Every year since 1992, Montblanc releases a new collection under its Patron of Art series that honours the cultural legacy of a historical patron of the arts. For 2021, that patron is one of history’s most influential figures to date, who conquered most of Europe in the 19th century – none other than French military leader and emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte (1769 –1821).
The Montblanc Patron of Art Homage to Napoléon Bonaparte collection presents four limited-edition writing instruments dedicated to the memory of the French Emperor, who’s attributed to the revival of decorative art in France, marking his rule circa 1804 to 1814 as the “Golden Age of French Craftsmanship.”
A fan of Neoclassism, Napoleon often referenced ancient Greek and Roman influences when commissioning artists, artisans and architects to create the “Empire style” that lives on in the form of the church of La Madeline and the Arc de Triomphe today.
To stay true to the patron’s meteoric rise from a solder to consul to becoming the French emperor, while paying respect to his neoclassic style, Montblanc leaned into the metiers d’art to reflect the emperor’s story to glory.
Montblanc Patron of Art Homage to Napoléon Bonaparte Edition 4810
Inspired by Napoleon’s blue uniform and the colour of the throne room in the palace of Fontainebleau, the limited-edition 4810 fountain pen features blue lacquer on the cap and barrel. Bees, a symbol of immortality and resurrection, adorn the lacquered surface, also linking his dynasty to the first sovereign family of France. The yellow gold coated cap bears his coronation insignia, which includes the laurel wreath, the Imperial crown and an eagle that encircles the Montblanc emblem in precious resin.
Meanwhile, the clip is designed to evoke a sword blade, finished with a red stone symbolising the coronation ring of Napoleon’s wife, Josephine. The gold-coated cone is also engraved with the bee motif as well as the Egyptian palm pattern, reflecting the Empire-style decorate arts. Completing the Au 750 solid gold nib is an embossing of Napoleon donning his famous bicorn hat. The Edition 4810 is priced at RM13,300.
Montblanc Patron of Art Homage to Napoléon Bonaparte Edition 888
The limited edition 888 honours Napoleon’s time as a consul, with platinum-coated finishes and a solid yellow gold Au 750 overlay. Like the 4810, the blue lacquer on the 888 mirrors the colour of his first uniform as a consul, while the skeleton spiral takes cue from architecture of the Colonne Vendôme in Paris. The latter is adorned with solid gold engravings of oak and olive leaves, as well as the emblematic bee – all symbols of his consul uniform, the French academy, and the Royal House.
The sword-shaped clip features a red garnet with an engraved “N”, and the cap is crowned with the Montblanc emblem in mother-of-pearl. The nib is made of solid gold with a ruthenium plate, and the pen is crowned with the portrait of Napoleon, plated in platinum. The Edition 888 is priced at RM37,100.
Montblanc Patron of Art Homage to Napoléon Bonaparte Edition 92
Commemorating the consecration of the Colonne Vendôme as a historical monument, the Edition 92 is an ode to Napoleon’s coronation. It uses red jaspis over a gold net on the barrel to pay respect to the colours of imperial power. Adorning the solid gold cap is a hand-engraved bee in solid white gold, surrounded by the stars and completed with a mother-of-pearl crown.
Unlike the previous two editions, this comes with an engraving of Napoleon’s crowning sword on the solid gold nib – a symbol of absolute power. Limited to just 92 pieces to mark the year 1992, this edition is priced at RM156,500.
Montblanc Patron of Art Homage to Napoléon Bonaparte Edition 8
The most exclusive piece in the collection, the Edition 8 embodies Napoleon’s might and opulence through the representation of his coronation garments. Dressed in Au 750 solid yellow gold with red and white lacquer, the barrel glistens with diamonds embellished on the spiral evoking the beauty of the Colonne Vendome.
The cap is arguably the most arresting component of the masterpiece, highlighted by a handcrafted cameo portrait of Napoleon. It is elegantly decorated with 3D hand engraved Acanthus leaves that once again nod to the Empire style, topped by the Montblanc emblem on the crown. Rhodium coated embossing completes the sword-hilt on the gold nib. Only 8 of these pieces are available worldwide at a whopping RM679,500 price tag.