Driven by my obsession for pens, I did my best to visit shops where I could find interesting stuff and good deals. The final conclusion was not positive at all. Here you have the report:
Four were the shops I visited:
Joon. (Main store: 795 Lexington Ave., between 61 and 62. New York, NY 10036. Mo-Fr: 9:00-18:00; Sa: 10:00-18:00. (212) 935-1007. Two other shops in Manhattan). http://www.joonpens.com/
This one was the first visited shop. They only carry new pens. Not a friendly attitude, and even less so once you asked them about vintage or used pens. It seems they mostly carry high end pens. They sell their own pen trays, used to display their pens at the shop, at reasonable prices: USD20, plus 8.75% tax, although their catalog speaks of USD35 as its price. Not an outstanding quality, but interesting, nonetheless. Regular display boxes and other display forms come at regular (expensive) prices.
Fountain Pen Hospital. (10 Warren St. New York, NY 10007. Mo-Fr: 7:45-17:30. (800) 253-7367, (212) 964-0580, Fax: (212) 227-5916). http://www.fountainpenhospital.com/
More friendly atmosphere than the previous shop. They do carry some vintage and used pens. Not many, though, and on the expensive side. Good selection of inks, including some made exclusively for them by Noodler’s. They, as well, have some pen accessories. In particular, some leather cases for transporting from 3 to 40 pens at reasonable prices.
Art Brown. (2 West 45th St. New York, NY 10036. Mo-Fr:9:00-18:00, Sa: 10:00-18:00. (212) 575-5555, (800) 772-7367). http://www.artbrown.com/
Nice shop, but just the usual stuff in there. The used pen section is reduced to about 15 or 20 units and, the clerk say, will not be maintained. Good selection of inks, including those made by Noodler’s for the shop. Small stationery section with notebooks and other stuff.
Montgomery Pens. (330 Grand St. New York, NY 10002. (212) 420-1312). http://www.montgomerypens.com/index.asp
Not much success in this shop. They claimed you should phone them in advance for them to bring down the pens they have. Otherwise, the displayed selection is very limited. It might be possible, given the way the shop looked like, to find new old stock (NOS) material in it.
The Garage Flea Market. 112 W. 25th St. Between Avenue of the Americas and Seventh Ave. Sa-Su: 8:00-17:00. Free admission. Contact: Michael Santulli, Box 7010. (212) 647-0707. Fax (212) 463-7099.
I could find some pens in here, but expensive given the condition. Of course, all goods are “as is”. Be ready to bargain heavily.
Private dealers. Some exist in NYC. One of them claims that the used pen market in New York City is dead, and that the shops have an upper hand on it through customer lists to whom the primarily sell the newly arrived materials.
Pen book author and trader Jonathan Steinberg is based in New York. You can contact him through his website: http://www.vintagepen.com .