These writing instruments are still a must-have—even in a digital world…
The nostalgic allure, rarity, and beauty of these pieces and sets are fueling collectors’ demand…

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  1. To the citizens of the Roman Empire, lapis lazuli (in powder form) served as an aphrodisiac. Over the years, the blue stone also has been used for painter’s pigments, as dressings for boils, for...
  2. Physician and anatomist Andreas Vesalius’ 1543 work De humani corporis fabrica libri septem is among the most important medical books in history. But Dr. Dean Edell, who is known more for hosting a...
  3. When Montblanc issued its first limited-edition pen, a tribute to Lorenzo de’ Medici, in 1992, Barry Rubin became a man possessed. Since then the former CPA has collected more than a thousand rare...
  4. “In America, spas are goal-oriented—you go to lose weight or detoxify,” explains Umberto Angeloni, worldwide chairman of the Brioni clothing brand. “But in Europe, spas are about the wellness one...
  5. The Item This device is the incarnation of Charles Babbage’s plans for the Difference Engine No. 2, a calculating machine designed in the mid-19th century that is considered an ancestor of the modern...
  6. Some 700 Stradivarius stringed instruments have survived since Italy’s Stradivari family crafted them about 300 years ago. On October 7, about a dozen of these will be played by members of the Tokyo...
  7. Bloomsbury Auctions ( www­.bloomsburyauctions.com ), a 24-year-old London-based auctioneer that specializes in rare books and other printed materials, will open its first U.S. branch this month, in...
  8. The Cavalieri Hilton ( www­.cavalieri-hilton.com ), set in a 15-acre park on the Monte Mario, Rome’s highest hill, is known for its panoramic views of the city. But from September through May, guests...
  9. Doug Hansen did not reinvent the wagon wheel, but he has reverse-engineered it more than once. As the owner of Hansen Wheel and Wagon Shop, a business he founded 29 years ago in Letcher, S.D., Hansen...
  10. Creating a 4,000-pound piece of glass art was only part of the challenge for Jonathan Christie; once he completed Lyrical Light , he had to find a place to hang it. Originally, his work, a 100-foot-...

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