A unique pen with some fascinating history attached. The basics: a hand-polished nickel-plated brass body ballpoint pen with push-button retract. Smart, simple, weighty. The unique part is the leather wrapped around the grip. Soft, hand-embossed with a cross-hatch pattern, warm reddish-brown in colour and with an intriguing smoky aroma. Leather that was lost at the bottom of Plymouth Sound for over 200 years. For the full story of this famous leather, read on...
On 10th December 1786, a strong gale in the English Channel forced the Danish Brigantine Die Frau Metta Catharina von Flensburg to seek shelter in Plymouth Sound. During the day the winds strengthened and swung around from southwest to due south, turning the previously safe anchorage into a maelstrom of waves and spray. By 10 o’clock a full gale was screaming up Plymouth Sound. Then the fifty-three ton Catharina struck Drake’s Island and was blown toward Mount Edgcumbe before sinking in the darkness somewhere under Raven’s cliffs on the Cornish side of Plymouth Sound. All the crew were able to get ashore, but the ship and its cargo were lost for almost two hundred years. In 1973 divers from the Plymouth Sound branch of the British Sub Aqua Club found an encrusted ship’s bell. It was lifted out and cleaned, enabling the wreck to be provisionally identified as Catharina. Further underwater investigation revealed part of the rigging and then the cargo – bundles of hides littering the seabed, remarkably preserved after two hundred years' immersion in black mud. More may still be buried in the mud, their state of preservation improving in direct relation to the depth at which they are buried. The hides vary in size, some as large as cattle, complete with head and tail and marked with the tanner’s initials. Subsequent research has confirmed that the leather is almost certainly reindeer and has been treated by the traditional Russian method of tanning, soaking in pits with willow bark and currying with birch oil. The leather is marvellously supple and its durability has been enhanced by two centuries of being submerged in black mud.
The refill is the excellent Schmidt EasyFlow hybrid ink in black, but any Parker-style refill will fit. It's supplied gift-boxed with a certificate of authenticity. Length 130mm, diameter 13mm, weight 55g.
David Hayward originally trained as a silversmith, then received an MA in industrial design. He has gained both commercial and academic design experience in England, Germany, India and Hong Kong.
|Advance Mechanism:||Retractable, Push-Button|
|Item Material:||Leather, Metal|
|Refill Type:||Parker-style G2 Refill, Pen Refill|
David Hayward initially trained as a silversmith, but then moved on to study for an MA in industrial design. He has gained both commercial and academic design experience in England, Germany, India and Hong Kong. Along with pens and pencils, he has designed a range of jewellery and other items.
His close working relationships with many skilled craftsmen, including gem setters, wood turners and leather workers, enables him to produce unusual designs with materials that would be too difficult for most designers to handle.
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