The Montblanc Sale of the Century: Unique Writing Instruments from this Prestigious Manufacturer Bring New World Auction Records at Bonhams & Butterfields in Los Angeles

  • LOS ANGELES, California
  • /
  • February 18, 2010

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MONTBLANC: Magical Black Widow Skeleton Limited Edition 88 Fountain Pen. Sold for $23,180 inclusive of Buyer's Premium.
Bonhams & Butterfields

International auctioneers, Bonhams & Butterfields, are pleased to
announce a stellar result for the company's first auction exclusively
dedicated to modern Montblanc writing instruments.  The February 15,
2010 sale contained more than 130 lots of exceptional pens with a focus
on the Writer's Editions, Patron of the Arts and 333 series, as well as
several of the more limited items including the highly sought after
Black Widow and Diego Rivera editions mostly coming from the Ron Renaud

Offered on President's Day, and timed to coincide with the annual Los
Angeles International Pen Show, the auction brought more than $715,000
and featured examples from several of the major Montblanc categories
including rarely seen pens, several of which have not been available in
the secondary market before this offering.  During the highly
anticipated sale, seven world auction records were set with over ten of
the writing instruments selling for over $20,000.

According to Dr. Martin Gammon, Director of Business Development, "It
was a very dynamic sale, which reflected strength in the market for
exceptional and unique writing instruments.  The auction, undoubtedly
one of the largest and most complete offerings of modern Montblanc
writing instruments to be publicly offered in recent years, established
a benchmark for the prestigious manufacturer at auction.  Bonhams &
Butterfields is pleased to add several new auction records for
contemporary writing instruments to the firm's existing list."

Highlighting the auction was the Fortune Number 88 limited edition
fountain pen. In many cultures the number 8 has magical or religious
significance.  Its shape is a symbol of the infinite, but nowhere does
it have such strong meaning as Asia, where it is associated with good
fortune.  The Fortune Number 88 boasts an unusual clear body encased in
red gold latticework design of interlocking "8" shape.  Eight rings
circle the cap and cone, while the clip is decorated with a diamond
studded number "8".  Estimated to bring $4,000-6,000, the highly sought
after pen sold for $25,620 and established a new world auction record. 

Montblanc pays tribute to Asian culture with the diamond encrusted Axis
Mundi limited edition 101 fountain pen (est. $15,000-25,000, sold for
$23,790 - a new world auction record).  The white gold skeleton of this
pen echoes the form of the famous structure, which is said to express a
point of connection between sky and earth where the four compass
directions meet. 

Also offered was one of the most desired after Montblanc pens ever
produced, the Magical Black Widow Skeleton limited edition 88 fountain
Pen (est. $18,000 - 24,000, sold for $23,180).  Encased by a web of
white gold, the instrument featured a filigree spider studded with black
diamonds on the clip.  In some countries, the spider is seen as a symbol
of luck, and, in honor of the lucky spider, whose figure 8 shaped body
symbolizes infinity, Montblanc produced only 88 of these beautiful pens.


In honor of President's Day, the sale also featured several examples of
Presidential pens.  Inspired by the world leaders and their iconic
residences, these pens have been painstakingly created from a variety of
resin and precious materials designed to evoke the spirit of freedom.
From the America's Signature Series the Thomas Jefferson fountain pen is
constructed in an unusual octagonal shape in homage to his Virginia
home, Monticello (est. $21,000-24,000, sold for $21,960- a new world
auction record).  Inspired by third President of the United States, the
instrument is decorated with solid gold rings as well as petrified wood
inlays that represent Jefferson's commitment to nature and Monticello. 

Additional Presidential themed fountain pens on offer during the
February auction included a George Washington Limited Edition America's
Signatures for Freedom Series Fountain Pen (est. $18,000-24,000, sold
for $23,180- a new world auction record) and a limited edition White
House 43.  Made from blue transparent precious resin and striped with
white gold columns evoking the exterior of the White House, the
instrument is adorned with an eagle and bears the Presidential seal
(est. $10,000-15,000, sold for $23,180- a new world auction record). 

Also popular with collectors was the Diego Rivera limited edition 70
fountain pen (est. $12,000-18,000, sold for $21,960- a new world auction
record).  Rivera was a master of the mural and world-famous for his
revolutionary politics and his revival of Mexican fresco art.  Montblanc
celebrates his legacy with a pen crafted from white gold with a partial
black lacquer finish in Aztec design.  The unusual red-orange
translucent cap is overlaid with a white gold windowpane with elaborate
Mexican etchings and a black sapphire set in the clip. 

In celebration of one of the most charismatic actors of all time, Greta
Garbo, Montblanc has created a pen "Dedicated to the women with the
power to believe in their visions."  Diamond studded to honor the star;
the example is crafted from solid yellow gold with mother-of-pearl inlay
striping the cap (est. $14,000-16,000, sold for $21,350 - a new world
auction record).

Auctions of Fine Writing Instruments continue at Bonhams in August 2010.
Timed to coincide with Collectible Fountain Show in Washington D.C., one
of the largest pen events in the world, the sale will be held on the
East Coast at Bonhams New York.  Please visit for
more information.


Press Contact: Jannelle Grigsby,, (310)

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