numerous layers of urushi and other materials applied to it. The barrel and cap were so smooth to the touch, and I couldn't help but admire it. It certainly grabbed my attention. After dipping it in ink and using it, the writing experience was so smooth and pleasant. The pen is well proportioned and balanced."

"The symmetry of the floral design and the branches is so elegant that there appears to be harmony in the arrangement of the parts in size, color, and form."

"In conclusion, let me borrow a phrase from George Santayana:

"The pen stops from being a functional object, and at least, temporarily, becomes an object that we simply hold and admire."


Many thanks to Armando for sharing this very special new acquisition with us!

Monday, June 1, 2020

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 22

At the beginning of April, I received an email from my friends in the London Pen Club informing me of a brand-new Canadian online store that had just opened for business. It was the web store for Phidon Pens (est. 2008), a brick & mortar pen and stationery store located in Cambridge, Ontario. I'd heard great things about Phidon and its owners (Baldeep & Mano Duggal) from the folks in the LPC, so I didn't hesitate to place an order with them a few days later...

(all photos by Maja ~ please click on images to enlarge)

The items arrived promptly, along with a very nice note, a pre-stamped postcard (not shown) and a complimentary box of Lamy ink cartridges....

First up---a box of lovely Blackwing wooden pencils - Volume 840 ("Surfing")...
(New York Times Sunday crossword puzzles, here I come!! :)

These new pencils are a welcome addition to my Blackwing collection, which I'd talked about in this previous blog post. The pencils in Blackwing's "Volume" series are all limited editions, with a new design released every quarter. The graphite core in the '840' is Balanced (between Soft and Firm), the same type used in the regular (non-limited-edition) Blackwing "Pearl" pencils. There's a story behind every design in the "Volume" series, and the '840' is no different.
From Blackwing's official website:

"The ancient art of surfing arrived on the coast of northern California in 1907, but it wasn’t until surf icon Duke Kahanamoku popularized the sport on the beaches of southern California in the decades that followed that it really took hold.

The Blackwing 840 is a tribute to Duke Kahanamoku and the enlightened lifestyle he helped cultivate through surfing. It features a sea green barrel with a gold foil accent in the shape of the California coastline. It also features our balanced graphite and a gold eraser clip. Duke popularized surfing along California’s 840 mile coast, but the lifestyle left in his wake has influenced people around the world."

Next, we have my new TWSBI '1791 Royal Purple' ink in the new frosted glass 18ml size (and yes, it's as cute as it looks!)... TWSBI's webpage explains the inspiration for the colour: "This color is part of a 6 pack series we created from a book written in 1791 called "Dream of Red Chambers". It's one of China's 4 great classical novels and we picked colors out of the buildings and descriptions within this book for this series of ink."

Last, but certainly not least, my new Lamy 'Safari Candy' Aquamarine fountain pen and Lamy 'Mango' ink... I apologize for the photo quality--I had a hard time capturing the details of this monocolour fountain pen, but I'm sure you're familiar with how a Lamy Safari looks so...lol. This shade of blue-green is lovely and calming (much appreciated in these uncertain times) and I love how all of the parts (except the nib & feed) are the same colour. I chose a Fine nib, but the nibs are very easy to swap out (they just slide onto the feed), should the need or desire arise. As expected, my Safari writes smoothly with no start-up problems or ink-flow issues.

Many thanks to Mano of Phidon Pens for her excellent customer service and generosity!