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Thread: Michigan Pen Show Report

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    Senior Member 00Photo's Avatar
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    Default Michigan Pen Show Report

    I usually take photos, however, since I was only traveling to the show instead of staying at the hotel I decided to leave my 800lb backpack of photography stuff at home and shoot with my iphone. Then once I got there I started talking to all the great pen people and forgot to take photos. So, you'll have to use your imagination......

    On Saturday myself, my wife, and my daughter made the 3 hour drive and arrived just after 10am when the show opened. The entryway had Eric Fonville's collection of pens on display. There are some real gems in there! We paid our entry and immediately saw Keith, one of our local pen posse members, with a table! At the last pen posse he brought in some pen holders he was working on and we all thought they were awesome. Well apparently so did everyone else because before we even got there he had sold all of them! Way to go Keith! He also had some pens and goodies, and coffee that he had roasted and dubbed "Penman's Roast" . I bought a bag and will let you know what I think shortly.

    We entered the main room and immediately thought we were in the wrong place LOL. Compared to the only other pen show we had been to, Chicago, this show was relatively small. I figured we wouldn't be there long, but boy was I wrong. Despite it's smaller size there were a rather large assortment of new, vintage, and custom pens there! It was great chatting with everyone in a smaller setting and we wound up spending all day there.

    Now, I have been saving for a Visconti Divina Elegance in blue, for quite some time. My plan was to just explore and get some ink maybe. Well, that plan went to crap once we started looking at all the awesome pens. I guess I'll just have to keep saving a little longer.

    The night before we left I proposed a friendly game to my family, in the spirit of Top Gear. Each of us would find a pen at the show that was $20 or less, debate the merits of each, score them, then just randomly declare a winner. Ambitious, but rubbish. With this in mind we set off around the tables. We spoke with some awesome pen people, everyone was friendly and helpful and full of great stories and history. My first purchase was at Paul Erano's table. I signed up for a subscription to Paul's Fountain Pen Journal. It was during this transaction that I was somehow, mysteriously inducted into a secret society. I have the pin to prove it. I'm not sure what the perks are but I am now a member of the Black Pen Society.



    Paul had some killer pens but I held fast to my plan and passed on them all. They were awful nice to molest for a short time at the very least. We moved around the room exploring and chatting and then I saw something I was interested in investigating at Jerry Adair's table. He had a Bexley 58. I had seen them online and was interested in seeing what it felt like in the hand as I prefer larger pens, and boy-oh-boy is this pen a whopper. I unscrewed the cap and started air writing with it like I was John Hancock signing a novelty oversized check like you get when you win a PGA tour or something. It was during this time I noticed something was wrong with the nib. The factory nib had been replaced. WITH A WATERMAN #17 EMBLEM PEN FLEX NIB! The price of a Bexley 58 is $425. The price of a Waterman #17 flex nib varies with market forces somewhere between "a-lot" and "who-bid-on-this?-a-Sheikh?" I asked Jerry how much he wanted for it and he quoted a price about 1/3rd what it was worth. I thought about it for a few seconds. Then he counter offered on himself even lower. How could I resist a super huge awesome pen with a super huge awesome flex nib?!?!?!?! My plan was in ruins. I bought Bexley frankenpen of awesomeness.





    My wife and daughter had already found their $20 pen by this point so I narrowed my focus to find something to beat them. I found a nice rootbeer Esterbrook J at Ralph Stillwell's table with a 9000 series nib. One of the good ones with nice tipping. I asked how much. $20. Boom! I'm going to win for sure. It was during this time I learned something horrifying. My wife and daughter are not really "pen people". They just have to put up with me and came along to humor me. At a pen show, if you are a woman, and you are not into pens, the vendors will GIVE YOU PENS. FREE. Between them they had already amassed 8 pens, and had only purchased 2 of them. Cheaters. They were cheating!

