Vintage writing instruments


Can you guess which writing instrument I am using to write this post? Yes, you are right. I imagine that you too are most likely to reach for your keyboard on keypad, as the case may be, whenever you need to write something.

That does not mean that you and I cannot enjoy bygone writing tools, either as collectibles or as decorative objects. Just look at some of the lovely antique and vintage writing instruments and accessories I recently saw on bidorbuy.

Writing sets

vintage writing set

These sets would go a long way to complete any collection. They’d also look great on any desk!

Pen sets

vintage pens

Vintage pen sets usually consist of a ball pen and either a fountain pen or a mechanical pencil. Whether they like to write with their pens or not, collectors take care to have their pens in working order. Fountain pens are highly collectible. They are also popular with writers, especially poets. Some of them say that a fountain pen sets the mind in the right mood.

Ink blotters and ink wells

vintage writing instruments

Quick, now: what came first, the ink well or the ink blotter?

No, this is not a chicken-or-egg dilemma. As a matter of fact, we know that ink wells precede ink blotters. Before blotters were invented in the early 19th century, our ancestors used to sprinkle salt on paper to make the ink dry faster. (Their anguish for dissipating such an expensive commodity as salt remains coded in our collective memory to this very day.)

Hole punch and stamp stand

vintage writing instruments

Hole (or paper) punch and rubber stamps are both more than a hundred years old. And both are still around, albeit with some improvements in the original design.

So much for the paperless office…

Paperweights and pencil sharpeners

vintage writing instruments

No need to rack your brain. There is no particular reason why I chose to team these two. Except that they are both extremely popular as collectors’ items… and that they go together well in the image above.

As you’ve probably guessed, paperweights are much older than pencil sharpeners. After all, people needed something to prevent the thin sheets from blowing around ever since paper was invented about 100 AD in China. Collectors of paperweights often concentrate on glass paperweights, which made a debut about 1850, but copper, bronze, silver or pewter paperweights have their charms too!

Sharpeners became mainstream mid 19th century, marking the time when we stopped cutting our fingers while sharpening pencils with a knife, as well as the time when collecting pencil sharpeners became a thing.


vintage typewriters

You can find all sorts of typewriters all on bidorbuy, from mechanical oldies to cutting-edge electrical ones. There are writers who maintain that the loud clanking of mechanical typewriters is conducive to their creative process.

While most of us are not likely to relinquish a keyboard (or keypad), it could be true that beautiful writing instruments inspire us to make our writing worthy of them. So, the next time you experience a writer’s block when trying to put together a business report or a presentation, I suggest you dust off your old typewriter, or rummage for your forgotten fountain pen… or simply stare for a few minutes at that exquisite vintage writing instrument you got on bidorbuy!

fountain pen