Onoto the Pen

onoto-the-pen

My good friend from across the pond, Stephen Hull, has just advised me that his latest fountain pen book, Onoto the Pen, is now available.

This 416 page book details the 80 year history of De La Rue’s development of Onoto and De La Rue pens and contains:
– more than 1000 colour images of these writing instruments, most at actual size;
– other images of related items, advertising and leaflets;
– tables with the approximate introduction dates of all models; and
– a 40 page comprehensive colour catalogue from c.1931, reproduced in its entirety!

My limited edition is on its way and I cannot wait to read it.  You can find more information about this book, including sample pages and how to buy it at Onoto the Pen.

Those of you familiar with Steve’s previous books already know the quality of them and their wonderful contribution to the history and knowledge of the subject pens.  For those who are not, I can personally attest to their excellence as I purchased and own each and every one of them.  I acquired them, in part, because Steve has generously shared his time, knowledge and expertise with me whenever I have asked him a question about the fountain pens that I collect – Conway Stewart, Onoto and Swan; however, the main reason for getting them is because his books are the essential reference source for them – you cannot collect any of these pens without them!

For information on all of Steve’s books and how to purchase them, please visit English Pen Books.

2010 Toronto Pen Show

A collection of comments from various members who attended the 2010 Toronto Pen Show (TPS):

By Owen

“The TPS, although small, was my first show. By far, the neatest thing about it was seeing all the pens that previously, you had only heard about. Pictures don’t do justice to the real thing. They certainly don’t show the beauty and detail that goes into making these instruments. One memorable table held several old filigreed eyedroppers. Nothing much to look at in pictures, but infinitely interesting in person.
I went with only a little bit of money, just enough to get something small and a bottle of ink. And I’m glad I did. Most,  I imagine, plan to get something really nice, or expensive, or unique, or even their grail, at a  pen show. It would have been nice to go with a hundred dollars and get an impressive, memorable pen. But I would have spent the whole time trying to pick out that particular pen, second-guessing what I really wanted. I would have only looked at pens that cost a hundred dollars. I may not have even seen those beautiful $500 filigreed pens mentioned above. I would see the price tag, move along.

So, to all those first-time pen-show-goers, I say this: Bring twenty dollars. It’ll be enough to get you something small, as a souvenir of the show. You will be able to spend your time a lot more wisely. By the time the next show rolls around, or you get onto the Internet, you’ll have handled dozens of pens, and have a much clearer idea of what you really want in a pen.”

By Mike

“I met a gentleman from the UK who kindly hand-delivered my copy of the new Conway Stewart book – Fountain Pens for the Million, The History of Conway Stewart 1905-2005 –  from the author, Stephen Hull (long story), I had also arranged to buy this gorgeous Swan 46 Eternal fountain pen when it came up on FPN (for less than what was asked here) but waited to have it brought to the TPS rather than pay for shipping.  The owner of the Swan was also interested in a 2006 LE mandarin Parker Duofold that I own but we could not agree on a price.

Swan 46 Eternal fountain pen

I have an Edison Huron with a custom grind steel nib but I decided that I wanted to have an Edison gold nib in it (also custom grind) so I met Brian there to pick up the new nib and have it swapped into the Huron.  I yakked with a bunch of people who I know, looked at a few pens (but did not buy) and bought a few bottles of ink (Noodler’s EL Lawrence – a green/black colour and Parker Penman Emerald) from Sleuth & Statesman.  I was hoping to buy some of the new Diamine inks like the Amazing Amethyst and Syrah but unfortunately there was a dearth of ink at the show.  Finally, I bought some large Apica recycled notebooks from Nota-Bene.”

By Dan

“Being my first ever trip to a pen show I was not sure what to expect. There was certainly more to see than I expected for what I had been told was the smallest pen show around. I was amazed and commend the vendors who made long treks to Toronto to bring us their wares. It was great to meet a couple of guys from the Michigan Pen Club, they were disappointed not to see Doug and John there (LPC members who could not attend) and asked me to relay greetings to them. Of course seeing most of the members of our neighbor club from Cambridge again was also nice. Sadly I did not purchase anything at this year’s show, which I think surprised my wife even more than it surprised me. All in all it was a fun day and I look forward to doing it again next year.”

By David

“Once my travel-mates had stopped squabbling about the position of the front passenger seat, the trip to Toronto proceeded smoothly enough with a discussion of pen show hopes and wishes. It was good to see a new natural light-filled room for the show along with familiar faces from previous shows. Following a brief tour around the tables, I settled down to examine a Parker Duofold Junior desk pen with a grey and white marble base. The seller had two – the esthetically less desirable model with the better nib, a nice juicy medium with stubbish tendencies. He switched nibs for me and the deal was done; I am very pleased with this pen, which writes like a charm.

Parker Duofold Junior desk pen

I bought a bunch of paper items from Russell at Nota-Bene, including some Apica notebooks (best value for money of any notebook), a Rhodia Clic Bloc mouse pad, some other paper and an Exacompta notepaper holder. There were a couple of other minor purchases before I bought a 32 oz. bottle of red Waterman’s Ideal Ink, bottle almost full and complete with original box. I won’t need red ink for a while.

Vintage bottle of Waterman's Ideal red ink

I spent a little time talking with FPN’s “goodguy” who showed me the four magnificent pens he had in his shirt pocket, including three Montblanc Writers Editions and the biggest pen I have ever seen, the Visconti Jewish Bible fountain pen. And of course it was fun to watch all the goings-on, such as Mike negotiating a potential trade, Rick drooling over a plum Parker 51, and Gord fondling his new Visconti Opera fountain pen in Honey Almond. The trip back was relatively uneventful; fortunately I managed to tune out some rather conservative and highly misguided political chit-chat by tuning into “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” on NPR, which was appreciated by all.”