    We broke for lunch with one of the pen posse members and everyone put their booty on the table. A unanimous winner was declared with an impartial judge and my daughter's pen, a Raoxiniao A-1, came out on top. It is a chinese parker 51 looking pen, with a hooded nib and a guilloche body. It actually looked and felt quite nice in the hand. My wife had found another chinese pen, unmarked, with nice black and gold design and handsome two tone steel nib marked 18k gp. Although the Esterbrook had the most history, the other pens did seem a bit higher end. I was out-penned by non pen people. I suck.



    After lunch my wife brought me over to see something that caught her eye. It was a Parker Vacumatic desk pen, in NOS condition, with a clean, transparent section, smooth working filler, and a FLEX NIB. Now, me, I would have put a price somewhere north of $200 on this pen had I been selling it as finding a flexy parker vacumatic nib is not an easy task. I picked it up and looked at the price. $45. I exclaimed "HOW MUCH? $45?!?!?!" I was incredulous at my luck. Before I could reach for my wallet the guy says "Well I could probably do $35."

    I got that pen for $35! My wife says it's my birthday present from her. Nice!



    We visited with the Anderson's and got some ink from them. They could probably fill a lake with all they ink they bring everywhere. LOL. They are always ready with a good story about pens and we spent a good amount of time browsing their pens.

    We had a nice conversation with Alan Kaufman about life in general. He's an awesome guy with a big heart. I had been looking for a Sheaffer Snorkel ever since I sold the one I restored off. It was a desk pen and I'm not a big fan of desk pens in general so off it went to a new home after I restored it. I really like the overly complex filling system. It has a high cool factor for me that I came to appreciate while restoring one. He had a nice Burgundy pen/pencil set at a fair price that I picked up. He said it was a Canadian set from about 1957. Cool pen from a cool guy!



    We also spent some time with Brian Grey at the Edison Pens table. I sent one my Edison's back to his secret lair for some custom work. While we were there I found an extended Mina I'm pretty sure I NEED. LOL. Brian and his crew are always fun to visit.

    We had an awesome time, and even though it was a smaller show, it still took us all day to explore and talk with everyone. Each time we go to a pen show we are impressed with how friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable pen people are.
    Here's the haul from this years Michigan Pen Show:




    We have made plans to attend the Ohio pen show now.

    I swear I'm not buying a pen there.
    Last edited by 00Photo; October 19th, 2014 at 12:25 AM.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Michigan Pen Show Report

    "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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    Default Re: Michigan Pen Show Report

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    Now there's a thought: illegal activities to support our pen addiction.

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    Default Re: Michigan Pen Show Report

    Wow, what amazing deals! Thanks for the report!
    ---
    Current pen rotation: way too many!

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Michigan Pen Show Report

    I swear, Hector, in that last group photo it looks like you tried to Photoshop in an image of the Bexley without resizing it to match the other pens - that thing is huge!
    "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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    Default Re: Michigan Pen Show Report

    Dang, I keep missing the black pen club. 90% of my pens are black! I want that pin. I'm collecting fountain pen pins on my bag and I need that one!
    ---
    Current pen rotation: way too many!

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    Default Re: Michigan Pen Show Report

    Thanks for the report. I didn't make it to any pen shows this year and am having withdrawals.

    That big orange Bexley is beautiful. I'd love to see a writing sample from that huge vintage Waterman nib. Congrats! And I can't believe you scored that lovely Vac desk pen with a flex nib for $35!!

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    Senior Member reprieve's Avatar
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    Default Re: Michigan Pen Show Report

    Quote Originally Posted by tandaina View Post
    Dang, I keep missing the black pen club. 90% of my pens are black! I want that pin. I'm collecting fountain pen pins on my bag and I need that one!
    Me too! The Black Pen Society--how freaking awesome!

  12. #9
    Senior Member 00Photo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Michigan Pen Show Report

    I inked up the Bexley Franken 58 tonight. It has a Waterman #17 Emblem Pen nib. It wrote crazy dry as the tines were way too tight. Three hours of careful tuning later it writes XXF to B. Nice!



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    Default Re: Michigan Pen Show Report

    WOW !!!

    You know how to make that pen work. What a stunner!

