Monday, July 31, 2023

August 2023 meeting info (please note location!)

What: Vancouver Pen Club August 2023 Meeting!

Where: Branch Meeting Room of the Vancouver Public Library's TERRY SALMAN branch at 4575 Clancy Loranger Way, in Vancouver, BC (the library is located on the lower level of the Hillcrest Community Centre, by Nat Bailey Stadium --near Queen Elizabeth Park-- and is the same location we used last month).

Date: THURSDAY AUGUST 17, 2023

Time: 6:00pm to 8:30pm (please note: we have to leave the room by 8:30pm, as per the library's room rental policy)

Primary Topic: "To fake or not to fake? That is the question! (Fountain Pen Knock-Offs/Fakes/Clones)"

Secondary Topic: Newest Acquisitions!

Please bring examples of the primary topic if you have any; if you don't (or if you don't have new stuff to show), please come to the meeting anyway!

No RSVP required to attend our meeting ---hope you can make it!
Any questions? Please contact us at 

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Photos from our July meeting!

Our July meeting was held on the 20th at a new location -- the Terry Salman branch of the Vancouver Public Library -- and eighteen members were on hand. We had three brand-new members in attendance (Bronson, St.John and Yang), and a good time was had by all talking about our topics - White Fountain Pens (our primary theme) and Newest Acquisitions (our secondary topic). Here are some photos I snapped during our meeting...

(all photos by Maja ~ please click on images to enlarge)
It was Yang's first meeting and she brought some lovely modern fountain pens for us to see (left to right) -- her Esterbrook 'Estie - Gold Rush' Limited Edition in the Diamondcast "Frontier Green" resin, a Kilk 'Camera Laterna', and a fountain pen handmade by Sean Allot of the London Pen Company (in London, Ontario) using Jonathon Brooks' "Primary Manipulation" resin. The lined boxes in the photo were purchased from a Muji store.

Some information about the Kilk pen from their official website: "Camera Laterna means “Bright Room” in Latin. We can find the first cores of cinema in ancient times in images reflected from a lighted box. Our Camera Laterna model, which is presented to the likes of cinema lovers, resembles a camera lens with its stepped and flat body form. On the top of the cover, we are greeted by a mechanically operable film reel.The film strip on the body both aesthetically supports the visual show of the pen and takes the balance of writing from the tip of the pen to the middle."

Brand-new member St.John brought some cool pens to the meeting, including (top to bottom): a black Waterman 'Etalon' fountain pen, a TWSBI 'Vac Mini' clear demonstrator fountain pen, a Platinum 'Curidas' capless clear demonstrator fountain pen, and two ballpoints by the Fisher Space Pen company-- a 'Shuttle' chrome model with a clicker mechanism and a clipless 'Bullet' model in black.

With their pressurized cartridges, Fisher Space Pens are capable of writing at any angle-- including upside down-- or in zero gravity (a bit of pen trivia: the first Fisher Space Pen--the AG7-- was first used in space on NASA's Apollo 7 mission in 1968, and has been used on all manned space flights since then).

Above: A familiar-looking fountain pen model belonging to newcomer Bronson -- his trusty Platinum 'Plaisir'! Bronson's 'Plaisir' sports a 0.2mm steel nib (Extra Fine), the narrowest of the nib options for this model and its cousin, the ever-popular Platinum 'Preppy'.

Our secondary topic is always newest pen-related acquisitions and Phil brought several of them, starting with this modern Franklin Christoph 'Pocket 20' fountain pen (love those Franklin-Christoph nibs!). The pen was a special edition, made in collaboration with Wonder Pens, a brick & mortar/ online store in Toronto.

Phil also showed us his newest vintage finds (left to right) - a black Sheaffer 'Balance' vacuum-filler, a mystery fountain pen stamped "With the Compliments of United Distillers Limited - Vancouver", a Parker 'Vacumatic Junior' fountain pen and pencil, and an Esterbrook 'LJ' fountain pen in red (Dubonnet Red).

There is no manufacturer or model name on the mustard-coloured mystery pen, but its nib imprint says "Warranted - Non-rust nib"; if you have any info on the pen, please write to us at the email address at the top of our homepage (thanks in advance!).

Stuart brought his gorgeous ivory-coloured Graf von Faber-Castell 'Intuition' fountain pen and his white Lamy "Safari' with red clip for our meeting's primary theme...

...and for our secondary theme, Stuart brought this wonderfully eclectic group--- his new Fisher Space Pen 'Bullet' ballpoint in the lovely "Tahitian Blue" colour plus a brand-new TWSBI 'Eco' in the "Heat" colour and an eye-catching Platinum Maki-e "Red Mount Fuji" fountain pen that he purchased recently (all purchased at The Vancouver Pen Shop).

