Monday, October 30, 2023

Photos from October meeting at Buchan's! (part 2)

(* Note: Part 1 of the photos was posted earlier today - link)

And now, here are Sherman's photos from our pen club event at Buchan's Kerrisdale Stationery last Thursday night!

(all photos below taken by Sherman ~ please click on images to enlarge)

Sherman (with the sleep mask on) participating in the Great Canadian JoWo Bake Off Nib Test organized by our fellow VPC member Nathan (who was recording the event for his excellent YouTube channel "Doodlebud"), with VPC members Stewart and Jayne looking on (this was before it got really busy with onlookers!). 

(And in case you're wondering... No, Nathan wasn't being cruel; Sherman chose to wear that particular mask --instead of the plain black one that was also provided-- for the testing lol) In early November, Nathan posted the video of the nib-testing here: Doodlebud video- "Answering The BIG Fountain Pen Question - Gold Or Steel?"!

Buchan's also provided a variety of snacks (and Starbucks coffee!) for us to nibble on and drink during the meeting...


That's me with my door prize--a sweet Faber-Castell 'Grip' fountain pen in the satin-y "Pearl Turquoise"colour (I'm a huge fan of their steel nibs, so I was very pleased to have won the pen). Buchan's and the L.S.F. Group of Companies generously donated a bunch of nice fountain pens and inks for as door prizes -- many thanks to them both!

(Sherman won the same nice door prize as I did, but in the "Pearl Mint" colour!)

Sherman with some old & new friends (left to right): (Sherman), Rumi, Reem, Melanie, Vladan, Maria and April.

The folks at Buchan's set up tables and chairs around the store for attendees to use -- very handy, as they made it easier for us to show each other the pens/inks we brought/bought that evening ;)

That's Sherman again with (L-R) Rumi, Reem, Maria, (a lady whose name we don't know--please email us to let us know!), Rose, Shirley, and Oscar.


There was no meeting theme as it was primarily a social event, but Sherman brought an assortment of very nice fountain pens-- both modern and vintage- to show his fellow attendees. From left to right, in photo above:

élysée En Vogue (50 Line) Laque Leather Red 14K M Nib
élysée Parthenon (10 Line) Laque Trajan Blue 18K M Nib
Conklin All American Courage LE Red EF Nib
Hongdian Qin Dynasty Red 0.5mm Nib
Esterbrook J Blue Pearl & Chrome 1555 Nib
Esterbrook Estie Honeycomb Oversize GT F Nib
Hero Iridium Gold Postscript Gold Arrow Red 329-2 (Defect)
Narwhal Schuylkill Porpita Navy LE F Nib
Leonardo • Officina Italiana Furore 'Mosaico Hawaii' Vancouver Pen Club LE B Nib
Montblanc Slim Line Gunmetal F Nib


Above: Sherman's impressive Hongdian 'Qin Dynasty' fountain pen photographed against a complementary background--the festive napkins that Buchan's provided at the refreshments table.

Many thanks to everyone at Buchan's for making this evening so enjoyable and memorable! (and of course, our thanks to Sherman for all the photos he took ;)

(~Blog post by Maja~)

Photos from October meeting at Buchan's! (part 1)

Last Thursday (October 26), Buchan's Kerrisdale Stationery hosted our October get-together at their lovely store in central Vancouver 😁.

There were over 50 attendees, so it was a full house, but it didn't seem overly-crowded as the store is spacious and has a good layout. Both Sherman and I snapped some photos during the event (Sherman's pics--part 2 of the photos-- were posted
here on our website), so without further ado, here are the photos I took!

(all photos below taken by Maja ~ please click on images to enlarge)
VPC members and other attendees started trickling in just after the 6:30pm start time…

Buchan's has three main aisles---a nice selection of stationery (notebooks, journals, etc) and everyday non-fountain-pen writing instruments in the far left aisle, fountain pens, other fine writing instruments & inks in the center aisle, and greeting cards and gifts in the far right aisle. The store had renovations done after melting snow flooded the store at the end of December last year … and the renos look great!

There was a special nib-testing event going on during our little get-together, organized by Nathan (on the right side of the photo), who has an excellent pen review channel on YouTube called "Doodlebud".

The nibs being tested were three Medium width JoWo nibs-- a regular steel nib, a black oxide steel nib, and a 14K gold nib -- installed in three standard-sized Esterbrook 'Estie' (modern) fountain pens. The nib testers wore blindfolds so they couldn't tell which nibs they were using, and then they were asked which of the three nibs they preferred. To find out the results of these tests, subscribe to Nathan's YT channel so you'll know when he posts the video there.*Update* The video was posted here in early November: Doodlebud video- "Answering The BIG Fountain Pen Question - Gold Or Steel?"

