Once upon a time, there were two brothers who traveled through a blossoming Germany in search of an identity. Jacob and WIlhelm Grimm gathered the oral tradition of the German peoples and brought it all together in a way that would transform the collective imagination even today. Additionally, they tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to gather every word in the German language in a single unified dictionary, a task that proved too big to complete in a lifetime. This year, as a homage to their contributions to literature and culture, Montblanc presents the Writers Edition Homage to the Brothers Grimm, which incorporates elements from the brothers’ life and their work. 

Each pen in the collection is inspired by wood staffs popularly carried by storytellers of old, and adds elements inspired by the bonfires where people gathered to tell tales. A unique element in the collection is the clip, which looks like a twisted wooden root from the front, but evokes the Brothers’ profiles when looks at from the side. Each cap is engraved with their tale’s initials and the iconic phrase “Once upon a time…” in the original German. 

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This edition is made in black resin, carved to resemble the waves in Rapunzel’s hair. The dark colour evokes Germany’s shadowy forests, and the silvery details create a delicate contrast. The cone is shaped aftera spindle tip, as old weaver women were often master storytellers. Engraved on the pen is the name of the Brothers’  compendium Kinder- und Hausmärchen.  Rapunzel was the 12th tale in the book, and so that number is engraved next to the year of publication, 1812. 


The 1812 pieces that make up this edition reference the year Kinder- und Hausmärchen was published. The book’s name is engraved on the cap, right next to the number 50, as that is The Sleeping Beauty’s place inside its pages. During the eponymous princess’ slumber, her castle is covered in foliage and thorns, which now envelope this edition in the form of a golden layer. The Montblanc emblem in the cap is made in nacre, enveloped in red lacquer in reference to the tale’s roses. The pen tip is handmade and engraved with flames, in reference to the bonfires, and the cone is engraved with the book’s title. 


Hansel and Gretel were abandoned in the woods, where they find a gingerbread house, where they eventually defeat the residing witch and take off with her treasures. This edition, made of 86 pieces after the number of tales included in the book, is made from black ebony, referencing the dark German woods, and the golden details reminisce of the flames where the witch burnt. The cap is made in solid gold with a black PVD cover, set with solid gold details that present fire and a capital H. The Montblanc emblem is accompanied by the letters A to F, in reference to the dictionary entries the Brothers Grimm managed to finish in their lifetime. 


The elements in this pen are taken from Snow White, made in solid white gold Au759, with a yellow gold cover. The body is set with a crystal rock that encases an image of Snow White, a call back to the crystal coffin where the lady lies at the end of her tale. The cap is set with faceted gold that emulates the gold ore mined by the dwarfs that helped Snow White, and the tip is engraved with flames and an iconic poisoned apple. The Montblanc emblem is accompanied by letters A to F and is encased in sapphire crystal, while the cone tip is set with a black spinel in reference to Snow White’s ebony hair. 

Photos: Erik Hernández.

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