Here's a look at the other side of the Platinum's barrel, showing the world's most famous stratovolcano! This beautiful fountain pen features hand-applied gold and silver leaf from the traditional craft center of Kanazawa on the west coast of Japan.

From "The motif depicts a red Mount Fuji at sunrise - gold leaf is used for the mountain itself, silver leaf for its snow-capped peak, and gold and silver leaf combined for the clouds overhead. Kanazawa gold and silver leaf craft has a history stretching back for more than four hundred years, and the region is now responsible for almost all gold and silver leaf production in Japan."

We previously used "White Fountain Pens" as a meeting theme back in January 2020 and I brought 23 white/off-white fountain pens to that meeting (hey, I was on a white pen collecting kick lol) Here's what I brought to our July 2023 meeting for the same topic (L-R): vintage Sheaffer 'Cadet' doctor's/nurse's fountain pen and pencil set (reviewed by me here), Cross 'Bailey Light' (reviewed here), white Lamy Safari with red clip, Stipula 'Etruria Magnifica', Visconti 'Rembrandt' (the latter two pens were brought to that 2020 meeting) and a newer acquisition--a Visconti 'Divina Fashion' that I bought with last year's Christmas money from my generous in-laws :)

Continuing on with the right half of my pen case are (L-R): a white Hongdian '920' with rose gold trim (I reviewed its black counterpart here), a Pirre Paul's '325' in white (reviewed here), a PenBBS '352' in "Cedar" colour (reviewed here), and my three newest acquisitions -- an off-white Nemosine 'Singularity', a Pilot '925S' in burgundy, and a Pilot 'Fermo' in the "Diamond Silver" finish that I won on eBay from Shawn Newton, in support of his registered charity, Newton Pens Scholarships.

Jerred always has something interesting to show at our meetings, and this one was no exception! The tiny bowling pin-shaped item at the top of the photo is a novelty fountain pen that actually writes (and yes, its nib is very small!). The other white fountain pens Jerred brought in were his Delta 'Unica' (middle pen) and a white Cross 'Calais' with rose gold trim and nib.

Another interesting pen belonging to Jerred--a Number72 fountain pen he recently acquired. I hadn't heard of this pen company before but, apparently, they produce a lot of glass-nibbed dip pens.

Jerred bought the pen on Amazon and said that it was made of buffalo horn (the light material) and two types of wood (ebony + another variety).

Rene attended the first Pacific NW Pen Show in Portland earlier this month and brought back several very nice fountain pens (and the Rickshaw pen roll shown above), including (L-R): a beautiful Mabie-Todd gold-filled overlay, a handsome Webster flat top from the 1920s with a chased pattern on it, an Eagle flat top in a red rippled material, a pen/pencil combo in an eye-catching material made by Waltham, a grey Sheaffer 'Imperial VIII' Touchdown filler, and a grey aluminum Taccia 'Pinnacle' fountain pen (bottom pen). It's not in the photo above, but Rene also bought an Esterbook SJ/LJ fountain pen in the grey "icicle" plastic at the pen show (apparently, he just needs the copper variant to complete his "icicle" collection!)

Rene also brought several white fountain pens for our primary meeting topic, including a Jinhao '5000' dragon fountain pen, a Lamy Safari in "Cream" colour, a Fountain Pen Revolution 'Himalaya' model in'"Taj Mahal' acrylic, a white TWSBI 'Eco', a ceramic Jinhao '950' pen, a blue and white non-ceramic fountain pen, and a fountain pen advertising a private school in New Jersey. I didn't photograph those pens at this meeting, but I did photograph some of them in January 2020 and posted a photo here

April brought two very interesting fountain pens to the meeting (both new acquisitions). The first was this glossy black Wing Sung model '630'. It's a large fountain pen with a piston-filling mechaniam, an obvious homage to the iconic Montblanc 149.... but what makes it particularly interesting??

The answer -- a massive #8-sized 14K gold nib that's available with 14 different nib options!

April chose an Extra Fine "heartbeat" nib (so named because its nib slit is the shape of an electrocardiogram/ECG printout--how cool is that?
😁) for her particular pen. The pen was purchased from the official Wing Sung store on Taobao for around $200 CAD, but third-party resellers on AliExpress also sell it (at a higher price, though); April thinks it's currently the lowest-priced fountain pen that comes with a #8 nib gold nib. As an aside, there's an ebonite version with an 18K nib called the Wing Sung '600' model.

