Most people just don’t get it. What is the appeal of a nice pen? Why a fountain pen? I mean, let’s be straight here, there are a lot of reasons a cheap stick pen, mistakenly pocketed from from your local bank branch, would be considered superior over just about any fountain pen. You don’t have to fill them (which often gets ink on the hands thus staining them for a day or three). They write, reliably and with no bleed through, on just about any type of paper. You don’t have to worry about losing it or loaning it to one in need. If it runs out of ink or breaks, it is practically free to replace.
Yes, all of this is true. But, will that cheap pen ever become imbibed with your character? Will you form a bond with it that is unique to you? Will you know it’s quirks as well as it knows yours? Will it, because of these things, remain with you for a length of time and to the extent that if ever parted from your grasp it will feel as if losing a limb? Will the nib shape to your style? Will your grasp shape to the barrel? Will such a pen ever become a part of you?
These are the things that drive my passion for beautiful pens. Most specifically, fountain pens. The relationship between a writer, the tool, the ink, the page, and the words, demand intimacy. Connection. Extension. I need to know the nib, the ink, the paper and, perhaps more importantly, it needs to know me. It needs to know my hand such that it slowly becomes it. It needs to know my preferences such that it expects them. It needs to know my quirks such that it accommodates them. In my experience, The more care and quality that goes into the production of such an instrument, the more the pen will give to these things.
The Perdice Bradford is such a pen. It is a hand crafted limited edition and stems from a collaboration between the heads of the Pear Tree Pen Company and the Edison Pen Company.
The barrel is made from an extraordinarily scarce acrylic seen before only in the Sheaffer Balance II. The model provided to me for review is an intense and rich tortoise shell bursting with hints of sunlight gold. The nib, made of 18K Gold, is nothing short of a work of artistry. It is one of the smoothest I have ever experienced fresh out of the box. It can be ordered in a choice of fine, medium or broad-tip (I tried the fine, which was perfect lovely). In addition, custom ground extra fine or italic nibs can be special ordered for slightly more.
For my testing purposes, I used Pelikan 4001 black ink. Not the most interesting choice but one that I knew would provide me a consistent flow for ease of comparison to other pens I’ve tried or own. The pen certainly took well to it and laid down a consistent line that, due to a very slight flex in the nib, was not devoid of personality. Exactly what one would want from a pen of such quality and something that would grow with the writer over time.
Every single detail of this pen reveals the caliber of the craft, both that of the maker and that of the writer. The price, starting at $325.00, is reasonable considering this fact. This is a pen that, with the proper care, will outlast you and give your descendants, should they chose to use it, as many hours of writing pleasure as it provided you.
The only drawback in the experience is that I must send this one back. It is number seven out of a total of ten that will be made. My only hope is that it will be appreciated as much by the buyer as it has been by me during my time with it. Perhaps, that buyer will read this review one day and drop me a card written with this fine pen. Thus, binding us in greeting and familiarity as only a good pen can.