Vintage pens, in particular fountain pens, are highly collectible and come in a wide variety of colors and styles, from elaborate jewel-encrusted casings to sleek and simple cigar-shaped designs. There are three main types of vintage pens: 1) dip pens have a nib to dip into an inkwell; 2) fountain pens have a self-contained ink reservoir; and 3) ballpoint pens have a little ball that allows ink to flow out when the pen is put to paper.

The 1920s were a time of innovation and prosperity for pen manufacturers, who started developing plastic pens in a variety of colors and styles. The Sheaffer Balance, released in 1929, started a trend toward streamlined pens. The 1930s saw the introduction of more affordable models, sold in dime stores. The 1940s ushered in ballpoint pens, and a more modern look typified by the famous 'Parker 51', the classic collector pen released by Parker in 1950.

Up until the 1960s, the emphasis in the pen industry was on the development of better-performing and easier-filling pens through innovations in nib and reservoir technology. In the mid-1880s, craftsmen had created the first reliable fountain pen, but it had a long way to go.

By the 1960s, ball point and cartridge technology had made performance a non-issue, and manufacturers like Parker, Sheaffer, Waterman and Montblanc began to focus on fancier material and designs, with a variety of colors, lacquers, and engravings to differentiate their high-end products. Pens became a gift item and fashion statement, and were ultimately produced as limited editions for the collector market.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Ernesto Soler's extensive homage to one of the most popular pens ever produced, the Parker "51," introduced in 1941… [read review or visit site]

Jim Mamoulides' vintage and modern pen-cyclopedia. Start at the main gallery, featuring detailed articles (with pho… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Vintage Waterman Patrician Onyx (cream & Red Veined) Fountain Pen Circa 1929Pelikan 101 N-tortoise-shell-14 Ct Gold Nib F-1938 C.-excExcellent Vintage 1980's Montblanc Meisterstuck 149 Fountain Pen, Fully ServicedMontegrappa Batman Fountain Pen Cufflink & Watch Only 500 Made Retail $5695Vintage Pelikan M800 Green Striped Fountain Pen - W. Germany, From 1987/1989Montblanc Writers Limited Edition Marcel Proust NMontblanc Meisterstuck Solitaire Sterling Silver Pinstripe Fountain Pen No 146Wonderful Montblanc Meisterstuck NVintage 1920's Parker Duofold Senior Fountain Pen - Mandarin YellowParker Sonnet Sterling Silver Cisele Fountain Pen, Rollerball &mechanical PencilMontblanc Meisterstuck NVery Large Estate Coll. Fountain Pens Watermans Parker 14k Gold Nibs Boxed Set +Fountain Pen Montblanc Miesterstuck Diplomatic Prsident 149 18k Solid GoldFantastic Pelikan Toledo M700 Fountain Pen - Sterling Silver VermeilPelikan M800 Souveran Black Fountain Pen Broad Nib Montblanc 144 F Striated Green 14ct Gold Nib - 1951 - Ski Slope Feed - BoxedMontblanc Leonardo Da Vinci Fountain Pen Great Characters Limited EditionUltra Rare Limited Edition Pelikan Toledo 1931 Original Of Their Time 0596/1100Fountain Pen Montblanc Writers Limited Edition 2014 Daniel Defoe - 110504 M NibPelikan M101n Red Tortoise Pen, Nib Is Your ChoiceMontegrappa "la Traviata" Limited Edition Sterling Silver Fountain Pen Rare Omas Paragon Fountain Pen Faceted Saffron Blue Rolled Gold Finish M NibStunning Pelikan M750 Jubilee Special Edition Fountain Pen From 1988Omas New Vintage Green Paragon Ht Limited Edition Of 80 Fountain Pen .Montblanc Starwalker Cool Blue Fountain Pen 9976 Medium 14k Nib New In BoxSealed Ultra Rare Montblanc Writers Limited Franz Kafka Special Set Packaging FpPelikan M600 Vibrant Green Pen, Special Edition, Nib Is Your ChoiceElegant Montblanc Boheme Long Model Azur Jewel Boxed Fountain Pen Fine NibMontblanc Writers Limited Edition Virginia Woolf Fp NParker Cartridge Fountain Pen Silver Colored Barrel & Cap Cap 5" Long Gold ClipS.t. Dupont Second Empire Fountain Pen Set New RareMontblanc Meisterstuck Leonardo Sketch Pencil 5,5 Mm Lead Boxed + PouchMontblanc Patron Of Art Edition 2003 Nicolaus Copernicus Fountain Pen 4810Rare Montblanc Diva Line Limited Edition Greta Garbo Commemoration NSailor 1911 Profit Large Sterling Silver Sterling Silver 21k Gold M Nib FpItalian Tibaldi Infrangibile-gold Nib M-1938 C.-made In Italy-brown Pearl Cell.Monblanc Meisterstuck Silver/gold Solitaire Barley Ball Point PenMontblanc 1912 Heritage Fountain PenMontblanc Boheme White Lacquer Fountain PenMontblanc Andrew Carnegie Limited Edition PenRare Montblanc Boheme Safety Lacquer Pearl Gold Trimmed Medium Nib BoxedRare Omas 360 Limited Edition Imagination Fountain Pen Medium Nib NRare Omas Paragon Fountain Pen Faceted Pearl Gray Rolled Gold Finish Fine NibVintage Parker Lucky Curve Sterling Silver Overlay Fountain PenMontblanc Boheme Arabesque Azul Silver With Blue Stone (inheritance Sale)Montblanc 1999 Writers Edition Marcel Proust Ballpoint PenSealed Montblanc Writers Limited Edition William Faulkner Year 2007 FpElegant Montblanc Boheme Je T'aime Red Heart Jewel Boxed Fountain Pen Fine NibMontblanc Boheme Doue Ligne Set: Rollerball + Ballpoint PensPlatinum Izumo Tagayasan Matte Bombay Black Wood 18k Gold M Nib Fountain PenSheaffer Nostalgia Sterling Silver 800 Fountain Pen Medium Nib Montblanc Semiramis Patron Of Art Fountain Pen #0906 /4810 Sealed Wonderful Montblanc Patron Of Art Limited Edition 2014 Henry E. SteinwayMontblanc Meisterstuck NMontegrappa 1997 Luxor Red Sea Special Limited Edition Vermeil Montblanc Meisterstuck NSealed Wonderful Montblanc Writers Limited Edition Carlo Collodi BallpointVisconti Black Ripple Fountain Pen Limited EditionVintage T-1 Parker Fountain Pen Titanium Double Jeweled Ruby Ends Usa #901Sealed Wonderful Montblanc Writers Limited Edition Carlo Collodi Rollerball

