The Montblanc Robert Louis Stevenson limited edition writing instrument collection celebrates the storytelling genius of the author of classic literary favourite “Treasure Island.”
With its Writers Edition, Montblanc spotlights the creativity and artistry of the prolific writers who shaped world literature and left a lasting imprint on culture. Reflecting Montblanc’s origins in the culture of writing, each edition explores the universe of words created by the author with the design of each writing instrument revisiting unforgettable stories.
The Montblanc Writers Edition Homage to Robert Louis Stevenson pays tribute to Scottish novelist, poet and travel writer Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 – 1894), best known for his adventure novel Treasure Island and his horror story The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Born and educated in Edinburgh, Scotland, Stevenson suffered from a severe bronchial condition for much of his life but continued to write diligently and travel widely despite his poor health. A celebrity during his lifetime, he spent several years searching for a place that would accommodate his health issues and eventually settled in Samoa where he died at just 44 years old.
Every design detail of the four different editions that make up the collection illustrates the life and work of Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island in particular. The spyglass used by sailors and pirates inspired the shape of the writing instrument, with the lower geometry of the cone evoking the opening of the spyglass. Each edition features an original interpretation of the skull and crossbones, universally recognized symbol for pirates around the world. The compass rose that appears throughout the collection is a nod to “Treasure Island”, the location of a legendary treasure that plays a central role in Stevenson’s most famous novel. A reference to his final years on the Pacific Island of Samoa and the affection he earned from the locals, his nickname “TUSITALA” or “teller of stories” adorns each nib in the collection.
Writers Edition Homage to Robert Louis Stevenson – Limited Edition
Montblanc crafted the cap and barrel of the Fountain Pen, Rollerball, Ballpoint Pen and Mechanical Pencil (part of set only) from special resin paired with a platinum-coated forepart, cone and fittings. A pattern reminiscent of a treasure chest embellishes the cap, enhanced by a compass rose underneath the clip in a shape inspired by a belaying pin, a device used to secure ropes and lines of rigging found on ships. The pattern on the pen’s black barrel uses multiple “X“s, including one in a larger scale, alluding to the usual marker for a treasure’s location on a map. A reference to the pirates in Treasure Island, the Montblanc emblem in precious resin that crowns the edition, reveals an elevated skull and crossbones.
The cap top ring bears the mirror-inverted inscription UNDER THE WIDE AND STARRY SKY, the first line of the requiem Stevenson wrote for himself that also appears on his grave, while the cap ring features the author’s signature as well as the year 1866 – the year of his first (unofficial) publication – The Pentland Rising: A Page of History, 1666. The solid Au 750 gold nib on the edition’s fountain pen, rhodium-coated and decorated with a special embossing of TUSITALA surrounded by sea waves, represents Stevenson‘s voyage to Samoa surrounded by nothing but the open sea.
Writers Edition Homage to Robert Louis Stevenson – Limited Edition 1883
The metal and precious lacquer Fountain Pen and Rollerball that make up the Writers Edition Homage to Robert Louis Stevenson Limited Edition 1883 have a limitation number based on the year of publication of Treasure Island. The barrel depicts the “Hispaniola”, the three-mast ship purchased by Squire Trelawney to sail to Treasure Island. Thanks to a special mechanism, the British Red Ensign flag flying from the ship turns into the Jolly Roger when the switch is turned, symbolizing its capture by the pirates. The black precious lacquer of the barrel contrasts with the signature gold-coated cap decorated with the treasure chest pattern and compass rose.
The mirrored UNDER THE STARRY SKY lettering on the cap top ring emphasises the theme of duality as depicted in Stevenson‘s novel The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and in various other themes in his stories. The author’s signature adorns the signature gold-coated cap ring, as well as the year 1871 – the year of Stevenson informed his father he would pursue a career as a writer rather than follow the family tradition of engineering. Red lacquer frames the Montblanc emblem in mother-of-pearl, and the signature-coated solid Au 750 gold nib displays the special embossing of TUSITALA with clouds and seagulls representing the second part of Stevenson´s journey to Samoa – travelling out on the open sea seeing nothing but clouds and birds.
Writers Edition Homage to Robert Louis Stevenson – Limited Edition 94
The design of the Writers Edition Homage to Robert Louis Stevenson Limited Edition 94 draws inspiration from the bank note issued by the Royal Bank of Scotland to commemorate the author. The limitation number marks the year of the one-pound bank note’s release in 1994. The cap and barrel are made from Ag 925 Sterling Silver surrounded by a solid Au 750 yellow gold grid enhanced with lacquer inlays. The cap tube is embellished with hand engravings of pirate tale symbols like a treasure chest, revolver and pipe alongside an inlay of Long John Silver, while the engravings on the barrel of the map of Treasure Island are paired with an inlay of his parrot Captain Flint.
Montblanc made the cone, forepart and fittings from solid Au 750 yellow gold. On the cone is the silhouette of the “Casco“, the ship on which Stevenson left North America. The cap ring features the author´s signature as well as the year 1888 – the year Stevenson and his family set sail from San Francisco on the Pacific Ocean. The solid Au 750 bi-colour gold nib, embossed with TUSITALA and a palm leaf design, evokes the arrival of Stevenson to Samoa, his beloved Pacific Island. Atop the fountain pen, translucent lacquer surrounds the Montblanc emblem with a 3-D skull in Ag 925 sterling silver.
Writers Edition Homage to Robert Louis Stevenson – Limited Edition 8
The solid Au 750 gold cap of the Writers Edition Homage to Robert Louis Stevenson Limited Edition 8 features 3-D hand-engravings of various decorative elements, including a large skull that seems to break through the back of the cap and set with Black sapphires. Several hand-engraved iconic lines from Treasure Island also appear on the cap. The coin refers to the moment in the novel when the pirates find nothing but a single two guineas piece with the “MMMMDCCCX” on the coin meaning “4810”, a subtle reference to Montblanc and the height of the Mont Blanc mountain. The cap ring features Stevenson‘s signature as well as the year 1889 when he arrived at the port of Apia on the island of Upolo.
The structure of the barrel takes inspiration from wooden planks that bear the word WALRUS. It is the name of Captain Flint‘s ship, who hid the treasure. The barrel also features a cut-out in the shape of the Samoan island of Upolu, Stevenson’s “personal treasure” and paradise. The recess hides the GPS coordinates of Stevenson’s house on the island of Upolu. While the forepart and fittings are made from solid rhodium-coated Au 750 Gold, the cone is made from mahogany wood, coloured in dark rose-red shades to resemble the giant tree under which the treasure was hidden on the island. Montblanc emblem in solid Au 750 gold is surrounded by precious lacquer. The pen’s nib in Au 750 solid gold features delicate decorations with TUSITALA framed with palm leaves.
Where to find yours
Montblanc’s latest Writers Edition revisits the legacy of a beloved literary genius, writing a new chapter in his extraordinary story.
The Montblanc Writers Edition Homage to Robert Louis Stevenson is available from August 2023 at Montblanc boutiques and, of course, online. For more information, visit www.montblanc.com.