It’s become a sort of celebration every time Graf von Faber-Castell launches its Pen of the Year. Eagerly awaited and perhaps one of the most coveted releases in the industry, this year’s collection just made its debut a few days ago to the delight of fans. If last year’s edition was inspired by the Aztec civilization, the 2023 edition invites us to explore the land of Pharaohs. From finely engraved hieroglyphs to a striking gold-blue color scheme, join us as we discover the new Pen of the Year 2023 Ancient Egypt.
With a history spanning thousands of years, Ancient Egypt is one of the world’s oldest civilizations that has captivated people for centuries. Impressive architecture, advanced engineering, hieroglyphic writing, medical advancements, and the legends of pharaohs are just some of the aspects we still honor, an impressive chapter in world history indeed.
I have to admit that I was surprised that the last two editions released are somewhat similar in design, although each stands out with a unique DNA. However I appreciate the direction that Graf von Faber-Castell is heading with the latest release, and I think it’s just the beginning of what’s to come in the future.
Limited to 375 pens and 125 rollerball pens, the edition is expected to be sold out very soon like previous editions. Right from first glance, the new collection exudes authority and luxury in a refined manner. The show begins on the matte metal barrel, which has a particularly durable diamond-like carbon coating and features a set of finely engraved hieroglyphs of twelve ancient Egyptian deities.
Considered to be the oldest Egyptian characters, the hieroglyphs were a system of writing used in ancient Egypt for various purposes playing a crucial role in Egyptian society and culture. Besides religious purposes, and literature & arts, the hieroglyphs were used to record historical events, including the achievements and deeds of pharaohs. Much of what we discovered today about this incredible civilization is due to the hieroglyphs, beautifully captured by Graf von Faber-Castell along the barrel of this new edition.
The black color of the pen carries some symbolism as well. The ancient Egyptian civilization is often referred to as “Kemet” which means ‘black land’. This term was used to describe the fertile lands along the Nile River, which was annually inundated by the river’s flooding, leaving behind rich, black silt that was highly suitable for agriculture. This annually repeating cycle is also said to have led to the creation of the calendar system with around 365 days.
In ancient Egypt, gold was a symbol of power and wealth, a material reserved only for pharaohs. Given the impressive jewelry, tools, vessels, and masks that were made of gold at the time, Ancient Egypt was considered the richest gold country in the ancient world. Gold was also a symbol of the deities, captured on this edition by a famous “Eye of Horus” symbol engraved in a 24k gold-plate metal plate on the end piece of the pen.
Reminiscent of Tutankhamun’s funerary mask, the grip section is made of metal rings with 24-carat gold plating and blue lacquer rings. The discovery of his tomb in 1922 in the Valley of the Kings opened the door to Egypt’s past, bringing to light valuable information about the art, culture, and burial practices of ancient Egypt, which is why it is of great significance.
The cap design draws inspiration from the distinctive shape of Nefertiti’s blue crown (a queen of the 18th Dynasty of Ancient Egypt, the great royal wife of Pharaoh Akhenaten). Nefertiti’s crown was a symbol of her status as a queen and consort to the pharaoh and at the same time reflected the beauty and grace often attributed to the queen herself. At the end of the cap, there is another detail that catches the eye: a reconstructed lapis lazuli with an engraved scarab symbolizing the sun as a lucky charm.
To complete the experience, the pen comes with an 18k gold nib decorated with the Graf von Faber-Castell coat of arms, regarded for its unparalleled writing performance.
Each Pen of The Year 2023 pen is packaged with a bottle of lapis lazuli ink, a shade of blue renowned for its vibrancy and considered the color of kings. Egyptian blue is one of the oldest man-made colors, adorning Nefertiti’s crown as well as Tutankhamun’s death mask. Along with gold, dark blue is said to symbolize divinity in ancient Egypt.