Cruising down Corso Magenta, one of our favorite streets in downtown Milan, we always make a point to linger infront of the very elegant E. E. Ercolessi windows, a pen collector's wet dream [ed: not the window in the picture posted above, btw]. Even better are the free, well-designed merchandise catalogs they leave out front...in a city where almost nothing is offered gratis.
In addition to the windows of E. E. Ercolessi, many of the high-end pen-slingers are advertising the newest addition to Mont Blanc's Donation pens series: Following with the 1996 Leonard Bernstein, the 2000 Yehudi Menuhin, the 2001 Johann Bach, 2003's von Karajan and Solti, comes the 2007 Arturo Toscanini pen.
Available as a fountain pen (stilografica), which will set you back €490 ($710 USD) and ballpoint pen (penna a sfera) for a bargain €290 ($420 USD) -- both being priced reasonably within Mont Blanc's standards. The Toscanini pen boasts an 18k gold nib, a cap engraved with the Maestro's signature, and, "sculpted clip shaped like strings and string holder of a violoncello".
If the Toscanini pen doesn't get your nib wet, another musically-inspired pen on the market for Winter 2007 is the Montegrappa limited edition tribute to Antonio Stradivari. The body of pen has been crafted in Stradivari-inspired wood, and comes in a really nifty box [see below]. The series also boasts a 18k white gold nib, engraved with a violin and the Stradivari seal. Released will be 2,000 fountain pens @ €700 ($1,000 USD); 3,000 rollerball pens @ €530 ($770 USD); and 5,000 ballpoint pens @ €370 ($540 USD).
The last pentender for the 2007 Holiday season is Delta's limited editions of both Enrico Caruso and Giacomo Puccini tribute pens. Both pens rely on a (frankly annoying) numerology scene to lay out the series. Since Caruso was born in 1873, 873 fountain pens (with a lever) will be released, along with 1873 cartridge pens. In addition, a precious 48 fountain pens will be available with white gold or rose gold accents. Caruso will fetch €720 ($1,000 USD).
The Puccini pens will be distributed in the same fashion, with 1858 the reliant number, offering lever and cartridge pens in multiples of 858 and 1858. Puccini will fetch a top price of €590 ($850 USD). Ugh. This is beginning to sound like a freaking Eco novel.
yaes, i sign my checks with a $1,000 18k gold Caruso pen while i'm over here with my 5-figure salary, buying not 1 but THREE xbox games a week. im one of those 'upper crusts' that you've read about in teh newspaper and seen on the tv, what of it???