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FrontRunners: Tail Made

Mammoth tusks are among the rare materials that have covered the barrels of the instruments in Graf von Faber-Castell’s Pen of the Year series. The $3,100 Graf von Faber-Castell Pen of the Year 2009 (, the seventh in the series, is a platinum-plated fountain pen wrapped in woven horsehair. Because horsehair is too stiff and too short to be spun as a continuous thread, master weaver Dorit Berger must select hairs one by one for uniform thickness and appropriate coloring. On request, Berger will create a writing instrument from the tail hair of your favorite horse, giving you a unique tool for weaving a tale.

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