Does A Name Say It All
by Lisa Logan (SAzPC Volunteer Organizer)
Pens are so personal. What we like about certain pens is so varied. Does it post? Does it have to post? Clip or no clip? Some people have firm opinions about filling systems and feel that a cartridge/converter filling system makes it an inferior pen. Or maybe it makes it easier to clean. Everybody has different opinions about whether they are willing to buy a pen that has a name or initials engraved on it. And that's what I want to talk about today.
I have two pens that have names engraved on them.
One is a pen that I've had for decades. It's a Sheaffer Imperial and it kept the fountain pen fires banked and ready to ignite. It's maroon, which is not my favorite color for a pen. Someone gave it to me when they were clearing off a desk. "Here, you like pens. Want this?" Well of course I did. The name engraved on the barrel is MARIA LUISA PERCY. I've used that pen off and on over the years. That inlaid Sheaffer nib still makes me smile and it was the first of many of those nibs. I’ve always wondered where Maria Luisa lived. Was the pen a gift? Did she treasure it or was something that languished in a drawer. I don't use it as much these days because there are cracks forming on the barrel and I'm cautious, but I'll never get rid of it.
The other pen I bought sort of by accident. I was checking to see what kind of signal I had at work and I expected to be outbid. The signal was good and I was not outbid. It's a happy accident. It’s a lovely Waterman Lady Patricia that has a sumptuous flexible nib that always makes a lousy day seem bright. Maybe the reason I wasn't outbid is because it had a name engraved on it. It has N HUTTON engraved on the barrel. This pen came from a seller in North Carolina, but these days, things travel. When someone finds that pen in my pen case down the road they won't know where this pen came from. I wish I knew more about that person. Since it is a Lady Patricia I imagine a woman writing a letter at a desk with a window overlooking a beautiful garden. I have a vivid imagination. It’s another one of those pens that I don't imagine getting rid of.
When all is said and done as long as the engraving is well done and the pen has a good nib I’m happy to give someone’s pens a good home. I hope the next generation feels the same way.
I look at those blank spaces on my pens with mixed feelings. On one hand I know it decreases the value. On the other hand if i’m not planning to sell the pen, who cares? That special Sheaffer Legacy from a special person…..maybe it should be marked as MINE. Actually, I kind of like the idea of marking a pen MINE but I’ll save that for something with less sentimental value. Initials? Full name? Fancy scroll or no nonsense lettering? I’ll leave that decision for another day.