Dazzling Modern & Limited Edition Pens at Swann Galleries, March 12

New York—Following the success of Swann’s inaugural auction of Fine & Vintage Writing Instruments in fall 2012, this sale offers pens to please the most discriminating connoisseur as well as outstanding opportunities to enhance beginning and advanced collections.

The auction opens with a fine selection of modern limited edition pens, including many wonderful examples from Montblanc’s Patron of Art limited edition series, such as Elizabeth I (estimate: $1,500 to $2,500); Karl der Grosse ($1,500 to $2,000); Lorenzo de Medici ($3,000 to $4,000); Octavian ($1,200 to $1,800); and the Prince Regent ($1,500 to $1,800).


From their Writers Series are Agatha Christie ($1,500 to $2,000); Hemingway ($1,500 to $2,500); and two Voltaires ($1,200 to $1,800 each).

Two very exclusive sets by Montblanc include an Imperial Dragon Limited Edition fountain pen, ballpoint and mechanical pencil set ($2,000 to $3,000); and a Meisterstück Solitaire Sterling Silver four-piece desk set ($1,500 to $2,500).

The modern limited edition selection also features several pens by OMAS, including a 75th Anniversary Omaggio ad Armando Simoni sterling silver Doctor’s pen ($2,000 to $3,000); and an Israel 50th Jubilee Limited Edition sterling silver and blue resin pen with a Star of David on the cap ($800 to $1,200).

There is a Romeo Sterling Silver Limited Edition from Montegrappa’s Romeo and Juliet Collection, and their Roses Collection York Sterling Silver, 1994 ($700 to $1,000 each); a S.T. Dupont Casino Royale Limited Edition, with styling sure to appeal to die-hard James Bond fans ($350 to $500); gold-plated beauties by Cartier; and Parkers, Pelikans and Watermans.


The vintage portion of the sale opens with a great piece of pen history—a collection of items from Frank D. Waterman, who led the company in the early 20th century, and also ran for mayor of New York City in 1925. It consists of a Typed Letter Signed to a client, a Waterman 20 and a Waterman Baby, aka “the world's largest” and “the world's smallest” pens ($6,000 to $9,000).

Among the individual Watermans in the sale are a circa 1898 402 smooth sterling silver eye-dropper with taper cap and integral snake clip ($1,000 to $1,500) and a circa 1912 chased and ribbon designed gold-filled overlay eye-dropper filler ($800 to $1,200).

A significant offering of pens by Montblanc is also featured among the vintage highlights, including Rouge et Noir safety pens and a rarely offered platinum celluloid 128PL ($2,000 to $3,000); a 1938 138 model ($1,500 to $2,000) and L139G model ($1,500 to $2,500).

Highly prized Italian pens from leading makers include an Aurora 1935 Etiopia button-filler ($2,000 to $3,000); an Aurora Superna black celluloid back lever-filler ($500 to $750); an outstanding late Tabo V black celluloid twist-filler with clear striated ink window, with extraordinary barrel clarity ($500 to $750); and a select grouping of oversize pens from OMAS.

Rounding out the sale are custom overlay Parkers, and pens from Chilton, Conklin and Wahl-Eversharp.

The auction will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 12.

The writing instruments will be on public exhibition Thursday, March 7 and Friday, March 8, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, March 9, from noon to 5 p.m.; Monday, March 11, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Tuesday, March 12, from 10 a.m. to noon.

An illustrated catalogue, with information on bidding by mail or fax, is available for $35 from Swann Galleries, Inc., 104 East 25th Street, New York, NY 10010, or online at www.swanngalleries.com.

For further information, and to make arrangements to leave a bid or to bid by telephone during the auction, please contact Marco Tomaschett at (212) 254-4710, extension 12, or via e-mail at mtomaschett@swanngalleries.com.

Live online bidding is also available via Artfact.com.

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First photo: Montblanc, Agatha Christie Writer Series Limited Edition Vermeil. Estimate: $1,500 to $2,000.

Second photo: Collection of three items from Frank D. Waterman, 1950. Estimate: $6,000 to $9,000.

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