If you read our recently published article, you may have noticed that we covered the first four editions of the famous collection signed by Graf von Faber-Castell – ‘Pen of the Year – Pillars of History’. With only four editions left, in today’s article we will be focusing on each Pen launched between 2018-2021, pointing out the most significant details.
As mentioned in the last article, we are no longer referring to simple writing instruments. These works of art are some of the most coveted fountain pens amongst collectors around the world and must be treated with reverence. Some of them are rare, but you can still find them on the secondary market or at various authorised retailers, whilst others cannot be found anywhere.
Pen of the Year 2018 – Imperium Romanum
Inspired by the empire that still exerts a great influence on our world today, the Pen of the Year of 2018 is a small piece of history that carries so many symbols from the past. Looking at the cap, you can see a finely engraved Colosseum, perhaps the most characteristic detail reminiscent of Rome. The barrel, made from staturario marble from Carrara is intersected by three platinum plated rings decorated with laurel wreaths symbolising fame and success. Note that each pen is produced by hand by master artisans in the Stephan jewel studios.
The cap’s finial is crowned with a miniature denarius (a Roman penny) modelled on a very rare silver coin from the year 44 BC. The original coin depicts Caesar’s head and it was found at Ritter, a prestigious dealer and coin expert in Dusseldorf. The nib, like on any other Pen of the Year, is handcrafted from 18k gold and engraved by hand. The white marbled edition is numbered and limited to 400 pieces. The rollerball, on the other hand, is limited to 120 pieces.
There is also a black edition of this pen, featuring the same details but with a titanium PVD coating, numbered and limited to 330 pieces. Rollerball limited to 100 pieces.
Pen of the Year 2019 – Samurai
From Ancient Rome straight to the Land of the Rising Sun, the Pen of the Year 2019 is inspired by the era of the Samurai, their impressive weapons as well as their mindset. The barrel of this edition is made of dark-stained magnolia wood, then painted and polished several times. Miyamoto Musashi, considered by the Japanese one of the greatest swordsman of all time, somehow inspired this edition, as we see one of his quotes hand-engraved on the barrel with 24k gold – “Today I win against myself of yesterday”.
The grip section is reminiscent of the beauty of the stingray leather the samurai used to cover their swords’ handles. It is, indeed, a fine yet very unique detail. The cap’s finial is crowned with the Japanese character for samurai whilst the end section of the piston knob is adorned with another symbol created by Musashi for the word “tsuba”, the guard placed at the end of the grip of a Japanese sword in order to protect the hand when holding the sword. The 18k gold nib, the grip section as well as the cap and piston knob are coated in ruthenium. The fountain pen is numbered and limited to 400 pieces whilst the rollerball is available in only 120 pieces.
The black edition of this Pen features some different details and has a titanium PVD coated finish. The fountain pen is limited to 330 pieces whilst the rollerball to 100.
Pen of the Year 2020 – Sparta
The 2020 edition has tough look and evokes strength, like Spartan armour. Symbolising the robustness, strength and uniqueness of the bold Spartans, the ruthenium-coated barrel is decorated with rough diamonds of 0.35 carat. The milled pattern displayed on the barrel is reminiscent of the strip-style armour worn in the abdomen region whilst the grip section decoration is inspired by the steel breastplate of Spartans that served as a defence armour.
Another significant detail can be seen on the cap: the spring clip is based on the Greek ridge helmet and the powerful shape of a horse’s neck. The cap’s finials is decorated with a lacquered inlay displaying the symbol Lambda emblazoned on the Spartans’ defensive shields. Fountain pen limited to 310 pieces and rollerball to 90.
The black version of the pen features a similar design, however there are 42 diamonds of 2.1 carats adorning the barrel. Fountain pen limited to 270 pieces and rollerball to 80.
Pen of the Year 2021 – Knights
Last but not least, the edition of 2021. The overall design of the pen is inspired by the armour of the age of chivalry. A noticeable and very innovative feature is the leather strap on the grip section of the pen. Inspired by the leather used for the sword’s grip, it prevents the pen from slipping while writing. It could be very useful during extended writing sessions. The barrel is made of Damascus steel, the same material used by the medieval smiths to forge the knightly swords.
The cap features a finely engraved pattern reminiscent of the heavy chain mill which saved the lives of many medieval knights, and its finial is decorated with the “heraldic cross”, considered the symbol of hope in the Middle Ages. The end part of the piston knob is decorated with a red, faceted garnet with sunray cut. The fountain pen of this edition is numbered and limited to 375 pieces whilst the rollerball to only 125.
Image sources: web
Research and information: https://www.graf-von-faber-castell.com/pen-of-the-year/pillars-of-history