Written by Daniel James Parry
To this day, Marilyn Monroe is still one of the most iconic and globally recognised faces in the world of popular culture. Quotes from the woman herself such as “I’m selfish, impatient, and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I’m out of control, and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best” can still be found adorning various accessories spread around hipster attraction spots such as Urban Outfitters and on the mood boards of Pinterest users everywhere – but who was she?
Born Norma Jeane Mortenson on June 1st, 1926, the beauty icon’s career began with a star-crossed interaction with pin up and glamour photographer, Bruno ‘Bernard of Hollywood’ Bernard when passing on Sunset Boulevard in 1946. Bernard felt compelled to approach Marilyn with his business card, citing “Miss, this is strictly professional. I’d like to take some photo tests of you.” Taking on the moniker of ‘Marilyn Monroe’, Marilyn being taken from Marilyn Miller, a musical performer from the 1920’s, and Monroe from her mother’s maiden name, the rest is history.
The 1st June 2016 would’ve made Monroe 90 years old, were she still with us today. In celebration of this, British penmaker and silversmith Henry Simpole has crafted an undeniably dazzling pen decorated with one of his trademark sterling silver overlays. Etched into the silver is a both striking and iconic image of Marilyn Monroe, perfect down to every small detail – even her signature beauty spot on her left cheek. This is accompanied by the words “Boo boo be doo!”; lyrics taken from “I Wanna Be Loved By You”, a piece she sang in 1959 romantic comedy, ‘Some Like It Hot’, directed by Billy Wilder. The pen was commissioned by Conway Stewart in 2014, however when the company went into administration, the project was completed by Henry, who made just 90 limited pieces, one to commemorate every year.
Every Sterling Silver overlay is created using the ‘lost wax’ process – a process utilised by ancient Egyptians, which dates back 6000 years. This means that the Marilyn Monroe pen can never be mass produced. The Marilyn Monroe pen arrives on customer doorsteps in a sophisticated Conway Stewart black leather presentation case, including a Certificate of Authenticity signed by the craftsman Henry himself, a cleaning cloth to keep the Monroe pen in immaculate condition, a pair of ink cartridges, a converter, an 8 page booklet telling the story of Henry’s life, career and techniques used to create each overlay, and a Conway Stewart user guide, fully versing buyers in every aspect of their purchase.
Henry has fitted a new and flexible ‘Flag’ nib, crafted of 18 carat gold to the Marilyn Monroe pen, a nib which since their release last year has warranted praise from across the world for its flexibility and smooth-as-butter writing. These nibs are available in fine, medium and broad widths. However, for other nib requirements, for example italic, stub or oblique, Bespoke British Pens are able to ground the nib to the desired exact specification by one of the UK’s leading nib masters – customers should just state their requirements in the shopping cart.
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