Catherine Palace, St. Petersburg Pen of the Year 2014 by Faber-Castell
As many of our serious pen aficionados are aware, Faber-Castell didn’t offer the Pen of the Year 2013. Perhaps it takes a year sabbatical for these masterful artisans to come up with beauty this great. We believe that Graf von Faber-Castell hit a home run with the new limited edition Pen of the Year 2014. It is already the talk of the industry! In fact most of these pens were pre-sold before they will even arrive in our shop. The theme of this pen was inspired by the restoration project of the Agate Pavilion within the Catherine Palace in St. Petersburg.
Among the precious stones that adorned the Agate Rooms was rich deep reddish-brown jasper, a precious stone that can only be found in Russia. The Scottish architect who was contracted to build this magnificent structure was Charles Cameron, and the project was completed in 1785. This Pavilion was built under the orders of Empress Catherine the Great.
Fast forward to modern day September of 2013, at which time master craftsman Boris Igdalov of the Zarskoje Selo/Puschkin workshop, completed the restoration project of the Agate Pavilion. Who better than Boris Igdalov to help expertly create this year’s Pen of the Year? In fact, it is Boris Igdalov himself who signs the certificate confirming that these exquisite gemstones, indigenous to Russia, came from the Agate Rooms of the Catherine Palace in St. Petersburg. The same Pavilion that Boris Igdalov was contracted to restore.
There are two limited edition versions of the Fountain Pen, the platinum-plated version is limited to 1000 pens and the Special Edition, which is 24 carat gold plated, is limited to only 150 pens in the world. Both versions have the Russian jasper gemstone inlaid within the barrel.
The edition of 1000, individually numbered, Fountain Pens is adorned with grey faceted Russian quartz in the cap of the fountain pen. The barrel is artistically accented with three large pieces of the Jasper gemstone, surrounded by filigree patterned platinum-plated inlaid décor. The top and bottom of the barrel are also a lustrous platinum-plated finish that is simply exquisite!
Now for the Special Edition Fountain, limited to only 150 individually numbered pens worldwide. As you can imagine this work of art is finished in 24 carat gold plating. The top and bottom section of the barrel, as well as the gold filigree detail inlays surround six vertical jasper gemstones. Both the cap and end-cap of this luxurious Fountain Pen are topped off with two yellow Russian quartz stones, also in a facet finish. The bi-color gold nib is available in four nib sizes (Fine, Medium, Broad or Double Broad).
The Pen of the Year series by Graf von Faber-Castell started in 2003, and as mentioned above only 2013 was skipped. However, in none of these years will you find a Limited Edition Rollerball within the Pen of the Year collections. That was until now, because of the great demand by Faber-Castell collectors. This Pen of the Year collection has two version of the Rollerball pen. The Special Edition with gold plating is limited to only 30 Rollerball pens worldwide. It’s no surprise that all 30 units are spoken for, despite the fact that this pen is $9.000. Perhaps one of the 30 collectors that have acquired this pen will be willing to part with it at the right price. However, the $9,000 suggested retail price will mostly likely only be the ‘springboard’ for the new asking price. As they say in the world of collectibles, the new selling price is whatever the market will bear! Fortunately, there is the platinum-plated version that is limited to 300 Rollerball pens worldwide. If you act fast, you might be one of the lucky few that acquire this masterpiece. Both versions of the Rollerball pen come with a Russian Quartz just like the Fountain Pen. The gold-plated has the yellow Quartz stone, while the platinum-plated has the grey Quartz stone.
As I’ve learned more about the world of limited edition fountain pens, it is quite apparent that a history lesson is included with every world class pen. I always enjoyed history, and I am quite fascinated by the inspiration that fuels these manufacturers, in the creation of their ‘beautiful works of art’. I can’t find a better descriptor when speaking of the Catherine Palace, St. Petersburg Pen of the Year 2014 by Graf von Faber-Castell. If you are a serious pen collector, I implore you to see one of these pens up close and personal. However, if that is not possible, I have included some images of these fine writing instruments for your pleasure.