    You have a great eye for beautiful pens my friend.

    That is some haul you got... congrats

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    Default Re: Michigan Pen Show Report

    Beautiful pen, beautiful photographs, beautiful ink, beautiful writing... I need a cold shower! thank you for sharing.
    Sam O

    "A fountain pen with a bad nib is like a Ferrari with a flat tyre..." - Brian Gray, Edison pens

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    Senior Member VertOlive's Avatar
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    Default Re: Michigan Pen Show Report

    Quote Originally Posted by 00Photo View Post
    I usually take photos, however, since I was only traveling to the show instead of staying at the hotel I decided to leave my 800lb backpack of photography stuff at home and shoot with my iphone. Then once I got there I started talking to all the great pen people and forgot to take photos. So, you'll have to use your imagination......

    On Saturday myself, my wife, and my daughter made the 3 hour drive and arrived just after 10am when the show opened. The entryway had Eric Fonville's collection of pens on display. There are some real gems in there! We paid our entry and immediately saw Keith, one of our local pen posse members, with a table! At the last pen posse he brought in some pen holders he was working on and we all thought they were awesome. Well apparently so did everyone else because before we even got there he had sold all of them! Way to go Keith! He also had some pens and goodies, and coffee that he had roasted and dubbed "Penman's Roast" . I bought a bag and will let you know what I think shortly.

    We entered the main room and immediately thought we were in the wrong place LOL. Compared to the only other pen show we had been to, Chicago, this show was relatively small. I figured we wouldn't be there long, but boy was I wrong. Despite it's smaller size there were a rather large assortment of new, vintage, and custom pens there! It was great chatting with everyone in a smaller setting and we wound up spending all day there.

    Now, I have been saving for a Visconti Divina Elegance in blue, for quite some time. My plan was to just explore and get some ink maybe. Well, that plan went to crap once we started looking at all the awesome pens. I guess I'll just have to keep saving a little longer.

    The night before we left I proposed a friendly game to my family, in the spirit of Top Gear. Each of us would find a pen at the show that was $20 or less, debate the merits of each, score them, then just randomly declare a winner. Ambitious, but rubbish. With this in mind we set off around the tables. We spoke with some awesome pen people, everyone was friendly and helpful and full of great stories and history. My first purchase was at Paul Erano's table. I signed up for a subscription to Paul's Fountain Pen Journal. It was during this transaction that I was somehow, mysteriously inducted into a secret society. I have the pin to prove it. I'm not sure what the perks are but I am now a member of the Black Pen Society.



    Paul had some killer pens but I held fast to my plan and passed on them all. They were awful nice to molest for a short time at the very least. We moved around the room exploring and chatting and then I saw something I was interested in investigating at Jerry Adair's table. He had a Bexley 58. I had seen them online and was interested in seeing what it felt like in the hand as I prefer larger pens, and boy-oh-boy is this pen a whopper. I unscrewed the cap and started air writing with it like I was John Hancock signing a novelty oversized check like you get when you win a PGA tour or something. It was during this time I noticed something was wrong with the nib. The factory nib had been replaced. WITH A WATERMAN #17 EMBLEM PEN FLEX NIB! The price of a Bexley 58 is $425. The price of a Waterman #17 flex nib varies with market forces somewhere between "a-lot" and "who-bid-on-this?-a-Sheikh?" I asked Jerry how much he wanted for it and he quoted a price about 1/3rd what it was worth. I thought about it for a few seconds. Then he counter offered on himself even lower. How could I resist a super huge awesome pen with a super huge awesome flex nib?!?!?!?! My plan was in ruins. I bought Bexley frankenpen of awesomeness.





    My wife and daughter had already found their $20 pen by this point so I narrowed my focus to find something to beat them. I found a nice rootbeer Esterbrook J at Ralph Stillwell's table with a 9000 series nib. One of the good ones with nice tipping. I asked how much. $20. Boom! I'm going to win for sure. It was during this time I learned something horrifying. My wife and daughter are not really "pen people". They just have to put up with me and came along to humor me. At a pen show, if you are a woman, and you are not into pens, the vendors will GIVE YOU PENS. FREE. Between them they had already amassed 8 pens, and had only purchased 2 of them. Cheaters. They were cheating!

