Some of the world’s rarest fountain pens will feature in the upcoming Bonhams’ auction of fine writing instruments, scheduled for December 15 in San Francisco. The rarest, most significant and desirable Parker pen ever made – No. 60 Awanyu “Aztec” Gold-Filled Fountain Pen will be the highlight of the sale, with an estimated value of $20,000-40,000. The c. 1911 pen, comes in its original box and is in excellent condition. It was created after George S. Parker was inspired by Indian and Aztec relics during a trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico.
After seeing the ‘Awanyu’ – an Aztec design known as the “Emblem of Mystic Power” – he obtained permission to copy the design from the Archaeological Institute of America and set his jewellers to work. Produced with a full 18 karat gold filled overlay, the pen originally retailed for $20 – a princely sum in 1911. However, with the Parker Archive stating that only four to six examples are known to exist, the pen is expected to fetch up to $40,000 when it cross the auction block.
Also leading the sale will be a rare Dunhill-Namiki set comprising four Maki-e Bridge Pencils, with its original lacquer box, circa 1930 (est. $10,000-20,000). The lot anchors an excellent selection of vintage and modern Namiki maki-e pens and pencils in the sale.
A rare and exceptional Dunhill-Namiki Rakucho and Cherry Blossoms Maki-e Fountain Pen by Koho, circa 1935, also stands out in the sale (est. $10,000-20,000), as well as a lovely example of the classic Parker Lucky Curve #38 “Snake” fountain pen, circa 1905, with a gold-filled snake overlay (est. $6,000-8,000).
The sale will also feature many top Montblanc pens, including the Louvre 89, Gandhi 241, Hitchcock 80 and L’Aubrac 50 (each est. $12,000-18,000); as well as the Statue of Liberty 50 (est. $15,000-25,000), Axis Mundi 101 (est. $18,000-24,000), Hundertwasser 100 (est. $10,000-15,000), Gutenberg 42 (est. $15,000-20,000), and many others.