MOST WANTED: Bespoke Pens


This article was originally published in the October 2014 print edition of Ottawa Magazine.

Bespoke pen by Silver Hand Studios. Photo by Marc Fowler/Metropolis Studio

Think of it as bling for the aesthete. In an age of anonymous keystrokes, a prestigious writing implement wields subtle power: a real pen-and-ink signature, performed with a flourish, carries genuine weight. Indeed, a pen of such superior quality adds gravitas to any encounter, emphasizing that you’re smart, successful, and ready to deal.

Chris Manning of Silver Hand Studios has been designing custom and limited-edition pens for close to a decade, combining traditional and modern techniques to create his architecture-inspired works of art. Moved by the sculptural details of a wooden staircase railing in a 15th-century Nuremburg home, Manning designed this Gothic Overlay pen. He has made a series of 10 in Argentium silver and one in 18-karat gold. (The artist never makes more than 11 pens in any series, ensuring that owners are guaranteed entry into a very exclusive club.) Says Manning, who makes a few dozen pens a year, mainly for clients in the United States and Europe: “This isn’t just a gorgeous pen, it also writes beautifully. You don’t fight with it — it floats across the paper.” Time to cultivate a jaunty new signature.

$1,250 ($7,500 for the gold)