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A touch of Asia with German craftsmanship, the Pen of the Year from Fabre Castell is a tribute to Austrian Empress, Maria Theresa.
After the demise of her husband, Empress Maria Theresa she decided to decorate his study with the things most valuable to them both – and best representing her love for him: Chinese lacquer plates depicting happiness, wealth, impermanence and immortality. It is with this thought that Fabre Castell designed this special limited edition pen.
For the design work, Fabre Castell got Silvia Miklin, conservator of the Vieux-Laque Room and Japanese artist, Tomizo Saratani who specialises in the Maki-e technique. Working together, the duo developed three plates, each painted black, and then polished and hand burnt. The artists then sprinkled 24-carat gold powder in different tints several times while it was wet. It gave the feel of Hira Miki-e lacquer work.
There were only 120 special edition pens produced, kept in a polished, black wooden box that included a certificate signed by craftsman, Herbert Stephan, attesting the authenticity of onyx used in the pen.
The Elemento range comprised of a fountain pen, rollerball pen, ballpoint pen and a propelling pencil. Each barrel is made of cross-grained olive wood, constructed with an innovative technique that enables the grain of the wood to be displayed in a way previously unknown.
Like a masterpiece of marquetry, the cross-grained olive wood is fitted into the barrel in six individual elements, which are varnished and hand-polished several times. Only in this way does the wood reveal its flamboyant and interesting structure and its quite extraordinary coloring of reddish brown through to honey gold or even salmon pink.
Barrel- Flamed maple/Plate with Hira Maki-e technique
Metal parts- 24K gold plated
Spring- 18 carat gold, bicolour
Mechanism- Plunger mechanism
Total length- 137mm
Price- €7,500 (`5,40,495)