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  1. Introduction It has been a while, since I reviewed a pen. I was falling back to a patern of lurking around on this beautiful forum. So now it’s time to contribute again. I’m doing so in reviewing this “Hommage à Charlemagne”; a beautiful pen from the Montblanc Patron of Art series. With this series Montblanc honors people who have devoted their lives to the promotion of art and culture. Montblanc started the release of this series in 1992 with the Medici pen. These limited editions only consist of a fountain pen in a lacquered wooden box and are released in spring. Two versions of this series are issued: a 4810 version (limited to 4.810 pieces) and an 888 version (limited to 888 pieces), made of more precious materials. The pen under review here is the 4810-version. Issued in 2000 it is the ninth in Montblanc's Patron of Art series, paying tribute to one of the great figures of world history: Karl der Grosse. In that year it was 1200 years ago Karl der Grosse – Charlemagne / Charles the Great – was crowned Holy Roman Emperor at Old St. Peter's Basilica, Rome. Called the "Father of Europe", Charlemagne united most of Western Europe for the first time since the fall of the Roman Empire and laid the foundations for modern France and Germany. The expanded Frankish state Charlemagne founded was called the Carolingian Empire. His rule spurred the Carolingian Renaissance, a period of energetic cultural and intellectual activity within the Western Church. Charlemagne died in 814. He was laid to rest in his imperial capital of Aachen, Germany. His reign and the era it ushered in are often referred to as the Carolingian Renaissance because of the flowering of scholarship, literature, art, and architecture which characterize it. Charlemagne, brought into contact with the culture and learning of other countries due to his vast conquests (especially Moorish Spain, Anglo-Saxon England, and Lombard Italy), greatly increased the provision of monastic schools and centre’s for book-copying. He took a serious interest in scholarship, promoting the liberal arts at the court, ordering that his children and grandchildren be well-educated, and even studying himself (in a time when even leaders who promoted education did not take time to learn themselves). He also introduced reforms in the field of (organization of) church, writing (standard grammar and the famous Carolingian minuscule, a more efficient writing system) and politics. Well, history is nice, but a pen is nicer. So up to the pen now! Appearance & Design (9/10) The (sealed) Charlemagne pen comes in a lacquered wooden inner box with booklet, an outer box with a picture of a peacock mosaic (on the booklet there is another part of the same mosaic) and a white cardboard box sleeve. On the dark green wooden box there is the signum (signature) of Charlemagne (KAROLUS) and the Montblanc logo. peacock showing the box I was wondering about that peacock mosaic you find on the outer box and booklet. I didn’t find anything about it, let alone that I could relate it directly to Charlemagne. I could only find something about the peacock in medieval Europe in general: The peacock was a symbol of immortality because the ancients believed that the peacock had flesh that did not decay after death. The bird, which replaces its feathers every year, also became a symbol of renewal and resurrection in early Christian and Byzantine culture. Peacock imagery appears in early Christian tomb paintings and mosaics, especially concerning the resurrection. In the original home of the peacock, India, peacocks symbolized royalty and power. pen in the box The barrel and cap of the pen itself (Edition 4810) are crafted from faceted 925 sterling silver with a gentle spiral twist. The silver has a satin finish. The openwork gilded motifs on black resin of the mountings on cap and barrel are made to the bronze doors (from the 9th century) of the octagonal "Palace Chapel" of Charlemagne, which was built between 796 and 805. The hand-worked, rhodium-plated, two-toned nib in 18 karat gold is decorated by an engraving of an early Medieval pattern and the emperor’s monogram. Right under the monogram are the numbers 4810, the Montblanc logo with the year of issue of the pen and “montblanc”. The engravings “750” and “18k”can be found resp. at the left and right side of the nib. cap and nib cap and barrel band The number of the pen is on top of the cap, just beneath the upper gold plated ring, next to the clip. The silverstamps are placed on the cap as well, just above the lower gold plated ring. The clip is bejeweled with an onyx sphere. silverstamps clip and gold plated rings Construction & Quality (9/10) The pen feels very solid and capped / posted it is rather heavy. The pen opens / closes with a ca. 1,5 turn of the cap. The piston works very smoothly as well. So nothing to complain here for me. When closed, the cap shifts over de top barrel ring; the pen then seems smaller than he really is. the cross how far will the cap go? Weight & Dimensions (8/10) Some pen-statistics: Length capped: app. 13,9 cmLength uncapped / unposted: app. 12,4 cmLength posted: 16,3Length pen cap: app. 6,6 cmDiameter: pen: app. 1,7 cm on the barrel, on the grip: 1,0 cm, on the top of the piston knob 0,9 cmWeight capped: 58 gramsWeight uncapped: 30 gramsWhen using it unposted, it is not a very large pen. But the pen can be posted and the cap then adds some weight and length to the pen. I prefer writing it unposted: I don’t need the extra weight – although I could use the extra length – and the balance is imho better unposted. It is better for the pen as well (you could damage the lower barrel ring when posting). Nib & Performance (7,5/10) The pen on review here has a rhodium-plated, two-toned 18k – 750 golden fine nib. Montblanc gives his POA’s standard from factory a fine or medium nib. If you want a different line on your paper, the pen has to go on a holiday to Hamburg for a while for a nib exchange. This could be a disadvantage for some of us. But for me it’s ok. With this nib I manage to get a line on the