The Stokoe House Fountain Pen
Designer: GW Pens
The wood used in this pen comes from roof support beams from what is known as the Stokoe House, a home in Alston Moor, Cumbria, England. Built in 1680, the home is situated near the Scottish border. At the time there were many border skirmishes between the English and Scottish. It was common for cattle, then the only true measure of a man's wealth, to be stolen during these raids known as "reives". To safeguard the family cattle, many homes were designed to accommodate them being herded into the first floor. The family then had living quarters above.
Stokoe House is one of these buildings. The sterling silver sword clip and leather wrap at the base of the pen body represent these skirmishes and the importance of cattle in 17th century England. Additionally, both the cap and body finials have leather inserts.
The sterling silver bands used in the pen design all started as flat strips of silver. They were hammered by hand and soldered to form rings, each one taking multiple heat treatments to make the thick silver more malleable. Silver was chosen to be used in the design of this pen because of the silver mining that took place in the area dating back to the Romans. All of the silver has had multiple layers of a chemical patina applied to produce a darkened, aged look in the low spots of the tool marks. This patina is not sealed, so using the pen may make some of these buff out while other areas may darken.
The leather wrap was all hand cut and stitched. The GW Pens logo is gently imprinted.
The nib is a rarely seen 18k gold rhodium plated JoWo #6 Fine tip that has been textured through sandblasting. The pen uses cartridges or the included Schmidt K5 converter. It is seated in a solid sterling silver section.
Several steps were taken to authenticate the wood used in this pen. It was provided by the homeowner with great input from the town historian. Stokoe House has also been featured in English Heritage, a publication that details historic and culturally significant sites throughout England. Although each is a fantastic source of information, pieces of the wood were also sent out for radiocarbon dating to be absolutely certain of the timeline. The results fell perfectly in-line with the 1680 date of the home being built.
Once authenticated, pieces of the wood were sent out for stabilization. This is a process that removes the air from the wood and replaces it with resin. The result is a truly heirloom quality pen that will last generations. As with all GW pens, this carries a lifetime warranty and also includes a Certificate of Authenticity.
The side of the cap has silver leaf inlay that reads "Stokoe House 1680"
If you are interested in commissioning a variation on this design using this wood please feel fee to contact me to discuss the details.