What is an Heirloom?
An heirloom is defined as an object of special value to a family that is handed down from one generation to the next. Heirlooms can be anything with a specific significance, and can range from seemingly simple objects like a silver brooch to an extensive collection of fine bone china. The essence of a notable family heirloom is the legacy of the past that is tied to it.
Among all the possible articles you can inherit, one that is known for encapsulating history and memory is the fountain pen. By virtue of its analog nature, it is an object that calls to mind bygone eras, and is further transformed into something more remarkable with the passage of time and the imprint of its owner. Let us examine why a fountain pen would make a noteworthy memento.
What Makes A Fountain Pen A Worthy Heirloom?
First of all, the fountain pen has the capability of becoming a classic. Even modern ones with beautiful and timeless designs can captivate future generations, and perpetuate tradition from the older members of the family to the younger ones. This is the reason why vintage fountain pens have been held in such high esteem up to this day. They are concrete symbols of history that can bridge generation gaps and rekindle interest.
Secondly, the fountain pen is fundamentally an instrument for writing. Its inherent functionality is another aspect that differentiates it from other heirlooms that can only be put on display or kept in a cabinet and eventually forgotten. Its continued use down the family line evokes memories and experiences of our ancestors, and deepens the connection between generations. Over time, a person’s manner of holding a fountain pen and particular angle of writing make their marks on both the barrel and the pen’s nib. Consequently, the fountain pen itself becomes a tangible and highly personal record of the previous owner. Some fountain pens can also be engraved or custom-made, making them truly one-of-a-kind.
A fountain pen is a reflection of its owner. Given the substantial variety of designs and different price points available, a person can choose one that echoes his personality or sense of style, that in time becomes a keepsake to remember him by. The top-of-the-line fountain pens are prime candidates for possible heirloom pieces. However, any well-built pen will do since its attached significance will be a distinctively personal factor that only the family may appreciate. In addition, the aesthetic appeal of a quintessential fountain pen transcends the boundaries of gender, race, or culture.
While some possessions that have been passed on feature an innate fragility, fountain pens thoughtfully crafted from durable, high-quality materials can stand the test of time and utilisation. Pens using metals such as brass, steel, aluminum, and sterling silver, and/or hardy plastics as base materials can be engineered to last. In combination with proper care and maintenance, a well-made fountain pen can last more than a lifetime. This is one of the main reasons why they are considered as highly collectible items as well.
Finally, those fountain pens known for exceptional quality and superb craftsmanship, as well as the Limited Edition series of certain brands, often appreciate in value and can be seen by some as investments in addition to being heirloom pieces. They can become part of an ancestral collection of time-honoured memorabilia, or included in the family’s assets.
A Father’s Fountain Pen and Its Stories
For a father seeking to bequeath something memorable to his child, a fountain pen is an excellent choice. Through use and care, it has become more of an extension of his mind and hand, rather than just a simple writing tool. Its history and significance in his father’s life further adds to this fountain pen’s inestimable value in the eyes of his child. Heirlooms such as these have been transformed by the moments they imbibe, seen in the dull patina of the barrel or a certain sweet spot on the fountain pen nib. These changes infuse the fountain pen with more meaning and nostalgia. To a loved one receiving such an heirloom, it is a tactile reminder of the previous owner, and can perhaps serve as an inspiration to continue the tradition. A fountain pen passed on from father to child is not merely a historical object but a legacy of that individual’s writing experience.
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Written by Lekz Umali
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