Recent News: Pens

Source: Google News

Nobody Is As Good As Their Selfie
Florida Times-Union (blog), October 18th

The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage has the opinion that I am a wee bit obsessive about my pen collection. I remember in exasperation at my growing pen collection, she once asked, “If you had to choose between me or your pens, which would you ...Read more

Allen Parish historical items on display at courthouse
Alexandria Town Talk, October 5th

OBERLIN – The pen that former Louisiana Gov. Luther “L.E.” Hall used to sign a proclamation creating Allen Parish more than a century ago is on display at the Allen Parish Courthouse. Clerk of Court Gerald Harrington discovered the antique pen during ...Read more

Writing Is on the Wall for India's Fountain Pen Sellers
Wall Street Journal (blog), October 4th

Zishan Mitha runs a pen stall down the street from Mr. Ashraf and also relies on families of deceased pen collectors for his dwindling supply of antique fountain pens. The families sell because they “don't have knowledge about pens,” said Mr. Mitha...Read more

Spooky Merseyside stories by Tom Slemen: The Bootle Witch
Liverpool Echo, October 1st

of her 'family history' but still I couldn't find my pen to sign her book – when suddenly, an old Waterman pen seemed to appear out of nowhere. I signed Layla's book, looked away for a moment, then realised she had gone – along with the vintage pen…...Read more

'American Dream' crumpled by blatant satire
Buenos Aires Herald, September 22nd

In a heavy accent, he describes what he loves most about America: his pen collection and stuffed dice on his steering wheel. After Meter hops into the taxi, the driver sings the quintessential “America” song from West Side Story, emphasizing that...Read more