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Waterman "Three Snakes" Fountain Pen leads Fine Writing Instruments Auction at Bonhams
MONTBLANC: Rare No. 126 14K Gold Octagonal Fountain Pen, c.1938. Solid 14K gold, octagonal barrel & cap, alternating engine-turned and decorated panels, cap signed "S 585", indicating this to be the work of master Montblanc penmaker Sarastro, two-tone gold 4810 "P" nib. Incredibly rare; auction records reveal no sales of this pen since 2000. Sold for $20,625; Estimate $10,000-20,000. Photo: Courtesy of Bonhams.
NEW YORK, NY.- The only known existing example of a rare Waterman "Three Snakes" Sterling Silver Fountain Pen achieved $37,500 on December 18, leading the Fine Writing Instruments auction at Bonhams New York. The pen, circa 1888-98, features six genuine emerald eyes and is one of the earliest Waterman pens. It sold ahead of its $25,000-35,000 estimate.

Also selling at the top of the charts was a Conway Stewart Elite Gold Series Set of Three 18K Solid Gold Limited Edition 50 Fountain Pens, produced in 1999 (Harlequin, Cracked Ice & Floral Rose), which sold for $28,750.

Montblanc pens, too, sold particularly well in the auction. A rare No. 126 14K Gold Octagonal Fountain Pen, c.1938, signed S 585 (indicating it is the work of master Montblanc penmaker Sarastro) brought $20,625, ahead of a 10,000-20,000 estimate.

Additional noteworthy Montblancs included a sealed Peter I the Great and Catherine II the Great Patron of Art Series Limited Edition 888 Fountain Pen Set that brought $10,000; a Cardinal Richelieu Solid 18K Gold & Diamonds Limited Edition 40 Fountain Pen that sold for $8,125; and a Meisterstück Solitaire 149 LeGrand Solid Platinum Fountain Pen that took in $7,500.

Namiki examples also attracted enthusiastic bidders and took many top spots in the sale.

A Royal Rooster Maki-e Yukari Series Fountain Pen achieved $13,750 ahead of a $6,000-10,000 estimate; a Setsugekka [Snowflake] Emperor Maki-e Limited Edition 99 Fountain Pen brought $10,000; a Butterfly & Chrysanthemum Emperor Maki-e Limited Edition 99 Fountain Pen claimed $9,375; and a White Tiger of Asia Maki-e Limited Edition 300 Fountain Pen sold for $8,125, past an estimate of $5,000-8,000.

Namiki and other Maki-e examples of note, which sold above their estimates, included a Pilot-Namiki Fuji Deer Emperor Maki-e Fountain Pen that brought $10,000, ahead of a $6,000-8,000 estimate; a Pilot-Namiki Shishi Komainu 88th Anniversary Maki-e Limited Edition 88 Fountain Pen that sold for $10,000, past an $8,000-10,000 estimate; and a Dunhill-Namiki Rakucho and Cherry Blossoms Maki-e Limited Edition 100 Fountain Pen took in $8,125, past a $4,000-6,000 estimate.

Rounding out the auction’s highlights was a unique Jean Pierre Lepine G8 Summit Set of Nine Limited Edition Fountain Pens & One Rollerball Pen that brought $9,375; a Montegrappa Classical Greece 18K Rose Gold & Diamonds Limited Edition 1 Rollerball prototype – the only one ever made, that took in 8,750; and an Omas Legni Pregiati [Precious Wood] Collection Limited Edition 500 Set of 15 Fountain Pens that achieved $8,125, past a $3,000-5,000 estimate.

The Director of the Fine Writing Instruments Department at Bonhams, Ivan Briggs, commented of the sale, “Awareness of fine pens as objects of fascination continues to spread. Yesterday’s sale was marked by strong interest from many new bidders who have discovered the attraction of great pens and were determined to obtain outstanding examples. Truly rare vintage examples were hotly contested, and modern limited Montblanc and Namiki pens continue to dominate the pen market.”





Today's News

December 23, 2013

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Record growth, record results: Sotheby's is the fastest growing global art auctioneer in 2013

Frieze New York 2014: Third edition will feature over 190 of the world’s leading contemporary galleries

Joan Miró: Seven decades of his art to be offered at Christie's in February 2014

Bonhams take market leadership in Australia three years after launching in 2010

Hamburger Kunsthalle opens most extensive German exhibition to date of Gego's work

Orange County Museum of Art appoints Chief Curator Dan Cameron as Interim Director

Noted second generation abstract expressionist artist, Charles Cajori passed away on December 1

Retrospective of a legendary photographer, filmmaker and graphic designer William Klein opens at Foam

On the longest night of the year, SC Johnson illuminates historic Frank Lloyd Wright Research Tower

Sotheby's sale in New York sets a record at auction for a Tiffany Studios Wisteria table lamp

Three-channel video installation by Moroccan-born artist Hassan Hajjaj opens at LACMA

Union League Club of Chicago recognizes Theaster Gates and the late Ellen Lanyon

Waterman "Three Snakes" Fountain Pen leads Fine Writing Instruments Auction at Bonhams

Chinese works of art bring $14 million at Bonhams San Francisco December auction

TRAFO's first artists in residence Andreas Blank and Jarik Jongman open exhibitions

Lilli Carré's first solo museum exhibition opens at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Michael Goedhuis to feature Chinese contemporary ink artist Wei Ligang during Asia Week New York

Toys & Childhood in 19th-Century America on view at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden

Art startup joins the London accelerator scene

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9.- The National Gallery explores great paintings from a unique perspective

10.- Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum explores Caravaggio and the painters of the north



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