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    

Huge Waterman 58...flex Nib...worksMontblanc 144 Solitaire 925 Silver Barley Fountain Pen. Box & Papers. Mint. Rare1908 Waterman's #412 Cardinal Sterling Silver Overlay Fountain PenMontblanc Limited Edition Friedrich Ii The Great Patron Of Art Fountain Pen 1999Montblanc 146 Le Grand Black Resin & Gold Fountain Pen. 14k M Nib. Nr Mint.Rare Vintage Waterman's Ideal Patrician Fountain Pen Made In Usa Parker 51 Double Jewel Yellowstone Yellow Set...worksRare Huge "azure Blue" Blue Diamond Vacumatic Maxima ~ Restored & Ready To UseNew Montblanc Meisterstück 149 90 Years Rose Gold Legrand Fountain Pen (f) BoxedNew Montblanc Meisterstuck Solitaire 1648 925 Sterling Ball Point Pencil SetRare!!! Montblanc Ramses Ii Lapis Lazuli Vermeil Le Grand No.146 Fountain PenFantastic Aurora Sole Limited Edition N°6303/7500 Orange Marbled 18k Fine NibMontblanc 164 Solitaire Gold & Black Striped Ballpoint Pen. Boxed. Nr Mint. Montblanc Meisterstuck Germany 149 Fountain Pen Monotone 14c Extra Fine (ef) NibCartier Art Deco Black Composite & Rose Gold Fountain Pen. 18k M Nib. Nr Mint.- Vintage Montblanc Octagonal No 1 Safety Fountain Pen 14c 585 Gold "f" Nib -New Montblanc Patron Of Art Prince Regent 888 Solid Gold 18k Fountain Pen F NibWaterman Edson Blue Fountain Pen Made In France Serial Number 012474 Fine NibVintage Montblanc Meisterstuck 149 Black & Gold 4810 18 C 750 Nib Fountain PenFountain Pen Aurora 88 R 802 Pinstriped Gold Plated 14k Ef Nib Box & PapersBroken Montblanc Meisterstück Agatha Christie Fountain Pen For Parts As IsNew Montblanc Meisterstuck 90 Years Solitaire Rose Gold Guilloche Ballpoint PenMontblanc 164 Solitaire Stainless Steel & Hematite Ballpoint Pen. Boxed. Limited Edition 1992 Omas Cristoforo Colombo Ii Briarwood Medium Nib Year 1992Parker Duofold Centennial Black & Pearl Fountain Pen Made In Uk Extra Fine NibPlatinum Izumo Tagayasan Glossy Bombay Black Wood 18k Gold B Nib Fountain PenCartier Pasha Lines Decor Black & Gold Fountain Pen 18k M Nib Box & Papers Mint.Montblanc Vintage Authentic Meisterstuck #149 18k Gold Nib Fointain PenPilot Namiki Silvern Spinning Silk Sterling Silver Body 18k Gold M Nib FpMontblanc Vintage Authentic Meisterstuck #149 18k Gold Nib Fointain PenSealed Montblanc Patron Of Art Limited Edition 1437/4810 Queen Elizabeth I F NibRare Etoile De Montblanc Preciuse Diamond All Over Rollerball - 0.38ct - 106294Rare Etoile De Montblanc Preciuse Diamond All Over Rollerball - 0.38ct - 104302Etoile De Montblanc Preciuse Diamond All Over Fountain Pen 0.38ct 104301 - M NibNo Reserve Montblanc Boheme Solid 925 Silver Je T'aime Ballpoint Pen Pink HeartLarge Parker Eyedropper No 6 Pen...flexUltra Rare* Pilot Namiki Excellent Fountain Pen Capless Silver-stripe VanishingNo Reserve Montblanc Starwalker Black Mystery Ballpoint Pen - New In Box 104227Rare No Reserve Montblanc Starwalker Mystery Fountain Pen - New In Box - M NibVintage 70s Montblanc Meisterstuck 146 Black Fountain Pen 14c Uni-color Fine NibSealed Montblanc Great Characters 3000 Fountain Pen Alfred Hitchcock Nib Medium Omas 18k Solid Gold Aleksandr Pushkin Fountain Pen. Limited Edition 26. O09a0068New Rare Waterman Edson Boucheron Solid Gold18kt Limited Edition 3741 WorldwideOmas 18k Solid Gold Ingengno Scrittorio Fountain Pen. Da Vinci. Limited EditionMontblanc Limited Edition Hemingway Ballpoint PenMontblanc Ramses Ii Lapis Lazuli Vermeil Classique No.164 Size, Ballpoint PenPilot Namiki Myu μ 701 H974 Fnib Fountain Pen Unused Vintage Very Good Condition[medium Nib] Platinum Izumo Gloss-tagayasan Bombay Black Wood 18k Fountain PenModern Waterman Patrician Emerald Green Fountain Pen Made In France Boxed F NibMontblanc Meisterstuck149 14k Fountain Pen W/ Box & PaperworkMontblanc Meisterstuck Fountain Pen 149 Fine Nib 18k Mint ConditionMontblanc Solitaire Tribute To The Mont Blanc Mozart Masterpiece Ball Point PenCartier Pasha Barcode Black Composite & Palladium Ballpoint Pen. Box & Papers. New. Montblanc 18k Nib Meisterstuck 146 Ag925 Silver Solitaire Doue Pinstripe FpSheaffer Nostalgia Fountain Pen 925 Sterling Silver Overlay Box & Paper Fine NibVery Old Antique Pelikan Fountain Writing Pen No ReserveMontblanc Meisterstuck Sterling Silver 925 Rollerball PenVintage Montblanc Meisterstuck 149 14c Gold Fountain PenSheaffer Limited Edition 1219/6000 Commemorative Pen Box & Papers Extra Fine NibPlatinum Izumo Tagayasan Matte Bombay Black Wood 18k Gold F Nib Fountain Pen