The beautiful writing instrument shown above is another very interesting fountain pen that April recently acquired - the Hongdian D5 'Qin Dynasty' with 14K gold nib (late addition to this post: this gold-nibbed pen comes in your choice of two colours, but there is also a steel-nibbed version that comes in four different colours).

This impressive, hefty (52 grams capped weight) piston-filling fountain pen was inspired by the Qin Dynasty, which established the first empire in China. This unification was achieved by China's first emperor (Qin Shi Huang) in the 3rd century B.C, and the pen's design elements reflect the legal authority of this powerful dynasty. The three decorative barrel bands represent the ruler, measure & authority, while the cap finial has an engraving of a Xiezhi, a mythical creature of Chinese origin that symbolizes justice.

The cap features familiar Chinese symbols-- black dragons, mountain motifs, and an outline of the Great Wall -- as well as engravings of the mythical Xuan bird. The engravings on the lower cap band and barrel end depict the characters for the lesser seal and currency, respectively. There are militaristic symbols as well--the arrow-shaped clip and the grid-like pattern on the pen's black barrel and gold section which represents lamellar body armour (formed of individual metal plates--lamellae--riveted or laced together). The Qin Dynasty only lasted fiften years, but it saw the creation of the Great Wall and the famous army of Terracotta Warriors (who are depicted wearing lamellar armour), and greatly influenced subsequent Chinese dynasties.

From a very elaborate fountain pen design to one of elegant simplicity --- Luc's uber-cool Gravitas fountain pen! The pen was based on Gravitas' 'Sentry' model and is made of white Delrin, a durable, high-performance acetal resin (plastic). Luc said he swapped out the Gravitas' nib with an Opus 88 nib, which he prefers to the original nib. Luc also brought a Platinum 'Procyon' fountain pen in "Porcelain White" to the meeting (not pictured).

Vladan came back from Europe with some great German fountain pens, including the three above (top to bottom)--a Pelikan '3000 set' (post-2003 version) Silver fountain pen, a Pelikan 'Signum' model P505, and a blue Pelikan 'Pelikano' model 7 P456 (with a longer clip from 1996). The first two pens were featured in a blog post earlier this month (link).

Above: Vladan's all-black Pelikan '140' (less commonly seen than its striped green counterpart) and his green-striped Pelikan '400', which was only produced in this colour from 1954-1956, also making it a harder-to-find model.

Above: a Montblanc III Serie no. 031 fountain pen belonging to Vladan. (a very useful Montblanc reference site) says this piston-filling model was produced between 1946 and 1970.

Here's another great German fountain pen that Vladan also recently acquired -- Diplomat 'Elox Matrix' in green/black! This anodized aluminum pen model was inspired by the very popular Diplomat 'Aero', and named after the German word (‘eloxieren') for anodizing.

If the mystery fountain pen above looks familiar, it's because it was reviewed by its owner --Christopher-- here last week!

Peter brought in this white Pilot 'Parallel' fountain pen (purchased at Charals) ...

...and his white-silver Kaweco ALSport in Raw Aluminum for our main meeting topic.

Peter also showed us this recent acquisition--a very cool-looking copper ballpoint made by a local pen maker (when I get more info about it, I'll post it here).

There were some nice white fountain pens I didn't get around to photographing, including: Mark S's white Pelikan M205  and his Delta 'Dolce Vita' very limited edition (only 2 were made!), Renz's ivory modern Conklin 'Crescent-Filler', Cross Classic 'Wanderlust', Jinhao '82', Sheaffer 'VFM' and Lamy Safari (with black clip) and Asifa's elegant white Cross 'Bailey Light' set with gold-coloured trim. The most interesting pen-acquisition story we heard at the meeting was probably about the Hero '616' fountain pen that Felipe found in a box on the street, abandoned by its former owner (the shock! the horror!). 

Our evening's primary theme was suggested by Joie, who --unfortunately-- wasn't able to attend the meeting, but she sent me this nice photo of the pens she would have brought:
(Photo above, top to bottom: Monteverde 'Walt Disney Collection - Sleeping Beauty' fountain pen and rollerball, Lamy 'Safari', Pelkan 'Pelikano', and Pelikan 'M605' white transparent)

Sherman also wasn't able to make it to our July meeting, but he sent these photos of his own impressive white pen collection:

(left to right) Kaweco 'Student' "60's Swing", LABAN '325' "Wisteria Purple" Ivory & GT Cap, Sailor 1911 Profit Fude Mannen - Daisy White, Sailor 1911 Standard Ivory, élysée Spherical Finial (60 Line) Caprice Pearl, PenBBS ' 352' in "Snow" acrylic/resin, National Design Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and Donald Duck ballpoints, and a Sailor Dreamy Perfume 50 mini Ballpoint Pen #8010.

