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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Nothing is impossible for French

In 2008, S.T. Dupont released limited edition pens, lighter and ashtray encouraged by Place Vendome.

This square received its name from the fact that the Duke of Vendome had his residence here. It is located very near to the famous Louvre museum and the Church of la Madeleine, by foot about 5 minutes. It was built between 1687 and 1720 to surround an equestria statue by Girardon dedicated to Louis XIV, later destroyed during the Revolution. Jules Hardouin-Mansart built it as an octagonal square flanked by colossal facades displaying the Corinthian order and harmonious Classical proportions. They have tall basement with cross wall pierced with semi-circular windows and above this column or pilaster stretching up past two storey or more, and crowned, on the roofs, by numerous dormer-windows.

There are important buildings in this square today: Hotel Ritz (No. 15), the house where Chopin died in 1849 (No. 12) and the residence of Eugenia de Montijo, wife of Napoleon III.

During the Empire, Napoleon followed the footsteps of Roman emperors by having a commemorative column erected (1806 – 1810) in the style of the Trajan Column. It took the bronze from 1,200 enemy cannon to clad the 44 meters column. The column was elected by Gondouin and Lepere in honor of Napoleon. On top of the column, Antoine-Denis Chaudet erected a statue of the emporer which was destroyed in 1814 and replaced by that of Henry IV. However, later in 1863, a statue of Napoleon was put back in place, but eight years later again, at the time of Gommune, the status was taken down once more, only to be replaced once and for all by another replica of Nepolean in 1873. On the column itself is the low relief carved by Etienne Bergeret representing the 1806 campaign.

In order to simulate the square, Dupont created 3 items; lighter, pens and ashtray. The design of the lighter was created to look like the building with semi-circular windows and above them are columns stretching up past two storey. The pen suppose to represent the famous Colossian column, without the low relief carving of the 1806 campaign. It was replaced by Napoleon’s famous quotation “Impossible n’est pas francais”, which mean “Nothing is impossible for French” … I guess the Quote help us to explain a lot of things that we don't really understand …

The pens and lighters are limited to 1810, which is the date the Vendome column was erected. The ashtrays are limited to 810 pieces. Each pen featured eight hematite stones hand placed into the cap. The pen is not of resin, steel or sterling silver, but palladium. If you have a deeper pocket, S.T. Dupont has another version of the set (pen and lighter) just for you. It is set with white diamonds on pink solid gold. The Ligne 2 lighter is setting with 192 diamonds, and the pen is setting with 160 diamonds. Both the lighter and pens are limited to 35 pieces each.

There was an article in PenCraft issue 6 on the same pen.

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