Pen Appeal

to 10px; WIDTH: 300px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”×1024.jpg” border=”0″ />top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>When my friend La Reine visited me in Berlin last summer, she was looking for the perfect souvenir to buy her husband, The Big Guy. Naturally, I took her on a Berlin Diva Tour, shopping at one of my favorite flea markets Berliner Trödelmarkt und Kunst- und Kunsthandwerkermarkt Straße des 17. Juni. La Reine recently mentioned our hunt in a post on her fab new blog, She’s Shopping Now, while giving great details on fountain pen collecting.

For today’s diva post, I’m sending you chez elle to read her post on Pen Appeal!

And Ladies, with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, take note! An antique or vintage fountain pen (or pen accessories) makes a great “mantique” present for your significant other!

Until next time, happy shopping!
The Antiques Diva™

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Author: Toma Clark Haines

Toma Clark Haines is a Global Tastemaker, Speaker, Writer & Entrepreneur; and founder and CEO The Antiques Diva® & Co, Europe, Asia and America's largest Antiques Sourcing & Touring Company.

  • I've been waiting for the weekend to respond to this ladies – thanks for the open door! Japan has a very interesting place in fountain pen history, especially concerning nibs. You'd be hard pressed today to find a Japanese fountain pen from the 1930's and early 40's with a gold-alloy nib (gold nibs are typically associated with quality, class and elegance). During the military and economic expansion of Japan during that time (leading to the attack on Pearl Harbor), the government outlawed the use of gold for any civilian purposes – considering it a critical military resource. Prior to the ban being put in place, there was a run-up in gold prices and speculators bought up all the fountain pens, melted the nibs and sold the gold for a handsome profit. Japanese pen makers were forced to use steel nibs instead of gold nibs but the ink corroded the steel quickly. Always a quick study, the Japanese experimented with steel alloys to prevent the nib corrosion. The solution? An alloy the Japanese modifed that had originally been created by an American for use in aircraft construction. And the irony? During WW II, steel – not gold – was on America's list of critical materials reserved for military use so American fountain pens during that time were much more likely to have gold nibs than steel nibs!

    My "interesting probably only to me" history lesson is now complete.

  • So true! It makes you wonder what words one wrote with it, was it purchased for a special occassion? to commemorate an event? a gift from a loved one?

    Best of wishes in the new year to you too Tina,
    The Antiques Diva

  • Brit Gal Sarah,
    Make sure your husband doesn't see this string of comments, then find that pen and wrap that puppy up for this Valentines Day! A family heirloom and mantique combined!!! Got to love it!!!
    The Antiques Diva

  • L.R.M.J
    – I'm "write" there with you – I too LOVE fountain pens! Last year when we were in Vinci, Italy (as in Leonardi di Vinci)my darling husband bought me the most gorgeous hand made Italian fountain pen. I swooned over it when I saw it and each time I use it get that same thrill!!!

    And you, my dear are so smart – you'll want to hide your MontBlanc when The Wine Guy comes to town!

    The Antiques Diva

  • I take issue with pens being a Mantique topic…Le Mr & I are total pen whores! It's a couple's thing 😉 On our trip last May to Tokyo I cashed in a birthday gift he'd given me a couple years ago at the Mont Blanc store in Ginza. I finally found the MB pen that was me, limited platinum edition that I hadn't seen anywhere else…but the best thing? In the Japanese market a lot of the luxury goods makers create lines/items just for Japan, so what did I find to beautifully envelope my new pen? A custom leather MB holder only found…yep, in Japan. A birthday gift, that every time I use, brings fond memories to mind of our fabulous trip! 🙂

  • Oh, nice! FIND IT, FIND IT, FIND IT! And feel free to slip it inside a care package that you send to us here in Germany!! 🙂
    ~ The Wine Guy