Thank you to everyone who came out to the meeting this month, whether you had anything to show for either meeting topic or not! (and thanks to Joie and Sherman for their photos, too) We'll most likely be back at the same place for our August meeting, but please check the top of our homepage for meeting info (it's in big red letters, so you can't miss it :)

(~blog post by Maja~)

Friday, July 21, 2023

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 509

A big "thank you!" to everyone who came to our July meeting at the Vancouver Public Library's Terry Salman branch last night; I'll post a meeting report --with photos-- here sometime early next week (probably Mon/Tues). In the meantime, here's Christopher's write-up about the mystery fountain pen he showed us at the last meeting!

(all text and photos courtesy of Christopher ~ please click on images to enlarge)

Christopher: "Every once and a while, a pen comes my way that is truly unusual. What’s more, as much as I try to apply vintage pen collector logic to it, nothing really works. For many years I have been admittedly drawn to the likes of the Parker Vacumatic and Duofold, but when a pen comes along that is neither, where do I place it? 

Well let’s start with an overview...

First off, this pen appears to be a Parker from its unmistakable arrow wide feathered clip, but, at second glance, that is where it kind of stops. This arrow clip is held steadfast with a bit of an inset black jewel. Further down on the cap is a double -- but thin-- gold filled banding. The cap is streamlined, as is the barrel, but at the end of the barrel is a rounded blind cap. The finish is of relatively high quality brown pearl and jet plastic that took to polish like nobody’s business.

But what was under the cap kept right on with my Parker assessment. Into a jet back grip section was both a Vacumatic marked debutante 14K sold gold Canadian marked nib, sitting on a Parker Debutante Vacumatic feed.

And at the other end of a well made barrel, there was no question of a Parker Duofold Junior button filler button.

I would have been apt to dismiss this questionable vintage pen, if not for its overall quality and for the fact that it was very well made

The threading top and bottom was so finely machined and smooth to operate to unscrew and screw in, and the nib and feed seemed made to fit into its high quality section.

So where does this oddity fit in?

Well, I would like to dismiss it, but as a long term vintage pen collector, I just can’t. And after restoring and servicing it, I am hard pressed not to add it to my collection. Still, last but not far from least, how does it lay down ink on paper? Again, with an impressive smoothness and consistent line. OK, I give up and it’s a keeper!"

Many thanks to Christopher for his review of this intriguing fountain pen! If anyone out there has seen this kind of pen (or a similar one) before, please drop us a line at 😀

Monday, July 17, 2023

Reminder - meeting on Thursday July 20th!

Don't forget our monthly pen club meeting this Thursday July 20th at the Terry Salman branch of the Vancouver Public Library from 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM! (click here for detailed information, including our meeting topics)

** Please note the NEW location for this meeting! **

Questions? Contact us at
Hope to see you there! (no RSVPs needed :)

Friday, July 14, 2023

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 508

Here's a weekend treat for you--- Christopher's informative write-up (with lots of photos :) on his gorgeous vintage Wahl-Eversharp set!

(all text & photos courtesy of Christopher ~ please click on images to enlarge)

(the background image in the photo above is from the second Chicago World's Fair, held from 1933-34)

"One of the most outstanding vintage writing instrument designs has to be the Wahl Eversharp Doric. I feel that the Wahl Eversharp company got it right with their prior Equi-poised model too, but then to take this outstanding line of pens and mechanical pencils and streamline them, plus add 12 vertical facets to the barrel and caps, just put the delicious icing on the cake. But their new Doric-branded line of pens and mechanical pencils, introduced in 1931, was not the glowing success that the company expected. Nor was it as successful as the Equi-poised model had been. At the height of the Great Depression, pen buyers of the day were just not eager to fork out as much as $7.50, let alone $10 for the top Doric model, even for such an outstandingly attractive line of writing instruments. Still, the line did keep a struggling Chicago company afloat.

Along with the design, the Wahl Eversharp company came up with a very catchy set of names for the different colours of their Dorics - names that were unique and at the same time, exotic. If you leaned toward red, there was the Doric ‘Morocco’ pearl finish, or if green was your favourite colour, then you would be taken with the Kashmir Pearl or Cathay. It all added up to a line of pens and mechanical pencils that more currently and most certainly are at the top of any vintage pen collector’s want list. And at the beginning of the 1930s, it was also the height of the Art Deco movement. So, to embrace this art form fashion, the Wahl Eversharp company gave each pen and mechanical pencil a truly Art Deco design banding.

