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Fountain Pens: Beautiful Writing, Old School


Image from Wikimedia Commons

My Dad’s handwriting is gorgeous. It’s even and firm, with perfectly formed letters. His loops and tails are smooth and flowing, and his capitals have flourish but can never be called frilly.

When I was little, I would watch my Dad write. I was fascinated by the pretty curvy lines that he would make on paper, and the instrument that he made them with. He used a fountain pen, and this, I found so beautiful, intriguing, and… grown up.

My Dad's handwriting. He likes to write down song lyrics that pop in his head. Photo by Nathalie Mariano.

Dad says he was taught to write long-hand using a fountain pen. Very old school–sitting up straight, pen at a 45-degree angle from the writing surface and pointing toward the shoulder. He swears that the fountain pen was key to finding the correct angle, and thus crucial to the development of good penmanship.

A fountain pen is one that has an ink reservoir that supplies its nib. Although the nib, reservoir, and ink have only been perfected several decades ago, the technology behind the fountain pen hasn’t changed since the 10th century. One would think it ought to have been considered obsolete long ago, and yet somehow this pen is still here, and new ones are continuously produced–fabulous ones that bring glory and pleasure to the often mundane act of putting letters on paper.

The fountain pen is a link to the past, one that is elegant and ever useful.

Here are some of the most interesting ones you can find online.

Montblanc's La Diva, from the Ingrid Bergman Collection. Gorgeous color, exquisite embossed pattern. I love this pen's tapered shape when it's capped. Made of solid 18k red gold and embellished with an amethyst and numerous tiny diamonds.

The sleek and sexy Lamborghini pen by Omas.

Who says pretty pens need to be expensive? This cloisonne pen is only around $10.

A quirky homage to the fountain pen’s ancestor, the quill, designed by Vivienne Muller.

The Aurora Diamante, the most expensive pen in the world, which has a platinum barrel blinged out with over 30 carats of DeBeers diamonds. Costs a whopping $1,470,600. I personally would be too terrified to write with it. From Italian pen maker brand, Aurora.


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