The Onoto Junior de la rue fountain pen has arrived. Quite excited about this particular fountain pen. So it arrived in the post, given a quick once over look, grab a bottle of Waterman Intense Black ink, fill her up, grab a sheet of light sage green Khadi hand made paper and see what happens. Then, closed eyes, a deep breath to relax and begin. Just simply put down the normal routine of naive description.
When watching YouTube videos or looking at pen analysis on blogs, many enthusiasts have rote planning. Covering everything we, as enthusiasts too, want to learn about the pen. I don’t have the knowledge or courage to perform that task. It is just the explanation of how, by using specific pens, it can hopefully give the reader a brief insight to whimsy. A small window of time where, upon reading, they may think ‘This Summers guy has added another reason why I really need/don’t need this specific pen’. Like looking at positive and negative Amazon item bought reviews. 2,158 reviews with a 4 star average. You ask yourself ‘Why 4 and not 5 stars?’ So you hunt down the ‘why not’s’ and it can swing decisions for or against. I’m very aware that some people complain or criticise for the simple reason that they actually enjoy complaining and criticising. You can spot them a mile off. It has an air of ‘look at me’ desperation about the write up. Ungracious elements inherent.
So if you want an in-depth review on the pen, this unfortunately will not be the read you require. It is meandering and lightweight writing.
The Onoto is synonymous with being known as a pen of all round dependency and beauty. A history of consistency borne from being very well made. Being available to buy from a vintage pen era beginning in 1905 right up to current day. I really needed to find out if it is indeed quite joyous using an example of what many consider as very, very fine pens. Onoto, the company, have a brief history on their website.
https://onoto.com/world-of-onoto/heritage/#:~:text=Our story began in 1905,and then in Strathendry, Scotland.
Still making pens, they still have an air of luxury. These are pens at hundreds of pounds prices. New and old. So to own a vintage one of any kind was a self need of being able to see one in my hand, give a little nod and smile to myself with an ‘It’s Here! And Yes……We Have It!’ Why ‘We?’. It’s simply my inherent layers belonging to self Id. Ownership required due to a number of consideration levels. And so, after opening the envelope. a deep breath in, looking at the small lightweight plain as plain presentation, a little goosebump scenario and then what follows is a glorious feeling of ‘now the journey is about to begin’.
You may scratch your head and wonder. ‘What! It’s only a pen,’ All I ask is to substitute ‘only a pen’ for something you yourself treasure. A particular piece of music on vinyl, an item of artisan or iconic clothing, a Gucci bag, an autograph on a photograph from a much admired celebrity, a painting by a much admired artist, an advertising poster of a film you have loved for decades, etc. Myself? A 1970’s poster of Lord of the Rings imagery that I had in teenage years on the bedroom wall, then my first flat/apartment wall, but now long gone. How I would love to now own again. I suppose it is anything that you yourself find, with a comforting scenario of emotional response to the fact you are now in the presence of something that is now yours. How it can enhance your life by simply being there.
In my blog of The Ninth Gate bag, the original blog that started the Iconic Ownership theme, I reflect somewhat on the ethics of ‘possessing or possessions’. The Buddhist ideal.
Also. My recent read of the book by James Norbury’s ‘The Journey. Big Panda and Tiny Dragon’ where the author wrote of possessions too.
The values placed on possessions are not simply because you are a collector and buy/obtain/lust after/obsess over because you are an avid fan of something specific. I saw a programme where a gentleman was speaking of his deceased wife who collected everything ‘Beatrix Potter’. A room that became a shrine of thousands of items from books to ornaments. Possessions are indeed possible of becoming runaway trains.
So in looking for fountain pens my philosophy is a simple one. Own at least one of the fabulous ‘knowns’. Just interest value. And don’t pay out a fortune. The enjoyment is about finding a little beauty of a bargain and enjoying ‘the chase’. The singular model from a vintage iconic make presents itself at a reasonable auction starting price and you watch. It goes into stupid price land and you click ‘unwatch’. It is about having a pen to see what all the fuss is about in reality. Then ultimately it then becomes about developing a small relationship of it as a ‘friend’. I wrote, when doodling once, ‘Can you fall in love with an inanimate object?’ If it can make you smile when holding/handling it and using it like a pen, guitar, book, bag, coffee machine, etc. or jump in and drive it like a VeeDub Bus, etc. then, yes, I suppose you can love an inanimate object.
I now have an Onoto Junior de la rue and simply……..it is enough. Yes, I do possess more than one in certain makes. I have two Waterman, four Parker, a few italic choices with interchangeable nibs, etc. However it is because you enjoy the pen qualities in the script it can produce. A particular make has a fine or medium nib. A stainless steel, iridium or gold nib. You realise it has a flagship model that is raved about and interest is tweaked. Or. You own a specific make where the model you have is a beautiful performer and that’s enough. You get a pen that is a disappointment? Pass it on to someone who may well love it and find it perfection. And yes. I do mean give it away.
Below are photographs of my new wonderful Onoto.
Please tap on the images to enlarge.
