New York—An outstanding, diverse selection of 500 lots of Fine Writing Instruments, including an often read about, but seldom seen example of a Parker Number 60 Awanyu "Aztec" Gold-Filled Fountain Pen, 1911, will be up for auction at Bonhams, December 18 in New York.

The "Aztec" pen, estimated at $40,000-80,000, is one of only half a dozen believed to exist. It is among 260 fine writing instruments, including 60 vintage offerings, that have come to Bonhams from a fantastic, private, single-owner collection of about 4,000 examples to be portioned out between this and future Bonhams sales.

Also from the collection to be offered this December will be a rare Waterman's "Three Snakes" Sterling Silver Fountain Pen, circa 1888-98, featuring six genuine emerald eyes (est. $25,000-35,000). It is the only known example of the pen in existence.

Rare and desirable highlights in the sale will also include three Montegrappa limited edition Dragon pens: an artist's proof Dragon 18K Yellow Gold and Brilliant-Cut White Diamonds Fountain Pen (est. $70,000-100,000); an artist's proof Dragon Mediterranean Blue Celluloid with 18K Yellow Gold and Blue Sapphires Fountain Pen (est. $60,000-100,000); and a Dragon Cinnamon Red Celluloid and Sterling Silver Rollerball museum piece, believed to be the only of its kind, from Montegrappa's private museum (est. $30,000-50,000).

There will also be a selection of limited edition, unused and sealed modern Montblanc pens, as well as a vintage, 1930s, custom Montblanc Safety Fountain Pen in solid gold, featuring many diamonds and Masonic themes and emblems (est. $10,000-15,000), and a rare, high-grade Pelikan T111 Toledo Fountain Pen, circa 1931-37, in its original box (est. $6,000-9,000).

Several Visconti highlights will also be available, including an Alhambra H.R.H set of two 22K Yellow & White Gold with Diamonds Limited Edition 38 Fountain Pens (est. $20,000-30,000) and a Taj Mahal H.R.H. 18K Gold & Diamonds Limited Edition 18 Fountain Pen (est. $15,000-25,000). These pens are fit for royalty. An example of the Taj Mahal pen is said to have been presented to the Sultan of Brunei, and another to the royal family of Thailand.

The Director of the Fine Writing Instruments Department at Bonhams, Ivan Briggs, said that he feels this sale will feature the finest selection of modern and vintage pens ever brought to auction.

"Demand for rare and unusual fountain pens, both modern and vintage, is escalating rapidly, with interest in Russia and Asia especially strong," he said. "To meet this high interest level, we are previewing 20 of our most spectacular pens in Hong Kong in November, including some quite rare and important vintage Parkers, Watermans and Montblancs."

He added, "We will also show some breathtakingly rare Montegrappa limited editions, including artist's proofs and unique museum pieces, and some highly coveted special edition Montblancs."

The illustrated auction catalogue for the sale will be available online for review and purchase in the weeks preceding the sale at www.bonhams.com/auctions/21041/.

Auction Preview: November 20-23, Hong Kong; December 14-17, New York
Auction: December 18, New York


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com

Related auctions