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Fountain Pens - General

Fountain pens have their roots in old sharpened quills. To avoid having to constantly dip the nib of the pen in ink, inventors began to develop mechanical fountain pens. The earliest-known fountain pen dates from 1702, and numerous designs and patents appeared throughout the 18th and 19th centuries.

In 1884, Lewis Edson Waterman, an insurance agent, experimented with perfecting the capillary action in fountain pens and designed the first practical fountain pen. Similarly, George Parker, a telegraphy teacher from Wisconsin, invented a better fountain pen through his efforts to fix the pens he was selling as a second job. He received his patent for the Parker Pen in 1889. Other notable early fountain pen manufacturers include the Conklin Pen Company, Sheaffer, and Wahl, which later became Eversharp.

Collectors of vintage fountain pens are interested in the different innovations in pen technology that occurred over the years, as well as the many attractive and interesting pen styles. Some collectors focus on just one brand of fountain pen, such as Sheaffer or Montblanc, while others focus on a pen style or type of technology.


Quick Facts

  • Fountain pens with rare types of nibs are valued at higher prices. The nibs themselves are collectible, with some specialty nibs valued at up to $300
  • Montblanc pens, introduced in Germany in 1907, are considered one of the top international luxury pen brands. Montblanc pens are easily identified by a white star on the cap
  • The Fulgor Nocturnus, made by Tibaldi of Florence, Italy, with 945 black diamonds and 123 rubies is the current record holder as the world's most expensive fountain pen. It sold for $8,000,000 at auction in 2010

Recommended Items at Auction

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Graf von Faber-Castell piston fou
Nov 05, 10:00 AM CET
Graf von Faber-Castell piston fou
by Historia Auktionshaus
Est: €0- €0
€7004 Bids
Visconti 'Camelot' Limited Edition Silver Ink Pen
Nov 07, 12:00 PM EDT
Visconti 'Camelot' Limited Edition Silver Ink Pen
by Showplace
Est: $600- $800
$1253 Bids
Omas 'Jerusalem' Sterling Silver Fountain Pen
Nov 07, 12:00 PM EDT
Omas 'Jerusalem' Sterling Silver Fountain Pen
by Showplace
Est: $400- $600
$3253 Bids
Visconti 'Voyager' Acrylic Design Fountain Pen
Nov 07, 12:00 PM EDT
Visconti 'Voyager' Acrylic Design Fountain Pen
by Showplace
Est: $300- $500
$1502 Bids
Omas 'Doctor's Pen' Sterling Silver Fountain Pen
Nov 07, 12:00 PM EDT
Omas 'Doctor's Pen' Sterling Silver Fountain Pen
by Showplace
Est: $800- $1,000
$2002 Bids
Two-piece Montblanc writing set,
Nov 05, 10:00 AM CET
Two-piece Montblanc writing set,
by Historia Auktionshaus
Est: €0- €0
€2002 Bids
Mother Pearl Antique Fountain Pen & 14K Gold Nibs
Oct 27, 12:00 PM EDT
Mother Pearl Antique Fountain Pen & 14K Gold Nibs
by Hill Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $1,000
$501 Bid
Montblanc Meisterstück, piston fo
Nov 05, 10:00 AM CET
Montblanc Meisterstück, piston fo
by Historia Auktionshaus
Est: €0- €0
€2001 Bid
Goldfink piston fountain pen, mid
Nov 05, 10:00 AM CET
Goldfink piston fountain pen, mid
by Historia Auktionshaus
Est: €0- €0
€601 Bid
Benny (Jack)
Nov 09, 2:30 PM GMT
Benny (Jack)
by Chiswick Auctions
Est: £200- £300
£201 Bid
Argument collection of 11 fountai
Nov 05, 10:00 AM CET
Argument collection of 11 fountai
by Historia Auktionshaus
Est: €0- €0
€2401 Bid
Antique Victorian Fountain Pens (4)
Nov 05, 9:00 AM EDT
Antique Victorian Fountain Pens (4)
by Keystone Auctions LLC
Est: $150- $250
$451 Bid
Dunhill English Modern Fountain Pen
Nov 07, 12:00 PM EDT
Dunhill English Modern Fountain Pen
by Showplace
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids
Namiki 'Bald Eagle' Limited Edition Fountain Pen
Nov 07, 12:00 PM EDT
Namiki 'Bald Eagle' Limited Edition Fountain Pen
by Showplace
Est: $1,500- $2,500
$5000 Bids
Writing set, Parker, Made in USA,
Nov 05, 10:00 AM CET
Writing set, Parker, Made in USA,
by Historia Auktionshaus
Est: €0- €0
€2000 Bids
Sheaffer's piston fountain pen, U
Nov 05, 10:00 AM CET
Sheaffer's piston fountain pen, U
by Historia Auktionshaus
Est: €0- €0
€800 Bids
Ferrari parton fountain pen, 2nd
Nov 05, 10:00 AM CET
Ferrari parton fountain pen, 2nd
by Historia Auktionshaus
Est: €0- €0
€500 Bids
Cartridge fountain pen, 2nd half
Nov 05, 10:00 AM CET
Cartridge fountain pen, 2nd half
by Historia Auktionshaus
Est: €0- €0
€800 Bids
Sheaffer's converter fountain pen
Nov 05, 10:00 AM CET
Sheaffer's converter fountain pen
by Historia Auktionshaus
Est: €0- €0
€800 Bids
St. Dupont cartridge fountain pen
Nov 05, 10:00 AM CET
St. Dupont cartridge fountain pen
by Historia Auktionshaus
Est: €0- €0
€1200 Bids
Piston fountain pen, 2nd half of
Nov 05, 10:00 AM CET
Piston fountain pen, 2nd half of
by Historia Auktionshaus
Est: €0- €0
€500 Bids
Piston fountain pen, 2nd half of
Nov 05, 10:00 AM CET
Piston fountain pen, 2nd half of
by Historia Auktionshaus
Est: €0- €0
€300 Bids
VINTAGE FRENCH FOUNTAIN PEN ADVERTISING POSTER
Oct 30, 10:00 AM EDT
VINTAGE FRENCH FOUNTAIN PEN ADVERTISING POSTER
by Antique Arena Inc
Est: $100- $150
$100 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Fountain Pens - General


Historia Auktionshaus

Historia Auktionshaus

Showplace

Showplace

Chiswick Auctions

Chiswick Auctions

Keystone Auctions LLC

Keystone Auctions LLC