Authorship, the skill of writing, documents, and novels is too often overlooked. These days even penmanship is passe among the masses of children brought up in the digital era. Cursive is no longer even a core requirement in schools. If something doesn't change drastically, and soon, there will come a day when the beautiful script on documents like the Declaration of Independence is as mysterious to our descendants as it was to most of our ancestors. The written word has far greater weight than most people credit. A signature can give away your power, or bring you great wealth. It can bind you legally in marriage, or empty your bank accounts. Mimicking the old saying about pens and swords is not the same as recognizing on a deeper level that a single signature can change the world. John Hancock certainly did.
Making Your Mark
Having class, style, and even manners are all choices. These things do not happen by accident. Not everyone can own a pen like the Fulgor Nocturnis, but we can each strive to treat our language and its expression with the appropriate dignity and decorum. Using a well maintained and valuable pen helps us to remember the import of our recorded thoughts and agreements. By elevating your social presentation, for example, by carrying a fine pen, you elevate yourself and the quality of your interactions. The penultimate expressions of refinement (no pun intended) are always in the details. Luxury pens aren't merely a collectors hobby (though they can be). A good pen is one of the intricate addons that take a simple experience, like writing, and create a luxury moment. At its heart, upgrading your experience is an act of self-care. Like adding weight to your words, adding beautiful things and experiences to your life make it more enjoyable.
Tibaldi of Florence
If anyone understands the value of elegant things, it is Tibaldi. Their company prides itself on creating accessories to elevate the gentleman. Our modern era sets less stock by social graces than we did in the past, but like cursive writing, they remain both relevant and vital. A sense of class and craftsmanship is essential to having a well-functioning society. The more people care about their perceived worth, the greater the impetus to be well thought of, and thus the drive to do things right. Order and propriety help to stave off chaos, something which our world certainly needs more of.
The name of this $8 million pen that sold in a Shanghai auction back in 2010 has special significance. The first word, Fulgor, means dazzling brilliance, splendor, or radiance. Nocturnus means that which occurs at night. So the full name of this pen might be translated as the splendor of night. It's a beautiful sentiment fraught with meaning and evocative of Vincent van Gogh's Starry Night. We can't say whether this particular painting was the inspiration behind the ben, but the dazzling shimmer of stars and the accompanying sense of wonder almost certainly contributed to its creation.
What we do know is that, at least in part, this pen was inspired by Phi ( Φ = 1.618033988749895… ) the Golden Number. This mathematical expression more commonly used by Rennaissance artists as 'the divine proportion,' which appears in many places. Not the least of which are the proportions of the human body, the solar system, and DNA. You can derive it several ways, but probably the most famous way to derive it is with Leonardo Fibonacci's Fibonacci Sequence. That is a great deal of math and design to live up to as a single writing instrument.
Making Math Tangible
To begin with, the closed pen's ratio of the cap to the visible body is an expression of Phi in itself. There's quite a bit of to-do about the proper proportions of a pen, and the designer of this pen came to an obvious conclusion when they chose the divine proportion. If there's a more perfect fit for a human hand, we aren't sure how you would describe or create it. This innovative approach was nothing short of a stroke of genius.
The decorative aspect of the pens' body is expertly created with 945 handset black diamonds. Whether the number of black diamonds is significant has never been mentioned. However, it bears mentioning that 945 is the exact number of elected officials in the Italian Parlament. Tibaldi is an Italian company after all, so it's possible that it's a nod to the ruling agency there.
In addition to the diamonds, the pen is set with 123 rubies, and the cap has sixteen clips above the caps' button. The significance, if any, of these numbers, is unknown. Though the number of stones may simply be what fit on the body to make the desired pattern, it's possible that one or both stone counts have some particular undisclosed mathematical significance. Whatever the meanings amount to the sum is a great beauty with exquisite details which create a unified whole that is glorious and gorgeously balanced.
Fulgor Nocturnis comes with a golden nib. Gold has been used for quality nibs because it's durable yet flexible. Not only does it give a smoother and more controlled line, but it also stands up to frequent use. Modern inks are less harsh, but when gold first became the metal of choice for pen making, the ink was mildly caustic and would otherwise damage a stunning pen.
It's doubtful that the current owner if you could find them at all, would give up Fulgor Nocturnus for any price. Given how valuable it was to them in the first place, it is more than a collectors' item. We can only imagine what it's writing these days. This is one pen that has a fantastic, mysterious and remarkable symbolism and we hope to one day behold its dark radiance in person.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson