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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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:iconsonyaspiral:
SonyaSpiral Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Reply
:iconrubberduckie79:
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?
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:iconrainroad:
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.
Reply
:iconspecialoftheweek:
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
Reply
:iconsnigom:
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. :)
Reply
:iconstormyhotwolf88:
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?
Reply
:iconeicebleu:
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.
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:iconsnigom:
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 hobby...well...at 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.
Reply
:iconarwen28:
Arwen28 Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2008
GoLD! :lol: whow!
Reply
:iconsnigom:
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 funny...my collection has....quintupled since posting this. Its crazy :crazy:
Reply
:iconabsolute-freak:
absolute-freak Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2007
Wow those are beautiful. Makes me wish I knew more about such things.
Reply
:iconsnigom:
Snigom Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
AH! But you can :) I developed a website where I talk about history, etc. Also you can purchase nibs as well! Just follow the hyperlink to goodness! :D [link]
Reply
:iconabsolute-freak:
absolute-freak Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2007
Great site, I may have to look into spending a little of my art supplies budget. Do you use the nibs for art or is it mainly a collection thing? I bought a cheap inking set a while back but haven't used it cause I dont really have any experience with ink. Do you know anywhere I could get a good lesson?
Reply
:iconsnigom:
Snigom Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks! Trust me, if you want to do traditional inking, these are the way to go. I use the nibs as well as collect them. Each has thier own ';personality' so-to-speak. They each make a different style of line. I can make a few suggestions as to which ones are best.

I can help you with the 'inking'. I could give you some pointers, but the rest will be up to you (practice.)

Just let me know when you're ready :nod:
Reply
:iconjuliefairhurst:
JulieFairhurst Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2007
mmmm nibs :D



something tells me your addicted??:D
Reply
:iconsnigom:
Snigom Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
:drool:

YEah...you could say that :) Seriously though, once you start down the nib path...forever will it dominate your destiny; CONSUME YOU IT WILL! :yoda:
Reply
:icondragyourblood:
dragyourblood Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2007
Very nice set. I was wondering when you were going to finally let us see your little friends up close,...I meant the nibs, moron!! LOL!!

;)
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:iconsnigom:
Snigom Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
LOL;) Soon...very soon.....I will reveal my 'gift set' and all associated art :nod:
Reply
:icondragyourblood:
dragyourblood Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2007
:boogie:
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:iconenterthexiii:
entertheXIII Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2007  Student
haha, not nerdy at all.
i have a few of these for drawing that i found/bought at random places, these things are good fun. some comic artists still use dip pens with nibs similar to ones. enjoy!
Reply
:iconsnigom:
Snigom Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks :w00t:

YEah, actually that is what turned me onto them was learning that there are some artists that swear by them. Having been using them for a while I can see why. They all create a different sort of line.
Reply
:icond-angeline:
D-Angeline Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
Very cool! I categorize and list things all the time, mainly with my art stuff, so your not alone. :XD: It just really helps to put what you have into perspective. Since I was on ebay anyway, just out of curiosity I looked to see what they had for nibs--here is one you might be interested in--Lot of 17 old 1930's dip pen nibs Although the seller's in Bulgaria, which is why the shipping is so high, but some very interesting nibs there.

Anyway, I might be willing to purchase one of those sets when you get them together. =)
Reply
:iconsnigom:
Snigom Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks XD Yeah I love to put things I collect in some sort of order :)

That is an interesting lot of nibs :omg: But I fear the price overall is too high. I try to go for multiple lots of about 40 or more that way the shipping is worth the cost :D

Awesome!

Well you're in luck. I just acquired 3 new nibs to add to my sets :D :boogie: Of course you'll have to wait a week or so for all the recent acquisitions to arrive before I can sort them all into thier sets. But when I do I will post a photo of the set :)
Reply
:icond-angeline:
D-Angeline Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah, I saw a couple of quite large lots on there, I guess all you got to do is keep trying. =) I'm watching the lot of 17, just to see how much it might go for--it still has two days, but you know people like to jump in the last fifteen minutes and fight for it.

Cool, I will be looking forward to a picture of the set. Ugh, budgets suck... I just bought an airbrush and some more books (my weakness), so take your time sorting through the nibs and getting the sets ready. But I would definitely like a set of nice vintage nibs, so I'm still on for buying! =D
Reply
:iconsnigom:
Snigom Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
They go for different amounts, some more than others it seems.

In regards to that lot of 17 nibs, I am not certain the seller knows what he is talking about. His opening descrition suggests he isn't sure what date they were made and he is assuming that the 'unusual' nibs are very rare because they are from Bulgaria. Maybe they are rare in Bulgaria but not in the US or England.