Personally, I ran across a matching pair of the Wahl Eversharp Doric Junior pens in the delicious Morocco colour, and jumped on the opportunity to acquire them immediately. A year later, an opportunity to pick up a similar Standard Size Doric Morocco matching box set presented itself. Having too many of more or less the same Dorics, I let one of the Junior lovelies go and added the other to the Standard set. The marriage seemed to work well, and at the same time, just looked outstanding in the original Doric display case.

The fountain pens in both sizes are lever fillers, with the standard size model having the interesting option of an adjustable nib. The Morocco colour finish just takes these writing instruments to another level, and having the matching mechanical pencil sure helps to round out the set.

As for writing with the fountain pens, both nibs have very satisfying flex and the design of the presentation packaging could not be better. Each and every time I dig this set out to write with the pens, I am truly blown away. I could not ask for a better example of the very best of what the Wahl Eversharp pen company was all about, and are extremely happy to have this fine set in my vintage pen collection."

Our thanks to Christopher for sharing these wonderful writing instruments with us!  Don't forget about our July meeting on Thursday July 20 at a new location--the Terry Salman branch of the Vancouver Public Library! (full info here)

Monday, July 10, 2023

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 507

Here's a contemporary Pelikan model I'd never heard of until I spotted it on earlier this year -- my new Pelikan 'Pina Colada' fountain pen in blue metallic colour!

 (all photos by Maja ~  please click on images to enlarge)[Please excuse my mediocre photos-- I added some cheesy turquoise-y vignette effects to offset the poor natural lighting. Also, the shade of blue in the first photo comes closest to the pen's actual colour; the other photos show it darker than it really is]

 I stumbled across this Pelikan on back in March and thought I'd give it a go as I'm a big fan of Pelikan's economy fountain pens. It cost me $20.66 CAD (including  $4.99 shipping) from an Amazon seller (who I think is) in Germany.

The 'Pina Colada' fountain pen comes in three colours---anthracite, rosé and blue metallic--and there's also a rollerball version. I'm not sure when this model came out, but the rollerball version was added to Pelikan's assets website in October 2021 and the fountain pen was added in July 2022 (source). I've only seen the 'Pina Colada' mentioned in one Reddit post, so mine might be the first formal online review for this fountain pen!

In terms of dimensions, it's 13.3 cm capped and 12.3 cm uncapped (nib top to barrel end), according to my measurements. The weight of the pen is 14.1 grams (empty), with the cap accounting for 4.9 grams of that weight and the barrel 9.2 grams
. It's a pale blue metallic colour and the plastic material used for the cap and barrel is smooth, but lightly-textured; the grip section is grey and rubberized.

Since it's so light in weight, it can be used posted...and that's how I prefer to use it. Although it's a bit long when posted, I find it comfortable to hold and use that way because it's so well-balanced.

The Pelikan name is silk-screened in black onto the base of the cap. The cap top and barrel ends are both flat and unadorned, and the simple brushed metal clip has a "school pen" vibe to it... does the triangular section. It's very comfortable to grip, though, so I'm not complaining!

The steel nib has the current Pelikan logo (a mother pelican and chick) and the nib width (M) marked on it. The pen lays down a line that's a little narrower than some other economy-model Pelikans I own (I've only seen the 'Pina Colada' offered with a Medium nib) and I haven't had any ink flow issues with it. It takes standard international cartridges (long or short) or a standard international converter, and it came with one short Royal Blue ink cartridge.

Above: the 'Pina Colada' and my red Pelikan 'Happy' fountain pen (which was made in 2015)

As you can see, not only are the black plastic feeds different, but the nibs are different, too; the 'Happy' model has a
so-called "butterfly nib", with no tipping material, but the 'Pina Colada's nib is tipped. Butterfly nibs are created by folding the nib's tines inwards; you sometimes see them on very inexpensive modern pens and 3rd/4th-tier vintage pens.

Some photos of the original packaging for the pen, showing its suitability for both right- and left-handed users...
Interestingly, the back of the box (at the very bottom) indicates the pen was "Made in Europe". I'm used to seeing "Made in Germany" on Pelikan's packaging, so I'm not sure if this is just their new way of stating the country of manufacture ...or if the pen was made elsewhere in Europe.

I only have one small complaint (and it's truly a minor one) and that's that the pen isn't more colourful. Piña colada drinks -- with their pineapple & cherry garnishes--are colourful and cheery; if I were designing this pen, I'd have added splashes of pale yellow to the cap and barrel, and a dash of red to make the pen "pop" a bit more.

Well, that's all for now. I hope you have a great summer, whether you're going on vacation, or opting for a "staycation"!

(~Blog post by Maja~)