Graf von Faber-Castell Pen of the Year 2010
The Durrenhembach hunting lodge near Nuremberg was acquired by Lothar von Faber in 1867 for his son Wilhelm, a passionate huntsman. Lothar’s great-grandson Count Roland von Faber-Castell also shared that passion: the father of the present Count possessed considerable environmental awareness; he loved the woods and the forests, and conservation of wildlife was dear to his heart an attitude that still runs in the family. The aesthetic appeal of some very valuable hand-crafted hunting rifles, owned by Count Roland, inspired the Pen of the Year 2010.
On seeing the new pen one immediately notices the case-hardened metal parts and the fine engravings. Until the late 19th century, case hardening was the sign of a high-quality gun, with the inimitable shimmering coloration it provides. For centuries, the technique was handed down by word of mouth and was something of a secret art. The metal parts are usually packed in carbonized leather and heated to convert the surface into steel; the colours appear on cooling. Some 20 parameters contribute to the beautiful visual effect, including the thickness of the metal, the temperature, and the rate of cooling.