San Francisco—Bonhams looks forward to offering a strong selection of pens, sure to appeal to collectors, in its Fine Writing Instruments auction to be held June 11. The leading lot of the auction is a Montegrappa "The Dragon 2010 Bruce Lee 18 Karat Yellow Gold Limited Edition 88 Fountain Pen," estimated at $30,000-50,000. The pen, which honours one of the greatest icons of the 20th century, features cinnamon-veined red celluloid, a solid 18 karat yellow gold dragon overlay, ruby eyes and a Yin-Yang cap-top emblem. Its medium 18 karat gold nib is engraved with a silhouette of Bruce Lee.
Another standout pen in the auction is a Montblanc "Charlie Chaplin Skeleton Limited Edition 88 Fountain Pen," estimated at $30,000-40,000. The outstanding instrument pays tribute to one of the greatest figures of 20th century cinema, Charlie Chaplin. This pen's intricate cog-wheels in 18 karat solid white gold suggest the machines and machinations featured in Chaplin's most celebrated film, Modern Times. Each detail of the pen's design recalls a different aspect of Chaplin's persona: the barrel and cone suggest his baggy trousers, the captop is based upon his bowler hat and the solid gold clip resembles his cane. Its medium 18 karat rhodium-plated gold nib is engraved with Chaplin's iconic accoutrements.
Also from Montblanc will be a "Sir Winston Churchill Limited Edition 53 Fountain Pen," estimated at $20,000-30,000, featuring an 18 karat pink gold barrel inlaid with black and brown lacquer bands, a captop ringed with 53 diamonds, a mother-of-pearl captop star and a "V for Victory" clip. Its 18 karat gold nib is engraved with Churchill's portrait.
One of Montblanc's most sought-after pens, a "Skeleton 333 Limited Edition Fountain Pen," estimated at $8,000-12,000, will also be on offer. It features a platinum-plated brick lattice over clear precious resin, a mother-of-pearl captop star and an 18 karat rhodium-plated gold nib.
Additional offerings will include the "Almirante and Merveille du Monde: Pair of Limited Edition 30 Fountain Pens," by Omas, estimated at $20,000-30,000. Records indicate this rare matching set of masterworks may be the only matching pair ever offered at auction. The Almirante, created in 1992, commemorates the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' epic voyage. Its solid 18 karat gold overlay by goldsmith Gérard Lefebvre depicts scenes from Columbus' travels. It features a piston-filler and medium 18 karat two-tone gold nib. It is marked April 1996, indicating this particular example's date of completion. The Merveille du Monde was created in 1995 and is inspired by Marco Polo's journeys of discovery. It has a solid 18 karat gold dragon encircling its green ogival body, symbolic of the far reach of the ancient empires. It has a piston-filler and medium 18 karat two-tone gold nib. It, too, is marked April 1996.
Also of note in the auction will be a vintage Parker "47 Lucky Curve 'Pregnant Parker' Fountain Pen," c.1909, estimated at $6,000-8,000. The curvaceous pen, which inspired the nickname 'Pregnant Parker,' features abalone and mother-of-pearl panels, a black hard rubber endpiece and section and a highly repoussé floral engraved gold-filled cap and trim. It has an eyedropper-filler#3 Lucky Curve keyhole-vent nib.
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/20975/.
Auction Preview: June 7-9, San Francisco
Auction: June 11, San Francisco
NOTES FOR EDITORS
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