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Visconti Art Ellenic Fountain Pen. A Classicist Inspiration.

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#1 columela

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 15:59

First Impressions (9/10)
I have had a long held interest in all things related to classical antiquity. This applies also to my pen collection. I have been drawn to models claiming some sort of connection to these distant times. So, when I heard of the Art Ellenic model by Visconti I was immediately attracted to it. The inspiration for this model is a Doric Greek column. This was part of an Art series by Visconti, all made in sterling silver: Art Nouveau, Art Renaissance and Art Ellenic.
The asking price was a bit prohibitive for my pen budget, but when I found a decent second hand model I did not hesitate and bought it.

Appearance (9/10)
The pen comes in a nice Visconti cardboard box, but inside there is a nice faux leather clamshell box which contains the pen, a bottle of Visconti Black ink and several instructions and promotional materials, including a mini CD with the catalog of Visconti at the time.

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In the hand the pen has many positive points. First is the design , based in black and silver. Then the pen is light and pleasant to hold in the hand. It can be posted very securely but then it tends to be a bit top-heavy.
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Design/Size/Weight (9/10)
Pen measurements:
Length capped 138 mm
Length uncapped 126 mm
Length posted 159 mm
Weight 43.20 g

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The pen is quite lightweight. No doubt this is due to the main construction material, which is Lucite . Lucite is a plastic also known as plexiglass, which is lightweight and durable. On top of this plastic the thin sterling silver  cover is applied in the form of a Greek column, with 12 parallel concave grooves. The bottom is a black knob that can be removed to leave the wheel for the piston filler mechanism. The section is also black, quite comfortable and the threads to hold the cap are very close to the nib.

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The finial has a clear Visconti logo in silver . This finial can be removed to be personalized with initials or semiprecious stones.

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The clip has the typical bridge shape typical of Visconti. the company name is inscribed in silver letters on a black background. It has some spring to it.


Nib (8/10)
The nib is a 14 K gold nib. The colour is chromed and it has the legend VISCONTI 14 k 585 FIRENZE M. it is then a medium nib, although to me is rather a broad one. It is an extremely juicy nib with some degree of line variation. As my hand writing is small I often used it in reverse to get a fine line that I am more comfortable with. But I bought it as a medium so I knew where I was going.
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Filling System(7/10)
The pen is a piston filler. However, to me it looks like a fixed converter, as the piston mechanism looks exactly like some other Visconti converters that I own. There is no window to see the ink level, which is a disappointment as it is impossible to gauge how much ink is left in the piston. To me this has all the disadvantages of a converter and none of its advantages.

Cost and Value(7/10)
The pen is actually retailed at 490 UK pounds. I got it second hand for half that price. I think that I bought a beautiful pen, but for the normal retail price I would have not bought it. I have used it mostly for signatures but when writing for long has an excellent performance and it is pleasant for use.

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Conclusion (8.2/10)
This is a beautiful, understated pen from Visconti. My main criticism of this pen is the filling mechanism, without any way to know how full is the pen. The sterling silver is not signed so we have to believe that it is silver form the marketing materials. No information about the silver purity is provided. However I think that it is a classy pen with a superb nib in the tradition of the black filigree silver pens so in fashion during the first two decades of the 20th century.

Thanks for reading!


Edited by columela, 13 August 2017 - 16:03.

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#2 visvamitra

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 16:33

Stunning pen. I like most Visconti pens.



#3 Ghost Plane

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 18:07

These are fabulous nibs. I had one and eventually sold it as the light weight and narrow circumference (compared to my other pens) led to hand cramps after a long day writing. But I still miss the feel of those nibs. You got a good pen. Enjoy!

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#4 Meltemi

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 18:42

No idea why... But I don't approve of what Visconti did right there.


I like flowers, mother of pearl, dip nibs, blue, green or red inks. I also like flowers, Frida Kahlo's paintings and Josephine Baker's songs. Did I mention flowers and mother of pearl?






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