of Fountain Pens
fittings are of solid gold, they
will generally be gold plated. Over time, gold plating will
wear. For that reason, we often use a light coating of
protect the plating on the clips (and sometimes the levers) of vintage
pens. Don't incessantly polish a vintage pen and
not use metal polish, methylated spirits or a petroleum based product
on any part of a pen. Polishing removes important imprints
and, no matter how much care is taken, eventually destroys the
character and patina of a fine writing instrument.
should drawing inks or Indian Ink be used in pens regardless of
colours! In our experience, Diamine and KWZ inks
results in most pens. There is nothing wrong with Parker's
"Quink" inks so long as they are manufactured in Britain, France or the
- Certain exotic inks
should not be used in fountain pens at
all. Always use "mainstream brands" when choosing ink.
exotic brands void our warranty.
- Iron gall inks require
some special care unless used constantly in pens. See our KWZ
Inks page which explains the precautions that should be taken.
there is nothing wrong with using old ink so long as it is designed for
fountain pens, does not have a foul smell and contains no sediment.
pens require little routine maintenance - just simple care and basic
cleaning. Keep the cap free of ink deposits - wipe it out
every week with a damp cloth and allow to dry. But, please DO
store pens in plastic bags or airtight containers. Doing so
ensure the attraction of moisture and degradation of the metal, hard
rubber and celluloid parts of the pen. See our News and
page for an explanation.
fountain pen requires a regular clean-out with cold water.
no circumstances use anything other than cold water. At least
monthly is a sensible interval to flush out a pen.
properly flush out a fountain pen with water, empty it and re-fill it a
number of times with cold water until the expelled water is clear and
no longer carrys traces of ink. Dry the pen by standing it
downwards on a piece of tissue or soft cloth. Cartridge pens
require special treatment as the ink flow is always "one way".
Use an old cartridge and draw up water into the cartridge to
flush out the pen. Do this a number of times until the
water is clear. Dry a cartridge pen in the same manner before
re-fitting a new cartridge.
(and some new) hard rubber
pens require special storage treatment - away from sunlight or other
strong light sources. Black hard rubber will quickly fade to
brown (or worse) if exposed to sunlight or strong, artificial light for
any length of time or, stored in plastic or airtight containers.
- Pens with
light coloured resin barrels which
are fitted with
ink sacs require special care if stored for long
periods. Black rubber sacs will discolour light barrels over
a period of time. Silicon sacs should instead be used.
English pens are made with casein rather than hard rubber, celluloid or
resin. Casein and water do not mix well. Casein
disintegrate when moist for any period of time. Many Burnham
some Conway Stewart pens are casein. Casein can be found among the
Conway Stewart models, 12, 15, 28 and many older Dinkies.
fillers such as Onoto will often benefit from a light coating of
pure silicone grease on the piston rod. Use only pure silicone
available at pool and diving shops.
don't post the cap on vintage pens when writing
with them. Regardless of the quality of a vintage pen, one
another, a posted cap when writing will eventually, permanently mark
the top of the barrel. If you have other queries or