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Submitted on
July 2, 2007
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Jul 2, 2007, 5:44:35 PM
My Vintage Nib Collection by Snigom My Vintage Nib Collection by Snigom
OK so it seems I am just a freak….a happy freak, but a freak none the less.

Ever since I bought those nibs I have been researching them and collecting them. It would appear that I am not alone in this venture. I have been trying very hard to obtain as many of these nibs as I can, but sadly there are FAR too many collectors out there with far more time and money than I do :(. So I have lost more than half of my bids, usually within the last second or 2. But of my recent acquisitions I have made a list of all the ‘unique’ nibs that I have. About 5 or 6 of these I have some multiples of; more on that later.

Just a brief bit of nerd-ism for those who are even reading this, or might want to know a bit more. On this list you’ll see where I have marked ‘Spec’ and put N/A, Ground Point, and Groove Point. To best answer this, you need to know of its significance. WAY back in the earlier period of nib creation (aprox. 1830-1870) the nibs were cut, bent and tooled into their shape. The idea is that the more flexible the nib, the less pressure the writer would need to make bold lines. This is why there are holes, small slices or grooves in the nib itself. Later on it was discovered that the chief physical equation for more flexibility is ‘less metal between nib and the writer.’ So they began chiseling, or grinding away at the tips of the nibs. They even hired new staff of people who’s sole purpose was grinding nib points. So therefore, you’ll see on my sheet where I have nibs listed as “Ground Points.” Much later, towards the end of the ‘Dip Pen’ era (aprox 1920-1930’s) they tried to manufacture nibs cheaper by getting rid of the ‘Grinder’ and just stamp ‘Grooves’ along the tips of the nibs. Thus you will see a few labeled ‘Groove Points.’ In fact, if you look at most major nib makers of today, they tend to have stamped/pressed grooves along the tip of the nib.

More over, the fact that they are either Ground or Grooved, denotes their age and value. Seemingly, it is more valuable if they are ‘Grounded’ or ‘non-grounded’ versus stamped with ‘Grooves.’

Also you’ll see where I have denoted their metallic appearance. Some are Bronze Plated while others are Gold plated. This is a feature I haven’t 100% figured out. As far as I can tell the gold plating is just to make it more ‘fancy’ than normal. However, I am not 100% certain if the same is true for the bronze plated.

As for my Multiple copies of nibs, I plan on adding to my business by selling small collections of vintage nibs. However, to do that I need to ‘stock up’ so to speak. Right now I have 2 five-nib collections. I have made a few recent purchases and have a few in mind to get, so the number of sets or amount of nibs will increase. If you are interested, note me and I’ll be sure to notify you when the sets are finalized.

Enjoy my new hobby! :D
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SonyaSpiral Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Rubberduckie79 Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2012
My father just revealed to me that he has well over 1000 pen nibs from Esterbrook and another box of Spencerian no. 1 Double Elastic nibs. I have been trying to reseach them to find out maybe what they are worth or if they are collectors items. Any help with websites or anything?
Rainroad Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2010
wow, I JUST did a school assignment using drawing nibs with ink. Interesting to see all the variety. THIS IS AWESOME.
specialoftheweek Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2010
Hello, I noticed the manufactor for the nibs is R esterbrooks, what does the r stand for, as I have a geno on Estabrooks, which used to be spelled anything from easterbrooks to eastbrooks.

Thanks, Michael
Snigom Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Hi the R stands for 'Richard'. Richard Esterbrook was an English Quaker who came from England to make pens in the United States back in 1856. he started in Philadelphia and then moved to Camden, New Jersey in 1860. He died in 1895 but his company went on and was finally bought out in 1969 by Venus Pencil company. That was eventually bought out in 1972 by Berol Co. :)
StormyHotWolf88 Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2009  Professional Filmographer
That's very interesting. I really enjoy inking with Calligraphy dip pens. I just figured out the advantages of thick and thin lines and how to use them that really pops my pictures out. X3 I like using it though for special pictures. So you mostly get them from Auctions?
EiceBleu Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Ooooh, I never realized this was a hobby.

As for the gold one, and the plating's possible function--gold doesn't corrode. And nothing makes ink catch and coagulate on a pen like a bit of rust. I used to draw with these things on a fairly regular basis.
Snigom Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
You are likely right. However, they did invent the "Radio Pen" series which were Silver/Nickel plated so that they don't corrode and last longer. I imagined that the gold plating was just a way of showing the world that you were "high class". Although that might be just me being silly :)

Yes its a least of mine :) The past year and half I have also been a historian of these pens as well. I now collect, catalog and even re-sell these pens. I now have 10's of thousands.
Arwen28 Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2008
GoLD! :lol: whow!
Snigom Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
:nod: I have a few like that. They are actually kinda rare now that I think about it :confused: Its collection has....quintupled since posting this. Its crazy :crazy:
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