I’ve recently do a count of my entire pen and ink collection. So here are the stats. I have 27 fountain pens. There are 11 different brands among the pens. Out of 27 pens, 12 are Pilot pens of varying prices. They go from the humble Pilot Kakuno and Metropolitan to the more expensive Custom 823 and 742. The next most popular brand would be Lamy and Platinum standing at 3 pens each. (I count Nakaya pens under the Platinum brand.) My collection is overwhelmingly Japanese pens heavy. There are only two pens of which I owe more than 1 of each. They are Pilot Kakuno and Metropolitan. The Pilot Kakuno are both fine nibs one of which is out on loan. The Pilot Metropolitan I have 3 of, one is out on loan, one is being used as a review pen and the last is the only one available for my normal use.
I have a Dudek Modern Goods’ Block on my desk. I keep all my pens on the Block. Every time my Block is getting crowded I know it is time to thin the herd by selling them. The Block holds 21 pens. I think that is a good number to cap the collection at. You might notice that I say I own 27 pens so that’s 6 more pens that the Block can hold. There are exception to this rule. There are pens that are gifts. Those I won’t sell even if I do not like them. Those would live in my Nock Co Brasstown in semi permeant cold storage. Strictly speaking, I now have 3 empty slots on my Block. Once I am down to one slot, it time for another culling. I am of the opinion that it is better to let a pen go to a better home where it will be used and loved, than let it languish in my pen stand being unused and sad. Plus I keep all my pen packaging in the event I sell the pen so that’s also taking up space as well.
Now my ink collection has gone through many cycles of buying and selling. I have a total of 40 ink bottles of varying volumes. Some are small like the Pilot Iroshizuku Mini bottles other are giant like the 100ml of Pilot Blue Black I have. I keep all my inks in two IKEA boxes sized to hold DVDs. They are not very big boxes but with some clever stacking I managed to fit all 40 bottles into the boxes. I have a third box but when I start spilling onto the third box I know it is time to cull the collection once again.
Out of 40 bottles, I have 15 brands if I count Bungbox and Kobe to be under Sailor’s brand. There are 16 individual bottles from Sailor, Bungbox and Kobe alone. The next most popular brand is Pelikan coming in at 5 bottles of both Edelstein and 4001 series. If we go by colour, green and purple are tied with 6 each. However both green and purple has a wide ranging in terms of the actual colour. On the other hand I have 5 all rather similar looking orange inks. The only ink I have more than 1 bottle of is Bungbox L’Amant but all time favourite colour. This is of course not counting the many many ink samples I have as well. Those come from ink swaps with friends and fellow members of the local pen club. I shudder to think about that.
I must say I am impressed that I’ve managed to keep my personal collection number so low. I had totally expect to be totally out of control in regards to sheer volume of pen and ink acquisition. Though the collection being so overwhelmingly Japanese heavy is not a surprise to me. Pilot pens are one of the best out of the box regardless of the price. Sailor inks are just fantastic in terms of the sheer amount of colour and the sheen! I definitely fall squarely in the user category. There isn’t a right or wrong way to enjoy our shared hobby. All that matters is to enjoy it within our means be it monetary or space constrains.
If anyone is interested in my actual break down of my pen and ink collection, drop me a comment and I’ll update this post with the breakdown.