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Ferrari da Varese Botticelli mother of pearl pen
Posted 13 March 2011 - 10:11
This is a review of the
Ferrari da Varese Botticelli Fountain Pen
with white mother of pearl on barrel and cap.
Ferrari da Varese, as a rather small and unknown north-italian pen maker, is one of the few companies who make pens with mother of pearl inlays. I fell in love with this pen the first time I saw a picture of it, and since I also found a shop that carried one of those - which is rare around here - I went there and after a while decided to get it.
I apologize for the rather poor quality of the pictures, I'm no master at operating a camera and this pen was particularly hard to snap because of the mother of pearl's light reflecting properties.
Appearance & Design (7/10) - a "writing jewel"
I always find it hard to give points for looks since this is something highly subjective. Barrel and cap are inlaid with broad stripes of white mother of pearl and thus the pen seems to shine from the inside with its soft lustre. The mother of pearl is surrounded by sterling silver which adds a little warm colour to it.
The cap is a lot bigger in diameter than the barrel, which I don't like that much - thus the 3 points off. Those pens are also offered with a plain silver cap which is about the same in diameter than the barrel and if I would buy that pen again that's what I would rather chose. I enjoy using it at home where I do most of my writing anyway but I think taking it out of the house would, as with any flashy pen, feel a little awkward. Still I sort of enjoy this pen's unconventional looks.
Construction & Quality (10/10) - stout & heavy
Barrel and cap are made of sterling silver, the section seems to be another metal. All parts feel heavy, stout and reassuring. There are no gaps neither between the mother of pearl stripes nor where they are fitted into the metal, the whole pen feels like solid quality work. The cap srews on very securely and takes quite a few turns to attach or detach. It can be used with converter or cartridge. The nibs are, as far as I've read, another 18k Bock production and are offered in the 3 standard sizes. At least after a few months of writing with this pen I can't say anything bad.
Weight & Dimensions (10/10) - mid length and weighty
The pen is a little shorter than a Pelikan M 800, which would make it about 14 cms long. I haven't weighed it but this is a heavy pen, one of the reasons why I love it so much. The section has a little bulge near the nib and is, although metal, is one of the most convenient to my feel, my fingers seem to be guided to the right position and, even after some pages of writing, don't feel uncomfortable. At the moment this is my daily writer when at home, wouldn't find anything to improve here.
Nib & Performance
The "Botticelli" came with a factory B nib which was perfectly round-tipped and made incredibly bold strokes. I couldn't think of many occasions to use a nib like that. When I was getting familiar with the thought of regrinding a nib I knew pretty soon that this one was among the first candidates, and so I had it shipped to John Sorowka (UK) who worked it into a lovely cursive italic which is a pleasure to write with.. Not sure how many points to give here so I'll skip that part.
Filling System & Maintenance (10/10) - cartridge/converter
The pen comes with a standard converter which is as good as any other I've seen yet. It can also use cartridges but I'm not sure which format because I don't use any myself. Some also say FdV pens take Montblanc converters and mine also did at first, then after some weeks the converter got loose (of course it was full at that time) and made a huge mess, so that's nothing I would recommend.
Cost & Value
Another thing it is hard to give points for, so I'll stick to the numbers: retail price for this one was € 920,- (though this is not what I paid). It's a well made pen made of high quality materials. If it's worth that kind of money can only be decided for oneself.
Conclusion (Final score 9)[/b]
Said it all in the review.
Hope you enjoy it,
Posted 13 March 2011 - 17:01
These folks make interesting pens for sure. I looked at their website here, http://www.ferraridavarese.com ,if anyone is interested. A lot of the stuff is just not me but I like those striped pens. Somehow reminded me of the uniforms of the Swiss Guard at the Vatican. I don't know why.
Thanks for doing the review.
Posted 15 March 2011 - 08:31
it is a good looking pen and you can certainly use it outside your home, after all it is not so flashy.
Posted 15 March 2011 - 10:07
Posted 17 March 2011 - 18:45
Shotokan Karate: Respect, Etiquette, Discipline, Perseverance
Posted 17 March 2011 - 19:37
Posted 25 March 2011 - 09:21
Posted 27 March 2011 - 18:02
Pens Actively In Use
MB 149-f; MB Solitaire SS (FP-ef,BP,MP)
MB (LE) G.B.Shaw (FP-m,BP,MP); MB LeGrand (RB,BP,MP)
Parker Duofold Presidential Esparto sol.SS (FP-f, BP)
Parker Duofold PS SS (FP-f, RB)
Parker Doufold Marbled Green (FP-f,BP,MP)
Parker Duofold Marbled Gray (FP-xf)
S.T. Dupont Orpheo XL Platinum Diamond Head (FP-m)
S.T. Dupont Orpheo XL Platinum/ChinLacquer Black (FP-f)
Posted 07 August 2012 - 13:24
Posted 07 August 2012 - 14:09
For good measure I'd like to add that Ferrari da Varese's service isn't bad either. A while ago, changing the ink in that very pen, I noticed that the part where the section screws into the barrel had broken so they no longer had a secure hold together. Since the shop where I bought it is no longer in existence, I wrote an e-mail to Mr. Mario Ferrari in Varese. He was very kind and assured me he would fix my pen for free, even though I couldn't find the warranty papers. Sure enough, the Botticelli had only been away 2-3 weeks when it arrived back on my doorstep with a new section, freshly polished, along with a new jewelry cloth and an extra converter. Thumbs up!
That's good to know. I have never had any problems with my FdV pens and so couldn't address service but I can say he has always responded quickly to my emails and answered far more questions than anyone should have to suffer.
My Botticelli has the plain Sterling cap instead of the MOP like yours.
Posted 07 August 2012 - 15:44
Posted 07 August 2012 - 19:03
Posted 08 August 2012 - 05:32
Posted 29 September 2012 - 07:11
Posted 02 October 2012 - 01:24
Classic Guilloché ------------ www.argentblue.com ------------Damascus Steel