paper between fine and broad, depending of the pressure. So, the nib didn’t decide yet what it should be. However, it writes it’s lines smoothly with just a little feedback. The line the pen writes is a little on the wet side. You can use the nib backwards for an extra fine line (sometimes I do that, when making notes in a text). f-nib Filling System & Maintenance (8/10) The pen has a piston-filling mechanism for use with bottled ink. It is what I expect with this kind of pens. I use this pen frequently and the piston still runs very well. It holds a middle amount of ink: I can write just over a couple of days with this pen on one fill (Yes, I don’t write very much ). Cost & Value (9/10) Always worth discussing. I like this pen very much and I enjoy writing with it. And imho: that counts a lot! I think the pen gives good value for money given the used materials and finishing as well (not only for the pen but for its box as well), even for the original retail price. Conclusion (Final score 8.4) So, we have to come to a conclusion now. In short: I like this pen. I like it a lot. Maybe I should say: I love it. It is the twist that I like the most; it makes it special and makes I want to hold it, play with it (yes, I do that sometimes with some of my pens J). Furthermore: It writes very well. peacock showing pen This is a pen that definitely will stay in my collection for a long, long time. It has made some serious writing hours already and there are more to come. Yes, it is a very nice not to heavy silver pen, well balanced and an easy writer, this pen with a twist.
  2. About the Patron Alexander von Humboldt's travels through distant continents and research of foreign cultures made him the first German cosmopolitan. The naturalist and cultural patron was born in Prussian Berlin during the age of Enlightment and later travelled the globe to explore new horizons. Humboldt discovered a rich new world of flora on his great South American expedition (1799-1804) and researched the language and culture of the native Indians. The result was "Kosmos" a literary lifework in which Humboldt expounded on the knowledge gained through his travels and research. Information Launch: 2007 Limitation: 4810 (Another edition is 888) Characteristics: Black grenadille cap and barrel, 925 sterling silver inlays and Platinum-plated 18K Gold nib with an engraved sextant Official Link: Montblanc Review Initial Impression: 8/10 I started my limited edition pens from Great Character series hence I'm more familiar with big boxes which is twice of the size of Patron of Art 4810 packaging. Having said that, the packaging is simple and the pen display case has a beautiful turquoise colour. It is simple and also beautiful. It would be higher score if the packaging would be accompanied with an additional booklet which included in Great Character series. This is my first Patron of Art pen and I believe I'm starting with one unique pen of the series. It takes me a short moment to appreciate the pen due to its simplicity which is a contrast to Great Characters series which I own. The wood finish is the first thing that I noticed followed by the silver inlays. http://i289.photobucket.com/albums/ll206/ongl/20150120_160431.jpg http://i289.photobucket.com/albums/ll206/ongl/20150120_160448.jpg http://i289.photobucket.com/albums/ll206/ongl/20150120_160658.jpg Feel and Balance: 8/10 The pen is light yet balanced. It can't be posted securely. I believe this one of few pen made from wood by MontBlanc. There is a uniqueness in handling the pen. It is not as smooth as resin yet smooth enough with some grainy texture. It certainly good to feel differently from "precious resin" and metal for once. Twisting the cap is very smooth and with low resistance. There is no ink window which mean a careful estimation of usage would be applicable. I would fill the ink full before travelling on full day meetings or overseas. The pen has a stepped-down barrel. As some say, usually it would potentially cause an issue for long writing. I find it quite useful as It provided the place where I should put my fingers and not distracted by the silver inlays. http://i289.photobucket.com/albums/ll206/ongl/20150120_161318.jpg Design: 9/10 There are three silver inlay section: On the left, right and back side of the pen. The nib looks fabulous with dual-tone nib which offer a bit of variety instead of a single tone nibs. The silver inlays are securely placed with the wood barrel. I observed that some dust and dirt may settle in the small gaps between the inlays. Cleaning it would take more effort than a simple swipe. As said by many, the wood will change colour depending on exposure to sunlight and the contact with hands. It provides a unique personalisation to the pen. Montblanc does not provide any tips of the care for this material. I am still looking ways to best maintain the pen. Overall, the design is simple and projects back-to-nature sensation. http://i289.photobucket.com/albums/ll206/ongl/20150120_161000.jpg http://i289.photobucket.com/albums/ll206/ongl/20150120_160927.jpg http://i289.photobucket.com/albums/ll206/ongl/20150120_160947.jpg http://i289.photobucket.com/albums/ll206/ongl/0b327689-0bec-4ad4-a7a5-d72c8cd78756.jpg Nib Performance/Writing experience: 10/10 It wasn't until I start writing that I truly appreciate the pen. The nib performs very well and so smooth as if it 'glides' on the paper. Definitely the smoothest pen among that I have. The nib is Medium. http://i289.photobucket.com/albums/ll206/ongl/20150120_170649.jpg Overall: 8.5/10 The pen is a pleasant surprise for me. It was unique, simple yet great to use as daily writing. I could bring this out and it would not draw unwanted attention. Excellent for those who find PoA or GC pens too flashy. At the same time, being away from 'precious resin' provide a good break between other pens. The nib design is also visually pleasing. Cleaning would require different approach and more effort than other pens due to the material and intricate inlays. Finally, I can't agree more with one FPN member - Axis. I quote his comment in another thread:
  3. Cyrille81

