If asked, I say that my collection is mechanical pencils, so what are the main themes of my collection?
Mechanical Pencils - first and foremost my collection is mechanical pencils. OK, lets be honest, that’s not actually true, so it’s really:
- Mechanical Pencils, and multi-function pen/pencils, plus some ballpoint and rollerball pens, particularly when the model is not available in pencil format. I do have a rule against fountain pens - I do not collect them. Nothing personal against fountain pens, its just I have to draw the line somewhere, and I feel I could be opening a Pandora’s Box if I start including fountain pens, so I force myself away from them.
The Looks - I collect a pencil because I like the way it looks, which might make me a shallow person. Trying to define “the look” that I like is a bit difficult but there are some generalisations
- Art Deco – I tend to like pencils decorated with geometric shapes, patterns, lines etc. My tastes often seem to fit into the Art Deco category in books on design and art.
- Unusual Materials and Designs – fairly self explanatory, I tend to like unusual designs.
- I don’t really like “rubber” grips so tend to not collect pencils with them. Similarly I’m not really a fan of swirling flowing filigree work on pens so I tend to avoid those.
- I generally prefer “silver” coloured metals to “gold” coloured metals.
Brand - I like to at least have one example of a pencil from all the main manufacturers, just for “completeness”. Also I have an interest in a couple of brands so I tend to collect anything of theirs. Pentel, Lamy and Caran d’Ache would be my current "brands of preference".
Condition – Brand new is best. Good condition is important to me. Obviously if poor condition second-hand is all that’s available then that’s what I am stuck with, but it’s not my preference. This “brand new” theme is one reason why I don’t have a lot of older or antique pencils. I certainly do have some, but my interest is much more in newer contemporary pencils.
Having said all of that, there really is one over-riding rule – I collect something because I want to, but I do try and keep the themes in mind to help stop me going off on an endless spending spree!