The David Oscarson Alexander Fleming collection honours Sir Alexander Fleming (1881 – 1955): a Scottish bacteriologist best known for his discovery of penicillin.
In 1928, Alexander Fleming’s lab assistant left a window open overnight allowing mold spores to cover bacterial specimens in his petri dish. His irritation by the contamination and initial decision to discard the specimens were interrupted when he noticed that many of the bacteria surrounding the blue green-mold were dead or dying; the mold had prevented the bacteria from making new cell walls and reproducing. Through further research, refinement and purification, the mold that he first identified as penicillium became in what today is commonly known as Penicillin.
Fleming had a genius for technical ingenuity and original observation. His work on wound infection and lysozyme, an antibacterial enzyme found in tears and saliva, guaranteed him a place in the history of bacteriology. But it was his discovery of penicillin in 1928, which started the antibiotic revolution that sealed his lasting reputation. Fleming was knighted in 1944, and further recognized for his achievements in 1945, when he received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, along with Australian pathologist Howard Walter Florey and German-born British biochemist Ernst Boris Chain, both of whom isolated and purified penicillin.
The Alexander Fleming Limited Edition Collection stands as a tribute to his contributions to the world of medicine and to all mankind. A rendition of his signature stands in high relief around the pen barrel, representing countless prescriptions that have been written - not only by Fleming, but by millions of doctors all over the world. The cap features a reconstruction of Alexander Fleming’s original petri dish on which his original discovery was made. The background of the pen is engraved in a vertical motif, interrupted by delicate stems, branches and spores, representing penicillium as it appears under a microscope slide, or ‘under the glass’.
The clip emulates an inoculating loop, which is used to apply bacteria to a petri dish during experimentation, and the gripping section is engraved with the chemical formula for penicillin.
As with all David Oscarson Collection pieces, the Alexander Fleming Collection is created by combining the expertise of Guilloché engraving with the artistic mastery of Hard Enamel. The Alexander Fleming Collection is the twenty-third in the David Oscarson series of Limited Edition writing instruments and will be produced in four primary color variations, each limited to production of 73 pieces (including fountain pens and roller balls).
Filling System and nib
David Oscarson’s unique filling system accommodates a cartridge, converter or eyedropper fill; a series of seals and “O” rings prevents the ink from leaving the chamber at any point. A roller ball version of each Oscarson Collection piece is also available.
Engineered in Heidelberg, Germany, the 18-karat gold nib is unsurpassed in quality and form. Coupled with an ebonite feeder, each nib is plated with rhodium and tipped with iridium to ensure durability in a wide variety of sizes.
Producing a David Oscarson pen
Using a mortar and pestle, a composition of glass, water and metal oxides is ground for hours by hand. When settled, the water is removed, leaving the fine paste that is the basis for hard enamel. A quill is then used to apply each coat of the mixture to the surface of the metal, ensuring that the entire guilloché area is completely covered in enamel. The components are then fired in a furnace at temperatures exceeding 500° Celsius, fusing the enamel to the metal and forming a layer of glass.
After cooling, the pieces are manually ground with a diamond file, restoring their proper shape and surface. This tedious process is repeated at length until the level of enamel reaches the depth required to cover the peaks and fill the valleys of each intricate guilloché pattern. When the final stages of firing are completed, the pieces are polished and buffed, revealing the velvet finish of translucent hard enamel.
Production of translucent hard enamel demands the highest levels of patience, experience and skill. A five-year apprenticeship is required to ensure that the highest levels of quality will be met in each individual Collection piece.
About David Oscarson
In less than a decade, penmaker and entrepreneur David Oscarson has created an eponymous brand of writing instruments that is synonymous with quality, craftsmanship and style. By using only the finest materials and production techniques, Oscarson has taken the writing pen from a merely functional instrument of everyday use to the latest must-have luxury item.
Boasting exceptional detail, and brilliant colors, each limited edition pen is extremely labor-intensive to produce. The pens are hand-crafted from solid sterling silver, which gives them a distinctive weight and luster. Each David Oscarson pen passes through multiple stages of precision engraving, creating a distinctive ornamental pattern known as Guilloché.
Due to the amount of labor that goes into creating each pen, Oscarson has kept most of his collections to a minimal 88 pieces. With only five to seven goldsmiths working in his shop at any given time, no more than 10 units can be produced in a week. In the world of high-end writing instruments, that makes Oscarson like a little fish in a big pond.
Despite his company’s diminutive size, Oscarson’s products have received glowing remarks from industry publications, including Robb Report’s prestigious Best of the Best awards for the Harvest Collection, the Pierrot and Pierrette, the special edition diamond-encrusted Celestial Collection.Call/Email for price