    Poa 2014 - Steinway 888

    I have already posted some photos of the PoA 2014 Steinway 888 but now I have decided to ink it, I will share also some writing samples with them. This is my first PoA fountain pen but as soon as saw it on Internet I found it amazing (the 888 edition because I think the 4810 edition doesn't show the domain of Steinway). The price was of course a blocking factor but at the beginning of the year I had the opportunity to buy it so I decided to please me. In real the pen is is even much more beautiful than on Internet photos and I'm really to own it. When I received it, I didn't ink it because I was not sure if I wanted to use it or keep it new but this week-end I decided it is a dreadful shame to keep it in its box or in a pouch. Currently it is inked with Montblanc Lavender Purple and I like the result. For the future I will think to which other ink I can use in this pen. It is a real pleasure to write with the pen, the M nib is as other 146 nib sizing I have on other limited edition of Montblanc a little bit less flexible than the ones of my 149 and 149 UNICEF skeleton but it is not an issue. The pen without the cap is really light and easy and comfortable to use and write for long time. The cap is really weight and beautiful with a transparent window and a skeletonized to represent a piano frame in Au solid gold. And there is also the great and so nice big Montblanc star in mother-of-pearl! So now it is time for the photos: And now some writing samples with the pen and Lavender Purple ink: And the characteristics of the pen in French: In the future I will try to post additional writing photos using the pen.
  4. bstnnyc

