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Élysée Edition No 2 Limited Edition 1994
by Jim Mamoulides 12/27/01 - Updated 12/27/03

Élysée's second Cloisonné Limited Edition is also by artist Karl Diesner, part of a series of three editions using art as the basis for the pen's design. Each pen was the commissioned work of an artist, intended as an extended series, called Vernissage and the edition uses the Parthenon line, Élysée's top pen line, as the format.

Élysée Vernissage Collection

The second pen in the Vernissage series created by artist Karl Diesner is also geometric in form, as was Edition No 1. Karl Diesner says the purpose of his work is to "activate our vision." He prefers to work in bright colors and with geometric shapes, and this definitely shows in the design.


Karl Diesner

Where the first pen, Edition No 1, was abstract, Edition No 2 is an ordered theme of pure and dark blue green elements offset by wide platinum plate lines to form a wave or zigzag pattern down the length of the pen. This design is to create a sense of "cool nobility." A contrast to the brighter and warmer Edition No 1.


Élysée Edition No 2 Fountain Pen 1994

The second Vernissage series edition was introduced in 1994 as Edition No 2. The pen or multiple instruments were presented in an elaborate snap closure display package that opens like a bookcase.

The Edition No 2 is fitted with a highly decorated fully platinum masked solid 18 karat gold nib in extra-fine, fine, medium, and broad point sizes. All Élysée Limited Edition instruments came with an implied lifetime warranty.

The Edition No 2 Limited Edition came in individually numbered instruments in four writing modes:

  • Fountain Pen, 6,000 numbered pieces - US $425.00
  • Capped Rollerball Pen, 6,000 numbered pieces - US $350.00
  • Twist Action Ballpoint Pen, 4,000 numbered pieces - US $325.00
  • Twist Action Pencil, 4,000 numbered pieces - US $325.00

Performance

The Edition No 2, like the other Vernissage editions, is based on the all brass construction Parthenon, and thus has a similar weight and feel in the hand as the slightly larger Cross Townsend line. It is a long and slender pen, 5 5/8 inches capped and 6 1/8 inches posted. These are solid and substantial pens, yet nicely balanced, capped or posted. Having all three Cloisonné pens to review together, this review is something of a composite of my impressions of all of them, with the specifics of this particular pen.


A Collection of Élysée Limited Edition Pens:
Clockwise From Left: Dragon / Impression No 1 / Edition No 2

The cap snaps securely both on the section and the barrel end, another similarity to the Townsend. The cap adds weight to a fairly heavy pen, but it is well balanced in the hand either way.

All the pens in the Vernissage Collection are decorated using Chinese Cloisonné technique that is smooth, but there is some slight variation where the enamel fill and the plated ridges meet. The metal surfaces are plated, not electroplated, which should make them wear well.

The Edition No 2 is striking among the three pens with its platinum plating and cool blue colors in an orderly geometric pattern. It is the most subdued of the three. The all platinum plated nib is an extension of that thought.

The clip is not very springy, so it probably won't clip well to a flannel shirt or a coat pocket, but it does the job well. The pen sits fairly deep in the pocket, but one should consider a starched shirt, as the pen's weight may cause it to flop around. The platinum "winged" cap top makes this definite pocket jewelry that hints at the flashy pen hidden in your pocket.


Élysée Edition No 2 Fountain Pen 1994

This Edition No 1 has a wonderfully smooth and even writing medium nib. The pen fills easily with a piston converter or standard international cartridges.

My one real gripe with the Élysée Limited Edition pens is the plating loss I've experienced at the end of the section. This problem is not unique to Élysée pens, but with other high-end brands. The problem seems to be controllable if the section is judiciously wiped after each filling, but it's a problem that should not happen.

The Élysée Limited Edition pens are good daily users with a very arty and flashy flair. Definitely not a button down pen.

As Élysée is out of business as of early 2000, these pens and their Parthenon siblings may become harder to find. As of this writing, the pens are turning up here and there at fair discounts, making this a pen to consider before they get away.


Comments on this article may be sent to the author, Jim Mamoulides
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Last Update 8/23/04
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Elysee Edition No 2 Limited Edition 1994 Fountain Pen