The latest offering from the pioneers of luxury penmaking, Bespoke British Pens, comes in the form of the 23 carat Gold Vermeil Shakespeare Pen. We put it through its paces as a writing implement of immaculate intricacy.
Revisited time and time again, 2016 marks the 400th anniversary of the day arguably the most iconic playwright in history, whose works form the backbone of modern literature as we know it today, ‘shuffled off this mortal coil’ in 1616. In celebration of the Stratford upon Avon native and a defining figure in the history of Britain’s life, Bespoke British Pens joined forces with the British Council and the GREAT Britain campaign to create the princely and prestigious Shakespeare Pen in Sterling silver. Launched at the end of April, this was met with global acclaim. One customer from Canada commented, “I am sometimes a little disappointed when I order things through the internet. I don’t always receive what I expect. But with BESPOKE BRITISH PENS it is the opposite. You always exceed my expectations. I have just received my STRATFORD Shakespeare Pen. I was overwhelmed by the presentation case and as far as the pen is concerned, I can’t find the words to describe it. WONDERFUL! This is another masterpiece – Many thanks. You guys are in the right business!”
Much like its Sterling silver predecessor, the Gold Vermeil Shakespeare Pen was designed and meticulously crafted by a handful of elite pen technicians, who worked endlessly to infuse Shakespeare’s essence into a fountain pen that’s been described as being ‘as English as the Bard of Avon himself’, with only 400 pieces being created across the world to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Each pen created is emblazoned with an edition number at the end of the barrel, accompanied by a signed Certificate of Authenticity which confirms the piece’s edition number and its exclusivity.
To those unfamiliar with Vermeil, (pronounced ‘ver-may’), it’s a term widely utilized within the silversmith industry to describe a high quality blend of gold on silver which resembles pure gold in appearance, and can be polished to a stunning gold gloss finish. Beautifully traditional in its aesthetic, theGold Vermeil Shakespeare Pen embodies its British heritage in the ‘Heart of England’ through the presence of a full set of English hallmarks, which have been used to portray the purity of precious metals since 1300 – far before Shakespeare was even born.
No stranger to the silver industry himself, Shakespeare’s father, John Shakespeare, was a skilled whittawer and well versed glover based in Stratford upon Avon, whose silk gloves and purses were favoured by the nobility in a time when silk was considered fashionable by the aristocracy. This background influenced the decision to utilize a traditional engine-turned pattern referred to as ‘silk’ on the engraved cap and barrel of the Shakespeare Pen, a pattern commonly used by English silversmiths in the past but rarely seen today; adding to the Gold Vermeil Shakespeare Pen’s bespoke nature. It’s also worth noting this ‘silk’ pattern shimmers when is light is shone on it.
To ensure the Shakespearean identity of the pen is made abundantly clear, an image of the playwright himself on the end of the cap, taken from the title page of his First Folio, which was published in 1623. ‘Made in England’ is has been engraved on the top of the cap to show its British craftsmanship, much like its inspiration, William Shakespeare – an iconic figure in the history of British literature.
Let’s a take a look under the hood.
There’s nothing quite like writing with a fountain pen, a concept which Bespoke British Pens are all too familiar with. The Shakespeare Gold Vermeil Fountain Pen is armed with a high quality 18 carat gold 2-tone nib, emblazoned with the flag of Great Britain and a choice of fine, medium or broad width to suit all writing styles.
Alternatively, the rollerball equivalent carries equally as much merit. With its high quality refill, the Shakespeare Gold Vermeil Rollerball Pen is designed to give hours of easy writing – imagine a biro or a ballpoint pen with the free-flowing ink qualities of a fountain pen, smooth and sophisticated writing has never been easier. To Bespoke British Pens, preservation is key. In the spirit of this, the Gold Vermeil Shakespeare Pen arrives on your doorstep in a presentation box which has been described as ‘highly unusual’, giving the illusion that the pen is ‘floating’ within the confines of a black wooden frame.
Ever the philanthropist, Alastair Adams, Managing Director of The Stratford Pen Company and Bespoke British Pens, added that beautiful calligraphy is not the only good cause behind the Gold Vermeil Shakespeare Pen. “VSO is the official charity partner of Shakespeare Lives and every Shakespeare Pen sold will help this charity. 15% of the revenue from global sales of the Shakespeare Pen will be given to help fund VSO. We are committed to helping this excellent charity which supports thousands of children in Africa and Asia by giving them the education they deserve. Education will ultimately give these children a future.”
The Gold Vermeil Shakespeare Pen is available from www.bespokebritishpens.co.uk at a price of £599.
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