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Thread: NOS pens

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    Senior Member Empty_of_Clouds's Avatar
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    Default NOS pens

    I was reading on a thread on the other site about a person who had a NOS Parker 51 and was hesitant to ink it up. This is a subject that pops up now and then, and I don't believe any kind of consensus has been reached, though I may be wrong on that account.

    In my limited collection of about 30 pens, more of an accumulation than a curated group of course, there still sits a NOS vintage Aurora 88P. Somewhat similar to the person in the thread alluded to above, I remain challenged by the choice of to ink or not. On the one hand these pens were made to be used, and like most people I would have no hesitancy in inking it if it was a new modern pen that is still being produced*. However, with vintage pens there is always the little thought in the back of my mind that vintage pens are limited in number and that it may be of some value to preserve unused examples.

    Is this last a reasonable thought?


    *I do wonder about this, as even if a pen was discontinued I would likely still ink it... if it was a modern new pen.

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    Senior Member Yazeh's Avatar
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    Default Re: NOS pens

    I understand the thought. Preserving history and all that, especially if it's a special pen.

    But, personally, if I cannot use a pen, I won't buy it. So that's moot

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    Senior Member jar's Avatar
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    Default Re: NOS pens

    Unless it is sitting unsold in a dealers inventory it cannot be new old stock.

    If the person owns it then it is no longer new old stock. It might still be unused but it is not and can never again be NOS.

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    Default Re: NOS pens

    I'd rather this wasn't a discussion about semantics. Most people know what was meant in the OP, but let's ignore the use of NOS and say unused pens (just to appease the pedants among us).

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    Default Re: NOS pens

    So considering an unused piece of property.

    Look at it as any other unused piece of stuff. Does the fact that something has not been used add any value? Would the owner enjoy using the item or is is just for show or bragging or right of ownership? Is it something unusual, irreplaceable, of sentimental value or some other subjective criteria?

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    Default Re: NOS pens

    I would use it. Especially an Aurora 88p (or any other vintage Aurora) - I have two or three of these and they're just a joy to write with.

    I'd do the same with the P51 referenced earlier.

    But, that's because I'm a user rather than a collector. I might feel different if I had drawers full of uninked, unused pens that formed part of a collection of display pieces, or if I were planning to resell it.

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    Senior Member jar's Avatar
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    Default Re: NOS pens

    Quote Originally Posted by mizgeorge View Post
    I would use it. Especially an Aurora 88p (or any other vintage Aurora) - I have two or three of these and they're just a joy to write with.

    I'd do the same with the P51 referenced earlier.

    But, that's because I'm a user rather than a collector. I might feel different if I had drawers full of uninked, unused pens that formed part of a collection of display pieces, or if I were planning to resell it.
    Exactly. It's not the object that is relevant but what the individual owner wants. To use or not to use; that is the question.

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    Default Re: NOS pens

    I understand the hesitation, especially around things that are no longer made.

    Of course, if serial numbers are to be believed, vintage Aurora 88s aren't that scarce. And is there really that much difference (except in the minds of collectors) between an unused pen and one that has been carefully used? Or consider cork piston seals, where lack of use can lead to deterioration of function.

    One exception might be a pen that could be permanently changed by inking it. I hesitated for a long time about inking a NOS Parker 61, staining that pristine capillary filler, but eventually did so anyway.

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    Senior Member Ole Juul's Avatar
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    Default Re: NOS pens

    To me there is value in something old being in good shape if one is planning to use it. If not, then it doesn't matter so much and it doesn't even have to be a working. From a collector's point of view, I prefer something be used and embody some history.

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    Default Re: NOS pens

    I can understand the desire to preserve a vintage object, in this case a fountain pen. I think whether to use it or not depends on individual orientation — some collectors simply appreciate the ability to look at a pen and enjoy its design, materials, etc. Others want to be able to experience how the pen actually works and writes. Some people are a combination of the two.

    For me, whether to ink a vintage pen depends on its condition. As others have noted, I am unlikely to purchase a vintage pen that is not in a condition to be used, because, for me personally, a great part of the pleasure is in both the visual and tactile experience of the pen. So, if I have a vintage pen I will ink it and use it. I’ll be careful about my choice of ink — sticking to the tried and true Pelikan and Waterman — but, apart from that, no holds barred!

