Pen of the Year 2012

Oak Wood

Precious Finds

Scarcely any other wood expresses such an enigmatic beauty as ancient wetland oak wood. It takes a long, long time for an oak tree to turn into such a sought-after and precious wood. Its deep, often gnarled textures make wetland oak look like driftwood found on the shore. But in fact, these extraordinary pieces of wood have been buried for as many as 8000 years in German bogs and marshes. The discovery of each find is a matter of chance and each piece seems to have a mysterious story to tell.

The Golden Fleece, the Nibelung Hoard, El Dorado – no metal has fascinated mankind across centuries and continents as much as gold has: people have decorated themselves with it and fought over it. Its very name is synonymous with value and sovereignty and it expresses both power and love. At the beginning of the modern age it was one of the key driving forces behind the great voyages of discovery as people searched for El Dorado, the legendary land of gold.

A fascinating Encounter

The deep structure of ancient wetland oak, whose beauty has been naturally wrought over thousands of years, together with gold, that lends a supernatural sheen to the most beautiful works of art created by mankind.

The gold leaves are carefully applied by hand using a fine squirrel-hair brush. A 4000-year-old technique is used that dates back to the Egyptians and is mastered by only a select few people today. Such an extraordinary craft demands particular artistry and skill.

Crafted by the Masters

A sensitive and masterly touch is demanded, if gold leaf is to mould perfectly to the graining of the oak barrel of the pen.

After studying old Venetian gilding techniques and winning the Bavarian State Design Award, the gilder and church painter Ernst D. Feldmann has achieved the almost impossible: Layer upon layer of 24-carat gold leaf is applied to the oak pen barrel in an intricate and detailed process. Embedded in resin, this reveals a unique pattern of reflections that only the purest gold can display.

High Quality Presentation

Each individually numbered writing implement comes in an exclusive deep black wooden case. A certificate, signed personally by Ernst D. Feldmann, attests to the 24-carat leaf-gilding on the 1700 year old German oak wood, as well as to the limited edition to 1500 fountain pens.