As an illustrator I buy a lot of pens and I use a lot of pens. Even with my professional association discounts and the like they still can cost a fair bit, and to me “a fair bit” means anything more than £5. So imagine my surprise when I discovered the website Penaficionado.com* yesterday. It’s a website featuring some of the worlds most expensive pens, pens made of solid gold, pens encrusted with diamonds, the kind of pens you would NOT want to let anyone borrow. Some of these beauties cost tens of thousands of pounds, can you even imagine owning something that costs more than a car and yet can be dropped down a drain or lost down the back of a sofa cushion? Petrifying. One of the pens there costs just over $65,000, it’s called Montegrappa Chaos 18k and was designed by none other than “Expendables” star Sylvester Stallone.
Why was I looking at Penaficionado though? Well not just because I like pens, which I do…a lot – but it was actually because I was writing a press release for a company that hand crafts pens and had been featured on that site in the past. They’re called Treasured Pens and we’re both members of SBS (Small Business Sunday), a group which was founded by former TV Dragon’s Den investor, Theo Paphitis, as a way of recognising small businesses and their potential whilst simultaneously putting a stop to the barrage of tweets he was getting from entrepreneurs every day of the week on Twitter.
So, Treasured Pens asked if anyone would be interested in helping them out with a press release in exchange for one of their gorgeous fountain pens.
Normally I don’t put myself forward as a copy-writer. I’ve met several copy-writers at networking events whose sole purpose in their career is their elegance with word-craft and I’ve never wanted to confuse people by adding too many skills to my own repertoire. Thus, I’ve chosen to stick with just promoting my illustration services. However, when I saw that a hand turned, finely crafted, luscious fountain pen was up for grabs in exchange for a 500 word press release I jumped at the chance.
I think, if I had to, I could write 500 words on any subject. Even a boring subject, (it was exactly the sort of thing I was asked to do at university on an alarmingly regular basis – bleurgh) thankfully pens aren’t boring, not to me anyway. So I typed up exactly 500 words about Treasured Pens, their beautiful writing instruments and their growing success over the last two years in business and had it with them within 24 hours.
They loved it, I’m thrilled and now I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of The Suffolk King Bocote Fountain pen! Bocote is a beautiful honey brown South American wood laced with darker bands and the pen comes with ornate gold rings at each end plated in 14ct gold with a Swarovski crystal set in the clip.
The Pen aficionado website doesn’t appear to be there any more I’m afraid. Still, there are plenty of expensive pens still scattered about the interwebs. The Chaos pen designed by Sylvester Stallone for example, that’s still available. Despite being a limited edition of just 100 pieces too. At the low, low price of £40,500 it’s a wonder they haven’t all been snapped up by keen pen enthusiasts (!).
“The body of the pen is made of black pearlised celluloid with overlays in sterling silver or solid 18K gold. Overlays are finished by hand by Montegrappa’s skilled craftsmen and feature an antiqued finish with accents in translucent enamel, in reds and yellows the colors of fire.
The design is characterized by the juxtaposition of life and death; the former represented by the early forms of life on Earth: reptiles (such as snakes and lizards), the latter by the skull. And though it is not as mighty as the pen itself, the ultimate defining detail, bearing both a fist and a skull, is the pen’s clip in the form of a sword.“– Montegrappe website
Perhaps it might make more sense if you see the thing…