Posted in Collection, Pens, Stories

Country of Origin

Sorta kinda continuing from the Blogiversary post where I made mentioned my pen collection. What should I say about it? Should I highlight the “special” pens, or the number of pens? As the number of pens in my collection is an admission of personal weakness – I suffer from a condition known as BSO (Bright Shiny Objects) syndrome I decided against that.

I decided to focus on the country of origin of the pens. Make me seem like an international man of mystery (yeah right). Again, I started overthinking the task. I immediately thought, contemporary vs vintage, but suppose the manufacturer has contemporary pens made in China, while their vintage pens are made in the US – clearly overthinking a simple task.

Getting past the obvious insanity, I began stressing over should I count the number of pens per country or just the number of manufacturers per country? I have a couple pens from Yafa (Conklin and Monteverde) and contemporary Esterbrook pens, all of which I have included in the US manufacturer total, but we all know the pens are made in China. The same is true for Scriveiner claiming “Designed in London” and we know that means manufactured in China.

I decided on simplicity – Country and Manufacturer. Keep in mind most of my pens are vintage and the manufacturer has been out of business for decades.

  • France – Gold Starry and Waterman
  • England – Mabie Todd, Conway Stewart, Esterbrook, Osmiroid, Mentmore, Scriveiner
  • Turkey – Scrikss
  • India – indie, Airmail
  • China – Hero, Kaigelu, Zenzoi
  • Taiwan – TWSBI
  • Germany – Montblanc
  • Japan – Pilot, Spor
  • US – Esterbrook, Parker, Sheaffer, Worth, Arnold, Inkograph, Keystone, Ambassador, Conklin, Heath, Monteverde

Then I got to thinking about where did I purchase my pens. A vast number of pens were purchased from US sellers. As I am an equal opportunity purchaser, I also acquired pens from sellers in Canada, England, France, Germany, India, Japan, and the most unusual locale of all – the Greek Island of Kos, where I have purchased 2 pens.


I'm a loser as my wife likes to tell me, I enjoy researching dead cousins and playing with fountain pens.

3 thoughts on “Country of Origin

  1. Interesting that you buy mainly from your own country. I buy off eBay at the moment because I am new to the world of buying through looking. Buy locally because the USA postage can be the same price as the pen. eBay means taking chances, Have to go on sellers honest descriptions. Or simply take a chance. I would love to go to a show, just the once, and buy a brand new yearned for pen. But love the challenge of second hand vintage. To be honest, the 25-ish fountain pens I have are pretty reliable. Also very quirky. Bit like the VeeDub bus that has it’s own unique foibles. Great read from you as always. Thanks for the information. All the best.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 95% of my pens are thru eBay and international shipping is very expensive. The typical Royal Post shipping runs me £16 vs $4 if a US purchase. I just bought a pen from a Japanese seller (brand new), shipping was $17. Nearly all of me pens are vintage with 30% being Esterbrook. I like swapping out nibs. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Never owned an Esterbrook fountain pen. Love the few dip nibs I have though. Seems like this decent writing experience with them would be the same with the fountain pen. I will future look for one to try. So….Postage hey! Bought VeeDub spare parts from Europe. Needed a spring under the steering wheel which was about 4 euros. The post was more than twice that. I suppose if it is something needed or cherished you just go for it. I’m decorating the dining room at present so no blogs. Just chalk paint, stripping pine and grouting slate. Can’t wait to get the ink out again. All the best.

        Liked by 1 person

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