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William Shakespeare Vermeil with author Michael Jecks

William Shakespeare wrote in his play The Merchant of Venice “all that glitters is not gold” but the Shakespeare Vermeil certainly is. The 23-carat gold-plated silver writing instrument has been recently reviewed by author Michael Jecks’ review on his YouTube channel WriterlyWitterings.

Jecks, who is fascinated by writing instruments from all of the world and is a keen Conway Stewart enthusiast, gives his view on the Shakespeare Vermeil calling it “elegant, comfortable but light pen to use.” 


Hailed as the greatest writer in the English language William Shakespeare, most known for Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and Hamlet, wrote 39 plays and 154 sonnets over his lifetime which continue to be performed, read, quoted and reimagined to this day. Born in Stratford-upon-Avon on 23rd April 1564, The Bard of Avon, as he was also known, died 51 years later on the very same day –  rather poetically on St. George’s Day, and has been a bastion of English pride ever since.

The Shakespeare Vermeil is imbued with Shakespeare’s essence, taking cues from the Bard’s life and work and using them to inform the design. Produced in 2016 to commemorate Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary this special writing instrument is a limited edition of 400 worldwide. 


As Jecks shows at 2:42, the striking engraving design was inspired by Shakespeare’s father who was a well-to-do glover who made silk gloves and purses for nobility – the engine-turned pattern, known as ‘silk’, was used by English silversmiths in the past but is rarely seen today. The top of the clip features a black onyx gemstone (seen at 3:18); onyx is associated with wisdom, intuitiveness and concentration, qualities which certainly benefit a writer.

The top of the cap is adorned with an engraving of Shakespeare himself (seen at 3:32), taken from the title page of his First Folio published in 1623, along with ‘Made in England’, as both the pen and playwright were. On the bottom of the barrel is the edition number out of 400, the Shakespeare Vermeil is accompanied by a signed Certificate of Authenticity confirming its edition number.


Along with its “gorgeous flag nib” which “writes superbly well” Michael Jecks also comments on the Shakespeare Vermeil’s “excellent balance.”  With its classically elegant design and its subtle connections to the greatest playwright, the Shakespeare Vermeil is a writing instrument loved by collectors, enthusiasts and those who seek to follow in the Bard’s footsteps. 


As part of the Stratford Pen Company collection, the Shakespeare Vermeil sits alongside with the wider Conway Stewart range. Compared to the Conway Stewart Drake, as Jecks notes, the Shakespeare is lighter and perhaps easier to use for the average user. Like a Conway Stewart pen the Shakespeare Vermeil is available as a fountain pen with a choice of extra fine, fine, medium or broad 2-tone 18ct gold flag nibs, or as a rollerball. Take me to the shop!

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