    Poa New Nib Policy Question

    Hi Everyone, I sent my Copernicus to MB to get a Broad nib installed in place of the Fine nib, which I have been using for the last couple of years. I want to have the nib changed because I really love this pen, and want to enjoy using it daily, but have not been using it as much lately since I prefer Broad nibs when not using a pen for note-taking and now have other pens that are much better suited to daily note-taking. Since the pen was a gift from my parents, I was hoping to keep the nib for sentimental reasons. Montblanc US just came back to me to let me know that, even though I will need to pay the full fee (close to 400$), they consider this service a nib exchange and will be unable to return the original nib to me. I have gone through the threads on nib policies on FPN and Fred's very helpful thread on Policy of removed parts, but, since I couldn't find a definitive answer for POAs, I wanted to reach out to see if anyone has any recent experience with a new nib requested for an old POA or any updated information on MB's nib policy. Thank you for your help!
  5. jamesgibby

    Montblanc Review Index - Updated!

    Patron of the Arts Lorenzo De Medici Octavian Louis XIV RedRob The Prince Regent Semiramis Catherine & Peter The Great Mainecoon Alexander the Great Fredrich II The Great Karl De Grosse, Charlemagne kaisede Marquise De Pompadour Andrew Carnegie Nicolaus Copernicus AndyW jamesgibby J.P. Morgan Pope Julius II Sir Henry Tate Bryant goodguy Joehek Yachtsilverswan (888) rinellatony (888) Alexander Von Humboldt Francois I Max Von Oppenheim Andy OngL Lamb South Mainecoon Elizabeth I Gaius Macenas Joseph II Maine Vintner sny Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan Henry Steinway Writers Edition Ernest Hemingway Agatha Christie Oscar Wilde goodguy goodguy jamesgibby goodguy Bryant goodguy Michael R. Volataire Alexandre Dumas Dostoevsky goodguy goodguy The Noble Savage Bryant Richard Bryant goodguy QM2 Sidestreaker Edgar Allan Poe Marcel Proust Fredrick Schiller Allan goodguy Bryant goodguy goodguy Charles Dickens F. Scott Fitzgerald Jules Verne QM2 goodguy sny goodguy elderberry Sidestreaker kaisede Bryant goodguy Sidestreaker Franz Kafka Miguel Cervantes Virginia Woolf davyr Sidestreaker Rubicon goodguy goodguy goodguy William Faulkner George Bernard Shaw Thomas Mann goodguy QM2 Sidestreaker goodguy Sidestreaker goodguy Shinchan Sidestreaker Mark Twain Carlo Collodi Jonathan Swift goodguy Sidestreaker kaisede troglokev Rubicon Sidestreaker jamesgibby Honore De Balzac Daniel Defoe Pen2009 KJY Pen2009 Great Characters Mahatma Ghandi Alfred Hitchcock Leonardo Ianmedium Albert Einstein John F. Kennedy Donation Pens Leonard Bernstein Yehudi Menuhin Johann Bach kaisede Herbert Von Karajan Sir Georg Solti Arturo Toscanini wil Brian Sidestreaker John Lennon Johannes Brahms Gary1952 de_pen_dent GRJP Montblanc 149 Tri-Colour Nibs 1950-1970's Sblakers signum1 goodguy Bi-Colour Nibs 1970-1990's georges zaslavsky perth Segel Malcy sirach ondine Modern Tri-Colour Nibs tanalasta acj27 inked declanh enlasombra ganzonomy asimplemaestro FP Writing Anniversary Editions 75th Anniversary 90th Anniversary jamesgibby (LE 1924) Bryan (SE) E0157H7 (SE)

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