Five Exquisite Fountain Pens Every Collector Should Look Out For

These finely crafted and limited edition writing instruments would make luxurious additions to any collection, and are valuable works of art in their own right.

To many people who enjoy using fountain pens, the classic tools are so much more than vintage novelties or relics from the past. They’re also a form of self-expression, collectible pieces of fine craftsmanship that often last a lifetime and can be passed down through generations. For some, fountain pens are even a status symbol, luxury pieces that signify sophisticated taste. 

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While there are many beautiful pens out there, some brands have created pieces that transcend what it means to be a writing instrument. Certain pens were created with the kind of care one would put into a great work of art, from the way they write all the way down to the finer details of their designs. 

If you’re an avid pen collector or a curious enthusiast in search of beautiful and valuable pens for your collection, below are five selections from some of the world’s most prestigious pen makers: 

Nakaya Pens

While not a particular pen model, Nakaya pens are some of the most coveted ones in the world, as almost every avid collector wants at least one in their collection. These bespoke writing instruments are created by expert Japanese craftsmen who once worked in Platinum—a popular Japanese pen company that’s been around since 1919. 

The one-of-a-kind Nakaya pens were so exclusive that they were only available through mail order for a number of years. Fortunately, the brand decided to establish an official website for those interested in ordering custom or premade pieces from them. 

Dragon and the Phoenix Tamesukashi fountain pen from Nakaya
The Dragon and the Phoenix Tamesukashi pen from Nakaya/Photo via Nakaya’s official website
Dragon and the Phoenix Tamesukashi fountain pen from Nakaya
A close-up of the phoenix imagery on the pen/Photo via Nakaya’s official website
Dragon and the Phoenix Tamesukashi fountain pen from Nakaya
A close look at the dragon imagery on the pen/Photo via Nakaya’s official website

The pens are made using a variety of time and labor-intensive techniques like lacquering and in-laying. The most popular material used is the lacquer called urushi, which is made from an expensive tree sap.

“For your hand only” is the brand’s motto, and they stay true to it by giving customers free rein over the pen-making process. Buyers can choose their preferred materials, pen-making method, pen dimensions, colors, patterns, finish, and nib (they have a selection of nibs that range from 14K gold to stainless steel). 

The price of each pen will vary depending on the nature of an order; however, pre-made models like The Dragon and the Phoenix Tamesukashi sell for $ 2,583 dollars on the official website.

Montblanc Writers Edition: Homage to the Brothers Grimm

Montblanc is a brand that needs no introduction, as it’s known for making some of the finest writing instruments money can buy. Among the luxury pen brands that release limited editions, Montblanc appears to have one of the most extensive portfolios. They’ve created a vast collection of exclusive pens that pay tribute to famous people, places, and the arts. 

One notable series is their Writers Edition one, which features pens inspired by some of the world’s greatest literary figures. The Homage to the Brothers Grimm pen is certainly a valuable piece, as it sells for $ 168,000 on their official website. 

Montblanc Homage to the Brothers Grimm fountain pen
Montblanc’s Homage to the Brothers Grimm pen/Photo via Montblanc’s official website

The pen is indeed a work of art that looks like it came from a fairy tale. It incorporates an assortment of visual motifs from the tale Snow White by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, two brothers who left an indelible mark on European literature. 

Montblanc Homage to the Brothers Grimm fountain pen
The Brothers Grimm pen uncapped/Photo via Montblanc’s official website

Made from 18K solid white gold, the pen features hand-engraved golden leaves, a hand-cut rock crystal “coffin” of Snow White, seven rubies (to signify the seven dwarves), and an apple engraved on the 18K gold nib. 

Montblanc Homage to the Brothers Grimm fountain pen
A close-up of the pen’s 18K gold nib with an engraving of Snow White’s apple/Photo via Montblanc’s official website

Montegrappa Dante Alighieri Collection 

Those who recall their high school or college English classes might be familiar with Dante Alighieri’s seminal work, The Divine Comedy—a long narrative poem that’s divided into the sections Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. It chronicles the fictional journey of Dante as he travels through hell, purgatory, and heaven under the guidance of the Roman poet Virgil. 

The story has inspired numerous pieces of art, cementing its place among the world’s greatest literary works. Hence, it comes as no surprise that the acclaimed Italian pen company—Montegrappa—created a set of pens that pay homage to the Italian writer. 

Montegrappa Dante Alighieri Paradiso fountain pen
Montegrappa Paradiso pen uncapped/Photo via Montegrappa’s official website
Montegrappa Dante Alighieri Paradiso fountain pen
Montegrappa Purgatorio uncapped/Photo via Montegrappa’s official website
Montegrappa Dante Alighieri Inferno fountain pen
Montegrappa Inferno uncapped/Photo via Montegrappa’s official website

These three pens are inspired and named after the three sections of Alighieri’s work. The level of craftsmanship present in each piece is certainly remarkable, as they encapsulate the narrative of their respective section in incredible detail. The Inferno pen sells for € 4,850 (around $ 5234), the Purgatorio for € 5,050 ($ 5450), and the Paradiso for € 6,595 (roughly $ 7,117).

Montegrappa Dante Alighieri Paradiso fountain pen
A close-up of Montegrappa Paradiso’s highly detailed barrel/Photo via Montegrappa’s official website

Pelikan Souverän M1000: Maki-e Snow, Moon, and Flowers Edition

Pelikan is a trusted German pen maker that’s been manufacturing top-notch writing instruments since 1929. One of its most valuable flagship pens is the Pelikan Souverän M1000—a king among fountain pens due to its large size and majestic 18K gold nib. While its Green and Black design is definitely iconic in collector’s circles, the brand has created an exclusive variation of the model that will surely turn heads. 

Pelikan Souverän M1000 Maki-e fountain pen
Front view of the Pelikan Souverän M1000 Maki-e pen/Photo via Appelboom’s official website
Pelikan Souverän M1000 Maki-e fountain pen
Back view of the Pelikan Souverän M1000 Maki-e pen/Photo via Appelboom’s official website

Inspired by the Japanese art of lacquer painting referred to as Maki-e, Pelikan’s unique “Maki-e Snow, Moon,and Flowers” pen has a shimmering and elegant design that features iconography of the winter snow, autumn moon, and spring flowers—elements that represent the beauty of the four seasons. The special pen sells for roughly $ 3,049 to $ 3,840 from authorized sellers. 

Visconti’s Il Magnifico Egyptian Marble

Last but certainly not least in this list is a pen from another esteemed Italian brand, Visconti. The Il Magnifico Egyptian Marble is the sixth edition of Visconti’s Il Magnifico collection, and is dedicated to Lorenzo de Medici—one of the most influential art patrons during Italy’s Renaissance period.

Visconti Il Magnifico Egyptian Marble fountain pen
The Visconti Il Magnifico Egyptian Marble pen uncapped/Photo via Visconti’s official website

The pen’s barrel is made of Egyptian marble, paying tribute to the stunning Renaissance and Baroque inlaid works that used the same material. It sports an 18K gold nib and Visconti’s signature Power Filler system, with a bronze cap and blind cap containing engravings of the Lily of Florence, a symbol of the Medici family coat of arms. The pen sells for € 2,100 (around $ 2,266) on Visconti’s website. 

Visconti Il Magnifico Egyptian Marble fountain pen
Close-ups of the cap and blind cap of Visconti Il Magnifico Egyptian Marble/Photo via Visconti’s official website

Banner Photo by Pixabay via Pexels.

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