Introduction to the Michel (Michael) Perchin Serpent Fountain Pen Collection:
This discussion pertains to the Michel Perchin Serpent Pen Collection, a pair of beautifully hand crafted, sterling silver and enamel fine writing instruments from this world class manufacturer. As with our other “guides” about Michel Perchin pens, we will define the edition size, detail the color palette, and highlight the important features of these unique, limited edition, luxury fountain pens, for the benefit of new and experienced collectors alike.
Michel (Michael) Perchin Design Elements:
Like many of the early fountain and rollerball pens produced by Michel Perchin, Inc., the meticulously crafted Serpent Pens, were fashioned after actual Fabergé Eggs, namely the Blue Serpent Clock Egg and the Pink Serpent Clock Egg. The pens were produced in two colors only, French blue soft enamel with Rhodium plating and Champagne Pink soft enamel with 22 carat yellow gold plating. (The Fabergé Blue Serpent Clock Egg crafted by Michel Perchin, while head- workmaster for Peter Carl Fabergé, influenced the design of a second Serpent Clock Egg in Pink Enamel that was commissioned by Consuelo Vanderbilt around 1902. Only the second American at the time, behind Henry C. Walters of Baltimore, to acquire a Fabergé work of art, Consuelo had wed Charles Richard John Spencer-Churchill, the ninth Duke of Marlborough, herself becoming Duchess of Marlborough in the process and gaining influence enough to have such a commission produced.)
The pens were originally slated for production of only 500 pieces in each color, beginning in 1997, but not all serial numbers were completed due to time constraints, strict quality control standards, and the introduction of newer designs. (See our other short guide discussing serial numbers for limited edition items.) Recently, however, Michel Perchin, Inc. was able to reschedule and complete production of a limited quantity of serial numbers that were never completed when the pens were first being produced. In this second production run though, the company “capped” the ultimate production edition quantity at 250 pens. That means some Michel Perchin Serpent pens were first engraved with a serial number which was x of 500 but, among the second production run, some pens were engraved as x of 250. Even in two production runs, in total, less than 250 Serpent pens were ultimately completed in each color. Among the completed serial numbers was the 250/250 but there is no existing 500/500 as the total edition size was adjusted downward. In fact, very few pens with top serial numbers in the 200 range made it to the marketplace so that would be a rare find indeed!
Like nearly every other edition, many Michel Perchin authorized retail dealers sold out of these items in the last several years but, some of the newly produced pens are still available at White Mountain Trading Companyon eBay. The original manufacturer’s suggested retail price for these items was $3,700 apiece but some matched serial number sets, (a hard to find occurrence due to production scheduling and color variation), may sell for more in the after market or collector’s market.
The Serpent Fountain pens feature English hallmarked, .925 Sterling silver, in a two-piece, (cap and barrel), design where the front section of the silver overlay serpent on the cap lines up perfectly with the back section of the serpent on the barrel when the pen is closed.
The sterling silver pen barrels are precisely engraved, (known as guilloché), prior to the application of translucent soft enamel in multiple layers. (See our other guide detailing the different enameling processes.) The alternating “wave pattern” engraving gives the pens a shimmering effect when turned under light.
The serial number for each pen is engraved on the cap ring after the words Michel Perchin:
The numerator, or top number of the serial number, indicates the pen’s position in the production sequence. The denominator, or bottom number, indicates the MAXIMUM number of pens to be produced in the series. As mentioned before, the revised edition size of the Michel Perchin Serpent Pens is 250 total pieces in each of two colors. (See our other guide regarding serial numbers.)
Each fountain pen is fitted with a Michel Perchin brand, medium size fountain nibs but can be converted to Fine or Broad sizes as well. The 18 carat yellow gold nibs with the Michel Perchin elephant logo are fabricated in Germany and feature ebonite feeders. The pens use a converter cartridge but a simple ink cartridge refill can be used and, brand new, the pens came with 6 ink refills. Each pen came seated in a Swiss made leather or maple display box, packed inside a smart-looking cardboard dust cover box adorned with the Michel Perchin logo. Further, each pen package, again, when new, contained a Michel Perchin Certificate of Authenticity, that should be completed with purchase date and location of the authorized reseller, care instructions and one cleaning cloth.
Both the Blue and Pink Michel Perchin Serpent Pens were produced in diamond set pieces in only 10 pieces per color and appropriately serialized. The suggested retail price for each of the Diamond Serpent Pens was $8,000 and subsequently sold out at the manufacturer and retailer level. Like other diamond set Michel Perchin pens, these are highly desirable collector’s items that could command a price of $10,000 or more in the secondary or collector’s market.
Thanks for reading and hope you found this information useful. If you wish to send us a question about the Michel Perchin Serpent pens, or other editions, please feel free to contact us by clicking on the Ask Seller a Question button in any of our eBay listings! Also, be sure to read our other guides and check back regularly for updated pages in our eBay Store. Thanks for reading!