The Rough with the Smooth.

Kaweco Brass and Bronze Sport fountain pens.

Collecting pens, ink and paper is a strange affair. Sometimes it’s here and sometimes it’s there. Way out there.

Recently I have bought and then ‘really’ bought. Seen in photographs? Opportunities just appear and you are lovely lucky. Or, on a whim, you buy and you realise that you are not so lovely lucky. Or you know you are getting what you know is splendour. Hello Kaweco. Basically, without looking closely and at random distant? Those push the buy button choice decisions can both knowingly or surprisingly succeed or disappointingly fail.

Please tap on the individual photos to enlarge.

Also. Sometimes in a charity/thrift shop you buy because it is just that! A charity/thrift shop. It is an ethical consideration. I could buy a vase with a smiling cow painted on it by, it would seem, an infant. But what to do with such an item. Put it back into another charity shop in a week or two. No. So you buy fountain pens. You know they may not be great but they may show quirky natures that make you smile. Yes, I realise a smiling cow makes you smile too. But there is a pen/vase difference. A pen smile because of satisfaction. A cow on a vase smile because of reaction.

Charity shop buys. Burnham, Pelikano, Platignum and a Generic.

Recently bought cheaply are inks and pens totalling to £45.00 for everything. 13 bottles of Diamine ink, some half full but most actually full, 1 bottle of Pelikan ink and four fountain pens too. A Burnham, Pelikano, Platignum and a Generic. All okay but all needing attention. Cleaning to all and a new ink sac awaiting and ordered to one. All writing very nicely now.

Then you blow £135 on a single Kaweco Bronze Sport Limited Edition with a bronze clip added as a separate item. And thank heavens for such a beauty. But also realise that some of the bargain buys are a belter too. Rough with smooth. Highs and lows. But no regrets whatever.

Diamine Winter Miracle. Gorgeous ink.

Fountain pens are not about going all out snobbery with ‘how they look or cost’ buys. They are about how they write. You don’t care if the £5.00 Burnham B48 with a B45 B broad nib has a cracked barrel, no jewel or clip to cap top, a perished ink sac to replace and smells awful because it is made of casein. You shove it in an ultrasonic water bath and realise it is a faux pas. Do not immerse in water as a fellow blogger advised.

Chronicles of a Fountain Pen at

But after reading the advice, my 66 years old memory is Southward side of Sundays.

Oh yes! It is a current fact that my poor memory exhibits itself daily! I micro bath wash it! But it all looks okay, but still smells rank. A bit of Summers essential oils on hands may infiltrate and turn it into the equivalent of the Swan after the Ugly Duckling. It’s a beautiful writer on dipping into Winter Miracle. But I will not share the pen in the company of others until it preens itself and exudes with aromatic delight.

Please tap on individual images to enlarge.

A few photographs of recent purchases above with inclusions of a wonderful small wooden piece of furniture. The Mexican roughly built wooden rustic cabinet is a bargain too. An obvious choice for opening, with deference, and choosing the fountain pens and ink stars loaded on the shelves and paper in the drawer for those specific future favourite choice considerations. Need to put appropriate panels in the two doors though. Maybe a few poetic words association to the subject of pens and paper or a couple of arty pictures of unusual script subject connections.

8 thoughts on “The Rough with the Smooth.”

    1. Thanks Brenda. The pens (bought from a charity shop, eBay and a pen company) are actually all fine to write with really. Some are really nice. The Kaweco is a dream. I have the Sport brass and bronze alongside the Sport mechanical pencil now to keep in the man bag. All the best.


  1. My wife and I were just discussing this morning “why would anyone own so many pens?” My. Birthday was a couple weeks back and I found a beautiful Parker 51 (mfg in q4 1948). I was embossed with the owners name. She said “oh how nice you have how many now?” That cabinet is great. Going to add so much character.

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    1. Ditto with my wife’s comments. It’s writing with them and that the nibs can perform quirky and unusually differently than expected at times that matters to me most. But it is a strong second re: aesthetics. Yet I always love black pens most. What is really nice about the cabinet is the hand made roughness is very tactile and the fact that it will fit pens and ink bottles very nicely. It’s heavy! Cheers and belated birthday wishes.

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      1. The two door ‘windows’ are empty but will have something in them. Not glass but something unusual. I love natural untouched wood patina. But I don’t know what this has been treated with. It feels really nice aesthetically, but needs a gentle clean in the grooves. Bit dusty. Got it for £30 which was a deal grabber. I knew it would make a really nice ‘grab at a pen/ink choice’ display cabinet.

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    1. You seem to be someone who makes decisions that can spring open your own dreams. That certain fountain pen, with the right shade of ink, to provide ease and a flourish to your words. A pen like that held in the hand of a poet becomes a wand. Synergy at its best. Cheers for the amazing reply Richard.

      Liked by 1 person

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