Pen of the Year 2004


Amber - the Material that Myths are made of

Amber has long since inspired the imagination of mankind. Thus, antique myths tell the story of how, after the death of the solar god’s son Phaeton, his mourning sisters transformed into black poplars and their tears into amber.

There is a core of truth in those legends. Approximately 45 million years ago, subtropical forests covered the contemporary Baltic States. Tree resins dripped onto the ground, deposited there, consolidated and transformed to amber. Amber, that is mostly gleaming in a bright or a golden yellow, reminds us of the sun. The sometimes dark and sometimes bright but always warm colour lends the stone its special beauty. Moreover, the stone is inflammable which led to its German name “Bernstein” that is derived from an ancient German word “bern” for “burning”.

From the earliest history of mankind, amber was used as jewelry. In the17th and 18th century in Europe, amber was a national treasure of which the Electors and Kings of Brandenburg-Prussia were almost exclusively in charge. They had manufactured artistic goods and extravagant state presents, among others the famous Amber Room that was handed over to Czar Peter the Great by the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm I.

The Art of working with Amber

Amber with its various colours offers a vast range of creativity that has always inspired artists, artisans and architects to create amazing products.

The undisputed highlight is the legendary Amber Room. From 1701 to 1711, the Prussian King Friedrich I. ordered the most famous amber turners of that time to manufacture the Room’s valuable wall paneling. He almost ruined the state finances with this “most expensive wallpaper in the world”.

Later, his son and successor Friedrich Wilhelm I. gave Peter the Great the Amber Room as a present. In 1755, this architectural masterpiece was installed in the Catherine Palace near St Petersburg by the Italian architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli and it was soon called the “eighth wonder of the world”.

The Amber Room has been missing from the Second World War on. In order to recreate this showpiece in its old splendor, the best artists and architects were selected in Russia. In the museum workshop of the Catherine Palace they have revived many ancient complicated artistic methods of processing and manufacturing and have thus brilliantly reconstructed the Amber Room.

Finely handcrafted

Immediately striking at the new fountain pen are the amber rings of the barrel that present a first-class handicraft and technical challenge.

Who else than the Amber Room’s restorers could better master this challenge! It was the master craftsman and head of the workshop, Boris Igdalov, who personally took care of the creation of this fountain pen and who thus created a new work of art that competes with craftsmanship and love of details of the artistic inlay and carvings of the Amber Room.

The Fountain Pen made of Amber

All amber rings are individually processed, polished and combined with platinized rings on site.

There is a fascinating interplay between the two materials that is repeated in total between the platinum-plated cap and the amber barrel: here precious metal, there an “organic” jewelry stone, here permanent coolness, there warm colours, here technical clarity, there shimmering-glimmering aura.

Apart from this interplay, it is mainly the high-quality craftsmanship, the individual grain of the amber rings and their different colours that make every fountain pen a unique piece of personal value – and an ideal present for others or for oneself.

High Quality Presentation

The individually numbered writing implements are presented in an exclusive wooden case with an amber ‘eye’ and accompanied by a valuable brochure.

The certificate bears the personal signature of Boris Igdalov, assuring that the pen was produced in the St Petersburg amber workshop and for a limited period only.

Extraordinary into the Details

The 18-carat bicolour gold nib is ‘run in’ by hand and is available in widths M, B and F. The solid spring-loaded clip guarantees security when the pen is pocketed. A platinum-plated cap with amber inlay protects the knob of the plunger mechanism.

Limited to: 2.300 fountain pens