Friday, April 8, 2016

Cologne Pen Show 2016

The Cologne Pen Show 2016 took place on March 12, 2016 at the Leonardo Royal Hotel in Köln, Germany. It opened to the public at 1:00 pm, but we signed up to be on the early entry list at 11:30 am. Good thing, too, because there's not enough time! Although it's just next door, it's not that easy to get to without a car - what an adventure trains and trams are! Good thing one of us speaks German (it's not me). I was looking for a few things, but I also went with pretty limited funds. I was just going to look. Haha. Yeah.

The show took place in the Hannover room, which means nothing unless you've been in the Hannover room. It's a decent sized room, although I was hoping it would be bigger. You know, ten times the size of an Olympic swimming pool and filled with tables of pens, wall to wall.

Fontoplumo's Frank and Agatha had one of the very few set ups with modern pens, inks, and notebooks. If I didn't have to trek back home with a back pack, I probably would have grabbed a bottle of Aurora Blue ink, and some of the rainbow Rhodia R notepads. Aren't they adorable? I love how they presented themselves and their table!
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Stephen and Frank had a video chat, but it was really loud in the room so the audio just didn't work out (sorry Frank!). However, let me highlight the pen he had available - the Montegrappa Kazan Limited Edition fountain pen. Very limited edition. One piece, and a special pen to them both. With a price tag to match, but it was neat to hold it. They had some awesome Delta deals (see those three right in the middle?) - so if you're ever looking for a steal on a pen, you should go to a pen show. Apart from all the pen show glory and magnificence, you'll probably find a pen you really want at a great price.

I wandered around for a little, while vendors finished setting up. I was surprised by the amount of Pelikan and Montblanc pens, but I probably shouldn't have been, given it was a German pen show! I headed over to Sarj's table, of course, to say hi! And eye the goods. I was on the look out for the Montblanc Hemingway - for Eric! Believe it or not, not for myself. I decided I don't want it after all. That's not true, I do. But I can't part with that amount of monies for it. Who am I?
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I enjoyed hanging around with Cliff Harrington and having a chat with him. He let me touch some of his prized pens including the Parker Aztec, a tiny itty bitty (fully functional) Waterman eyedropper, and his entire table. I saw Cliff at the Tilburg Pen Show the last two years, and he's always been friendly and cheerful!
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I appreciate that Cliff took the time to chat with me about what he had, whether I wanted to buy something or not. We talked about pens, he let me check out even his prized pens, and we even ventured into the territory of social media and bloggers. He was warm, friendly, open, and welcoming. He even posed adorably for this picture. Thank you, Cliff! 
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Various other things that caught my eye include, but was certainly not limited to, the following items: a Montblanc nib sampling set up (want), 
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I enjoyed seeing the not so hardcore fountain pen stuff as well - cute, vintage boxes, and other paraphernalia. Books, baggies, post cards, note cards, tins, and more.
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The following table caught my eye the first time I strolled by, because I was on the look out for the Pelikan M620 City Place series - any of them, really. Michael and Bianca from Hamburg had a lovely display - not a whole load of pens, but some really lovely stuff. Including the Montblanc 146 Music Nib. I also had my eye on that Pelikan Brown Tortoiseshell, but in the end, the music nib won out. Hi Michael and Bianca!
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A peek around the room - it was definitely busy when the public came in. Narrow aisles, lots of people, not enough food and water (why is there not a doughnut dispensing machine?).
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Unfortunately, several pens were stolen during the show, from a few different vendors. That sucks, and it's a real bummer. Vendors trust us to look and touch (usually). We trust others who are browsing. It sucks when someone ruins it.

What did I leave with? From the pen show itself, a Montblanc Meisterstück 146 with a music nib - something I had only heard of, and a Pelikan M400 Brown Tortoiseshell with an extra-fine flexible nib. I was looking for a Pelikan like this, and I only found it near the end of the show. Good price, excellent condition.
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A few cards I picked up: 
Miroslav Tischler - penkalapens on eBay
Visit Stefan Wallrafen's site to stay up to date on the next show.


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