By Nancy Olson, managing editor at iW magazine and owner of Nancy Olson, Ink., a marketing company based in Houston.
The spider is an ancient symbol that has been evident in literature and art for centuries. So, too, it has been rendered as a captivating pen décor produced by various pen makers, with the spider’s web most notably crafted as a precious metal overlay and the creature taking residence on it or nearby.
Montblanc debuted its first spider-inspired pen in the 1920s and now, nearly a century later, it turns to this theme once again. In this latest limited edition, the High Artistry Heritage Metamorphosis, the company pays tribute to the transformation of Arachne as told by Ovid in his Metamorphoses.
High artistry and precision
This exquisite pen showcases Montblanc’s expertise in pairing high artistry with precision pen making to craft a truly gorgeous writing instrument. With advanced stone-cutting techniques and visionary design, as well as Montblanc’s know-how in engraving and nib crafting, this new collection of three unique pieces is a vision in gold, diamonds and precious stones, which, like Arachne, have been transformed into something new. In another feat of transformation, the jeweled spider on the cap may be converted into a piece of jewelry: a bangle bracelet, tiepin or brooch.
The first unique piece is produced in white gold and embellished with nearly 13 carats of diamonds. The solid gold cap and barrel are fully paved in brilliant-cut stones, while the three-dimensional spider web motif on the body of the pen is created from solid gold, hand engraved and hand polished. The cap features a spider made from a pear-cut diamond, and its legs are set with an additional 16 diamonds. It is secured with a triple closure mechanism so it may be worn separately as a bracelet or brooch using the jewelry accessories that accompany the pen. The cap crown is also spider inspired and has a brilliant-cut 5.25-carat diamond as its body and two brilliant-cut diamonds for its eyes. And if that isn’t enough sparkle, the pen’s clip is set with a baguette diamond. The 18-karat gold nib is engraved with the likeness of a spider and is set with two brilliant-cut diamonds.
The second unique piece is crafted in champagne gold and also features pavé diamonds on the cap and barrel to conjure the spider’s intricate web. The spider on the cap is set with a 1.07-carat oval-cut Myanmar ruby, and it may be transformed into a bracelet or brooch. A 5-carat diamond spider with two diamonds representing its eyes crowns the cap.
The final unique piece is in red gold. The cap and barrel are paved with sapphires, starting at the base of the writing instrument in white, then spilling into light and finally dark blue. These stones contrast with the three-dimensional spider web and the red gold spider on the cap, which may be worn as a brooch or tiepin. The cap top is set with a 12.36-carat Burmese star sapphire in a cabochon cut with two brilliant-cut diamonds fashioning the spider’s eyes.
Other versions of the Metamorphoses are also available in editions of five, ten and 88 pieces, each with its own unique appearance. Stay tuned for more on these pieces and other editions from Montblanc.