Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Fountain Pens of the World
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on October 11, 2000
My love affair with fountain pens - particularly vintage fountain pens - entered a new stage the day that my copy of Lambrou's Fountain Pens of the World arrived. Covered with a gorgeous dust jacket, weighing in at several pounds and measuring 9" by 12.5", the book made an impression before the first page had even been turned.
This first impression, positive as it was, in no way prepared me for what I was to find inside: over four hundred pages with glorious color plates. Literally thousands of pens - mostly vintage - spectacularly photographed, and presented exactly life size. (Ever wonder whether your newly purchased vacumatic is a sub-deb, debutante, junior, slender, standard, major, oversized, or Maxima? Just lay it over the photographs in Lambrou's book!) Fascinating reproductions of vintage advertisements. Detailed histories - model by model - of all major manufacturers and many lesser-known ones, including Edward Todd, Triad, Diamond Point, Chilton, Stephens, Mentmore, Summit, Wyvern, Burnham, Soennecken, Osmia, Tropen, and so on and so forth, covering the U.S., the U.K., Germany France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Japan. The book is, plain and simple, a work of art and of incredible beauty. I could spend weeks just browsing its pages.
In retrospect, my biggest mistake in fountain pen collecting was to wait for several years before purchasing a copy of Lambrou's Fountain Pens of the World...
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on July 7, 2003
I have always admired Lambrou's book, 'Fountain Pens of the World', but could not justify the price -- after all the cost of this book could go towards another fountain pen -- I WAS WRONG!!
I wished I bought my copy years ago, it would have saved me so much money in buying pens that were not exactly the model that the seller described (going to a few markets/pen shows and especially on-line auctions).
The history of pens from around the world is well documented. The pen manufacturers are grouped in chapters by country.
Every pen is life size. More than 2,300 pens are shown and the color representation is great. Even a Parker Snake, Aztec, Swastika, Forget-me-not and many, many more I just dream about! Only gripe -- no price list, but Lambrou states that people can abuse the information as the price list is only valid at the time of print.
To date, I 've yet to see any other book as well put together's as this one.
Don't use false economy like I did. Buy this book as soon as you can -- it gives many, many happy hours of pen collecting and reading!
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on June 19, 2004
This is it. If you buy only one book on fountain pens, or if you are serious about fountain pen collecting, this is THE book to get. Unfortunately, it is Really expensive. Look around for a used copy using the usual suspects on the Web. The photos are great and the captions clearly identify each pen shown. Numerous non-US pen companies are written about and many pens are pictured here and nowhere else (in other standard pen ID books). Highly recommended.
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on July 7, 2003
I have always admired Lambrou's book, 'Fountain Pens of the World', but could not justify the price -- after all the cost of this book could go towards another fountain pen -- I WAS WRONG!!
I wished I bought my copy years ago, it would have saved me so much money in buying pens that were not exactly the model that the seller described (going to a few markets/pen shows and especially on-line auctions).
The history of pens from around the world is well documented. The pen manufacturers are grouped in chapters by country.
Every pen is life size. More than 2,300 pens are shown and the color representation is great. Even a Parker Snake, Aztec, Swastika, Forget-me-not and many, many more I just dream about! Only gripe -- no price list, but Lambrou states that people can abuse the information and the price list is only valid at the time of print.
To date, I 've yet to see any other book as well put together's as this one.
Don't use false economy like I did. Buy this book as soon as you can -- it gives many, many happy hours of pen collecting and reading!
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on May 15, 2015
Andy Lambrou’s Fountain Pens of the World (FPOW) is without a doubt the most used book on my pen bookshelf. First published in 1995, it is a meticulously researched, well-presented, and thorough survey of, well, fountain pens of the world. It’s my go-to source when I want to answer those esoteric questions like, “How many sides did the faceted Wahl Eversharp Doric have?” (12).
The book was reprinted in 2014 by Andreas Lambrou Publishers, LTD in two different editions: A Master Trade Edition, ISBN 9780957172326, and a Kaplan Limited Edition, ISBN 9780957172333. This reprint uses specially formulated paper and improved film from the 2005 edition. Color reproduction is significantly improved, which adds to accuracy and depth. Text clarity is improved as well. The paper was specially made in Sweden and the book was printed in Singapore using the latest printing technology.
I especially like the global scope of this book. American major and minor manufacturers are dealt with extensively, but FPOW stands as my main resource for information on those lesser-known (at least to me) non-American brands. Who knew, for example, that the German pen manufacturer Fend was the primary producer of gold and silver overlay work for Montblanc pens in the 1920s and 1930s?
In order to be useable as a reference source, a book should have a comprehensive index. I mean a real index, not just a lightweight one page listing of high level topics. FPOW gets high marks here, giving the reader three five-column pages of detailed index topics.
One of the charms of a good reference book is it tells me things I didn’t think I needed to know, like, “How can I tell if two pens are made from the same celluloid family?” To help answer that question, Lambrou gives us 17 Fourier Transform Infra-Red Spectroscopy graphs showing the spectral bands of various pens as compared to each other and to the spectra of cellulose acetate. This confirms, for example, that the celluloid composition of the Parker Duofold and Sheaffer Balance were almost exactly the same. In addition, there is a Materials and Techniques section containing descriptions of lacquer, guilloche, and exotic woods techniques, things you won’t find in your standard pen reference book.
More than just coffee-table eye candy, the 2014 reprint of FPOW makes this reference standard even better. It deserves a place on your bookshelf, and I recommend it without reservation.
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on April 2, 2009
This book is a treasure. It provides a comprehensive review of pens from the major and minor producers of fountain pens from the USA, UK, Germany, Japan, France, Italy, The Netherlands and Belgium. The illustrations are 1:1 in scale to the actual instruments. This is one book that is beautiful enough for the coffee table, but also contains excellent information in a systematic manner... and with a useful index.
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on February 15, 2014
Just started collecting writing instruments and after reading the reviews on this book across the internet, I have to agree. This book is very comprehensive, does not have every pen but that would be a work in progress. The history and the pictures are amazing, its one of those books to look at while having a coffee. I have other books in my collection and all of them are starting to add together a portrait of what is out there as far a writing instruments go.
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on May 20, 2015
It's hard to add much more information than what's already been given in previous reviews. I would have to agree with everything others have mentioned.

The only thing I'll add is that Fountain Pens of the World is *the* book about fountain pens. The quality and amount of images, along with the amount of information is simply unparalleled. It might be a bit pricey, but it's a better purchase than any pen of equivalent price. Do whatever you need to get a copy. It will provide hundreds of hours of informative reading and eye candy.
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VINE VOICEon December 28, 2008
What an amazing book! I consider it "the" book on fountain pens. The book is weel laid out, contains lots of photograph (which is what I really want in a book like this) and the most information of any book about the companies, the pens and the history. I received this book for Christmas after longing for it for quite some time. I had not bought it because of the cost - but it is well worth the price.
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on August 8, 2000
Andreas Lambrou is an experienced collector and dealer and the book should be an ivaluable asset to anyone who has an interest in fountain pens because it is written by a real expert.
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