I was reviewing my “unpurchases” from the last two years. These are pens I wanted to buy, intended to buy, and thought I was going to buy but did not buy. Not because I feared buyer’s remorse or had a change of heart. Nope, these are unpurchased because I failed to think the unthinkable – that someone wanted these pens more than I did and that I wasn’t entitled to them.
In the spirit of the holiday season, I am not going a rant about missing out, about being disappointed because I didn’t get what I wanted. Instead, I am going to offer up a couple pens, with my thoughts, congratulations to the buyer, and a recommendation to others.
Wyvern No. 5 circa 1928 mottled
Wyvern, a now shuttered pen manufacturer located in Leicester, England; was founded in 1896 by Alfred, Alexander, and David Finburgh. Known for its high-quality nibs, the company also manufactured nibs for competing pen companies.
This model is particularly attractive to me. I have a thing for mottled or woodgrain ebonite, plus I prefer pens that resemble a Duofold – it’s all about those flat ends. Torpedo-shaped pens are just not appealing to me. I’ve run into other No. 5s but they have all been black ebonite, which is not mottled. An interesting side note, on the listings of the other 5s, the sellers have specified the pens were calligraphy pens. Nothing on this nib or pen supports the claim of calligraphy.
A glass nibbed pen from 1920s Japan (possibly made by Platinum), distributed in the US by Spors of Minnesota. The crescent says “Made In Japan,” thus from the pre-WW2 days when that phrase meant cheap, cheaper, cheapest.
I was looking at glass pens when I stumbled upon Spors. Just look at those colors; however, they are known to be a nightmare to refurbish. The manufacturer used glue to hold their pens together – remember cheap, cheaper, cheapest.
I kept my eyes open and found another. Not quite as colorful but it is in overall better shape. This pen doesn’t have the ink stains that the previous pen had, plus this pen has a slip-on cap clip.
The Balance was introduced in 1929, heralding a streamlined design that was quite extraordinary at the time. It set a new standard in design plus kicked off a design craze – two tapered ends resulting in a torpedo shape – that continues today. Yeah, nope still not appealing to me.
The model name comes from the balanced design when the cap is posted. The pivot point for the pen is just about midway, making it a comfortable pen to write with.
This pen was personalized with the owner’s name (Roxie Kessler) engraved into the barrel. Feeling confident I had this pen in hand, I spent more time researching the owner than paying attention to the auction. I was prepared to call this “The Ironic Pen.” The owner was involved in a car accident resulting in a fatality, 20 years subsequent he was killed in a car accident.
During each auction, I was 100% convinced I would own the pen when time expired. In each case, I was outbid at the final second. Yes, the winner was lurking in the shadows watching the last seconds tick by so they could pounce. If I had been paying attention, making note of other bidders, the number of watchers, etc. I would have realized it was prudent to up my bid just in case. But Noooooo. I assumed I had each pen and that my bid was solid, even though the difference between the next highest bid and my own was often only a couple dollars different.
Congratulations winners, enjoy your purchases. If by chance you have a change of heart….. you know where you can find me.COPYRIGHT © 2021-2023 DANNY WATTS and CHRONICLES OF A FOUTAIN PEN.