September 1st came and went without much fanfare, but it was a rather notable day for me as it marked the seventh anniversary of the official launch of The Pelikan’s Perch blog. When I started this endeavor back in 2014, I never thought that it would grow into what it has become today. I was simply a guy who wanted to share my enthusiasm for the Pelikan brand with the community at large. The warmth of the response from my fellow enthusiasts continues to amaze and sustain me. I’ve gotten to interact with and help countless budding fountain pen enthusiasts along the way as well as contribute to broadening the knowledge base surrounding the brand. The Perch has always been my refuge, my outlet to relieve the stresses imposed by a very demanding day job, made all the worse since the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic. While I can no longer publish quite as often as I did in previous years due to the increased demands placed upon my free time, I do hope that you have continued to find the site informative and enriching. I have always striven to bring you the latest developments surrounding the Pelikan brand in a timely manner and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Everywhere we turn these days, there seems to be new tragedy vying for our attention. It is easy to get disheartened by the current state of global affairs. With seemingly little to celebrate these days, I wanted to take a moment and reflect upon the last year and thank new and old readers alike for their ongoing support. I have appreciated the interactions from within the comments section of the blog as well as via e-mail because it is precisely that level of engagement that makes this labor of love so worthwhile. It remains my goal to shore up the foundations of Pelikan knowledge and break new ground where I’m able. I plan to continue to forbid advertising, refuse solicitation, and not accept gifted products of any type for review thereby allowing me to bring you as clean and bias free an experience as possible since there is nothing more important to me than the integrity of the blog. As such, contests are far and few in between here at The Perch but the last few years have seen very successful giveaways in honor of the blog’s birthday which is my way of thanking you for your support. This year will be no different and I would like to present you with The Perch’s fourth annual anniversary giveaway. Rather than a pen as has been the custom of year’s past, I have decided to gift one lucky reader a whole book full of them. I have secured a brand new copy of Michael Silbermann’s recent book, Pelikan Limited and Special Editions 1993-2020, that I offer up to the community with sincerest thanks. Read on to discover all of the details about how you might enter for a chance to win.Continue reading
Pelikan Limited & Special Editions: Fine Writing Instruments 1993-2020
by Michael Silbermann
Leuenhagen & Paris, 2021, 280 pages
Once every several years or so, a new book detailing some facet of the Pelikan brand seems to surface. With a company history spanning over 180 years, there is certainly no shortage of material from which to draw upon. Not all of the books published have painted the company in a favorable light. It was 2018’s Tinte Und Blech which detailed the fruits of a systematic investigation looking into the involvement of Pelikan’s patriarch, Fritz Beindorff, with the Reich during World War II. Other recent tomes have taken a distinctly lighter tone when dealing with the company’s history. Some have detailed the ephemera surrounding Pelikan’s products while other have delved into the fascinating history behind the company’s advertising. Each book has been a fun read, discounting the language barrier imposed by some, and I have enjoyed exploring the various aspects of the company through their pages. Make sure to explore my site to see a more complete list of books published to date. Of course, the definitive works about the company’s history of fountain pen production remains the first and second editions of Pelikan Schreibgeräte by Dittmer and Lehmann. Last month brought a new addition to supplement the libraries of Pelikan fans across the globe. Pelikan Limited & Special Editions: Fine Writing Instruments 1993-2020 is a hardcover book detailing 27 years of fountain pen production across 280 full color pages. Its author, Michael Silbermann, has been a Pelikan employee for many years, most recently working in sales. What he has put together is the quintessential coffee table book. Read on to find out whether or not it’s worth picking up for your reading pleasure.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
Am Beispiel Günther Wagner – Pelikan
by Heinz Rings
Görres-Druckerei und Verlag GmbH, Neuwied, 2015, 292 pages
A great new book about Pelikan has become available and I wanted to highlight it now that I’ve completed my first read through. Published last year, the title of this book roughly translates to “History of German Advertising by the Example of Günther Wagner – Pelikan.” This tome is 292 pages with 600 sensational illustrations of Pelikan ephemera taken from Mr. Rings’ collection as well as Pelikan’s own archives. You learn in the first few pages that Mr. Rings is an expert in the advertising history of Germany and has been collecting ephemera for decades. Deutsche Werbegeschichte takes a look at how Pelikan’s advertising evolved from 1880 through the year 2000. The book is available in an unassuming plain blue hard cover and is written in both German and English with translation provided by Tamara E. Koch. Work on this volume began in 1997 and has taken many years to come to fruition. This is perhaps the most extensive catalogue of the brand’s advertising across a wide variety of mediums that one could hope to find available today.
Pelikan Schreibgeräte 1929 – 2004
by Jürgen Dittmer & Martin Lehmann
A.H.F. Dunkmann GmbH & Co. KG, 2004, 188 pages (ASIN B004G8HQY0)
Pelikan Schreibgeräte is a book that was last printed 10 years ago. It is very hard to find in today’s market and when a copy is found for sale, it often commands prices upwards of $250+ dollars. Why then review it now? While many people save and search for their grail pen (a dream pen that often borders on unobtainable), my grail has always been Schreibgeräte. Don’t get me wrong, as far as pens go, a Pelikan Toledo would be my grail but, believe it or not, the Toledo is likely more obtainable than this now long out of print book.
The book detailed here is the second and last edition to be printed, covering pens from 1929-2004. The first edition was published in 1997 and covered pens produced from 1929-1997. Both editions were authored by Jürgen Dittmer and Martin Lehmann. Schreibgeräte is the German word for ‘writing instruments’ and anyone serious about collecting Pelikan writing instruments, especially those prized vintage models, should seriously consider finding a copy of this book. It would not be an exaggeration to describe it as an indispensable resource.
In the interval since the first printing, Dittmer and Lehmann undertook to provide more extensive information on the different models as well as include more pictures of the various pens described. The book itself is a survey of models from 1929 to 2o04 and, while not an encyclopedic catalogue, it often gives information on special and limited editions that is not readily available elsewhere. Not only are Pelikan’s writing instruments detailed but so is a thorough history of the company. All of this was made possible by having unlimited access to the Pelikan archives in Hannover as well as through the help of many Pelikan collectors who are well-known across the globe.
Pelikan – The Brand
by Dr. Detmar Schäfer
Leuenhagen & Paris, 2013, 167 pages (ISBN 978-923976-91-1)
“Pelikan The Brand” is a book that was published in 2o13 in order to document and relate the development of Pelikan’s brand over the decades. It was released in time to commemorate their 175th anniversary. The Pelikan logo is very distinctive and captivating. Collectors have often puzzled over the differences in the number of chicks in the mother pelican’s nest and what the significance of one versus two versus four might mean. While this information has previously been scattered and difficult to find, “Pelikan The Brand” brings it all together in a 167 page hardbound book that is an easy and informative read.
Included in the book are letters from Pelikan’s archives that had previously been unreleased as well as an extensive collection of illustrations from many renowned artists according to Pelikan. These include Kurt Schwitters, El Lissitzky, Wilhelm Wagenfeld, and O.H.W. Hadank. The book instantly opens with a pictorial of how the Pelikan logo developed over time from the Wagner family coat of arms to the trademark that has been in current use since 2oo3. There are details of the company’s history as well as at least 150+ illustrations. The book is beautifully laid out and is a very easy read. It is written in the English language exclusively whereas other publications (i.e. Pelikan Schreibgerate) have been written in both English and German within the same publication.