The History Man wrote:
I was a toolroom apprentice at 16. Mention of pantographs brought me here as I used to use one.
This is laughable. Is he doing it with a dremel? Forgive my ignorance but are the real items highly sought after then?
If the parts were originally pantographed to match a complete bike (e.g. original Colnago pantos to go on a Colnago bike) they tend to be worth a lot more.
I think custom pantographing and/or drillium (whether done back in the day or more recently) will usually lower the value of a part.
No idea about the more baroque stuff on some of those panto and drillium sites. It must involve a lot of work hours but custom stuff is usually an acquired taste. Some of it (especially the thinned out Nuovo Record derailleur) looks like a good way to make a perfectly good part funtionally less useful, even if it is very pretty to look at.
I agree it should lower the desirability, I always go for original condition, the only exception is as you say where the bike company originally fitted their bikes with the stuff. I suspect a lot, if not most, of the engraved parts on Ebay etc are "fake" ie newly done.
I think most of the drillium stuff is really ugly though, especially the random holes and slots.
Who's buying a stem for £100-200 just because it's got a logo and letters engraved on it when the same stem in original condition goes for £10-20?