For 30 years, Montblanc has highlighted an influential patron of the arts by creating a limited-edition pen in his or her honor. This year, the renowned German manufacturer is celebrating the historical reign of Queen Victoria and Prince Consort, Albert, whose legacy within the patronage of arts can still be felt today across the world.
The monarchical reign of Victoria was from 1837 to 1901. During that reign, she would have seen the world around her changing in a rapid pace. Imagine what changes came about under her reign: architecture, a growing middle class, the industrial revolution, and even electricity and the telephone. Victoria’s ability to push forward and the helm of an empire can only be described as a stunning undertaking – and the perfect mantle for Montblanc to release their final Patron of the Arts edition.
Queen Victoria is often called the Grandmother of Europe for her penchant for marrying off children to established lineages across the continent. Of her children, all carried the title of Prince, Princess, Duke, Duchess, and even a Grand Duchess. Victoria’s steadfast hand in her children was the same hand that ruled an empire. Beginning her rule at 18, Victoria quickly took on the role of the most powerful monarch of the day, showing an aptitude for a fair and balanced rule, while further understanding the power of diplomacy – and, by extension culture – could have on the world’s stage. This included a renewed sense of appreciation for art and even the new technology of the time – photography.
And right by her side during their marriage was Albert, Prince Consort. Albert would become a vital part of Victoria’s reign and the ascension of the monarchy to be an apolitical body, ultimately establishing what today is the constitutional monarchy. Victoria and Albert’s love and respect for one another was felt throughout the realm: Victoria trusted Albert’s instincts and promoted him to be a Private Secretary of sorts.
Unfortunately, Albert had an untimely death at 42, after a 21 year marriage. After that, Victoria never recovered but continued to owe much of her education and knowledge of her position to her beloved Albert. It is this lasting love story that is best embodied by the Montblanc Patron of Art Homage to Victoria & Albert Limited Edition, which does an outstanding job of honoring the Royal couple with separate but equally lovely pens.
The Montblanc Patron of Art Homage to Victoria & Albert Limited Edition 888 consists of four versions: two 4810 and two 888 editions whereas one is honoring Victoria and one Albert.The other two editions, the LE 100 as well as the LE 8, were created to honor them as a royal couple. The designs depict the love story of Victoria and Albert, while also integrating their individual personas. With champagne-gold accents, sceptres, and gorgeous detailing throughout all designs, it’s hard to pick a more beautiful set of pens on the market today.
Here are a few highlights of each pen.
Montblanc Patron of Art Homage to Victoria & Albert Limited Edition 4810
Inspired by the newlywed years of Victoria and Albert, this pen has a pearl-white lacquered body. Each pen is made individual by the cap: one for Albert, one for Victoria.. For the edition dedicated to the Queen, the cap is a a mint-green lacquer with a decorative pattern inspired by the Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens. A champagne gold nib and the words “I will be good” engraved on the cap ring give this pen a special femininity.
The Albert pen, in contrast, has a burgundy cap, invoking the colors of the uniform he wore at his wedding. The design of this pen harkens to his childhood home with the cap ring reading “Treu und fest” (German for “faithful and firm), a further testament to his heritage and the role he took on as Victoria’s husband.
Both pens are embellished with a V&A.
Montblanc Patron of Art Homage to Victoria & Albert Limited Edition 4810 – Price: € 2.900,00
Montblanc Patron of Art Homage to Victoria & Albert Limited Edition 888
These pens highlight the individual achievements of the royal couple, but both have certain characteristics shared with one another, including a Victoria pattern, the initials V&A, and each others’ names and wedding date engraved on the cap ring.
For Victoria, Montblanc commemorates her ascension to the throne, with a cap and barrel made of red lacquer in a gold overlay with the monarch’s initials. This pen’s detailing is inspired by her regnal dress and engagement ring, with designs shared on the body of the pen that also appear in her coronation collar. The clip is set with a red garnet, the stone used for her engagement ring to Albert.
