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2016 marks the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, which took place between July 1st and November 18th, 1916. In commemoration of all those who made the ultimate sacrifice in this momentous battle, Bespoke British Pens pays homage in the form of The Churchill ‘Poppy’ Pen.
Undeniably elegant, the Churchill Poppy Pen is based on the award-winning Churchill model, Conway Stewart’s flagship instrument, dressed in sleek black acrylic. The endlessly tactile pattern adds a sophisticated touch, complemented by sterling silver fittings. The pièce de résistance comes in the form of a poppy ‘button’ in vitreous enamel and sterling silver which sits proudly on the top of the cap.
Why remember the fallen with a pen?
Conditions in the trenches were appalling. Any moments of cheer or joy were few and far between; the only saving grace came in the form of hand-written letters arriving from friends and family at home. Before leading the United Kingdom to victory in the Second World War, a young Winston Churchill served as a British Army major over the duration of the First World War, writing a vast number of letters with his fountain pen from the trenches of Northern France to his wife Clementine. It was this connection which led to Conway Stewart’s Churchill model being chosen.
What is the relevance of the poppy?
In 1915, Lieutenant Colonel John McRae wrote ‘In Flanders Field’, a staple piece of British war literature and an iconic text, which cites,
“In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.”
This is widely believed to be the first time poppies were mentioned in the context of a battlefield, and upon its publishing, became loved across Britain and North America, utilized in posters and recruitment leaflets, inspiring others to join up. To this day, ‘In Flanders Field’ is read all over the world on Remembrance Day.
And so, the vitreous enamel poppy placed on the crown of the pen embodies the importance of the sacrifice made by so many, serving as a moving memento to owners of the pen, with a deafening raison d'être. The poppy was created using striking crimson and black vitreous enamel, encircled by sterling silver, utilizing traditional enamelling techniques perfected by Carl Fabergé in the early 20th century and maintained today by a small team of talented craftsmen. The pen is created from the finest quality black acrylic and features an engraved barleycorn pattern offset with glittering sterling silver hardware.
The Churchill Poppy Pen is a joy to use. Although not a lightweight pen, it is supremely well-balanced and a delight to hold. What’s more, thanks to the 2-tone 18ct gold nib which has earned the respect and acclaim of pen collectors from around the world, putting pen to paper has never been smoother. For a truly exclusive customer experience, the Churchill Poppy Pen is available in a choice of 2 presentation boxes. Customers may choose between a leather presentation box which can also be utilised as an elegant desk display, or alternatively, a much larger presentation box which includes a book of Churchill’s most inspirational quotes and excerpts taken from some of his most recognised speeches. This larger box also includes a bottle of Conway Stewart green ink, which was particularly favoured by Churchill himself.
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