|In 1995, Rudyard Kipling's IF was voted the nation's favourite poem. It is not difficult to see why. It captures the struggle of life with great simplicity, urging strength of character in the face of those two imposters - triumph and disaster. For teenagers entering adulthood, these 'words to live by' are as wise as any ever spoken. For those further along life's path, they resonate with truth.
At Carbolic Smoke Ball Co., we have been offering a framed version of IF to our customers for many years. When Conway Stewart, the company which makes our 'Lawyer's Pen', told us that they had perfected a technique of engraving text on a pen to make it look like a pattern, we asked them to make a Rudyard Kipling pen for us. Their factory in Devon produced some designs, and two days before this catalogue went to print we received our first finished 'Kiplings'.
Let me try to do justice to this stunning piece:
- To the naked eye, it is 'just' a beautiful fountain pen. The cap and barrel are turned from deep black Italian resin, the bands and nib are solid, hallmarked 18ct gold, the cap plated 18ct gold. Anyone who appreciates the finer things in life would be delighted to own one.
- The clue that this is more than a mere pen is the word 'Kipling', engraved on the centre band. Raise the barrel to the light, and you realise that its pattern holds a secret.
- The barrel is, on inspection, engraved with the entire IF poem, starting at the centre and spiraling down to the bottom, while the cap is engraved with another of Kipling's great poems - 'I keep six honest serving men'.
- The pen comes in a luxurious presentation box with 'Conway Stewart' embossed in gold on the front. The inside is cream & black velour - a work of art in itself.
- The pen uses a reliable cartridge converter mechanism which can be refilled either from a bottle of ink or from cartridges.
The Kipling is not only a beautifully engineered pen; it also expresses a philosophy of life. As a gift to a son, daughter, godchild, or, indeed, to yourself, that makes it rather special.