Often tagged as a grail pen – the Visconti Homo Sapiens Bronze Age fountain pen could certainly be described as something long sought after that is difficult to acquire. A pen that you seek and may never attain.
Without a doubt it is a pen that catches your eye with its striking bronze embellishments and basaltic lava finish. I had a shock when I received it from United Inkdom’s Scribble Monboddo. It’s a big pen, measuring 5.75 inches, and weighing in at 45 grams (both measurements are with the pen capped). Nevertheless, it balances perfectly in the hand.
The lava body is something you simply have to touch to appreciate. It’s a mixture of basaltic lava from Mount Etna (no kidding!) and resin. The lava surface is actually smooth to the touch and gives the pen a matte finish which contrasts superbly with the shining bronze metal adornments.
The cap attaches using Visconti’s special “hook safe lock” and uses Visconti’s high power vacuum filler system. It’s simple to use. Unscrew the piston, pull to extend, submerge the nib in the ink and push. Two or three plunges and you’re done.
In this pen I had a broad nib through which the ink flowed very easily. I think this is what Visconti call a “dreamtouch nib” which means it writes without any pressure being applied. It is definitely a smooth nib and lays down thick, juicy handwriting.
I don’t claim to be a pen aficionado at all, I usually pick pens for functionality although aesthetics are important too. Beautifully designed and crafted, this pen is about show. It’s an iconic work of art with a price to match and really does have to be seen to be believed. If had unlimited wealth or an acute pen addiction, or both, I’d have one.
The United Inkdom team are also going to be reviewing this pen so there will be a serious meta review for you to view very soon. Thanks to Scribble for letting me have a fiddle.
HEY! If you’re interested to know more about how to use fountain pen inks in more creative ways – whether it’s simply to observe their chromatic behaviours, or, to recreate one of my swatch cards, or, to learn how to use them in watercolour painting, illustration and calligraphy, why not check out my online course or, even better, sign up for a workshop?