Waterman Three Snakes Fountain Pen Leads Fine Writing Instruments Auction At Bonhams

The only known existing example of a rare Waterman “Three Snakes” Sterling Silver Fountain Pen achieved $37,500 on December 18, leading the Fine Writing Instruments auction at Bonhams New York. The pen, circa 1888-98, features six genuine emerald eyes and is one of the earliest Waterman pens. It sold ahead of its $25,000-35,000 estimate.

WATERMAN'S: Unique "Three Snakes" Sterling Silver Fountain Pen, c.1888-98

WATERMAN’S: Unique “Three Snakes” Sterling Silver Fountain Pen, c.1888-98

Also selling at the top of the charts was a Conway Stewart Elite Gold Series Set of Three 18K Solid Gold Limited Edition 50 Fountain Pens, produced in 1999 (Harlequin, Cracked Ice & Floral Rose), which sold for $28,750.

Montblanc pens, too, sold particularly well in the auction. A rare No. 126 14K Gold Octagonal Fountain Pen, c.1938, signed S 585 (indicating it is the work of master Montblanc penmaker Sarastro) brought $20,625, ahead of a 10,000-20,000 estimate.

Additional noteworthy Montblancs included a sealed Peter I the Great and Catherine II the Great Patron of Art Series Limited Edition 888 Fountain Pen Set that brought $10,000; a Cardinal Richelieu Solid 18K Gold & Diamonds Limited Edition 40 Fountain Pen that sold for $8,125; and a Meisterstück Solitaire 149 LeGrand Solid Platinum Fountain Pen that took in $7,500.

Namiki examples also attracted enthusiastic bidders and took many top spots in the sale. A Royal Rooster Maki-e Yukari Series Fountain Pen achieved $13,750 ahead of a $6,000-10,000 estimate; a Setsugekka [Snowflake] Emperor Maki-e Limited Edition 99 Fountain Pen brought $10,000; a Butterfly & Chrysanthemum Emperor Maki-e Limited Edition 99 Fountain Pen claimed $9,375; and a White Tiger of Asia Maki-e Limited Edition 300 Fountain Pen sold for $8,125, past an estimate of $5,000-8,000.

Namiki and other Maki-e examples of note, which sold above their estimates, included a Pilot-Namiki Fuji Deer Emperor Maki-e Fountain Pen that brought $10,000, ahead of a $6,000-8,000 estimate; a Pilot-Namiki Shishi Komainu 88th Anniversary Maki-e Limited Edition 88 Fountain Pen that sold for $10,000, past an $8,000-10,000 estimate; and a Dunhill-Namiki Rakucho and Cherry Blossoms Maki-e Limited Edition 100 Fountain Pen took in $8,125, past a $4,000-6,000 estimate.

Rounding out the auction’s highlights was a unique Jean Pierre Lepine G8 Summit Set of Nine Limited Edition Fountain Pens & One Rollerball Pen that brought $9,375; a Montegrappa Classical Greece 18K Rose Gold & Diamonds Limited Edition 1 Rollerball prototype – the only one ever made, that took in 8,750; and an Omas Legni Pregiati [Precious Wood] Collection Limited Edition 500 Set of 15 Fountain Pens that achieved $8,125, past a $3,000-5,000 estimate.

For further information about the sale, please visit www.bonhams.com/auctions/21041/. The next auction of Fine Writing Instruments at Bonhams is scheduled to take place March 24, 2014 in San Francisco.