Recently Bonhams in New York held the third part of a unique sale: that of the Tucci and Clavius collection.
The pieces on offer were not the usual collectors' fare; whilst many may collect autographs few collect the pens which can write them. But in this case the modern day quills were works of art in themselves, designed by such masters as Visconti, Montblanc and Montegrappa.
Space collectors had particular reason to be interested in the sale, firstly because a Krone designed pen which depicted a silvery mottled moonscape includes a piece of foil used in the Apollo11 mission and a letter of authenticity from astronaut Buzz Aldrin.
The piece which really excited bidders however was a limited edition Rollerball which incorporated a small piece of octahedrite from the Gibeon iron meteorite and which sold for $2,318.
More valuable still was a Namiki-designed pen which celebrates two elemental gods adopted from Hindu mythology by Japanese Buddhism. Eyedropper filled and Emperor sized, it took approximately 300 hours to complete and comes with an 18k gold broad nib.
Bidders were sufficiently impressed for it to achieve $17,080.
The top lot, however was a Magical Black Widow Skeleton Limited Edition 88 Fountain Pen, featuring a white-gold web like overlay alongside a filigree spider with black diamonds on the clip. The nib is platinum-plated medium 18 K gold.
In some countries, the spider is seen as a symbol of luck, and, in honour of the lucky spider, whose figure 8-shaped body symbolizes infinity, (eight is also a lucky number in China, of course) Montblanc produced only 88 of these beautiful pens.
It sold for $20,740 - a good investment, or just a classy excuse for having spidery handwriting.
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