Recent News: Pens

Source: Google News

Matt Donovan to Pen Collection of Essays
Broadway World, May 26th

Santa Fe University of Art and Design (SFUAD) announced today that Matt Donovan, the co-chair of the university's Creative Writing and Literature Department, will have his collection of essays, "A Cloud of Unusual Size and Shape: Essays on Ruin and ...Read more

Letter of Recommendation: Uni-ball Signo UM-151
New York Times, May 21st

There, arrayed like a kind of shrine, was the pen collection. Not behind glass, not packaged, just there, a thousand vessels of ink to be held, examined and written with on helpfully supplied pieces of paper. The variety was staggering. Where an...Read more

Caran d'Ache Offers Spirit of Switzerland Luxury Pen Collection, May 19th

From June 2015 onwards, Caran d'Ache will be bringing its exclusive Spirit of Switzerland luxury pen collection to Singapore in a bid to celebrate its 100th anniversary milestone. The collection is specially catered to not just aficionados of Swiss...Read more

David Oscarson's New Alexander Fleming Pen Collection
Quill & Pad, May 6th

David Oscarson has been creating luxury fountain pens since 2000 when he launched his eponymous brand with the limited edition Henrik Wigstrom Trophy pen collection. Since then, he has created 23 limited edition pen collections – three of which have ...Read more

Top Scholar: Cocoa Beach's Mindy Le
Florida Today, May 5th

On my "bucket list": A detailed tour of Napa Valley; having a pet quail; visiting every art/science museum in the world; having a laboratory apparatus named after me; seeing how far my 0.3 mm pen collection can go. — John McCarthy, FLORIDA TODAY...Read more

Anna Kendrick To Pen Collection Of Autobiographical Essays, April 16th

Anna Kendrick, well known for her wit and sarcasm, is set to turn her attention to a collection of autobiographical essays. Anna Kendrick has been signed to pen a series of autobiographical essays which will showcase her quick wit and dry sense of humour...Read more

Laura Benanti Set To Pen Collection Of Humorous Essays, To Be Published In ...
Broadway World, April 13th

Current NASHVILLE and THE GOOD WIFE featured player and Tony Award-winning Broadway regular Laura Benanti is set to pen a new memoir of humorous essays according to a new report. Benanti comments, "Every single day, something weird happens ...Read more

The fascination with fountain pens
BBC News, December 9th

Duni is one of thousands, perhaps millions, of people worldwide who love and collect fountain pens. Some seek vintage pens, from the late 19th century, while others are attracted to newer, high-end creations from brands including Montblanc and Dunhill...Read more