    Another thing to think about in terms of differentiating between vintage and “modern” is when you draw the line. When does a pen that is new today become limited or vintage — and, if you choose not to ink vintage pens — unusable? I have several pens I wouldn’t call “vintage” (that term for me is usually reserved for something 50+ years in age) but are certainly no longer available and thus hard to find. I stick with using safer inks on these older pens, keep them well maintained as I do my “vintage” pens, and keep using and enjoying them!

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    Senior Member christof's Avatar
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    Default Re: NOS pens

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    I was reading on a thread on the other site about a person who had a NOS Parker 51 and was hesitant to ink it up. This is a subject that pops up now and then, and I don't believe any kind of consensus has been reached, though I may be wrong on that account.

    In my limited collection of about 30 pens, more of an accumulation than a curated group of course, there still sits a NOS vintage Aurora 88P. Somewhat similar to the person in the thread alluded to above, I remain challenged by the choice of to ink or not. On the one hand these pens were made to be used, and like most people I would have no hesitancy in inking it if it was a new modern pen that is still being produced*. However, with vintage pens there is always the little thought in the back of my mind that vintage pens are limited in number and that it may be of some value to preserve unused examples.

    Is this last a reasonable thought?


    *I do wonder about this, as even if a pen was discontinued I would likely still ink it... if it was a modern new pen.

    Hello

    I have neither an answer to your question nor a recommendation to make. Just two questions that might help you to make your own decision:

    1. is the Aurora so rare that using it would massively reduce its value?

    2. is it really necessary to use this fountain pen, or do you already have enough other pens that you are happy with to use?

    ...just two questions.

    C.
    Last edited by christof; May 1st, 2021 at 02:45 PM.

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    Default Re: NOS pens

    Good points.

    With regard to the questions (@Christof)

    1. I have no idea how many unused Aurora pens are out there, and for me this isn't about monetary value but rather historical or even cultural value.

    2. I suspect that most of us, once we have accounted for the nib types we favour, have more than enough pens to write with, such that additional pens don't really need to be used.


    Sorry, I should have made the OP clearer. This was a general consideration rather than specifically about my Aurora! In the FPN thread I allude to I note that Farmboy suggested not inking an unused P51, as did others, and it seemed it was on the basis of there being tons of used pens available so why ink an unused one. However, that is only one example, so I was seeking other perspectives, either in support of this or of some other way of thinking about it.
    Last edited by Empty_of_Clouds; May 1st, 2021 at 08:38 PM.

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    Default Re: NOS pens

    For relatively common pens, such as 51s and 88s, I'd ink them up and use them. There are enough serious collectors around with immaculate collections of those models to ensure they survive, inviolate, for posterity.
    Vintage. Cursive italic. Iron gall.

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    Default Re: NOS pens

    I completely understand both perspectives.

    For me it really depends on the pen. I have relatively inexpensive pens I have not inked and relatively expensive and hard to find pens that were previously uninked that I inked as soon as I got to my desk.
    As a general rule of thumb for me I intend to ink every pen that I buy.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Default Re: NOS pens

    NOS is usually used as a way of increasing the price of a vintage pen. I don't see any benefit in keeping a pen unused unless, possibly, it is an extreme rarity or actually unique. And even then...

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    Default Re: NOS pens

    I have a lot of uninked pens. That's because I have bought a lot of new pens. A lot of old pens, too, but I believe most of them have been inked. I might not ink some of the older pens, simply because I don't think they would be wonderful writers in the first place. I bought them for sentimental or aesthetic reasons, and I just like looking at them. Others I bought because I like looking at them and have reason to believe they will be good writers. In any case, my inking doesn't come close to keeping up with my passion for collecting pens. My latest passion: Sailor pens, especially pink ones and lavender/purple ones. And green ones. And blue ones. And yellow ones. And orange ones. And...

    I don't have any intention of not inking any of my pens to maintain or enhance their value. I'll get to inking most of them eventually.

