Last Saturday, November 6th 2021 was the culmination of the eagerly, highly anticipated Bertram’s Inkwell Annual Pen Fair. The buzz surrounding the pen fair increased as the countdown to the big day began. I knew from years past that it was sure to be huge. As Bert always says, it’s the busiest six hours in the pen industry. This year’s Bertram’s Inkwell Annual Pen Fair was no different in that regard. Since we weren’t able to have a pen fair in 2020 due to the pandemic, this year’s was extra special. For many, it was a great chance to see “pen friends” in addition to the thousands of pens in the shop. I tried to capture as much of this in the following images and videos.
First of all, the vendors that attended the 2021 Bertram’s Inkwell Annual Pen Fair were part of an exclusive, narrowed down list of partners. It was so wonderful seeing them in the shop. We enjoyed having Hirsch Davis, Bryan and Neil (Esterbrook, Aurora, Montegrappa, Loclen, Otto Hutt, and Pininfarina), Bill (Pilot Pen), Ken Jones (Marlen, Private Reserve, Stipula, Yookers, Monteverde, Nettuno, Diplomat, Maiora, Pineider, and Conklin), Adam (Visconti and S.T. Dupont), David Oscarson, Richard Greenwald, and Chuck (Retro 51, Kaweco, Rhodia, Leuchtturm1917, and others). With such a lineup, there were so many pens to enjoy.
Everyone was setup and ready right at 10am. Very impressive considering the event started at 11am, and people were trickling in from the start. A slow and steady buildup of people wandering in throughout the day was wonderful to see. I was really happy to reconnect with longtime customers that I also consider to be friends. It was more than just a chance for everyone to buy pens – it was also a reunion of sorts.
Importantly, there were some wonderful “stars of the show”. These pens stood out from the rest. I’d say the biggest was David Oscarson’s lineup. He had such an impressive array of his pens. I love the quality and craftsmanship that he brings to the table. Not to mention how friendly David always is.
Next up is the Pineider pens. They made an incredible impression on so many people at the show. You could even say that the Pineider Psycho pen “killed” at the pen fair, haha. Between the Pineider Psycho, the Alchemist, and the Diplomat Aero, there was a great following for Ken.
Bill enjoyed showcasing Pilot pens of all types. I was so excited to write with the extra special Pilot Urushi Burgundy fountain pen. That was a monstrous sized pen, which was surprisingly still comfortable to hold. Not to mention all the special Maki-e fountain pens and Vanishing Points that sold like hotcakes.
Noteworthy is how Bryan and Neil were always busy with customers. That wasn’t too surprising considering the lineup of pens they brought. In addition to the Esterbrook pens (specifically the Estie and the JR Pocket Pen) being rockstars of the pen fair, there was plenty of interest as usual in the Aurora and Otto Hutt pens. What was surprising to me was how many people were drawn to the Pininfarina pens. These uniquely shaped pens are more modern in shape and design.
If you wanted a break from modern pens, Hirsch was there with literally hundreds of vintage pens. He brought so many brands. All laid out were a great range of fountain pens, but also different modes of writing. There was tons of interest as every time I looked over, Hirsch was busy helping someone.
Back to modern pens, if you wanted to get a “sneak peek” at the newest Retro 51’s and Kaweco’s, this was a great opportunity. Chuck brought with him the new Kaweco Sport Cyan fountain pen, alongside the Kaweco Special Red Collection. What you might also find interesting was a lesser known pen line that is made out of cement. They were surprisingly comfortable to touch and hold in the hand.
Visconti had plenty of pens for sale as well, and Adam did a great job of helping people enjoy their latest and greatest. Whether you’re interested in the newest Van Goghs or the durable Homo Sapiens in their new colors, we had what you were looking for.
Finally, Richard Greenwald displayed his custom made pens across several tables. It was incredible seeing the detail and craftsmanship that he puts into each collection. Richard’s pens are among the few that I’ve seen where each and every part are made in-house. His level of skill and talent are rare to find. If you’ve seen Richard’s pens, then you know what I’m talking about. Not only does he make custom plastics in-house, but also all the parts that go into each pen. Truly masterpieces.