The Rosetta Stone collection is the twenty-first in the David Oscarson™ series of Limited Edition Writing Instruments. Produced in three primary color variations, each will be limited to production of 77 pieces (including Fountain Pen and Roller Ball styles).
The Rosetta Stone was created in 196 BC as a tribute to Ptolemy V who began to rule Egypt at the age of five and reigned 204 – 181 BC. The stone was erected on March 25th during his ninth year of reign and contained a decree issued by a congress of priests who gathered at Memphis. The inscriptions proclaim Ptolemy V as the divine ruler of Egypt, Ever-Living and Beloved of Ptah, the Egyptian creator-god, maker of all things. In exchange for his divine status, Ptolemy V granted tax exemptions to the priesthood in Memphis whose political support was vital to ruling the kingdom.
The decree was written in three languages: the upper portion in ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs (language of the gods), the middle portion in Demotic script (the language of documents) and the lower portion in ancient Greek (the language of the Greeks as used by the Ptolemaic government). The Greek portion originally written for the Egyptian public to understand would later provide modern-day scholars, chiefly Jean-Francois Champollion in 1822, the key needed to unlock the mysteries of ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic text.
On July 15, 1799, the Rosetta Stone was re-discovered by French soldier Pierre-Francois Bouchard in the city of Rosetta (Modern day Rashid). The Rosetta Stone remained in control of French troops until March of 1801 when British troops took possession and transported it to England where it was presented to King George III. The stone now rests in the British Museum of Art and remains to this day the museum’s single most visited object.
Crafted from .925 Sterling Silver, the Rosetta Stone Collection incorporates multiple levels of diamond-cut Guilloché engraving and a combination of Translucent and Opaque Hard Enamels. Each individual component is Guilloche-engraved and repeatedly kiln-fired and filed by hand, resulting in the beautiful and enduring finish celebrated in each magnificent Collection piece.
The Rosetta Stone Collection is unique as it is the first to incorporate moving parts; each pen barrel is divided into three rotating sections representing the three languages inscribed on the original Rosetta Stone (Hieroglyphic, Demotic and Greek). Each rotating section is then engraved with one of the three significant inscriptions from the original stone in all three languages denoting Ptolemy (at the top end), Ever-Living (in the middle section) and Beloved of Ptah (at the base) as outlined in the original decree. The Greek, as it was for Champollion, is the key to aligning all three texts in their correct order as inscribed on the original stone.
Each pen cap features the Winged Disk of Horus, which scholars agree originally crowned the top of the Rosetta stone. The Winged Disk is inlaid with multiple colors of opaque hard enamel and polished to a seamless finish with the precious metal background.
Crowning each pen cap is the face of an original Egyptian coin portraying an image of Ptolemy V during his reign; the reverse of the coin features an eagle and is located at the base of the pen barrel.
Positioned at the base of the clip is the familiar symbol of the Ankh which represents the concept of eternal life; the Egyptian gods are often portrayed carrying it by its loop, or bearing one in each hand.
The Rosetta Stone Collection will be produced in three primary color variations:
Translucent Black (Granodiorite) and Opaque Onyx, Ruby and Sapphire with Sterling Silver;
Translucent Sapphire Blue and Opaque Onyx, Ruby and Sapphire with Sterling Silver;
Translucent Ruby Red and Opaque Onyx and Ruby in Gold Vermeil.
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