If you are simply not interested in using something, why gain monetary value from something you cannot use? I bought a Hugo Boss scarf made of beautiful mixtures of various wools. It was about 8 feet long, Dr. Who Tom Baker style and not often worn. Yes, it was beautifully warm. I paid a whopping £10 for it from a charity shop. I knew they were expensive as I saw similar in the past on the internet. Around £150. I had it on to go into work one freezing cold morning and a fellow nurse was ecstatic about it. She absolutely fell in love with it. So I handed it over and said ‘It’s yours. I hardly wear it in reality. Too big and cumbersome’. She, on becoming the new owner, wore it often. We bought a new, second hand car. Our old one cost a few thousand pounds, no longer required, so we gave it away to someone who needed a car. Our local Machynlleth community have a swap site. Many people say on offering items ‘Have it! Take it away!’ That is a wonderful ethical value to possess.
Now, owning this Onoto pen has made me realise straight away, on first use, why people enthuse about them. It is beautiful in it’s plain presentation, it’s performance and it is actually, I’ve got a new phrase, ‘Onoto enough’. Applies to other ‘enoughs’ too. I will probably never own another one. Over the next few weeks? I believe it will settle in to become an all time favourite. I believe it will show it’s inherent confidence in itself. It’s been around a long time and still performing with ability to simply get on with the art of delivery. And that is a very great characteristic to possess.
Below is the site address for current new Onoto pens. Says ‘Home’. Too flamboyant for my simple tastes, but very much worth a look.
9 thoughts on “Onoto Junior de La rue. Lever ink filler Fountain pen.”
Generosity is truly a wonderful ethic to have, a fountain of sorts.
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Generosity comes in all shapes and sizes doesn’t it? We’ve done variations of this for decades upon decades to be honest. It is borne from childhood. My Mum and Dad having our local childhood friends around our house when we were teenagers. There were four of us siblings. So a fair few friends! Endless cups of tea on the go. Loaves of bread disappearing for racks of toast. Beans on toast was fondly remembered by my mates who still talk of those days. Don’t know how my parents endured the expense of buying food or the noise of guitars and music. Great memories though.
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Great p[ost Gray. Enjoyed the story. Onoto is on my list of pens I wish to own – haven’t found the ONE yet. You did a wonderful job explaining the joy and benefits of owning vintage or second hand “stuff.” I am very empathetic and this applies to vintage pens, if that makes any sense. I wonder about previous owners. They all lived, had experiences. They had good days and bad, and this pen was there. This make me and I feel it applies to yourself, gain an appreciation for these secondhand items far beyond the intrinsic and monetary value of that secondhand pen or scarf. All the best.
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Great reply too Danny. It does make sense re: empathy in ownership. I have read inclusions in your blog posts about names on pens and you finding who the owner was. So you carry on their story. I have two with owners names. Robert Bishop’s Swan Mable Todd. And just yesterday I realised the Parker 25 has A J Psirides etched into the barrel. Only one name came up on the internet search. He writes literature paper’s and is a senior consultant medic. I would love to imagine that another health practitioner (myself) was carrying on the mantle. Used in a different retirement way now by myself. But if I were still at work? The other pen that came with the 25 was a Parker 45 early Flighter with no name on it. But in the same Parker double pen box. I bought the 3 Parker’s for £18 total. A Slimfold came too. So £6 each! That’s what the blog says. It’s the fun of the ‘Chase’. But ending up with someone who uses them in earnest. They went into the ultrasound cleaner and write beautifully now. All the best.
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I have a 1940 CS Esterbrook Relief made in London. I can only imagine what the owner must have gone through. What documents the pen signed, letters it wrote. It is a plain black pen, Think of the events post war it may have been a part of. I like to think a civil servant owned it. Mind boggling really.
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My opening paragraph in my Ninth Gate blog from years ago says this in a different way about who the original owners were. You’ve hit the nail on the head here. We both own vintage items from the past that went through different scenarios to what we ourselves proffer in use. The Ninth Gate bag is a 1935 French Infantryman Musette mle35 bag used in WW2. Imagine how it was used and the hardships that it was a part of. The support it gave to that soldier. And I carry my simple daily needs in it now. But as I said in the Iconic Ownership post. The soldier that carried that bag dreamed of peace. And realisation is that his contribution has allowed me to carry his bag in a gentler time of existence. Strange. Imagine having a Sixth Sense when holding a pen or carrying a bag and them transporting insights from their past. Like one of those films where seers and prophets hold items and get flashbacks! Great thoughtful reply Danny. Thanks. All the best.
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Oh! And good luck with your Onoto search too.
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Fascinating write up Gray. I love the insights you share, not just about the pens, but to get to know you a bit too. I’m not surprised to read about your generosity of spirit. I agree, it’s always better when someone else can benefit from something we’re not using. I love reading about your pen adventures too 😁
I believe the blogging world is an amazing insight to each others’ interests. Social media it definitely isn’t. But it does allow exchange between each other. These are considered and very amicable too. Also, it can be extremely cathartic. There is no expectation or need for ‘likes’. But I do press ‘like’ because it does show an appreciation for others’ words after being read. Even in the small exchanges of replies. There are professional bloggers that simply drown in ‘likes’ and offer no contribution to others. That is fine. But I love the activities between people that are genuinely interested in what they are reading. A platform for self promotion is not how I see a blog. I love your insights and help/guidance related blogs. Shows compassion in your job. And then you include other ideas too. I like bloggers who can be eclectic and diverse in deliveries. The unexpected lateral thinking or subjects choice. My pen write ups are naive. But I find extreme usefulness in others who know their onions re: fountain pen use. Horses for courses. Your reply here has put it in a nutshell concerning how I find pleasure in writing. Thank you for the kind words. All the best.
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