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FrontRunners: Mystery Writing

Graf von Faber-Castell fashioned its Pen of the Year 2010 (www.graf-von-faber-castell.com) using the techniques of craftsmen who made hunting rifles in the 19th century. The production of case-hardened metal, which was used on fine guns from the period, was something of a secret art, handed down for centuries by word of mouth. Graf von Faber-Castell’s 2010 design features case-hardening work by one of the few traditional arms workshops still in existence today. Case-hardened details include a 24-karat-gold diamond shape on the Caucasian nut wood barrel and a metal disk that decorates the platinum-plated cap of each of the $2,500 numbered, limited-edition fountain pens.

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Photo by Jeff Heatley
Robert August
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Zhang Huan Studio, courtesy Pace Gallery. Photograph by Jerry L. Thompson