Exemplary then as now
The period around 1900 is one of the most exciting eras in Europe when manifold innovations and powerful tradition, aspiring entrepreneurs and glamorous aristocracy, Art Nouveau and the beginning of modern design are clashing.
During this period, Lothar von Faber succeeds in producing the first branded writing instruments in his pencil factory near Nuremberg and thus lays the foundation for his company’s international reputation.
A fascinating Encounter
When it is time to appoint his successor, he chooses his granddaughter Baroness Ottilie von Faber. The sole heiress to the large modern pencil company makes the acquaintance of Count Alexander zu Castell-Rüdenhausen from one of the oldest German aristocratic families.
The noble family of “Castell” is first mentioned in records in 1057. To the present day its name has always had a beautiful ring to it. The Castell family owns the oldest private bank in Bavaria and one of the oldest vineyards in Germany.
Baroness Ottilie von Faber and Count Alexander zu Castell-Rüdenhausen get married in 1898. Due to a testamentary clause in Lothar von Faber’s will, the company should keep the “Faber” name for all time. The marriage thus creates the new noble family of “von Faber-Castell”.
An unique Aura
Managing a large company – and at such a young age – is more than unusual for a woman in those days. Ottilie, a beauty with a strong character, masters the challenge with excellence and her marriage adds new glamour to the family and company.
Individuality and Style
Lothar von Faber’s decision proves to be fortunate and crucial for the company’s development in the 20th and 21st century. The marriage requires Alexander to take on new responsibilities, too. As a cavalry captain of the 6th Chevau-léger Regiment in the Bavarian Cavalry and an aristocrat, he is not prepared for working as a merchant and does not have any qualifications useful for the production of pencils.
Nevertheless, he quickly proves his ability to manage the global business in Stein, which he serves with great loyalty and dedication. In 1905, the launch of the Castell 9000 in his regiment’s colour green is a great success. The pencil is characterised by a new standard of quality and value which is still valid today – a true classic and the inspiration for the refined guilloché metal barrel of the fountain pen “Limited Edition Alexander”, which is lacquered in the same green.
A timeless Sense of Style
A fitting expression of the glamorous marriage is a new, luxurious lifestyle. The noble family has the castle modified and expanded. The precious materials used as well as the exclusivity of the overall design are impressive to this day.
Important designers and artisans are hired, like Bruno Paul who plans the representative rooms down to the last detail. Artist, designer and architect in one, he succeeds in combining elegance and modernity like no other.
Tradition and Drive
Bruno Paul designs the study and the ladies’ lounge, for which he creates functional furniture of impressive elegance made of precious materials.
The study serves as Alexander’s office offering a view of the expansive factory site from the bay window. With its leather seating and expressive desk it is one of the most impressively furnished rooms in the castle.
A filigree Masterpiece
The ladies’ lounge is equally stunning thanks to the exquisite furniture. In this room Ottilie’s desk is of particular importance, which is ornamented with precious marquetry. Chairs with delicately patterned fabric showcase her favourite colour violet.
The smallest movement or change of lighting allows individual segments of the pattern to stand out amidst finest shading effects. This play of colour and pattern is subtly reflected on the barrel of the “Limited Edition Ottilie” fountain pen.
The metal parts are made of solid silver. The grip, end cap and cap are adorned by the hallmark. The front end of the elegantly fluted cap is decorated by the double knurling characteristic for our Sterling silver writing instruments as well as by the intertwined initials A, O, F and C – a display of filigree craftsmanship.
The words “Handmade in Germany” are engraved in the decorative ring. The 18 carat, bicolour gold nib has been inscribed by hand. The end cap features an engraving of the collection’s name “Limited Edition Heritage” and the limitation of each of the fountain pens to 1,898 pieces, representing the year of Ottilie’s and Alexander’s wedding.
The two rooms superbly express the personalities of Ottilie and Alexander von Faber-Castell. With colours, patterns and their extraordinary craftsmanship, they inspired the fountain pens of our „Limited Edition Heritage”.
A SPECIAL PRESENT
A chamois-coloured gift box rounds off this beautifully crafted limited edition.