Albert’s version is a combination of his past as a German duke and his future as the Prince Consort. Elements of his design include a gold overlay inspired by the architecture of the Crystal Palace, while the pen itself is a handsome interpretation of the tartans used in the Scottish estate of Balmoral Castle, overlaid in gold and finished in a gold nib with the Saxony coat of arms.
Montblanc Patron of Art Homage to Victoria & Albert Limited Edition 888 – Price: € 8.100,00
Montblanc Patron of Art Homage to Victoria & Albert Limited Edition 100
Every detail of this pen is in celebration of the love that Victoria and Albert had for one another. For starters, the mother-of-pearl and champagne-toned gold fittings harken back to the wedding dress of the queen.
The union continues at the base of the cone, which has nine lines, each corresponding to their nine children. Family was especially important to Victoria and her memory lives on in many of the most prominent dynasties across Europe.
The cone further includes details embodying the lives that Victoria and Albert lived together. For starters, a traditional pattern ensconces the cone that is reminiscent of Kensington Palace’s bedrooms while two pieces of jewelry are also nodded to in the design: the phrase ““Unis à jamais” (united forever) is taken from a ring given to Victoria by her half-sister as a wedding gift, while a bracelet Victoria received from her mother when the engagement was announced, inspired the intertwined-hearts-shaped amethyst set in the cone.
On the other end of the pen, the solid gold nib is engraved in a pansy, representing loving thought while the forepart of the nib reads “ “Theuerste innigst geliebte Victoria” (Dearest deeply loved Victoria) written by Albert in a note to Victoria expressing his great affection and love on the day they became engaged.
The cap, too, is a stunning example of their union. A champagne-toned cap decorated in guilloche is reminiscent of the arches of the Crystal Palace with turquoise stones (a favorite of Victoria), while double portraits of the Queen and Prince inserted in the cap evoke the medals distributed during the Great Exhibition of 1851. The cap is finished with the Montblanc emblem in mother-of-pearl, with royal blue lacquer to pair. It is finished with a clip accompanied by a sapphire, referring to a coronet Prince Albert designed for Queen Victoria in 1840, the year they married.
Montblanc Patron of Art Homage to Victoria & Albert Limited Edition 100 – Price: € 40.000,00
Montblanc Patron of Art Homage to Victoria & Albert Limited Edition 8
A widowed queen, Victoria would often be depicted in mourning over the death of her beloved Prince. Here, the Limited Edition 8 takes inspiration from this time in her life by contrasting the happier times with a more somber pen. First, the cap shows the life after and without Albert, a black medallion with the initials VRI (for Victoria Regina Imperatrix). This medallion then opens up to become a locket in memory of Albert. A very touching tribute on a gorgeously developed pen.
With a white gold barrel, this pen has a bit more austerity to it, combined with a rhodium-coated barrel, black onyx, and cut diamonds. All of these elements showcase the brilliancy of Victoria in her own right as a rule, which carried on for decades after Albert.
The cone is engraved with the phrase, “Queen of an Empire on which the sun never set” and is finished in sapphires, rubies, and diamonds (befitting for her 60th year of reign, or her Diamond Jubilee) and is framed by a pattern in tribute to a design found in the bedroom in Kensington Palace where Victoria, as a princess, spent her childhood.
The gold nib is engraved with pansies, a sign of loving thoughts and a favorite of both Albert and Victoria for one another. Further engraving takes place on the cap ring, showing the dates of her reign 20 June 1837-22 January 1901, so we can never forget the stunning rule of this historic figure of the 19th Century.
Montblanc Patron of Art Homage to Victoria & Albert Limited Edition 8 – Price € 175.000,00
This collection, being the 30th anniversary and final of its kind, is sure to be a sell-out and one of the major releases of the year. Montblanc continues to thrive best in understanding and honoring the cultural icons of the world, and these pens are no different. Like Victoria herself, this collection is sure to be remembered for decades to come.