Les Quatre Couleurs is the seventeenth in the David Oscarson™ series of Limited Edition Writing Instruments. Produced in four color variations, each will be limited to production of 88 pieces (including Fountain Pen and Roller Ball styles).
Translated, “Les Quatre Couleurs” means The Four Colors, and / or The Four Suits.
While origins of playing cards can be traced to China, India and Persia as early as the 7th century, it wasn’t until the fourteenth century that they were introduced to Europe. The “pique” and “spade” can be traced the sword of the Italian suits. The Spanish replaced queens with mounted knights (caballeros) and the Germans modified some suits, using bells, hearts, leaves and acorns as symbols. Improvement in French production, however helped propel the more simplified French design to eventually become the standard for most of Europe. The French had originally included family names on court cards, but this practice came to an end with the French Revolution in the late 18th century.
The four suits now used in most of the world – Spades, Hearts, Diamonds and Clubs – originated in France about 1480. The Spade represents Nobility or Aristocracy; the Heart represents the Church or Clergy; the Diamond represents Merchants or the Wealthy and the Club represents Peasantry with its reference to clover, or the food of swine.
The Quatre Couleurs Collection incorporates multiple levels of Guilloché engraving and a combination of translucent and opaque Hard Enamel. The entire body of each pen is first cut down to the level of the background, leaving the outer and inner lines of the four suits and decorative filigree motif in high relief. Translucent and opaque Enamels are repeatedly kiln-fired and filed by hand, resulting in the beautiful and enduring finish of true Hard Enamel.
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