The latest Montblanc High Artistry collection leans into the artistry of rare métiers d’art to pay homage to the Great Wall of China. The result – five limited edition writing instruments that articulate the fascinating story of the world’s longest manmade monument.
With every High Artistry edition, Montblanc pushes the boundaries of craftsmanship to transform functional writing instruments into objets d’art. For its newest collection, the brand artfully brings to life historic and cultural themes inspired by the Great Wall.
One of the Eight Wonders of the World, the Great Wall is not just a national symbol of China. It also serves as a historic monument that forms part of the cultural fabric of the country. For its latest collection, Montblanc utilises the precise skills and unbridled creativity of its artisans along with refined beauty of rare materials to celebrate traditional Chinese craftsmanship and ancient culture.
The Montblanc High Artistry, A Tribute to the Great Wall collection articulates the influences of the ancient architecture. It also pays homage to the three dynasties that built it – from Qin to Han to the Ming Dynasty.
The five different editions of the new collection draw inspiration from cultural themes associated with the wall’s long history. These stories are told through forms of ancient craftsmanship including goldsmithing, engraving, enamelling, embroidery, stone setting, and metal skeleton sculpture.
Additionally, Montblanc also celebrates the art of calligraphy in this new collection. Considered one of the purest and greatest arts, the artform still remains a highly respected skill in China. The Montblanc High Artistry Tribute to the Great Wall Limited Editions 1, 5, 10 and 88 honour this ancient art form.
The Montblanc High Artistry Tribute to the Great Wall Limited Edition 1 Imperial
The fountain pen evokes a dramatic vision of the wall twisting like a massive stone dragon over a vast landscape. Inspired by traditional Ming dynasty artwork, the dragon metaphor comes to life on the solid yellow gold cap. The barrel features a pavé of sapphires, rubies, tourmaline, and diamonds in yellow, red and shades of blue and turquoise.
The pen also features a hand-crafted miniature music box, which pays tribute to the traditional royal instrument used in Chinese rituals. Placed within the cone of the pen, it plays music inspired by the sound of chime bells. A Chinese guardian lion, a traditional symbol of protection, is depicted in 3D hand engraving on the solid gold movable clip.
Montblanc High Artistry Tribute to the Great Wall Limited Edition 5 Imperial
The Ming dynasty (1368-1644) is largely credited with giving rise to Chinese arts and craftsmanship. The Montblanc High Artistry Tribute to the Great Wall Limited Edition 5 Imperial captures those elements by utilising enamel cloisonné and champlevé techniques evoking elaborate Ming enamel painted vases within the pen’s design.
Key features include a skeletonised and hand engraved cap top inspired by imperial hat jewellery. Tucked within is a precious 1.8 carat brilliant-cut diamond. As a special feature, the cone contains a calligraphy brush made of squirrel hair stabilised with translucent lacquer. This can be exchanged with a real brush for the writing instrument to be repurposed as a Chinese calligraphy brush.
Montblanc High Artistry Tribute to The Great Wall Limited Edition 10
The craft of silk embroidery helps realise the Montblanc High Artistry Tribute to The Great Wall Limited Edition 10. Delicate handcrafted gold stitching has been embroidered onto the barrel depicting the Great Wall from the Han dynasty. The cap, featuring mother-of-pearl plates held by solid gold pins, echoes elements seen in Han dynasty royal burial shrouds.
Sitting atop the cap is Montblanc’s interpretation of an inkpot, as traditionally used by calligraphers. The upper part of the cone, remodelled as a calligraphy brush, is set with black sapphires and diamonds. The fine engraving seen on the precious Kalahari jasper revolving barrel ring is dedicated to the tale of Lady Meng.
Montblanc High Artistry Tribute to the Great Wall Limited Edition 88
Made from solid white gold, the Montblanc High Artistry Tribute to the Great Wall Limited Edition 88 borrows elements from the armour of Qin dynasty warriors. The rough surface of the edition is reminiscent of the typical surfaces of bronze artwork crafted during the era. Once again, the importance of calligraphy is highlighted by the overall shape of the writing instrument.
The cone is hand-lacquered to mirror the appearance of the calligraphy brush hair. The cap is also crowned with the interpretation of an inkpot containing the Montblanc emblem in white Teflon. The solid white gold clip features a black PVD coated with Chinese symbols and a red lacquer inlay. It is reminiscent of the narrow bamboo strips that scribes used to write or draw on.
Montblanc High Artistry Tribute to The Great Wall Meisterstück Skeleton
Limited to 333 pieces, this edition highlights the symbolic way of how the wall winds protectively around China. Featuring a skeleton design made from solid yellow gold, the Meisterstück 149 fountain pen is decorated with nine dragon motifs. The dragon, a symbol of magic and power, along with the auspicious number is commonly associated with good fortune in China.
Additionally, the pen also incorporates the symbolic colours red and yellow. They are presented via a multilayer effect created by a deep-red translucent lacquer underlay beneath the solid gold skeleton overlay. The handcrafted yellow gold nib bears an engraving of a tower inspired by the famous signal towers of the wall. Crowning the cap is a Montblanc emblem made from mother-of-pearl.