A Time for Words

Tribute To Saint Basil Cathedral


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The Cathedral of the Protection of Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat or Pokrovsky Cathedral are the official names for a Russian Orthodox Church in Red Square in Moscow
On 17th of October we were proud to announce to the world our newest creation, the Tribute To Saint Basil Cathedral Fountain Pen.
We held a presentation inside the church itself; there were many hosts: our partners, dealers and distrubutors, friends and fans from all over the world.
We'll never forget the charachteristic warmth and hospitality that were shown by our Russian friends. In few words, everything was perfect and we'd like to dedicate this article to all those who had showed up: it was a day we're definitely not going to forget!
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Roberto Sacchi, Visconti's Export Sales Manager (on the right) during the presentation.
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We use our creations as a means to convey deep messages which range from symbolism and arts to humanity's landmarks celebration. In this case it's a masterwork of arts, architecture and spiritual reaches we're celebrating and we'd like to go deeper into the topic by sharing some informations about the wonderful orthodox church that inspired us in creating this pen.
The Cathedral of the Protection of Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat, also called the Saint Basil's Cathedral, was built from 1555–61 on orders from Ivan the Terrible and commemorates the capture of Kazan and Astrakhan. From a geometric point of view, the cathedral marks exactly the central point of Moscow.The original building, known as "Trinity Church" and later "Trinity Cathedral", contained eight side churches arranged around the ninth, central Church of Intercession the tenth church was erected in 1588 over the grave of venerated local Saint Basil.
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In the 16th and 17th centuries the church, perceived as the earthly symbol of heavenly City as happens to all churches in Byzantine Christianity, was popularly known as the Jerusalem and served as an allegory of the Jerusalem Temple in the annual Palm Sunday parade attended by the Patriarch of Moscow and the tsar.The building is shaped as a flame of a bonfire rising into the sky, a design that has no analogues in Russian architecture.

Dmitry Shvidkovsky, in his book Russian Architecture and the West, states that "it is like no other Russian building". Nothing similar can be found in the entire millennium of Byzantine tradition from the fifth to fifteenth century ... a strangeness that astonishes by its unexpectedness, complexity and dazzling interleaving of the manifold details of its design." Legend held that Ivan blinded the architect so that he could not re-create the masterpiece elsewhere. The church has been part of the Moscow Kremlin and Red Square UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990.

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Inspired by that wonderful church, we created a pen that recalls the cathedral proportions, materials and colors.

The Saint Basil pen's body is made of a stunning kind of celluloid, whose color combination has been specifically designed for this pen. Visconti has reintroduced the use of celluloid, back in 1988, in a field that had abandoned, years before, that precious material in favor of newer resins. We still are very proud to use it on some particular models. It needs a very elaborate working process before being actually used, as it needs to be accurately dried out (the drying stage itself can last years: we had prepared the material for this pen five years ago, when we had started designing it).

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The pen has an octagonal shape which recalls the shape of the church's towers.
We engraved a 18kt gold or vermeil (depending on the version) threedimensional image of the cathedral as well, which is directly encrusted on the celluloid.
The central band was inspired by the interiors of the Church and is giving exact proportions and symmetries to this unique piece of master Florentine handcraft. We also put a round-cut 7mm ruby on the cap's top. It's certified 2,20 kt and amazingly shimmers, reflecting the light at many angles.

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The Saint Basil pen, as each of our pens, is an excellent writing instrument, featuring our patented Dreamtouch Nib made of 23kt Palladium. It is infact an epitome of our technological breakthroughs and patents, as it also features our favorite filling system, the Power Filler, which we implement on higher end production lines.

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Dreamtouch Palladium Nib

 

We think that beauty lies in details and we wanted to design a proper packaging for such pen, therefore we designed and handcrafted a precious solid wood box. It is covered in two layers of 24kt gold leaf and it has a glass panel so that you can see the pen even when the box is closed and it also serves as an elegant display cabinet.

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There are two versions of this pen, one with vermeil finishes, available in 561 pieces, and one with 18kt rose gold finishes, 161 pieces.In addition to those and to properly celebrate that Russian Heritage, we also designed an HRH version: only 61 pieces were made! It features 538 precious stones: 425 white diamonds, 57 red rubies and 57 blue sapphires, for a total 7,06 carats.
This version definitely testifies our neverending commitment in nearing perfection in terms of beauty, preciousness, symbolism and arts and it's but but another step along our continuous path through arts and workmanship.

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