This month marks the centenary of the revelation of Tutankhamun’s tomb in Egypt by British Egyptologist Howard Carter in 1922. And Visconti is taking note, offering a limited edition pen collection that tells the story of the famous pharaoh.
“At first I could see nothing, the hot air escaping from the chamber causing the candle flame to flicker. But presently, as my eyes grew accustomed to the lights, details of the room within emerged slowly from the mist. Strange animals, statues, and gold—everywhere the glint of gold,” said Carter, giving his first impression as he peered through a small opening in a doorway that had been sealed for millennia.
The tomb and its antechambers were indeed that of the famous boy king Tutankhamun, who died at the age of 19, around 1324 B.C. Over 5,000 artifacts were recovered from the burial place, helping to further piece together the history of the era and the location of the tomb in the Valley of the Kings. Jewelry, vessels, statues, weapons and clothing were among the findings, including the mummified body of the pharaoh.
This momentous discovery of the tomb has gotten a lot of high-profile press this year, the 100th anniversary of its accidental finding. The BBC explains part of the discovery’s cachet. “Theories about the young pharaoh’s life are constantly being remade.” It goes on to say, “Modern conservation work is allowing restoration of fragile artifacts, like [Tut’s] sandals. There is new confirmation that a dagger he owned has an iron blade made from a meteorite.”
Thus the story of Tutankhamun is still being written as the artifacts are studied and restored over time.
Visconti Tutankhamun collection
Visconti pays homage with a limited edition pen collection that recalls many of the artifacts from Tutankhamun’s burial tomb, including that “glint of gold” Carter noted upon his first glimpse. Particular attention has been given to the symbolism and magnificence of Tutankhamen’s solid gold burial mask, one of the most recognizable works of art the world has ever known, which takes center stage on the pen’s golden coffin-like display.
The pen cap and barrel are decorated with a central band made from ivory-colored resin, decorated with hieroglyphics and other images from the ancient walls inside the pharaoh’s burial chamber. Using a time-consuming scrimshaw technique, the hand-filled engravings stand out from the off-white background in a dramatically precise way.
Stripes of blue, red and green enamel on the cap and barrel are reminiscent of the pharaoh’s necklace. And a series of darker blue enameled stripes adorn the top of the pen cap, as featured on the Nemes cloth (head cloth) covering Tutankhamun’s crown, a symbol of the pharaoh’s power. A cobra is carved into the lower portion of the pen cap representing Tutankhamun’s rule of Lower Egypt, and the design of the blind cap is reminiscent of Tutankhamun’s beard. The pen’s trim is yellow gold vermeil, with a brushed finish.
The Tutankhamun collection is limited to just 100 fountain pens, each fitted with an in-house 18-karat yellow gold nib available in extra fine, fine, medium, broad, and stub widths. The fountain pen features Visconti’s patented Double-Reservoir, Power-Filler System. A rollerball is also available, and it, like its fountain pen counterpart, has a threaded cap. Each pen is packaged resting on red fabric inside a detailed reproduction of Tutankhamun’s innermost coffin.
The fountain pen is priced at $4,795 and the matching rollerball is priced at $4,595.
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