The Pelikan Revival

Pelikan M150/481 advertised under the Revival line

Pelikan Revival M150/481 Green Black. The Italian text details instructions for filling the pen. Photo courtesy of Cristina (a.k.a. catanai on eBay Italy)

 

If you frequent the Pelikan forum over at The Fountain Pen Network, you may have noticed a thread from last month asking about the Pelikan Revival series.  The paucity of authoritative answers demonstrated just how little is actually known about the topic making it the perfect fodder for a post.  Pelikan has accumulated many such stories that have fallen into obscurity over the past 180 years.  Before continuing, I have to give special thanks to two long standing Italian retailers and their staff who aided my research on this topic;  Marco of Novelli and Vito of Casa della Stilografica.  If you frequent the secondary market, you may encounter Pelikan pens identified as Pelikan Revival.  This is particularly the case when looking at pens that hail from Italy.  What is so special about the Revival line you ask?  Read on because the truth of the matter may just surprise you.

 

Pelikan M400 Tortoiseshell Brown as part of the Italian Revival line

Pelikan Revival M400 Tortoiseshell Brown. The first paragraph of the Italian text provides a guarantee against material and manufacturing defects for 1 year. The second paragraph details how to fill the pen. Photo courtesy of markdt of FPN; https://goo.gl/YTdQwo

 

May of Italy w/ Italian flag colorsThe Pelikan Revival, also known as the Revival line, dates back to the early 1980s and lasted until perhaps the early to mid 1990s.  All of the pens sold under this label have the characteristic pre-1997 styling suggesting that the terminology’s usage ended prior to Pelikan’s restyling of its lines.  The custom also seems geographically limited to pens that originated from the Italian market.  The Revival label, it turns out, was nothing more than a vehicle for creative marketing.  If I had to guess, I would say it was likely born from the re-introduction (a.k.a. revival) of the M400 series in 1982 after which the terminology was carried forward to include several other models.  The badge appears to have been applied to both the Souverän and Classic lines.  These models came in nondescript white outer boxes with a blue flap closure that displayed three lines of text.  The first showed the Pelikan two chick logo with “linea Revival” appearing below that and then the model number and pen color rounded out the information on the packaging.   Literature including a statement of warranty and filling instructions with the words “Pelikan Revival” emblazoned across the top were included with the pen.  Known models that were tagged with the Revival badge include;

 

English Designation
Italian “Revival” Designation
Year Introduced
K150 Black
K150 penna a sfera nero
1985
M150/481 & K150/481 Green Black
M481/2K parure verdenero
1988
M200 Grey Marbled
M200 stilografica marmorizzata grigio
1988
M250 Black
M250 stilografica nero
1985
M400 Green Black (Striped)
M400 stilografica verdenero
1982
M400/K400 Tortoiseshell Brown
400/2K parure marrone
1984
M800 Green Black  (Striped)
M800 stilografica verdenero
1987

*Please note that this table is not meant to be an all-inclusive list of the Italian models sold under the Revival branding

While all of the above pens were marketed in Italy as part of the Revival line, there is actually nothing that distinguishes them from the same pens released to other markets.  The Revival pens were identical in every aspect to those released elsewhere.  Furthermore, none of the branded models were exclusive to the region.  With that in mind, the Revival branding should not be considered as anything more than a quirk of Italy’s regional marketing.  Hopefully that clears up the mystery of the linea Revival for anyone who has or will encounter one of these Italian birds.

Pelikan linea Revival/Revival line

Collage of outer box flaps showing the standard labeling of Pelikan’s Revival line for the Italian market

 

1984 Italian Magazine Advertisement for Pelikan Revival

Advertisement taken from an Italian magazine circa 1984. The text roughly translates to, “Always quality in new technology.  Pelikan Revival the famous green black.”

 

UPDATE 3/16/18:  After further inquiry and investigation, I have some additional information to report from Silvia Sonzogni who works in the marketing office for Pelikan Italy.  Her internal research has discovered that the Pelikan Revival label was applied to models produced in the early 1980s – 1990s in order to identify those pens as belonging to the fine writing instruments division.  The terminology was also used in some regional advertising.   She also confirms that these models were identical to those same pens sold elsewhere.  This extra information confirms what was reported above but also serves to add an official stamp to the story.

15 responses

  1. Thanks for the well researched and interesting article. Never knew about these, but then I bought my first Pelikans in years 2008/2009..

    Like

  2. Great sleuthing, Joshua! I had no idea about this little bit of Italian Pelikan history. Good to know, in case I run into any with this label. I can easily envision some vendors trying to attach a higher price to these “revival” models.

    Like

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