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The Great Exhibition Pen
Limited Edition

Image of Conway Stewart Great Exhibition


The Conway Stewart brand, synonymous with British heritage, has been privileged to have its products chosen as official gifts of the British government. Owners of Conway Stewart pens include the British royal family, prime ministers, US and Heads of State from around the world. It is only fitting to pay homage to one of the most important events of the British history, The Great Exhibition of 1851.

The Great Exhibition, also known as the Crystal Palace Exhibition, was held in Hyde Park London, during May 1 to October 15, 1851. It was the first in a series of World's Fair exhibitions of culture and industry that were to be a popular 19th century feature.Image of the Crystal Palace building

The Great Exhibition of 1851 was conceived to symbolize the industrial, military and economic superiority of Great Britain. However, by only representing the feats of Britain it would have resulted in the exclusion of the technological achievements pioneered by the British in its many colonies and protectorates, so it was decided to make the exhibit truly international with invitations being extended worldwide.

The Crystal Palace building was originally designed in only ten days by Sir Joseph Paxton who had been the head gardener at Chatsworth. The first of the 1,060 iron columns was erected in the autumn of 1850 and 300,000 panes of glass were fixed with over 200 miles of sash bars. It took less than a year to build and when completed it covered nine acres.

Image of the Crystal Palace building

The Great Exhibition was opened on May 1st by Queen Victoria and was known by some as the eighth wonder of the world. More than 20,000 people visited it on its opening day and in the months that followed, people from all classes and regions flocked to see it. It was 'the' event of its time and set the standard for all future exhibitions. There were more than 16,000 exhibitors from as far away as China and over 6,200,000 visitors to the exhibition. Entries were not limited to the decorative arts. Engineering, raw materials, the Jacquard loom, an envelope machine, tools, kitchen appliances, steel-making displays, from silks to clocks, furniture to farm machinery to scientific instruments were all well represented. There were many electrical applications, although there was little understanding of their potential except for the electric telegraph. The most popular exhibitions were those housed in the machinery court, some of it powered by the Exhibition's own steam engines. The United States scored a major win with McCormick's reaper, cutting an incredible twenty acres in a day.

Image of Conway Stewart Great Exhibition

Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's consort, was very keen that the exhibition should be self financing. It was so successful that its profits were responsible for several other museums.

The Great Exhibition made a surplus of £186,000 which allowed for the foundation of public works such as the Albert Hall, the Science Museum, the National History Museum, Imperial Institute and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Crafted by hand, the Great Exhibition pen measures a rather large 8 inches when closed. In keeping with the grand nature of the Great Exhibition itself, we've designed the Great Exhibition Pen to be an impressive addition to our line.

Sized to immediately grab attention, the impressive nature of the Great Exhibition doesn't stop there. The overlay is crafted by hand by renowned English craftsman, Henry Simpole. This design is timeless and is reminiscent of the classic British overlay pens crafted in the early 1900s.

Each pen carries the English Assay hallmark authenticating the precious metal overlay. The pen is mounted with a solid 18 carat Image of Stylus covernib, delivering a smooth wet line.

In keeping within this historic theme, Conway Stewart chose to utilized a filling mechanism typically used in the late 1800s, the Eye Dropper. Using modern materials and taking full benefit of the size of this great pen, the ink capacity is equivalent to 8 x ink cartridges!

The Great Exhibition Pen was featured on the cover of Stylus magazine, June/July 2006 issue. Stylus is an international publication with a healthy circulation figure inexcess of 38,000 per issue. The magazine is distributed through newsstands, bookstores, fine quality pen retailers, specialty boutiques, jewelers, and of course to subscribers. To read the full article, please click here.

The Great Exhibition pen will no doubt become a prized possession for any discerning pen enthusiast, investor and aficionado of true British craftsmanship at its best.

Image of Conway Stewart Great Exhibition
The Great Exhibition Pen

Limited to the following finishes:
50 pieces sterling silver overlay - 50 pieces vermeil overlay - 25 pieces 18 carat solid gold overlay

Nib grades: Medium. Filling mechanism: eye dropper

Future editions of this series will include, Maki-e, solid gold and platinum.

Retail List Price for Sterling Silver Overlay
Fountain Pen £1,805 $3,165 €2,255
Retail List Price for Vermeil Overlay
Fountain Pen £2,395 $4,225 €2995

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