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This is an unusual fountain pen by DJ Kennedy, an artist, sculptor and penmaker. You can’t tell from the looks but the craftsmanship is excellent. Everything is tight and fits properly. These pens were known from the period as obscenely expensive fountain pens produced by private order for Nieman Marcus. “Stylus” shaped bulb-filler in a silver material which has tarnished but I cannot say it is sterling since there are no stamps. The cap has an inset green cabochon stone; the whole has a lovely organic feel. The nib is clearly vintage, 14k with a feed that is un-finned making it an early, high quality nib assembly, sleeved into a truly interesting barrel by this famed artist and sculptor. I do not know if this one was made for Neiman Marcus but the date corresponds and I do know these are not easy to find. The pen is hand signed by the artist (on the sleeve inside the pen holding the nib assembly) as follows: “DJ Kennedy” “MAX” (I think), “237-2”, “8 June” (? I think), “1994”
There is no box, no paperwork or anything other than what you see.
The pen is listed elsewhere for considerably more money. This is a pen for collectors and lovers of writing instruments
Below is more information on the artist:
DJ Kennedy: “I have used, designed, repaired, rebuilt, or made pens since I was a kid. I grew up using dip pens and an Esterbrook (fountain pen), given to me by my aunt, who thought I had terrible handwriting and was hoping a better pen might fix that,” remembered Kennedy.
Not only did his penmanship improve, Kennedy said, but he gained a life-long obsession with fountain pens and their creation. He has fabricated thousands of pens using copper, silver and gold housing, some inlaid with gemstones and most detailed with organic patterning reminiscent of modernist jewelry.
But not derivative. Kennedy’s creations are unique, and wholly his.
“When I started making them, I used parts from other pens. I started using pen nibs and feeds and sections and fabricated pen bodies raised from flat sheet metal. The inspiration for the metal pen cases came from several classic sources,” shared Kennedy.
Kennedy said his early prototypes were often clunky and nonfunctional. He spent at least a year experimenting before taking a box of his pens to Michael Fults — in the world of pen collectors, Fults was royalty — who was impressed enough to give Kennedy a supply of pen parts at no cost and sold his early efforts without taking a commission.
In 1991, Kennedy completed his BFA degree in metalworking at SIU Carbondale, where he studied with L. Brent Kington and Richard Mawdsley. After graduating, he started attending pen shows and people started to collect his work in earnest.
“I went to D.C., Philly, Little Rock, Chicago, Miami. All the big ones anyway. From those shows, I got commissions, and materials. I did a lot in trade at the beginning. Pens for emeralds, that kind of thing. It was the prosperous '90s and things just took off for me,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy hit the very top of his market when the prestigious retailer Neiman Marcus requested to carry his work. Kennedy made pens for the company from 1994 to 1996. In 1994 and 1995 they were featured in Christmas catalogs, amongst high-end offerings from Montblanc and Shaffer.
“Of course, once the catalog hit, Shaffer would no longer supply me with new nibs, but the whole thing was really an unexpected success,” said Kennedy.
Along with the notoriety came publicity, and Kennedy spent some time with the jet-set in Los Angeles, made some television appearances, and enjoyed hob-nobbing with the rich and famous.
But in the late 1990s, a series of global economic-financial crises threatened the U.S. economy, and the Neiman Marcus contract was not renewed. So Kennedy adapted and refocused his pen manufacturing as a personal art instead of a commercial enterprise.
But if the social media chatter about his recent appearance at the St. Louis Pen Show, and the hundreds of questions about him in online chat groups are any indication, Kennedy’s work is more collectible than ever.
Further item information (esp. Pens)
- Brand and Model Added brand(s) and model(s)
- LE and/or Serial Number Info No LE, pen(s) not numbered
- Nib Size F (Fine)
- Restoration status Unrestored - In original condition or new
Shipping & Handling
- Condition Outstanding / Excellent - Well preserved, some signs of use and wear
- Payment PayPal
- Shipping From USA - Florida
- Shipping To World
General rules and conditions
- Conditions & Rules Yes