After its painstaking restoration, the Agate Pavilion, which is part of the world-famous Catherine Palace in St. Petersburg, is finally revealed in all of its splendor and multi-faceted beauty. Its architecture and materials were the inspiration for the new limited edition "Pen of the Year".
This magnificent building in the style of a Roman bathhouse was built by Scottish architect Charles Cameron by order of Empress Catherine the Great and completed in 1785. The Agate Rooms, which are masterly decorated with precious stones, is housed on the upper floor. These state apartments are covered with dark-red jasper, which can only be found in Russia. Its white flecks are also known as "blood agate" which is why the entire building complex is called the "Agate Rooms".
Under the direction of master craftsman Boris Igdalov, the workshop of Zarskoje Selo/Puschkin was able to complete the feat of restoring the Agate Pavilions in September 2013. Igdalov was personally involved in the creation of this year's Pen of the Year in that he expertly created by hand in two different, exclusive versions:
Both fountain pens have red-brown, lustrous jasper in common. In order to impart the color and character of the stone, the filigree detail is cut in the finest plates and meticulously ground. Multiple polishing reveals the desired light nuances and its noble surface gloss.
Three large, mottled jasper pieces are embedded in the lavishly embellished platinum-plated barrel. The cap of the fountain pen is adorned with a grey, shimmering, Russian quartz with a facet finish. The number of available pens is limited to 1000.
The Special Edition with 24 carat gold plating is limited to 150 pens. It is highlighted by small black plates with an inset gold rosette with six beautifully marked jasper stones. The cap as well as the end-cap are adorned with two sunshine yellow, Russian quartz stones with a twinkling facet finish. This extremely luxurious combination perfectly captures the magnificence of the pavilion of Empress Catherine the Great.
Inscribed by hand, the 18 carat bi-color gold nib is available in sizes F, M, B and BB. A platinum-coated end-cap protects the rotary knob of the plunger mechanism. The individually-numbered fountain pens are kept in an exclusive, deep-black wooden case that can be used as a collector's case since it has space for six additional pens. It includes a certificate personally signed by Boris Igdalov attesting to the authenticity of the Russian gemstones.
Both models are available in a limited edition of 300 pieces and 30 pieces as a rollerball pen version