Pen launched to mark Shakespeare milestone

A Shropshire businessman has helped to develop a limited edition pen, launched to mark this year’s significant Shakespeare milestone.

John Hall of Shrewsbury has worked with Italian luxury pen makers Omas and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to create the special writing instrument, which will go on sale on the 450th anniversary of his birth on April 23.

The intricately-decorated pen, engraved with a range of images associated with the world’s greatest playwright, is made from oak and antique silver, with a cap showing the imprint of Shakespeare’s signet ring.

Only 450 will be created, each retailing at £2,000, and a solid gold version being made on demand for those enthusiasts who can afford the estimated £38,000 retail price.

“This is an exquisite writing instrument which we expect to be snapped up by collectors all over the world - we have even chosen the limited edition number in celebration of the Shakespeare anniversary,” said John Hall, who is the UK distributor for manufacturers Omas and owns the independent pen shop Write Here in Shrewsbury’s High Street.

He has worked with the Italian firm, which specialises in limited editions, and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to design the pen.

“We are very grateful to the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust for allowing us access to their archives and treasures over the last few months whilst researching and developing the project – it has been a fascinating process and we are all delighted with the finished product,” John commented.

Decorated with friezes from Shakespeare’s time, the pen is also hand-engraved with a reproduction of one the most famous portraits of the playwright and a line from the original parish register marking his baptism: ‘Gulielmus filius Johannes Shakspere.’

Sue Croxford, Head of Retail at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, said, “We were delighted to work with Omas to create a rare and beautiful pen for this milestone anniversary – it is a fitting choice to honour our greatest writer. The design and decoration reflects some of the priceless treasures from our world-class collections related to Shakespeare’s works, life and times here in Stratford-upon-Avon.”

John Hall added: “Shakespeare created art through his writing and enriched the English language with many turns of phrase which remain current today. His pen was therefore the perfect witness to his greatness so this is a very appropriate way to commemorate the 450th anniversary of his birth.”

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