Ancora is an Italian company that was founded in 1919, in Sesto Calende, on the the shores of the Lake Maggiore by Giuseppe Zanini. Being himself an avid collectioner, he stayed the head of his business during almost 25 years. Giuseppe Zanini was very fond of everything in fountain pens, so he himself explored the technical intricacies needed for his dream to come true – opening the factory producing fountain pens, although initial production had to be started in Zanini’s own house. In 1920-30 «Ancora» pens were produced “by Italians, on Italian factory, and using Italian materials”, as the local newspapers wrote, and that was a special advantage of Zanini's company. Aesthetically pleasing design, high reliability, and lots of hand-made elements not just made «Ancora» pens noticeable among other competitors' production but created its unique and memorable name. The reputation of «Ancora» factory grew: pens became famous abroad, especially in North America and European countries. After World War II new technologies were implemented, including a filling system that was pioneered by the company. Around this time Alfredo Zanini, Giuseppe’s son, inherited «Ancora» after its founder passed away. Since then and until the 1970s «Ancora» was among the most significant Italian brands producing fountain pens.
Despite the crisis which happened because of the growing popularity of ball-point pens, «Ancora» continued its work. As many other companies that produced collectible pens, the brand was given a new life in 1980s, with Giovanni Santini becoming the director of the factory. A collectioner himself, Santini's leadership remarkably improved the company's place amongst market rivals. As a pen repairer, Santini knew the pens inside and out and thus was able to maintain the high standards of quality of «Ancora» pens. Nowadays «Ancora» annually produces a range of elite fountain pens, combined in theme-based collections.
Lapidary pens by «Ancora» are produced in a unique style which consists of four major elements:
The production site of «Ancora» pens is still located in Italy, about 50 km south of Milan. A distinctive feature of the company is that it prefers to make nibs for pens by its own workers, on «Ancora» factory, using 18K gold. The balance between modern technologies used in production and traditional decoration of pen barrels with precious metals, gemstones and handled sea shells lets «Ancora» create pieces of pure art that are so highly valued by the owners and collectioners all over the world.
Modern fountain pen consists of a slitted nib and the barrel that contains the filling system as well as the ink reservoir or a cartridge. While the ball-point pens, that initially challenged the very existence of fountain pens, are themselves almost superseded by mobile devices and notebooks, buying a fountain pen as a gift is still considered a sign of good taste. This pen may traditionally be presented to the director or head of corporation. Nowadays the signing of high-profile contracts and agreements is usually made with a good fountain pen.
Pens with metal nib date back to the early 1800s. Nibs made of steel rapidly replaced the goose ones, because of their high sustainability and durability. Over time most of the manufacturers started producing nibs made of precious metals – especially gold and silver – and from platina metals (rodium, osmium, iridium), which are highly wear-resisting, which allowed for a manifold increase in nibs life. Nowadays nibs of combined design are usually used – with an iridium tip and a golden body.
When buying a fountain pen as a gift you should consider different nib styles:
Fountain pens mark a special style and a commitment to tradition. The Italians from the «Ancora» company would say that a fountain pen is not just a classis. It’s a lifestyle. «Ancora» gives you an opportunity to buy the pen as a gift. An elite pen can transform its owners looks by adding a degree of exquisiteness and respectability. Using a collectible pen can provide an incredible feeling of creation, being close to eternity and true art.
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