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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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MONTEGRAPPA 1994 YORK ROSES STERLING FOUNTAIN PEN
Dec 18, 9:00 AM MST
MONTEGRAPPA 1994 YORK ROSES STERLING FOUNTAIN PEN
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$17010 Bids
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MONTEGRAPPA MIYA STERLING CELLULOID YELLOW FOUNTAIN PEN
Dec 18, 9:00 AM MST
MONTEGRAPPA MIYA STERLING CELLULOID YELLOW FOUNTAIN PEN
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$1106 Bids
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DELTA "THE JOURNAL" 18K GOLD FUSION STUB NIB FOUNTAIN PEN
Dec 18, 9:00 AM MST
DELTA "THE JOURNAL" 18K GOLD FUSION STUB NIB FOUNTAIN PEN
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$854 Bids
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OMAS EXTRA RED OGIVA FOUNTAIN PEN W 18K MEDIUM NIB
Dec 18, 9:00 AM MST
OMAS EXTRA RED OGIVA FOUNTAIN PEN W 18K MEDIUM NIB
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$554 Bids
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ANCORA CAPRI BLUE STERLING TRIM FOUNTAIN PEN WITH 18K GOLD NIB
Dec 18, 9:00 AM MST
ANCORA CAPRI BLUE STERLING TRIM FOUNTAIN PEN WITH 18K GOLD NIB
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$553 Bids
ANTIQUE GRIESHABER #2 FOUNTAIN PEN PAT. 3/12/12
Dec 15, 11:00 AM EST
ANTIQUE GRIESHABER #2 FOUNTAIN PEN PAT. 3/12/12
by Vintage Auctions Online
Est: $80- $120
$212 Bids
Aurora Italian Bicentenary Edition Fountain Pens 3
Dec 04, 12:00 PM EST
Aurora Italian Bicentenary Edition Fountain Pens 3
by Auctions at Showplace
Est: $400- $600
$2252 Bids
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DELTA "DOLCEVITA" ORANGE BLACK FOUNTAIN PEN WITH 18K GOLD NIB
Dec 18, 9:00 AM MST
DELTA "DOLCEVITA" ORANGE BLACK FOUNTAIN PEN WITH 18K GOLD NIB
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$52 Bids
PELIKAN CONCERTO LTD EDITION 18K GOLD FOUNTAIN PEN
Dec 03, 10:00 AM EST
PELIKAN CONCERTO LTD EDITION 18K GOLD FOUNTAIN PEN
by Antique Arena Inc
Est: $100- $150
$902 Bids
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PENCHETTA 28/99 AMBER CREAM RESIN FOUNTAIN PEN
Dec 18, 9:00 AM MST
PENCHETTA 28/99 AMBER CREAM RESIN FOUNTAIN PEN
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$102 Bids
VINTAGE EVERSHARP FOUNTAIN PEN 14K GOLD NIB
Dec 15, 11:00 AM EST
VINTAGE EVERSHARP FOUNTAIN PEN 14K GOLD NIB
by Vintage Auctions Online
Est: $60- $90
$101 Bid
"Soennecken Rheingold" fountain pen
Dec 05, 7:00 PM WET
"Soennecken Rheingold" fountain pen
by Leiloeira Santo Eloy
Est: €150- €200
€1501 Bid
Pelikan "Concerto" Editioned Fountain Pen
Dec 04, 12:00 PM EST
Pelikan "Concerto" Editioned Fountain Pen
by Auctions at Showplace
Est: $400- $600
$1001 Bid
VINTAGE OMAS GALILEO GALILEI 18K GOLD FOUNTAIN PEN
Dec 03, 10:00 AM EST
VINTAGE OMAS GALILEO GALILEI 18K GOLD FOUNTAIN PEN
by Antique Arena Inc
Est: $100- $150
$501 Bid
Lot of 17 Esterbrook Fountain Pens
Dec 06, 11:00 AM EST
Lot of 17 Esterbrook Fountain Pens
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $100- $200
$101 Bid
VINTAGE WAHL EVERSHARP DORIC 14K GOLD FOUNTAIN PEN
Dec 03, 10:00 AM EST
VINTAGE WAHL EVERSHARP DORIC 14K GOLD FOUNTAIN PEN
by Antique Arena Inc
Est: $100- $150
$501 Bid
GRAF VON FABER-CASTELL FOUNTAIN PEN
Dec 13, 2:00 PM EST
GRAF VON FABER-CASTELL FOUNTAIN PEN
by Quinn's Auction Galleries
Est: $250- $350
$1201 Bid
AURORA: sterling silver fountain pen, 18K nib
Dec 07, 3:00 PM CET
AURORA: sterling silver fountain pen, 18K nib
by Bertolami Fine Art
Est: €400- €500
€2801 Bid
OMAS LARGE FOUNTAIN PEN
Dec 13, 2:00 PM EST
OMAS LARGE FOUNTAIN PEN
by Quinn's Auction Galleries
Est: $150- $250
$701 Bid
YARD-O-LEAD STERLING SILVER FOUNTAIN PEN
Dec 13, 2:00 PM EST
YARD-O-LEAD STERLING SILVER FOUNTAIN PEN
by Quinn's Auction Galleries
Est: $200- $300
$1001 Bid
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CONWAY STEWART SERIES 100 METEOR FOUNTAIN PEN WITH 18K GOLD NIB
Dec 18, 9:00 AM MST
CONWAY STEWART SERIES 100 METEOR FOUNTAIN PEN WITH 18K GOLD NIB
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
M. PERCHIN 10TH ANNIVERSARY IMPERIAL FOUNTAIN PEN
Dec 13, 2:00 PM EST
M. PERCHIN 10TH ANNIVERSARY IMPERIAL FOUNTAIN PEN
by Quinn's Auction Galleries
Est: $1,500- $2,000
$7501 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Fountain Pens - General


Bradford's

Bradford's

Quinn's Auction Galleries

Quinn's Auction Galleries

Vintage Auctions Online

Vintage Auctions Online

Bodnar's Auction Sales

Bodnar's Auction Sales