Penshow Tilburg 2019

After the Pelikan hub I was excited to get to know new people and meet other locals with a shared passion. A few of the people I met there said they’d go too, so I didn’t go in cold, like I did with the Pelikan. My husband also came to see if he could find a pen he liked.


On Facebook they said it’s a great atmosphere, a good place to meet people, and lots of pens. They even moved to a new location this year, a bigger one. That means they expect more people to come, right? Not just visitors, but also vendors. I didn’t look at pictures of previous years, nor was there a list of vendors. I knew my favourite penshop would be there though.

I’ve seen pictures of other pen shows, the ones in the US mostly, and each table is filled with rows of pens. Endless leather cases with all kinds of pens. Even some smaller pen makers with their own craft. I know we don’t have a lot of pen makers in Europe, but meeting one would be awesome.


I thought it was underwhelming. I expected more than just pens. There were only two vendors with ink, and only a handful of bottles. None of the colours were my thing. I did find notebooks, though, and even bought one. The neodeco patterns from Clairefontaine are irresistible.

There were a lot of vintage pen sellers, not so much for new ones. I guess this place is heaven for vintage pen lovers, but that’s not me. I like new pens. Most of the pens were above my budget, which is to be expected from Montblancs and Viscontis. Some vendors even had discounted pens for less than ten bucks. They were broken, lost their cap, or needed nib work. And people bought them. Maybe I’m just too new for this scene, but I don’t think I’ll go again next year.

That said, I did pick up two pens. A Waterman Ici et La turquoise, because the colour is my favourite, and a Parker Sonnet Great Expectations Contort Purple Cisele. The Parker has 18k gold nib, my first, and I saw it four years ago when it came out. I loved it as soon as I saw it. The rose gold with purple was perfect. And it still is.

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