Today I will share wit you a story, THE STORY OF MY STOLEN FOUNTAIN PENS.
Everything started somewhere in October 2017 when I was moving further and further into my collective habits regarding fountain pens and I was glued to the VISCONTI brand, I’ve seen photos of the new VISCONTI Homo sapiens JADE due to launch and I remember that I just entered on instagram and messaged my friend Stefano from Stilograph Corsani and told him that I really want one of these pens and to order my favorite number which for me is 3 or 33 … I had no luck finding those but he did find a number available and it was 51 of 188 and I settled for it because 5+1 equals 6 … which is 3+3 …. But he also told that he has a special exclusive pen made with VISCONTI called the OCTA90NAL which is base on the Medici model and is made from a stalked celluloid. I liked the model but I wasn’t ready to pull the trigger on it. Stefano told me that I could have the number 33 from this collection and I said "OK save me this pen for later when I will be able to pay".
I was shocked to see when I got the Jade delivered that in the parcel next to it was my OCTA90NAL nr 33… It was a surprise because I was expecting Stefano to store the pen for me for when I was ready to go for it, but he told me that the best place to store the pen was at home with me … and this is how I end up owing these two pens.
Because it was freezing cold, in transport one of the hook lock latches from the Jade had cracked when I uncapped the pen for the first time, was a minor thing. But back than I was obsessed to have perfect pens and I was spending 30 40 minutes looking at a pen after every use to observe if it is still in mint condition or not. So I asked Stefano if he could help me to send the pen in factory for this to be fixed, and also I told him that I will send him the octagonal too, because I wanted a different nib size for it.
All good… I proceeded to send the pens I believe it was December, via DHL. Back than, not having a contract with them I payed a lot to ship these two pens, it was around 80 eur with insurance and all. But seeing that it costed that much, I told Stefano that once they will be ready I will get on a plane and come to visit him and collect the pens from his store in Rome, because it was cheaper to fly there than to get them delivered home.
Everything worked out great and I made so many plans for the 3 days trip. I was going to visit Rome, see the Vatican, meet Stefano for the first time, and I was going to see the store… I felt I was going to be like a kid in a candy store…
As I got closer to the departure date, it was January 2018. 2 weeks ahead of the flight I got a phone call from Stefano telling me that almost all of his inventory was stolen overnight in a heist, including my 2 pens that where waiting for me in his store!
Well hearing that I was almost ready to cry.
I shared everything in a post on my instagram and many people may know the story but for those who don’t know I made a post that reached thousands of people and I got the support of the entire community.
I got to tell you that when he first told me how he got robbed I said this could easy be a movie script, his little store that is located on the "via Ottaviano" is in walking distance of the walls of Vatican and its full of police that are patrolling on foot or in cars because that is a zone full of tourists, his store doesn’t have any windows just the main entrance that has metal rolls that are closed overnight. Well the robbers entered by force overnight in a shop that shares a wall with his store then they used sledgehammers to brake the wall and they took everything that was in the store at that time: around 360.000 eur worth of stock. There is a list of the things that where stolen, right here, you can access it and you will find every model and serial number that got stolen in the heist.
My heart sank as I was realizing that my limited edition pens where never going to be with me and also I couldn’t ask for anything from Stefano being that it was my decision to leave them in the store.
Only by the grace of some people that didn’t want to be mentioned in this story I got my pens replaced, I can’t say nothing more regarding this.
But what I can tell you is that I'm proud to be a part of this great fountain pen community and thankful to those that helped me in those hard times.
My trip continued and I got to Rome on February 2018. I met Stefano, I saw the empty store and the hole that served as entrance for the robbers. I've seen the Vatican … it was a terrible weather pouring rain for the entire 3 days of the trip.
If the story was interesting till here, let me tell you that is the part where it really gets interesting….
Fast forward to 12 AUGUST, I get a message on the PEN VENTURE facebook page from a gentleman on the name of KaiChung Fung: "Hi there! I think I found one of your stolen pen, just saw it on eBay, its a Visconti homo sapiens nr51."
I jumped from my seat and got goosebumps seeing a listing with my JADE nr. 51 selling without box or documents, with the beautiful Fine nib and also having blue ink residues on the feed, just like I left it.
I had two opportunities. I choose to contact eBay but they directed me to the police investigation which was the ROME police. In Italy, I tell you if you don’t know, in august even the police is in holiday! Just joking, but you got my point.
I called Stefano and he confirmed that by the time the ROME police are going to take us serious the pen will most likely be sold.
So I said to myself "LET'S RISK IT!" I got in contact with the seller (I don’t want to mention who it is) and I told him that what he is selling is one of my stolen pens and I was going to either get it in the auction and then prove its was stolen from me after I won the auction, or he had to cancel the auction and send me the pen, I showed him in a picture , the box with the identity card and the invoice with the payment proof for the number 51 jade.
We agreed on the second scenario so he closed the auction and I sent him the shipment details. I was expecting my pen to arrive, checking the tracking number every hour since the parcel left his premises.
If the person responsible for all this is reading this article, I dare you to make the right thing in the end - contact Stefano and work toughener, he is willing to listen and work with you on an agreement for some exclusive pens that are impossible to sell when everyone knows that they can only come from his store, being an store exclusive pen.
In the morning of 21st august I ran to the postal office to open the parcel and see my beloved pen! This is the picture that I took as I got to hold my precious fountain pen again after 8 months. My beloved jade number 51. I could not tell you how happy I was that day and …. In the same time how sad I was not being able to see my other missing pen, the OCTA90NAL nr. 33. From the entire robbery this is the only pen that had find its way back to the one that owns it.
This experience paved the way to everything that I call today Pen Venture, a way to share my passion for fountain pens with everyone that is a part of this great community but also to introduce new people to it.
I will forever hold this pen in my collection, the Visconti Jade nr51 that reunited with me after all of these and you could only imagined how many countries and hands it exchanged since it left the store in Rome. This pen was never inked since it left me in December 2017 and I told myself that I will resist inking it before I will share the story with you. Now its time to give it a try before going on the shelves behind me becoming a display piece of my collection - telling a story by his existence and not by actually writing it on a page…
This is the entire story and for me writing an article this it an emotional roller coaster… This is a story that I always wanted to share with the community because the moral of it is to believe in the impossible. Sometimes miracles do happen!