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Thread: The Little Black Pen

  1. #1
    Junior Member mathogre's Avatar
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    Default The Little Black Pen

    The Little Black Pen. So understated. So hot. So sensual.

    Today I mailed a thank you card to my sister-in-law and her family. It was a Japanese print card from The Met, written using my relatively new Lamy Safari Charcoal fountain pen with a black fine nib and a black Lamy ink cartridge. Think what you will. When I saw the envelope and the writing in the sunlight this morning, I was mesmerized. This is akin to the Little Black Dress. Women understand that. The price of an LBD doesn't really matter, as long as it is designed well and looks good on the woman wearing it. An LBD from the Michael Kors Michael line isn't the same as from the Michael Kors Collection, but you'll still be gorgeous in the former if you can't afford to be Drop Dead Gorgeous in the latter. The ink on the envelope this morning in the bright mid-morning sunshine was simple and elegant. It was beautiful.

    Pre-pandemic, one of my hobbies was as a fashion photographer. I'm a guy and designed my avatar. I've worked with some very beautiful women. The best are elegant. I was privileged to work with very talented, intelligent, and beautiful women. I earned my work with them, they earned their work with me. It was all business, always business, but we created art, and that's what mattered.

    The charcoal Safari with the black nib and black ink cartridge is on some level simple and, probably in some places, common. There are far more expensive and elegant instruments with the capability to seduce the writer and, ideally, to produce work that seduces the reader on appearance alone. Regardless, what I was able to do with my lovely little Safari made me hope that they'll actually notice the script, even if they don't know why.

    Yes. It matters.
    mathogre, aka The Mathemagician

    https://www.grahamglover.com

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Little Black Pen

    Nice sentiments.

    Indeed, the quiet sophistication of a well-designed and executed black pen is hard to knock. I suppose the male counterpart to the LBD is the standard black tuxedo. Many variations have been tried, but for cool elegance that original look is hard to beat, and when you wear one, it can be just the ticket.

    I'm not sure if you are aware, but among the older collectors in this hobby, which really only sprang up in the 60s-70s or so, there is a group called The Black Pen Society. Started by a couple of them (I think as an inside joke) at a pen show, it has gradually grown. The main guy involved is one of the grand gentlemen of the pen world, Paul Erano. If you walk up to him at a pen show and show him a black pen or two, he'll likely let you in on the thing, and if he hasn't run out he usually has a yearly lapel pin for a couple bucks. It's all in fun until some of those guys pull out their incredible pens and then you realize how wide and deep this one niche can be.

    You weren't planning a thread designed to feature photos of our favorite black pens, were you?
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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  5. #3
    Senior Member christof's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Little Black Pen

    ...a well-designed and executed black pen is hard to knock.
    Music in my ears!

    ... then you realize how wide and deep this one niche can be.
    more than true!

    Favourite Black Pens by C.M.Z, auf Flickr

    PS: ...an yes, charcoal (umbra) is my favourite color too from all the Safari. I have mine since more than 20 years in use and it was never filled with someting else than black ink.
    Last edited by christof; April 7th, 2021 at 03:59 AM.

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    Senior Member mizgeorge's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Little Black Pen

    Quote Originally Posted by christof View Post

    Music in my ears!

    ... then you realize how wide and deep this one niche can be.
    more than true!

    Favourite Black Pens by C.M.Z, auf Flickr

    PS: ...an yes, charcoal (umbra) is my favourite color too from all the Safari. I have mine since more than 20 years in use and it was never filled with someting else than black ink.
    I LOVE this picture - every one of them is utterly timeless

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    Senior Member Wahl's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Little Black Pen

    Black pens...


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  10. #6
    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Little Black Pen

    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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  12. #7
    Junior Member mathogre's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Little Black Pen

    Indeed, the black tuxedo and a gentleman is the complement to the LBD and a lady. Btw, I had no idea how this thread would go, but seeing these pens and learning the story of the Black Pen Society and Paul Erano is wonderful!
    mathogre, aka The Mathemagician

    https://www.grahamglover.com

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  14. #8
    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Little Black Pen

    Also, emphasis little. This image is from a report I did on the 2019 SF Pen Show, and shows an itty-bitty Waterman a friend of mine had just purchased:

    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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  16. #9
    Senior Member Freddie's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Little Black Pen

    Black pens are beautiful.................{Old Scan}
    HelloAndWelcomeToBigTimeTelevision.jpg

    Fred

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  18. #10
    Senior Member FredRydr's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Little Black Pen

    Quote Originally Posted by Freddie View Post
    Black pens are beautiful....
    And they're less likely to decompose.

  19. #11
    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Little Black Pen

    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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  21. #12
    Senior Member christof's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Little Black Pen

    Okay, this is going to be a contest, right? So take that:



    and this:



    ...oh! and I forgot these:



    as black as possible:



    OK, I'm done.
    Last edited by christof; April 7th, 2021 at 01:22 PM.

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  23. #13
    Senior Member penwash's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Little Black Pen

    No, not a contest. More like a friendly show and tell

    As I went through my pen photos, I just realized how many black pens have passed through my workbench and gone to a new home.

    Here's a very cute pair that fits the theme of "Little Black Pen":

    Last edited by penwash; April 7th, 2021 at 04:27 PM.
    - Will
    Unique and restored vintage pens: Redeem Pens

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  25. #14
    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Little Black Pen

    Quote Originally Posted by christof View Post
    Okay, this is going to be a contest, right?
    With YOU around? Do I look that stupid? I concede in advance!

    BTW, the gold cap pens in this shot are to die for:

    Last edited by Jon Szanto; April 7th, 2021 at 02:11 PM.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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  27. #15
    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Little Black Pen

    Maximum stealth:

    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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  29. #16
    Senior Member Empty_of_Clouds's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Little Black Pen

    Jon, as owned by Hotblack Desiato!



    Old picture (pen released to wild)



    Industrial springs to mind.

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  31. #17
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    Default Re: The Little Black Pen

    IMG_20171031_220856.jpg

    Slightly less stealthy stealth frankenpen.

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  33. #18
    Senior Member mizgeorge's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Little Black Pen

    I wouldn't dare to even start to take pictures of my black pens. Not least because so many of them look almost exactly the same. Black, brass, piston filling, at least 50 years old. Or black, totally unadorned (maybe a gold band or two), hard rubber. at least 80 years old. Oh, and a few black, metal caps (oh, how reckless), hooded nibs, at least 50 years old...

    No wonder I've been on a colourful pen buying spree!

  34. #19
    Senior Member mizgeorge's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Little Black Pen

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    Maximum stealth:

    I have to admit, I quite fancy one of these... I love the lack of, erm, everything.

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  36. #20
    Senior Member penwash's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Little Black Pen

    Believe or not, I'm still browsing through my photos of black pens ...

    Here's one that is not that often found (or showcase) without the color stripes.

    - Will
    Unique and restored vintage pens: Redeem Pens

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