The Thick Swirling Brush Strokes Of Krone’s Vincent Van Gogh Pen
by Nancy Olson
Krone, founded in the United States in 1997, has made its name by producing commemorative limited edition pens as a tribute to people, events, and things that helped shape history.
Editions have included such topics as Thomas Edison, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Duke Ellington, William Shakespeare, Babe Ruth, Sigmund Freud, and even Moby Dick, with a Tyrannosaurus Rex thrown in for good measure.
Each pen represents its namesake in some very notable way – via its design, choice of materials, or relic-like components.
The limited edition Marilyn Monroe pen, for example, is engraved with her signature on the side of the barrel. But there’s much more going on here. The cap of the pen has a lipstick tube-like golden overlay that contains a bit of Marilyn Monroe’s personal makeup.
Adding yet another layer of interest, there’s also a small viewing window at the top of the cap, and when one looks through it, Hilton H. Greene’s famous photograph of her is visible.
Elsewhere, authenticated pieces of Shakespeare’s famed mulberry tree are inset into the precious metal relief on the William Shakespeare limited edition pen introduced more than ten years ago, while the clip of the Wright Brothers writing instrument contains a portion of the actual wing fabric from the Wright Brothers’ plane used at Kitty Hawk (to read about a wristwatch containing a segment of this very same material, please read Aviation’s Pioneering Wright Brothers Meet Bremont’s Horological English Brothers To Create The Wright Flyer Timepiece).
Likewise, the Sir Edmund Hillary Mount Everest contains a minute piece of rock from the mountain’s summit, and the Abraham Lincoln pen contains a bit of the U. S. president’s DNA from a strand of hair.
Anyway, you get the idea.
One of my personal favorites is the Ludwig van Beethoven pen, which features a tiny Reuge music box atop the cap that plays a sampling of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy upon command. Having visited the Reuge manufactory in Switzerland many years ago, I’m fully aware of the countless hours it takes to produce one of these high-quality mechanical devices.
By offering pens such as these, Krone has introduced writing instruments to a broader spectrum of “collectors,” be they history or movie buffs, science fans, music devotees, or sports lovers.
Adding authenticated relics or signatures further ups the ante, making the connection between human and pen that much more fascinating.
The company’s most recent limited edition honors Vincent Van Gogh, and, no, there isn’t any DNA here. Rather, the pen features a beautiful hand-painted representation of his famous work The Starry Night in miniature on the barrel.
Van Gogh’s use of thick swirling brush strokes gives the piece movement and reflects Van Gogh’s belief that the night was “more alive than the day.” These techniques are also evident in his famous Self Portrait 1889, featured on the cap.
For more information, visit www.kronepen.com.
Quick Facts Krone Vincent Van Gogh
Editions: piston-fill fountain pen, rollerball
Cap and barrel: miniature painting
Nib: 18-karat gold
Limitation: 188 fountain pens, 38 rollerball pens
Price: $7,500 for the fountain pen; $7,400 for the rollerball