Above: Longtime Vancouver Pen Club member Glenn Marcus trying out the three JoWo nibs (spoiler alert! Glenn preferred the 14K gold nib ;)

Looking on are (left to right): Vladan (wearing a red sweater), Andrew, Chuck, Stewart, Gaelen (hidden in the photo above--you can see him in the other pic), Deborah, longtime VPCer Barry (hidden in both photos!) and Asifa.

The store was open for business (to attendees) during the event, and there were a lot of staff members on duty --that’s April at the till-- to help us with our purchases...

We saw some friendly new faces that evening (that's VPCer Sherman in the middle of the photo with (L-R) Maria, Oscar, Rumi and Reem)...

...and we saw many familiar faces, including VPC members Rene (right, wearing a hat) and Marissa (left side, with her back to the camera).

Our resident nib repair guy Jerred (left) talking to Chris (who came to his first VPC meeting that night), while Grant (in the background) peruses Buchan's selection of fine writing instruments from a wide selection of pen companies. The store is well-stocked with fountain pens at every price point, and has an excellent selection of fountain pen inks.


Above: Buchan's owner Inna (in the turquoise top) handing out door prizes, while her helper (a very young customer who's a very serious fountain pen fan 😀) calls out the winning ticket numbers.

Buchan's and the L.S.F. Group of Companies
(exclusive Canadian distributors of Lamy, Faber-Castell, Platinum, Monteverde, Conklin, Private Reserve, Visconti & others) generously donated pens (lots of Lamy 'Safari' and Faber-Castell 'Grip' fountain pens) and ink (several bottles by Monteverde and Octopus Fluids) for the door prize draws.

VPC members Asifa and Stuart both won store-exclusive glossy black Lamy 'Safari' fountain pens with "Vancouver Buchan's" (and a small maple leaf) on them!

Brand-new member Matthew (who attended his first VPC meeting that night), with James and Shona (who both joined our club in August) browsing in the background...


Collin (far left), another brand-new member of our club, also came to his first Vancouver Pen Club meeting that night. Buchan's owner Inna (on the far right of the photo) was busy helping customers throughout the evening. Despite it being busy, the event was very well-organized and a lot of fun.

Above: A closer look at Buchan's beautiful pen display that became part of the (newly-renovated) store this May. The display holds a large selection of writing instruments, and has two pen & notebook testing stations for customers to use with a variety of nibs and fountain pen-friendly paper.

Our thanks to the hard-working staff of Buchan's (above: Cat, Camila and Yugo)…

...and the store's ever-helpful manager, Irena, for being so patient while serving so many pen-loving customers that evening :)

(In addition to being part of the Buchan's team, both April and Yugo are active members of our pen club!)

The event at Buchan's wound down at around 9:45pm (the time flew by so quickly!), after a very good time was had by all in attendance. Our warmest thanks to Buchan's Kerrisdale Stationery (especially Inna, Irena, and Yugo) for hosting our October meeting at their wonderful store and organizing this special event for our club 😊!

If you're in the area, stop by Buchan's and see all the cool products they carry -- the store is located at 2141 West 41st Avenue in Vancouver, and is open 7 days a week for your shopping convenience (official website/web store:

(*Note: Part 2 of this blog post ---Sherman's photos from our evening at Buchan's --- was posted here)

(~Blog post by Maja~)

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Meeting tonight at Buchan's Kerrisdale Stationery!


(photo posted on Buchan's Instagram account)

No need to RSVP---just join us, if you can 😁!
(~see previous blog post and this link for more info!~)

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Reminder re: our meeting at Buchan's (tomorrow!)

Just a little reminder about our meeting at Buchan's tomorrow (Thursday October 26th). All details in this post!

Friday, October 20, 2023

"Something very special, in my books"- a special gift given to Christopher

Not a new acquisition, but a timeless writing instrument, nonetheless...
(image courtesy of Christopher ~ please click on photo to enlarge)

 Christopher writes:
"Years ago, my wife Chris did me proud with a very special anniversary gift, the Montblanc Leonardo sketch pencil. Special, because sketching in charcoal was a definite pastime for me when I was attending art school during the late 1960s. I loved the media and it carried forward to this marvelous Montblanc, or should I say ‘sketching instrument’. But somehow it got stowed and, unfortunately, out of sight out of mind, so to speak. But the other day when I scored a lovely 1938 Montblanc 232 and was putting it away, I ran across this wonderful Montblanc charcoal sketch pencil. Needless to say, I was eager to try it out and in selecting just the right paper stock, turned to sketching a young lady with very satisfying results.

