Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Rarities

Some weeks ago I included the picture of an ad by Pilot on pens marketed in 1978. It was perfect to illustrate the pen under analysis –a Custom Grandee with a music nib. But the ad also displayed another pen—the all-steel Pilot Murex. But although marketed on the same year, their fates have been very different.


The Pilot ad from 1978.

The Custom Grandee was intended as a more luxurious product. It implemented a 14 K gold nib and there were seven different nib points available, including a three-tined music nib. The price was JPY 7000.

On the other hand, the Pilot Murex was more of a rarity—an all-steel pen with nib and section integrated in the same piece of steel. It followed the path lead by the Parker T1 and, more successfully, the Pilot Myu 701. The Murex had only two very rigid nib points—F and M. Its price was JPY 5000.

Now, thirty five years later, we pay a lot more attention to the rarity than to the luxurious functionality. And I am no innocent at this game as I wrote about the Murex a lot earlier than about the Custom Grandee, and when I finally described the later I did so by focusing my attention on another rarity, the unusual music nib.


The Parker 51 must be included in any book on the history of pens, and many a collector will have it,. However, the collector will pay attention to that very scarce color or variation that in actual terms is mostly irrelevant.

Collecting, this shows, deals more with the unusual than with history; more with the rarity than with the well-proven technical characteristics. And only a handful of true icons appeared on both lists: those made by collectors and by historians.

And this also shows that a history of pens written by a die-hard collector might be very biased towards those rarities that very few could have.


Pilot Capless CS-200RW – Platinum Black

Bruno Taut
Shinjuku, October 13th, 2013
etiquetas: Pilot, mercado, libro, estilofilia, Parker

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