I think the current price is what would be fair for that set.
Reply
:icond-angeline:
D-Angeline Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
Good point, you really don't know what your getting with obscure foreign ones like that.
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:iconsnigom:
Snigom Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
You know...i might retract my statement :omg: The amount of bids and price is increasing :omg:
Reply
:icond-angeline:
D-Angeline Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
Whoa! That jumped up in a hurry, and 12 bids...it's going to be interesting to see where this goes.
Reply
:iconsnigom:
Snigom Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
Indeed! See, I am not such a nerd. People are willing to spend lots of money just for a few nibs! :omg:
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconjadedangeloflight:
JadedAngelofLight Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2007
cool collection of nibs. It's okay to be a freak, it makes you unique:D
Reply
:iconsnigom:
Snigom Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
True that...I suppose. My wife and family are sick of me talking about them....so now I bring the sickness to you all :evillaugh:
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:iconjadedangeloflight:
JadedAngelofLight Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2007
And then the chorus of the Disturbed song springs forth " Down with the sickness..."
Reply
:iconsnigom:
Snigom Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
"get up, get down with the sickness....."
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:iconbartbar:
BartBar Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2007
I make up a test sheet for pretty much every new art supply I come across too. o_O

More so that I can play with my new stuffs than anything else, but they do serve as good help sheets when I... get off track.

Its a very pretty collection of nibs you have there. I admit to jealousy. :P
Reply
:iconsnigom:
Snigom Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
ACtually I do that too. I have a cheat sheet for all my pencils by lead type and manufacturer. I also manually color coded my Copic markers so I could tell which colors would darken or lighten each other. Just...another...freak...in..the freak-kingdom! :boogie:

Well....in a few weeks you can be the proud owner of such nibs :nod: I just acquired 2 new lots to add to my sets that I will sell:) I hope to add a few more tomorrow. :please:
Reply
:iconbartbar:
BartBar Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2007
I'd buy them but I am tremendously broke right now and trying to save up for college text books and such in the fall. >.<*

Proud to be a Freak. :)
Reply
:iconsnigom:
Snigom Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
No problem, but I am sure that at some point you might have 10 bux lyin' round' somewhere ;)
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:iconbartbar:
BartBar Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2007
Hehe. Who's to say I won't spend it on ale and men?
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:iconsnigom:
Snigom Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
Your Boyfriend would be my guess ;)
Reply
:iconbartbar:
BartBar Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2007
How'd you know? :P
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:iconsnigom:
Snigom Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
Well....since you talked about his bustin' his head open showing off :D
Reply
(1 Reply)
:icontwistedmentality:
twistedmentality Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2007  Professional General Artist
very cool collection. what do these nibs sell for ?
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:iconsnigom:
Snigom Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you.

Don't ask :sniff:

BUT!!!! :omg: My pain and anguish is to everyone's benfit! :w00t: I am planning on making sets with the various lots of nibs I have. Depending on the stock I get I am going to try for 3 sets:

Set 1) The caligraphist set
Set 2) The Artists set
Set 3) The Collector's set

I can also do a various set or...hell I don't know :D I'm going to do it regardless of set types :boogie:
Reply
:iconleme666:
leme666 Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2007
This is amazing!
Reply
:iconsnigom:
Snigom Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
Really? Its actually nothing compared to some other people's collections I have seen :omg: BUT...I am just starting to collect them :plotting: I WANT THEM ALL!!!!! :omg: Oh...sorry...I spaced out for a second....:D
Reply
:iconleme666:
leme666 Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2007
Hahaha
How many of them, there are?
How much those golden ones are worth? Probably lots?
Reply
:iconsnigom:
Snigom Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
As far as I know there are only 43 different R.Esterbrook nibs. Then there is Spencerman, Gilliotts, Hunt, and a few others. So...Hundreds upon hundreds :omg: However I think my collecting is mainly just for the R.Esterbrook. I can't really determine why...they just have a majesty about them :shrug:

The gold ones aren't worth a WHOLE lot more as they are only plated or dipped in 24 kt - 14 kt gold (typically the later.) They were just for fancy looks more than anything. I think 1 gold nib is worth about $2 - $2.50 USD as opposed to regular nibs being about 50 cents to 1 dollar USD.

As soon as the rest of my shipment comes in I will contruct gift sets of Vintage nibs to sell. I'd be happy to sell you one as well :nod:
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:iconleme666:
leme666 Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2007
That's great...=D
I'd reallylove to buy one, but it would far too expensive just to ship it to Brazil...=/

$2.50 USD, that's not very much, I thought it would probably be about 50...hahaha

But still, they look amazing, even though I don't really like drawing or writing with nibs...=P
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:iconsnigom:
Snigom Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2007  Professional Traditional Artist
Aw :sniff: I wouldn't mind sending one to play with, if just sending a letter isnt so expensive :nod:
Reply
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