 The Leonardo Sketch Pencil is in the Montblanc, Meisterstuck line and a true masterpiece as far as I am concerned. The design is so typically German, simple but utilitarian and perfect in size and shape for the job in hand. First the packaging, which in itself is impressive. Enclosed in a well made white shipping carton is a beautiful velvet lined Montblanc black display box. When opened, both the box bottom and box lid are utilized for the different components of this model. In the box bottom, there is a black velvet covered compartment, which holds not only this fine pencil, but a black leather carrying case with a silver coloured company branded silk ribbon. Moving on to the box lid, it holds in a clear plastic covered, again, black velvet compartment a 4 x 6 inch sketch pad and below this pad, in another recessed area, is the detailed instruction manual. Then directly above, also in a recessed black velvet covered compartment is a long plastic tube, capped at both ends and full of a lengthy charcoal refill.

 Now let me describe the pencil. Measuring just a tad under five inches in length, the black and gold finish definitely puts it in the Meisterstuck family. It has a clicker mechanism to extend the charcoal, but when the click is depressed again, the charcoal can be retracted. What will forever make this piece special to me over and above using it, is that the Montblanc outlet had it personalized to yours truly in a fine script font. This pencil has quite a wide girth, but sits extremely well in the hand for sketching. I will have to admit that I love my 149, 146 and 144 Montblanc fountain pens, but what could be better for a would-be artist, than a Montblanc Leonardo Sketch Pencil?!"

What a lovely, thoughtful gift! Our thanks to Christopher for this blog post :)

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Article about us in the Pen Collectors of America magazine!

 Here's the short article I wrote about the history of our pen club for the Summer 2023 issue of "The Pennant", the official magazine of the Pen Collectors of America! 😀

(images courtesy of the PCA ~  high-res images on Dropbox here)

(To see a higher-resolution version of the page above: Left-click on the image, then right-click & select "Open image in new tab" or "View image", then left-click on the image in the newly-opened tab)

Pen Collectors of America have been around for over 30 years and they're well-known (and well-regarded) in the pen community. They have an extensive online library of pen-related information (including old pen company catalogs and in-house publications) that you can access even if you're not a member. Membership in the PCA is open to everyone (not just U.S. residents), so check out this page on their site if you're interested in joining!

Our thanks to the PCA for featuring our pen club in their magazine (and special thanks to "Pennant" editor Laura Chandler)!

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 515

From an American pen company to a famous German brand--here's another recent acquisition belonging to Christopher!

(photo courtesy of Christopher ~ please click on image to enlarge)

He writes: "Although I do have a few Montblanc pens in my current collection, there has been a vacant spot for a real oldy since day one. Seems that any vintage Montblanc that I ran across to fill that space, had a price tag on it that was right up in the stratosphere! Still, there is an adage that if you wait long enough and are patient, often just what you are looking for comes your way. And this was just the case regarding a early 1940s Montblanc 232. Well, such was the case until I removed the cap, only to find a good quality but ‘American’ 14K gold replacement nib. Ouch, and at first I just walked away from it. But in doing some research and consulting my pen book library, I discovered that regarding the Montblanc pens that were produced during the war, their sections sported steel nibs. So maybe this particular upgrade was a good one. Also, I noticed that the gold filled cap banding was also not available on this pen. But again, during the war the Montblanc 232 just had chased cap banding. So for the record, that was totally correct on this pen as well. 

 So I brought it home and. in cleaning it up and polishing it, was well satisfied. My educated guess regarding this pen’s history, was that it was acquired by an American serviceman during World War II and, in turn, brought back to America where the original Montblanc steel nib was replaced with a higher quality US 14K Gold nib. This fine writing instrument has all the traditional earmarks of a Montblanc pen. From the white cap star crowning the clip screw, to the early teardrop Montblanc 14K Gold filled ring clip, it just cries out Montblanc. In this pen’s case, the plunger filler is in good working order and although not original, the 14K Gold nib is more than adequate. This pen posts smoothly at 5 ½ inches and caps back to a pocketable 4 ¾ inches. The condition overall is superb and it might not be a Meisterstuck, but regardless it is a brilliant vintage pen well deserving to become part of my collection."

