No, the title does not lie. The Washington, D.C. Collectible Fountain Pen Supershow is literally the largest pen event in the world! From ink giveaways for the first 200 guests, to seminars & workshops, to showcasing some of the most rare pens in the world, the event had something for everyone.
Below are some of our favorite moments as we spent the weekend totally swooning over the thousands of pens!
Immediately upon walking in, there was a buzz around the building. To the left, there was a small, but accommodating room that housed around 20 different vendors. Our first stop was at the Luxury Brands USA table (who we will soon be working with to supply us with Platinum, Noodlers, and Stifflexible notebooks!). We learned about the Noodlers Boston Safety Pen, which is an eyedropper filled pen with a very special design; they come in a couple different colors, and are offered at the unbelievable price of just $55. It’s a very unique design for a fantastic price point! More of the Noodlers collection can be seen below:
We also checked out the latest release from Platinum - the Procyon. The Procyon comes in five different colors - deep sea, porcelain white, turquoise blue, citron yellow, and persimmon orange; better yet, they are only $66 retail! (If you are a trend spotter, you can see that we will soon be selling brands like these that offer very affordable pens for everyday use!) We also had to drool over the selection of 3776s and maki-e pieces. One of the most unique concepts was the Bamboo Weave fountain pens, which feature actual bamboo that is hand-turned by traditional Japanese bamboo techniques. All of these things made us very excited to now represent these fantastic brands…stay tuned, as our online store will be updated with tons of great new products soon!
We then went to a new pen company out of India called Syahi. We are currently working with Sanay, who founded the company, to hopefully begin carrying this brand by the end of the year. Syahi offers three different pen shapes: the Monarch, the Crown, and the Imperator. Each shape comes in a variety of different woods, and comes with the option of steel or 14k gold nibs. The real show stopper, however, was their flex nib! It wrote absolutely beautifully, and the 14k gold gives an extra springiness when writing. The best part? It’s offered at an incredibly reasonable price, of which we hope to have finalized by the end of 2018. Below, you can see part of their collection, along with a writing sample:
The Outer Hallway
We eventually worked our way over to the outer hallway that surrounded the main ballroom. This hallway featured the ever-popular and classy David Oscarson, with his LED-lit showcase of magnificence. We will begin working more closely with David within the next couple of months, with several extremely special pieces coming into our inventory very soon! Caran D’Ache was posted up next door to David Oscarson, so we were able to check out the latest from them as well.
Another fantastic pen maker in the outer hallway was Artus pens. This company specializes in large, Namiki Emperor sized pens that are decorated in incredibly detailed artwork from the most famous Russian miniature artists.
Our last stop on the outer hallway was at Yafa Brands, where we were able to check out the latest from Conklin, Diplomat, Monteverde, Stipula, and Pineider. These pens have very beautiful designs, and are certainly under our consideration for the future as we branch out into new brands.
The Main Ballroom
Then came the main event - the main ballroom area, which featured hundreds of tables with thousands of fine writing instruments, both old and new.
The first table on the right was Coles of London, the US distributor for Visconti. They showcased many of the hot new items coming from Italy in 2018, including the magnificent Rembrandt Azure, which is a bright blue color, with lighter blue & white swirls. There was also the new Portofino on display, which features a teak wood barrel with a spectacular overlay, and the ever-popular bronze coated 23k nib.
A little further back, we couldn’t help but to stop at the Kenro table, which was artistically displayed with wooden workbenches and stools to allow consumers to relax and write with pens comfortably, without having to slouch over the low tables the other vendors had. This was great fun, and created a strong sense of community among fellow enthusiasts. Although we checked out the latest and greatest from Montegrappa and Aurora, the real surprise came from an announcement that Kenro has now created an Esterbrook pen - yes, you read that right! Kenro has brought Esterbrook back to life! It features a relatively slender body and gorgeous Esterbrook branded nib. The real kicker for this pen is that it will come with an additional section that can be installed - this section will be able to house any vintage Esterbrook nib! These nibs were so popular that, even today, you can find them available all over the world. They write magnificently, and are extremely affordable, so it’s a great way to exercise your option to use multiple nibs on one pen. Such creativity! The pen even comes in three colors to suit your preference: black, blue marble, and tortoise. Below, Bryan Hulser, aka @NYPenGuy and myself talk about the latest from the Montegrappa collection:
We were also informed that Kenro has begun a new project. Every year they will go out and determine what they believe to be the most beautiful pen in the world. Through their decades of experience, they know some of the greatest pen makers, engineers, and craftsman, so they will be able to create what they believe to be the most beautiful pen. Each year, the design could be totally different, but it will keep with the constant theme of being the most beautiful pen in the world. This year, they are releasing a Kenro fountain pen in a deep red urushi lacquer, which will be limited to only 33 pieces worldwide. It also features a rather appealing price as well! One of these gorgeous pens will make its way into our online store, but beware – it will not last long! If you would like to reserve it, please give us a shout, or chat with us anytime on our website. Below, you can see the beautiful pen, and the mastermind behind Kenro – Mr. Joel Blumberg himself!
Back to Reality
Between the hundreds of dealers and thousands of enthusiasts, this show was a constant buzz of excitement from the minute it started. Whether you were looking for your grail pen, or just filling a few empty slots in your collection, the D.C. Pen Show did not disappoint. The one thing we learned that was most important: the pen community is very tight knit, and we’re all a neighborly bunch! Next year, we will have our own table set up at the D.C. show, and would love to meet as many of you as possible. It makes for a special day when I get to meet our customers, so we hope you will come out next year to the 2019 Washington, D.C. Collectible Fountain Pen Supershow. Stay tuned to www.truphaeinc.com to see the new brands and other exciting surprises that we’ll soon be announcing, thanks to our new friends that we met at the show!