It's all about the written word...

Celebrating three years in publication. Thank you for visiting often!

Friday, October 29, 2010


Many companies currently produce maki-e pens, but few have the long and stellar reputation of Namiki. One of their latest is the Setsugekka--a limited edition of just 999 fountain pens. Snow in winter, the moon in autumn and flowers in spring are beautifully rendered in painstaking detail on each pen. It can be yours for just $18,000.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pens in the News

CBS News Sunday Morning, October 24, had a feature on collecting fountain pens following its research visit to the Washington, DC, pen show in August. Check out this link compliments of Amarillo pen collector George Schwarz.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

"It is impossible to say how first the idea entered..."

Krone captures the macabre elegance of Poe’s writings with its Edgar Allan Poe Limited Edition writing instrument. The pen’s .925 matte sterling silver cap is reminiscent of a mysterious weather-worn stone wall and is set with three hand-painted miniature representations of “The Raven,” “The Tell Tale Heart” and “The Golden Bug.” Bronze framing highlights each painting. A skull sits on the cap crown, and Edgar Allan Poe’s signature is engraved at the base of the cap.  Violet veined charcoal celluloid was used to create the barrel. Just 388 fountain pens and 38 rollerball pens will be available. The fountain pen is priced at $5,900. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Score another one for the handwritten word

Last week, the online Wall Street Journal business section featured an article entitled, "How Handwriting Trains the Brain." In it, author Gwendolyn Bounds outlines the many reasons that writing by hand is good for kids (it can improve idea composition and expression and may aid fine motor-skill development, among other things) and why it's good for adults--it can keep the cognitive abilities of aging baby boomers on point. It seems that neural activity in the brain is different when we consciously form symbols as opposed to simply choosing a whole letter on a keyboard. So the next time you take out your favorite pen and paper and start to write, remember that you are doing your brain a favor.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Calligraphy, anyone?

Campo Marzio, based in Rome, produces some great and colorful stationery products. And if you're looking for a moderately priced calligraphy set that's well made, great looking and priced under $50, give Campo Marzio a try. The company has been around for several decades, but really made a push on an international scale in 2006, opening nine boutiques around the globe. I saw Campo Marzio at the National Stationery Show in NYC this past spring, and their booth was made to look much like one of their boutiques. It was colorful, with beautifully presented products including pens, desk accessories and personal leather goods, like wallets, attache cases, etc.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

When we lose our signature, do we lose our identity?

Ever scribble your signature completely incomprehensibly just to see if you can make the electronic credit card swipe machine tilt? Read Alex Kuczynski's hilarious tale in the New York Times: Identity Crisis.

Monday, October 4, 2010


The newest limited edition from Pelikan is the third fountain pen in their series "Achievements of Civilization." Fire, as it is called, is beautifully designed and captures the essence of its name with understated elegance. A bowl of flames is depicted on the clip, the 18-karat gold nib (fine, medium and broad sizes) and the cap crown. The brass and lacquer body is a gorgeous shade of red, with every flame on the barrel laser engraved then plated with 24-karat gold. The gemstone "sparks" on the barrel are topaz. Just 500 fountain pens are available worldwide, each priced at $1,875. I think this is another winner from Pelikan.