A Guide to Buying Pelikan

"The Three Bears" from "English Fairy Tales", by Flora Annie Steel, ill by Arthur Rackham

“The Three Bears” by Arthur Rackham

When I started collecting Pelikan fountain pens, I was overwhelmed by the variety available.  So many options exists that it is difficult to know how to proceed, especially for a newcomer to the brand.  Where is the best place to start?  Unfortunately, no road map exists and many of us have learned a little from our peers and a lot from diving in head first.  I decided to write this post for anyone considering purchasing a Pelikan fountain pen.  Perhaps you are contemplating your first purchase or maybe even a second, third, or more.  The decision to invest in the brand is the easy part as these are great pens from a storied brand that carry on a long tradition of quality.  Many people seem to own more than one Pelikan and collectors and users alike know all too well that Pelikan fountain pens seem to multiply right under their noses.  The difficult part of the decision-making process lies in deciding which Pelikan to get as there are so many choices available.  Should one go for a modern pen or a vintage model?  What are the pros and cons of each route?  What other considerations are there?  I recently read the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears to my soon to be two year old son and thought how applicable Goldilocks’ experience was to buying a Pelikan fountain pen.  One model can be too big, another too small, and yet another too light or too heavy.  With the scarcity of brick and mortar pen shops today, it can be very difficult to try before you buy resulting in so many of our purchasing decisions relying solely on descriptions, photos, and reviews.  It can be very difficult to find that “just right” match on the first purchase.  With what follows, I hope to give you a little perspective on the Pelikan landscape so that you may better navigate between the various models and make a more informed decision with your purchase.

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