Are there any good books on fountain pens?
FAQ 34.0 - 34.8 by Burt Janz
  Article # 252 Article Type: FAQ


34.0 Are there any good books on fountain pens?

Yes, as a matter of fact, there are some great books on fountain pens. In fact, some of them were written by people who continue to contribute to news groups or discussion boards on a daily basis. Where possible, I'll use the author's description of the contents of the book

There's more books out there than you can shake a writing stick at. But, you best have a big coffee table: some of these books are very large, and look wonderful on that coffee table or above your writing desk. Go ahead... impress the heck out of visitors!

34.1 Fountain Pens - The Complete Guide to Repair and Restoration

"Da Book" is "Fountain Pens - The Complete Guide to Repair and Restoration", by Frank Dubiel. The book, now in a newly revised edition, presents a wealth of information about fountain pens for both the novice and experienced user. It also describes practically everything you want to know about how many classic pens work, how to disassemble them, clean them, refurbish them, and care for them. The books covers 99% of all pens ever sold in the US market before 1970, plus many foreign and newer pens as well. Although a bit short on descriptions of some newer pens, the "theory of operation" of the pens described in this book can be applied to most modern pens. Frank sells this book directly, and can be contacted at (description by the author).

34.2 Fountain Pen Inks - A Sampler

Although it isn't a "pen" book, Greg Clark's "Fountain Pen Inks - A Sampler" contains an extensive list of inks available on the market presented both by their names and by samples of the inks themselves on the page. Running from blacks, through blues, to reds, and more colors than you thought existed for use in fountain pens, Greg's book provides the reader a way to "use" the ink before you buy it. The book also goes into pH levels of inks (important if you care about whether you should use a highly acidic or alkaline ink in your pen), their fading properties in the sun, and the water resistance of some inks. Greg revamped the book again this year, and it now lists over 160 different inks. Contact Greg directly at, or go to his page

34.3 Fountain Pens of the World

A HUGE book, and a major expense, is "Fountain Pens of the World", by Andreas Lambrou. This puppy is almost 2 inches thick and weighs more than your car, but is probably the most detailed book in existence on vintage (and some modern) pens. Your wallet will hurt after the purchase, but you'll never regret it.

34.4 A Passion for Pens

Haury and LaCroux have put together a wonderful book filled with full-color plates of pens, nibs, collections, and even reprints of some original advertisements. Lots of good information on pens, their care, and other stuff.

34.5 Fountain Pens and Pencils: The Golden Age of Writing Instruments

Sometimes called the "blue" book, this book by Fischler and Schneider is considered one of the bibles of the pen collecting world. Again, beautiful full-color plates of pens both vintage and modern.

34.6 Fountain Pens - History and Design

This book by Dragoni and Fischera is divided into two "sections". The first section concentrates on the history of writing, pens, their design, and their use in recent history. The second section is a listing of some pens, both vintage and modern, listed both by manufacturer and pen. Some information about both the pen's design and the manufacturer is listed in each "chapter".

34.7 The Fountain Pen - A Collector's Companion

If some of the books listed here are physically too big for you, Ewing's book should fit both your bookshelf and your budget. Although it's a small book just slightly larger than a standard edition paperback, it is published on very good paper with phenomenally good pictures. For its size, it contains a lot of good information about the companies that made (and still make) pens.

34.8 Pens & Writing Equipment - A Collector's Guide

Marshall's book probably has more pictures per page than most of the other books, and the pictures are amazingly detailed (the pictures of the Montblanc Demonstrator next to the Parker 51 Demonstrator on Page 51 are astounding!).

This book is valuable for one primary reason: it gives prices for vintage pens. These prices may not be completely accurate, and you may do better or worse in your search for a pen. However, they are a good guideline for those who are first building up their collection.


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