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    Senior Member christof's Avatar
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    Default Re: NOS pens

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    Sorry, I should have made the OP clearer. This was a general consideration rather than specifically about my Aurora! In the FPN thread I allude to I note that Farmboy suggested not inking an unused P51, as did others, and it seemed it was on the basis of there being tons of used pens available so why ink an unused one. However, that is only one example, so I was seeking other perspectives, either in support of this or of some other way of thinking about it.
    I think I understand better now. In this case it is a personal decision and do not depends on the pens, but on the owner. Pen collectors would probably prefer to keep uninked pens uninked and pen users would probably not see a problem in inking a NOS pen. Even then not if it is about a rare and vintage piece, since they own this pen to use it.
    I think it's as simple as that.

    C.
    Last edited by christof; May 2nd, 2021 at 03:31 AM.

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    Default Re: NOS pens

    Usually, my approach on inking previously-uninked pens (that's PUP to you, dear pedants) depends on these considerations:

    1. How likely is it to find another one also uninked?

    2. Would it serve any education or preservation value if I leave the pen uninked?

    3. Would I enjoy writing (sketching) with the pen?

    Let's give this a run:

    1. Unlikely, 2. Yes, 3. Maybe ==> Remains uninked.

    1. Quite likely, 2. Not really, 3. Maybe ==> Ink it up!

    1. Quite likely, 2. No, it's well known, 3. Not likely ==> Remains uninked because one day someone may want to ink it up for the first time.

    1. Don't know leaning towards Unlikely, 2. Not really, 3. Heck yes! Look at that juicy stub nib! ==> Ink that pen up already!

    I hope this helps a bit and not confuse even more
    - Will
    Unique and restored vintage pens: Redeem Pens

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    Default Re: NOS pens

    Quote Originally Posted by penwash View Post
    Usually, my approach on inking previously-uninked pens (that's PUP to you, dear pedants) depends on these considerations:

    1. How likely is it to find another one also uninked?

    2. Would it serve any education or preservation value if I leave the pen uninked?

    3. Would I enjoy writing (sketching) with the pen?

    Let's give this a run:

    1. Unlikely, 2. Yes, 3. Maybe ==> Remains uninked.

    1. Quite likely, 2. Not really, 3. Maybe ==> Ink it up!

    1. Quite likely, 2. No, it's well known, 3. Not likely ==> Remains uninked because one day someone may want to ink it up for the first time.

    1. Don't know leaning towards Unlikely, 2. Not really, 3. Heck yes! Look at that juicy stub nib! ==> Ink that pen up already!

    I hope this helps a bit and not confuse even more
    I like your thinking! The more mercenary among us might add:

    4. If I leave this pen uninked for another year / two years / five years (effectively cellaring it), will I be able to sell it at a profit?

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    Default Re: NOS pens

    This is an interesting discussion. More than 20 years ago, when we were returning from vacation in Miami Beach, we left the interstate and traveled on much smaller roads because we find them more interesting. It was a Sunday afternoon, and a sign for a local weekend flea market in northern Florida attracted my attention. It was not huge, fewer than 100 dealers with parked cars and some with tables filling a semi-rural rural field. I walked the aisles fairly quickly until something a muted orange attracted my attention. Yes, there was a senior Parker Big Red Duofold on a dealer's table. I owned quite a few Duofolds at the time, as it is my favorite early 20th c fountain pen. Despite owning a number of orange Duofolds, I was still very excited. I asked the dealer if I could see it. He said, of course. It was a double-band, late 1920s model. I unscrewed the cap, and guess what fell out into the palm of the hand with which I was holding the barrel? Guess, please. Dust! Orange dust. Not only had this fountain pen not been used. Apparently, its cap had not been unscrewed. I was very surprised to see the orange dust because I assumed that after the cap and barrel threads had been cut at the factory, the pens were thoroughly cleaned. This one had not been cleaned. Of course, the orange dust could have been from cap deterioration, but once I got the pen home, I looked into the cap with a strong light. Perfect interior. I paid $80 dollars for the pen which was a reasonable price at the time for a senior Big Red. It was a great price for one in mint or near-mint condition. It had no evidence of the cap having been posted, and the barrel & cap threads were without any evidence of dirt or ink. Briefly soaked and unscrewed its section, and checked its bladder that night in the hotel room. The bladder was somewhat supple, but not very. I dipped and wrote with it that night in the room. Of course, I filled it after replacing the bladder. It is still one of the cleanest pens in my collection and certainly my cleanest Duofold.

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