Friday, June 12, 2015

Montblanc Writers Edition: Leo Tolstoy

Issued every year since 1992 in a strictly limited edition, the Montblanc Writers Edition pays tribute to the greatest icons of literary history.  This year Montbalnc pays tribute to Leo Tolstoy, the Russian realist author and leading figure of world literature.

Writers Edition Leo Tolstoy: Yasnaya Polyana, the family home where Tolstoy was born and where he resided with his wife and children is the inspiration for the Limited Edition Leo Tolstoy. In this idyllic rural setting, Tolstoy adhered to his teachings of finding happiness in the simple life led by peasants, a theme reflected in the simplicity of the overall shape and design of the writing instrument.

The characteristic pillars at the entrance of the Yasnaya Polyana estate are echoed in the shape of the top of the cap, which is crowned with the Montblanc emblem in black and white resin. Tolstoy’s philosophy of working the land with his own hands is symbolized in the elaborately handcrafted, hammered and silver plated case of the barrel.
The dark grey precious resin cap, blue marbled resin cone and platinum plated fittings mirror the colours found on the covers of his first major works as well as the colours of the modest study in which he wrote his most important works. The ornament on the cap ring is inspired by a traditional woven Russian pattern that would have adorned the modest peasant smocks Tolstoy made for himself. The great author’s signature is engraved on the cap while the family’s aristocratic coat-of-arms is featuring the rhodium-plated 750 solid gold nib of the fountain pen, a subtle design detail that highlights his provenance and the value he placed on family.

The issue number engraved on the cap is proof of the uniqueness of every piece. The fountain pen version of this edition is limited to 9,000 pieces, and the ballpoint pen to 12,000. The rollerball is limited to 7,000 pieces and the set with fountain pen, ballpoint pen/rollerball and mechanical pencil is limited to 1,600 pieces.

Limited Edition 1868: With a limitation number based on the year of the first Edition of “War and Peace”, his most famous book, the design of the Limited Edition 1868 is reminiscent of both the simple life Tolstoy favored particularly towards the end of his life, and his aristocratic origins as a count. The gold plated barrel with its hammered optic to celebrate the work he did by hand on his land is elegantly paired with a blue lacquered cap. The guilloche underneath the cap evokes the aristocracy in Imperial Russia, a reoccurring theme in his novels including “Anna Karenina” and “War and Peace”.

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. The signature that adorns the forepart and his portrait embossed in the rhodium-plated 750 solid gold nib reinforce his enduring legacy, and his impact on human civilization through his monumental works.

The Writers Edition Leo Tolstoy is only available in a strictly limited edition in Montblanc boutiques worldwide from August 1, 2015.

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