#pendelight: Montblanc Writers Edition, Leo Tolstoy 1868 Fountain Pen

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It’s been a long time since I last posted up a #pendelight. I was delighted that Fook Hing Trading Co. let me take photos of this gorgeous pen, the Montblanc Writers Edition featuring Leo Tolstoy.

Just a note, though, that I did not write in the picture above, but this pen photographed above is the Leo Tolstoy 1868 fountain pen, which is different from the regular Writers Edition Leo Tolstoy.

This is the (non-1868 version) Leo Tolstoy fountain pen. Photo Source: Montblanc

This is the (non-1868 version) Leo Tolstoy fountain pen. Photo Source: Montblanc

Why 1868

The most famous book that Leo Tolstoy wrote was “War and Peace”, and 1868 marks the year that the first edition of the book was published.

Some Similarities And Differences

Both pens have similarities, having the centre section of the barrel designed with an special uneven texture, but the non-1868 version is silver-plated while the 1868 version is gold-plated. The cap of the non-1868 version is made of precious dark grey resin with platinum-plated fittings, while the 1868 version has a blue lacquered cap with guilloche patterns that reminds us of the aristocracy in Russia.

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At the end of the barrel, there is a wooden cone attached to represent the trees among which Tolstoy requested to be buried.

The wooden cone tells the story of his beloved estate, Yasnaya Polyana, home to many century-old trees among which Tolstoy chose to be buried. A malachite adorns the end of the cone as a reference to the legend of the green stick. When Leo was a small boy, his brother Nikolai told him that he possessed a secret that could make all men happy and end war and suffering. The secret was said to be written on a green stick and buried in the grounds of Yasnaya Polyana. This story stayed with Tolstoy throughout his life, and in his old age he requested that his body be buried in a simple wooden coffin at the presumed site of the little green stick.

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Instead of a wooden cone with a malachite crystal, the non-1868 version has a blue marbled resin cone at the end of its barrel.

It is very interesting that the 1868 edition pen represents the aristocratic life that Leo Tolstoy had in the beginning (rich blue cap), and progresses toward the simpler life that Tolstoy preferred towards the end of his life (wooden cone).

In the box there is a little booklet explaining the life of Leo Tolstoy and the story behind the fountain pen. In addition, there is also an envelope with a copy of a letter written by Leo Tolstoy in August 23, 1885. The letter was written in Sütterlin script which is an old form of German handwriting.

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I have not been exposed to Russian Literature before and I do not know Tolstoy’s works, but those who do know his famous novels such as “War and Peace” and “Anna Karenina” would surely be able to appreciate this tribute to the great writer. I find it very wonderful that every part of the pen has a story to tell which is closely linked to the life of Leo Tolstoy. It is indeed a very fascinating and meaningful pen!

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I would love to hear your thoughts!