What a nice vintage find :) We'll be featuring another of Christopher's Montblanc writing instruments this month, so watch this space!

Friday, October 6, 2023

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 514

Today's spotlight is on a vintage pen recently acquired by Christopher, made by a pen company celebrating the 125th anniversary of its founding this year. The pen's lovely reddish-orange colour is very Autumn-like, so I thought it was a good time to feature it :)

Christopher writes:

"Sometimes, a vintage fountain pen comes your way that is too good not to be addressed, and yet has you scratching your head as to how to make it acceptable. Such was the case with a quite large Conklin Oversized, mid twenties ‘Extra Long Endura. This pen caught my eye almost immediately. Finished in the most exquisite brilliant red/orange hard vulcanized rubber, about the only thing which it didn’t have going for it was its clip. And rather sadly, a chip on the open end of its cap. Still, with the rest of the pen in just superb condition, I was hard pressed to pass it up."

  (photo courtesy of Christopher ~ please click on image to enlarge)

"With this pen in hand, almost the entire focus revolved around the cap and what to do with it. Fortunately, I did have just the right replacement clip in my spares. But on closer examination, with a twenty times loupe, I noticed a very unsettling hairline crack extending up from the clip mounting hole about three quarters of a centimeter and on the bottom of this hole, a full centimeter down toward the open end of the cap. Granted, it was hardly noticeable with the naked eye, but still just knowing it was there bothered me. Over and above replacing the cap which, due to its rarity could prove to be a challenge, I did have quite a nice Mercantile accommodation clip, Circa 1910 which when applied, drew the crack tightly together and at the same time completely covered it. Once on the cap, it just seemed to solve that problem nicely. Now for chip at the bottom, open end of the cap. For dealing with this short, I had a beautiful and quite wide 14K Gold filled jeweler’s band, which just fit perfectly and totally covered the chip and at the same time, curled under and into the open end of the cap offering full protection. With these two items addressed, I was ready to restore and service the pen.

I won’t get into details regarding the restoration and servicing to follow, since it was basically what one has to do with a vintage lever filler to bring it up to scratch. Instead, I will describe the make up of this terrific old trooper, as a very large semi flat top, with a the top of its cap smoothed and rounded down around the edges. This cap top is also chased deeply with a circular line, which is also repeated near the bottom the barrel and at the upper end of the barrel to equal quite an attractive overall design. Also, near the bottom of the barrel, is a rather short but effective lever for filling the pen. Which may I add, draws a substantial amount of ink when filling. I would be well off the mark not to mention that this pen posted, measures a lengthy 7 inches, but caps back to 5 ¼  inches. Still, I should put more of a focus on the huge and brilliant 14K Gold ‘Conklin, Toledo engraved nib. This business part of the pen, is well tipped and a medium flexy writer providing a generous amount of ink on paper. The feed that this nib sits on is equally well made and impressive. Both of these important elements sit responsibly into a more than adequate grip section, which provides for very comfortable writing. In closing, the Conklin Endura throughout its existence was, and still is not, an inexpensive proposition but, in this particular case, a vintage writing instrument well worth having."

Our thanks to Christopher for sharing this handsome vintage pen with us! 

Wishing everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving long weekend,

**Update: to see the restored pen, check out this later blog post from June 2024 **

Sunday, October 1, 2023

October meeting at Buchan's (on October 26th) !

Well, we must be popular because another local pen store has offered to host one of our meetings! Without further ado, I'm happy to report that Buchan's Kerrisdale Stationery will be hosting this month's meeting on Thursday October 26th! 😀 

(Photo courtesy of Buchan’s Instagram account)

...and here are the details!

 What: Vancouver Pen Club October 2023 meeting

When: Thursday October 26
from 6:30pm to ???

Where: Buchan's Kerrisdale Stationery, 2141 West 41st Avenue, Vancouver,B.C  The store is located on the north side of West 41st Avenue, half a block west of West Boulevard (Buchan's web store:  link)

Parking behind the store is very limited, but there's metered parking along West 41st (I think after 6pm it's $1/hour, max. 4 hr.stay)

No topics/themes for this meeting!
Please feel free to bring any pen-related stuff you want to show other members/staff while you're mingling at this social event! There will be snacks and hot beverages, kindly provided by our
hosts at Buchan's :)

*Please note that this meeting date is *not* on our usual third-Thursday-of-the-month date! We'll be back to our usual schedule starting with our November meeting (details: to be announced)

Our thanks to Buchan's for generously offering to host our October meeting at their great pen store!