Pen of the Year 2008

Indian Satinwood

Personality and Charisma

When still quite young, Ottilie von Faber became sole heir to a company with a world-wide reputation – an unusual occupation for a lady in those days. But Lothar had evidently made a wise choice. 

With her expressive personality and strong character she put new sparkle into the family and the business.

The Countess’ suite in the castle that Alexander built included her private salon or drawing-room. Here she would retire to read, make music, or devote herself to other creative pursuits.

The panelling of the room was made of costly Indian satinwood, also known as lemonwood on account of its fragrance. And so the name “Lemon Room” came about.

The mood around 1900 was one of a new departure, yet with an eye on tradition. Technical innovations, art nouveau, and the first signs of modern design were all the rage. At the same time, the French neo-classical Empire style, and also Biedermeier (early Victorian), experienced a revival.

These epoch-making trends are clearly visible in the Lemon Room of the Faber-Castell castle, masterfully created by Bruno Paul. Architect, artist, and designer rolled into one, he succeeded more than any other in combining elegance and modernity. One of his most famous pupils was Mies van der Rohe. The fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld is full of admiration for him.

Specially refined

For all their floral exuberance, the fin de siecle designers were also interested in the possibilities offered by more abstract forms.

One example is the herringbone pattern, in which natural inspiration and strictly geometric lines and angles complement each other so beautifully. Used mainly for elegant clothes and fine parquet floors, it also graces the inlay work of choice pieces of furniture, among them Countess Ottilie’s writing desk.

The Pen of the Year 2008 makes clever use of this pattern: with every little movement or rotation, individual segments sparkle to produce a fine nuance of effects.

A filigree Masterpiece

The more sophisticated a creative idea is, the more feeling it takes to implement it.

No fewer than 84 rectangles have to be individually hand-made for the filigree herringbone pattern of the satinwood fountain pen. No two segments are identical: each can be fitted at just a single position on the barrel and matched to its neighbours to produce precisely even joins. 

Then the barrel is repeatedly polished and varnished, a time-consuming process. The world’s smallest parquet, on the surface of a pen, is a work of perfection.

The outer layer of the barrel is made of carefully selected Indian satinwood. Normally such a parquet pattern requires a plane surface. In the Pen of the Year 2008 an unconventional
technique has been employed to transfer it to a cylindrical shape.

High Quality Presentation

The Pen of the Year 2008 comes in an exclusive wooden case with a beautiful brochure and a certificate. 

That bears the personal signature of Count Faber-Castell and attests that the pen is one of a limited edition and also that the material is selected genuine satinwood.