Pelikan’s M200 Snakeskin Exposed

Pelikan R200 Snakeskin Rollerball next to a Pelikan M101N LizardPelikan’s 101N Lizard from the 1930’s is a highly sought after and well-regarded fountain pen.  At auction, it can command prices upwards of $1500-$2000.  It’s finish is unique and stands out against Pelikan’s more well-known tortoise designs.  The release of the M101N Lizard in 2012 served as a modern homage to that originator but the finish seemed to fall short of expectations and, anecdotally, does not appear to have been as well received as the M101N releases before and after it.  Regardless of your opinion of the pen’s appearance, if you thought that the 2012 M101N Lizard was the first time that Pelikan re-visited the lizard design, think again.  Sometime in the mid-1990’s a special edition set was released to the United States in a pattern then described as “Snakeskin.”  If you look at it in person, it is very similar, if not identical, to the lizard pattern of today’s M101N.  While the rollerball and ballpoint versions can still be had with minimal difficulty, very few of these snakeskin fountain pens have ever been seen and information on them is sparse and incomplete.  Maybe this is because there is some truth behind one rumor that contends that only ten such pens are known to exist.  While I can’t provide any validity to that rumor, after much research, I believe that I have cobbled together a plausible origin story and will do my best to try to shed some light on this seldom seen model.

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