With the help of this new collection of writing instruments the Russian brand Gourji continues to strive to accomplish its ultimate mission - to familiarise our compatriots with the unique and diverse cultures that make up our huge country.
The ‘Roots of Eurasia’ collection includes four series: ‘St. Nicholas’, ‘Cities of Russia’, ‘Proud Sons of the Caucasus’ and ‘Twelve Tribes of Israel’. Their design concepts celebrate the artistic traditions of various ethnic cultures or religious denominations. Each item in the new collection displays a fusion of old, yet not forgotten, decorative techniques and the latest cutting edge technology.
The ‘St. Nicholas’ pen pays tribute to the most revered Russian saint, whose patronage and protection in the times of trouble have been sought after since early years. The image depicted on the black resin was inspired by the icon “Nicholas the Wonderworker with Hagiography” created by Moscow icon-painters in the second half of the 14th century. The barrel is ornamented with crosses from the omophorion, a vestment of the saint. The cap features nine stories from The Life of St. Nicholas painted by Fedoskino masters of lacquer miniature. Engraved in the centre of a silver band on the body of the pen is the image of St. Nicholas holding the Gospels and a passage from a prayer: “O Holy Hierarch and Father Nicholas, pray unto God for us”. The 18K gold nib is engraved with palm leaves, a symbol of victory and triumph. The pen is offered in a presentation box that bears a replica of the icon “Nicholas the Wonderworker with Hagiography” (from the Tretiakov Gallery collection). Inside the box, is a special compartment for matching cufflinks. This iconic writing instrument is issued in a limited edition of 222 pens, of which 111 are fountain pens and 111 are roller balls.
The artistic design of the ‘Cities of Russia’ pen is based on a decorative lattice depicting the coats of arms of the sixty largest cities in the Russian Empire. The actual lattice is currently on display in the Armoury Chamber of the Moscow Kremlin. Of the sixty coats of arms depicted on the lattice, only fifteen are reproduced on the pen: those of Vladimir, Vologda, Kazan, Kiev, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Veliky Novgorod, Perm, Pskov, St. Petersburg, Smolensk, Tver, Tula, Ufa and Yaroslavl. The cap is also painted by Fedoskino masters of lacquer miniature. The 18K gold nib is adorned with an image of a double-headed eagle from Russia’s coat of arms. The presentation box also features the same lattice with the coats of arms of the principal cities in the Russian Empire and has a separate compartment for matching cufflinks. The limited edition consists of 111 fountain pens hand-painted by Fedoskino artists, 1964 fountain pens with laser engraving and, lastly, 1964 roller ball pens with laser engraving.
The poetic title of the ‘Proud Sons of the Caucasus’ series was inspired by Alexander Pushkin’s poem “The Prisoner of the Caucasus”. The principal images in the design of the pen are the symbols of Islam and a portrait of the legendary Shamil (1797 – 1871), the leader of Caucasian mountain tribes. In 1834 he was elected imam and for the next 25 years he ruled over the mountain peoples of Dagestan and Chechnya. The body of the pen is adorned with an ornament composed of two crossed sabres and an octagon made up of two squares joined at a 45 angle; the same design used to adorn Shamil’s personal stamp. Carved on the cap with the help of laser engraving technique is the drawing “Shamil and His Naibs” by an Avarian artist of the 1930s Khalil-bek Mussaev. Placed in the centre of the silver band in the middle of the barrel is a low relief featuring a portrait of Imam Shamil and one of his most famous dicta: “Holding yourself high, be modest, but staying strong, be merciful”. The 18K gold nib is engraved with a five-pointed star symbolising the five pillars of Islam and a crescent moon symbolising Muslims’ adherence to the lunar calendar. A variation of Mussaev’s “Shamil and His Naibs” decorates the presentation box, which also has a separate compartment for matching cufflinks. The limited edition includes 1964 fountain pens and 1964 roller ball pens, both with laser engraving.
The design concept for the ‘Twelve Tribes of Israel’ pen was inspired by mosaics in one of Jerusalem synagogues, which featured symbolic images of the progenitors of twelve Israelite tribes. The pen displays the symbols and the names of all the twelve sons of Jacob, who, according to the Scriptures, became the progenitors of the people of Israel. Placed in the centre of a silver band in the middle of the barrel is the star of David, the Magen David or Shield of David, an ancient emblem in the form of a six-pointed star, that, as the legend goes, used to adorn the shields of King David’s warriors. On the opposite side, also engraved on the silver band, is a quote in Hebrew from the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 6:4); its translation is featured a little lower on the pen’s body: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one”. The 18K gold nib is embellished with a menorah, a seven-branched candelabrum, one of the most important emblems of Judaism. The presentation box with a separate cufflink compartment reproduces a fragment from the wall mosaic depicting the twelve tribes of Israel in Givat Mordechai synagogue in Jerusalem. The limited edition consists of 111 fountain pens hand-painted by Fedoskino artists, 1964 fountain pens with laser engraving and 1964 roller ball pens with laser engraving. Made from silver, gold and eco-friendly black resin, all pens are produced in Italy by the artisans of Montegrappa, the world-known and one of the oldest manufacturers of luxury writing instruments. Each pen has an individual number displayed on the silver ring of the cap.
It should be noted that the writing instruments of the ‘Roots of Eurasia’ series serve as perfect examples of European integration boasting a well-balanced blend of the Swiss hyper technology, the filigree technique of Italian artisans, the craftsmanship of Fedoskino painters and the art of the Gourji designers from Moscow. Not only are these pens functional, but also emblematic; they will always be a source of national pride to their owners.