    We broke for lunch with one of the pen posse members and everyone put their booty on the table. A unanimous winner was declared with an impartial judge and my daughter's pen, a Raoxiniao A-1, came out on top. It is a chinese parker 51 looking pen, with a hooded nib and a guilloche body. It actually looked and felt quite nice in the hand. My wife had found another chinese pen, unmarked, with nice black and gold design and handsome two tone steel nib marked 18k gp. Although the Esterbrook had the most history, the other pens did seem a bit higher end. I was out-penned by non pen people. I suck.



    After lunch my wife brought me over to see something that caught her eye. It was a Parker Vacumatic desk pen, in NOS condition, with a clean, transparent section, smooth working filler, and a FLEX NIB. Now, me, I would have put a price somewhere north of $200 on this pen had I been selling it as finding a flexy parker vacumatic nib is not an easy task. I picked it up and looked at the price. $45. I exclaimed "HOW MUCH? $45?!?!?!" I was incredulous at my luck. Before I could reach for my wallet the guy says "Well I could probably do $35."

    I got that pen for $35! My wife says it's my birthday present from her. Nice!



    We visited with the Anderson's and got some ink from them. They could probably fill a lake with all they ink they bring everywhere. LOL. They are always ready with a good story about pens and we spent a good amount of time browsing their pens.

    We had a nice conversation with Alan Kaufman about life in general. He's an awesome guy with a big heart. I had been looking for a Sheaffer Snorkel ever since I sold the one I restored off. It was a desk pen and I'm not a big fan of desk pens in general so off it went to a new home after I restored it. I really like the overly complex filling system. It has a high cool factor for me that I came to appreciate while restoring one. He had a nice Burgundy pen/pencil set at a fair price that I picked up. He said it was a Canadian set from about 1957. Cool pen from a cool guy!



    We also spent some time with Brian Grey at the Edison Pens table. I sent one my Edison's back to his secret lair for some custom work. While we were there I found an extended Mina I'm pretty sure I NEED. LOL. Brian and his crew are always fun to visit.

    We had an awesome time, and even though it was a smaller show, it still took us all day to explore and talk with everyone. Each time we go to a pen show we are impressed with how friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable pen people are.
    Here's the haul from this years Michigan Pen Show:




    We have made plans to attend the Ohio pen show now.

    I swear I'm not buying a pen there.
    What is the orange pen with the silver trim? Did you just say that? Dazzled!
    "Nolo esse salus sine vobis ...” —St. Augustine

  17. #13
    Senior Member 00Photo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Michigan Pen Show Report

    The orange pen is a Rosetta Napoleon II that my daughter got.

    http://www.ipenstore.com/napoleon-ii...5-nib-choices/

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    Senior Member Carole's Avatar
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    Default Re: Michigan Pen Show Report

    THANKS for the beautiful writing sample! And the show write-up. I'm a coffee freak so I'm interested in that brown bag of delicious caffeine lurking in the back there, too.

    So, just thinking out loud here, about the stunning Bexterman, if you ever wanted to do another video and go all John Hancock on the flex writing, the Frankenpen would sure be fun to see since it's Halloween coming up and everything. ( Hope this does not sound like an obnoxious, demanding comment. I have a guilt complex.)

    By the way, I totally did not know that John Hancock was on the PGA Tour! And that's the nice thing about FPG, I always learn something here.

    Thanks again for the visit with you and your lovely family at the show!

    And if you listen very hard, the tune will come to you at last.

    ~L. Zeppelin


  19. #15
    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Michigan Pen Show Report

    Quote Originally Posted by 00Photo View Post
    The orange pen is a Rosetta Napoleon II that my daughter got.
    Looks just like one of those orange Italian pens people are always clamoring about. Your daughter is a smart shopper!
    "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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