Part II. Advice to Pen Collectors: Know the Brand

As a holocaust history buff I was intrigued by Anne Frank's fountain pen, and later by the paucity of information about other diarist from this period who used fountain pens whose brand went unrecorded.

I got the bug to try to own one.

I did try.

I probably bid on dozens upon dozens of pens. I thought I had Anne Frank's lost fountain pen narrowed down to a few possibilities: a school Pelikan, or a 100; a Soennecken or perhaps a Geha.

Anne's pen came in a case, like many did in the 1930s and well into the 60s or later--some still do. And when I found a red leather case that had once held a Pelikan it matched my conjecture that a grandmother from Aachen would buy a young girl something colourful, reasonably priced and practical. Pelikan fountain pens in the 30s were affordable and very popular just as many are today.

So collecting!

I own a beautiful M215 (Modern), a NOS M100 and two 1980s Pelikan M200s, but nothing like a 1930s fountain pen. I had no appreciation for the going prices of a vintage 1930s fountain pen.

However, if I had not bought half a dozen inexpensive (<$100.00) pens, I could have easily acquired one vintage, collectible Pelikan. But I had to know and appreciate that in order to own one I might have to bid as high as the price of those half dozen other pens, pens like Senators, an Osmia or even a 1950 Soennecken (which I also didn't manage to bid high enough for in the end).

I knew none of this, then. In time I acquired the information but only after I had more or less squandered my limited funds on numerous fountain pens and not that one elusive Pelikan.

Lesson learned: It's essential to know the value of a pen, its availability or potential scarcity, it collectible status and its history. It's even more important to possibly narrow down what pen(s) have personal value and meaning.

Lesson shared.

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