Monday, March 23, 2009

“Will the Ink Stop Running?” - Daryle Lambert

Photo thanks to

One of the pleasures that I occasionally receive is buying a group of letters that were written before the turn of the century. The penmanship that was taught in school back then was as beautiful as any art work you can find today. Even I remember my teachers having the students practice over and over the correct curve on a letter of the alphabet until it was perfect. I hate to admit it but all their efforts were wasted on me. My handwriting today is worse than chicken scratches but who writes longhand anymore, right? This I am afraid is a passing art as more and more of our writing is done with the aid of computers.

However, this makes for a great area of collecting and there are still treasures to be found in the field of ink pen collecting. This was brought to my attention when I was discussing watches with our new friend Keith yesterday and I asked if he had any other areas that he felt were his specialties. I listened as he shared with me a wealth of knowledge on ink pens and how they had made him a small fortune over the last several years. This might even be a great new area of concentration for me because it fits all the requirement that I set for myself before a collectible becomes one in my inner circle. Pens are very small and their numbers are very large so I should feel confident I could find some great ones. There is great variety in color, size and material used in their manufacture. But not to leave out the most important fact, they can sell for huge money often in the thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars. Yes, I think that I will spend more time searching out these wonderful instruments from the past.

Just a little story that I wish I were writing about you. This person attended a rummage sale and spotted this great looking pen for only $55 and couldn't resist buying it. Taking the pen home and wishing to use it he had second thoughts and decided to investigate the value before just adding it to his other pens. Turns out it was worth over $15,000! It was soon sold, the reason the person said was that their hand writing just wasn't so great that he needed a pen like that.

Often at garage or house sales you will find a large number of pens for sale and I suggest that you make a bid for them all because the gold in the tips alone is usually worth more than you pay for the pen and by buying them all you usually get the great one cheaper than if you bought just that one. Always ask if they have any ink pens for sale because they may go to their desk and find ones that haven't been put out to sell. Here is just a little tip. Buy some white tee shirts and have items that you are searching for put on the front and back of the shirt. Have the print large so all who see it will know what you want. You may even want to put your phone number on the shirt. I can assure you that the number of people that talk to you about what is on the shirt will surprise you. Standing in line at a sale that shirt will become the topic of conversation.

I think that it’s a shame that we are losing such a great example of what was a wonderful learned skill from our past but the new technology is even causing the young students today to not be able to reason without help. Why learn to spell when you have spell check, right?

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