Last week brought about some unexpected news, and no, it wasn’t with regard to the hottest new pen out of Hannover. Rather, it was notice that a new book was coming to market. Authored by Michael Silbermann, the book is called Pelikan Limited & Special Editions: Fine Writing Instruments 1993-2020. This hardcover edition contains 280 full color pages and is being published by Leuenhagen & Paris, the same outfit that was responsible for publishing Pelikan – The Brand by Detmar Schäfer back in 2013. Each copy will be bilingual, containing German and English versions of the text, just as we have seen with both prior editions of Pelikan Schreibgeräte. The book’s official release date was 5/1/2021 and it is expected to hit store shelves next month, with retail pricing of $80 in the United States and 99.90€ inkl. MwSt in Germany. Read on to learn about what you might expect to find within the text as well as some background on the book’s author.
Pelikan has been in the pen business for the past 92 years but it is the M800 Blue Ocean fountain pen released 27 years ago in 1993 that has the distinction of being Pelikan’s first official limited edition. This model built upon the successful sales of the M800 Green Demonstrator Collectors’ Edition which came out the year before in 1992. Since then, a growing number of special and limited editions brought to market have been sought after by enthusiasts and collectors around the globe. To date, Pelikan Schreibgeräte has been the authority on Pelikan as far as reference texts go but the second edition is now 17 years old. Consequently, there has been a slowly expanding void in the decades that have elapsed since that book went out of print, at least so far as any analog medium is concerned. This new tome will span 1993 through 2020, capturing the last 27 years of special and limited editions out of Hannover. It is reported to present over 150 models manufactured within that time. While only a few excerpted pages are available to view online, there are sections that appear to be arranged both chronologically and by series. Each pen’s listing details the model’s name, a brief descriptive snippet, the base chassis (e.g. M1000 vs M800), the gold content of the nib, the number of pieces produced where applicable, and the suggested MSRP/pricing. While accompanying pieces such as ballpoint pens appear to be mentioned, fountain pens seem to be the focus of this work. In addition to highlighting Pelikan’s special and limited editions, vendors are indicating sections of the book will also be dedicated to the company’s history, their inks, and their nibs. If done well, this could be a great reference to supplement the many texts that have come before.
Now that we have a sense of what the book might contain, we can focus on its author, Michael Silbermann. Michael is actually a Pelikan employee since July 1998 and is currently working as an area sales manager according to his LinkedIn profile. The book’s author bio has this to say about him;
“When he is not working on his old motorcycles, Michael Silbermann, a passionate diver, travels the world. He was born in Munich in 1966 and lives with his wife in Ganderkesee in the Oldenburg district.
Silbermann is also a Pelikan sales representative and collector, so he has been dealing with Pelikan writing instruments for more than 20 years. Passion for and dedication to the fine products have stayed with him across the years.
Which fountain pen is his favorite? The Pelikan Souverän M1005 Black Silver with the F nib. Its haptics are simply wonderful, and it has a large 18-carat rhodium-plated F-width gold nib that allows incomparably soft, flexible writing.”Excerpted from Pelikan Limited & Special Editions: Fine Writing Instruments 1993-2020
And that is essentially all we know about the text and its author at this time. Many vendors are taking preorders such as Nibs.com and Fountain Pen Hospital here in the USA in addition to the usual suspects from overseas. Given the paucity of pages available for preview online, I will withhold any judgment about the quality of the text or its usefulness to the collector for a future review perhaps. If nothing else, this should serve as an additional reference, providing a database of special and limited editions over the past 20+ years in a print format. Selfishly, I just hope it comes with an index, one of my biggest gripes about Pelikan Schreibgeräte and similar reference text. If you are a big fan of the brand, you might want to check it out.
- Book: Pelikan Limited & Special Editions: Hochwertige Schreibgeräte | Fine Writing Instruments 1993 – 2020
- Author: Michael Silbermann
- Publisher: Leuenhagen & Paris
- Type: Hardcover, 280 full color pages
- Publication Date: 5/1/2021
- Languages: German/English
- Dimensions: 8.2×11.3 inches, 3.4 pounds
- ISBN-13: 978-3-945497-13-5