His name is Itshak Mitsenmacher, He is a bundle of passionate energy at 69, married, with three children: Eden, Michael and Naama. Itshak Mitsenmacher is from Israel. But drop the name “Tsachi”, and members of the fountain pen fraternity will immediately stand up in reverence, for Itshak is better known as Tsachi Mitsenmacher, yes, THE Tsachi Mitsenmacher, perhaps one of the most revered collectors of Parker and John Holland fountain pens! He has been collecting fountain pens since 1973 and though he focusses only on fountain pens, he doesn’t break sets when he comes across them, which explains the fairly large number of non-fountain pens in his ever-expanding collection. Inked happiness caught up with the master just before the Jewish New year. Excerpts:
Inked Happiness: When did you take up Fountain Pen Collecting as a hobby? Why? How has the journey been so far?
Tsachi Mitsenmacher: When I was a kid my teacher recommended fountain pens to improve my handwriting and since then I have an affection for Fountain Pens. I have a natural affinity for collecting and when I noticed I have about 10 fountain pens, I started collecting. It was in 1973 – today it is my all-consuming passion. Currently, I have about 6000 fountain pens!
Inked Happiness: What is the underlying theme of your collection? Do you collect pens based on some commonality – like colour, make, period or are you a hoarder, collecting any fountain pen that comes your way?
Tsachi Mitsenmacher: I collect all pens (all models, all colours, all patterns) of Parker and John Holland. I also have two mini collections – Israel related pens and Mont Blanc writer’s series.
Inked Happiness: Among the pens in your collection, which ones are your favourites? Why do you hold them to be so precious?
Tsachi Mitsenmacher: I love all my pens but I also have some very special and rare pens. My grail pen is the Parker Ribbon pen.
Inked Happiness: How vibrant is the fountain pen collecting community in Israel? What are the unique challenges faced by you as a collector in Israel?
Tsachi Mitsenmacher: We have a club with about 100 members. We meet once in two months (at lease we used to, before COVID-19). One of the previous ambassadors from India, Sir Raminda Jasar (RIP) used to come to our meetings and had even came to my home and hosted me in his residence.
Inked Happiness: As a veteran collector, what advice do you have for people who are keen to take up or have recently taken up fountain pen collecting as a hobby?
Tsachi Mitsenmacher: Collect with passion, try to be focused and learn, learn and learn.
Inked Happiness: What are the emerging trends in fountain pen collecting? Do you think more young people are taking up the hobby seriously? Or is it just another fad – like the ones they have in music and fashion where the old, “retro” styles come back every decade or so, only to be replaced again? Are fountain pens being taken up by the young to write, as a protest against the digital domination of their lives, or are fountain pens just another accessory to them?
Tsachi Mitsenmacher: I am a bit concerned, I don’t see enough newcomers and writing with pens is also reducing.
Inked Happiness: What according to you, should be done to popularise writing in general and the use of fountain pens in particular?
Tsachi Mitsenmacher: This is a tough question. I don’t know/ I think our mission is to spread the love for writing equipment.
You can follow him in Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/tsachi.mitsenmacher