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FrontRunners: Instrument of Gods

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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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