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FrontRunners: Instrument of Gods

Hercules’ stepmother Hera drove him mad—mad enough to commit several atrocious murders. To atone for his sins, the son of Zeus had to complete the Labors of Hercules, a series of 12 seemingly impossible feats that he finished without fail. The new Tibaldi Hercules (www.tibaldi.it)—available in a limited edition of 12 solid-gold fountain pens—celebrates the demigod’s mythical accomplishments. The engraving on the body of the $43,000 pen and the reproduction painting on its cap (Hercules and the Hydra by Antonio del Pollaiuolo) depict Hercules’ second labor: to kill the nine-headed water snake Hydra. (The pen’s clip is shaped like the club he used to slay the serpent.) The Italian pen maker Tibaldi will also produce the Hercules as a gold rollerball (12 at $42,500 each), a sterling-silver fountain pen (120 at $7,500), and a sterling-silver rollerball (120 at $7,250).

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