Just in time for Christmas is December’s Treasure of the Month…the Parker 75 sterling silver pen set! At first blush, it would seem that this writing instrument could hardly be the stuff dreams are made of. But, actually, this item is all treasure.
In the mid-1960’s the Parker Pen Company came up with the idea of making a special allotment of pens molded from silver recovered from the 1715 Fleet. Parker Pen contracted with the Also referred to occasionally as “The Real 8 Company”- was incorporated in 1961. It had eight members….Kip Wagner, Kip Kelso, Dan Thompson, Harry Cannon, Lou Ullian, Del Long, Erv Taylor and Lis... More to purchase four thousand ounces of worn pieces of eight to be melted down into four thousand pens.
The pens have a special inscription indicating that the silver was from was Spanish galleons. The special pens came in a package of two, one fountain pen and one ballpoint. The set came in a wooden box. On the cover of the box was a map of Spanish Florida with an X denoting the location of the lost 1715 Fleet.
A Certificate signed by Kip Wagner (1906 – 1972) was instrumental in the formation of the team that later became the Real Eight Company and one of the greatest salvage groups that ever explored the 1715 Fleet wrecks. He ... More certified that all the silver in the Parker 75 pen set was recovered from the Spanish treasure fleet. They retailed for seventy-five dollars, a handsome price for the executive who had everything.
Today these sets are quite rare, especially sets that contain both pens and all of the certifying documents. These images show what a complete set consisted of. How many of these fine writing instruments ended up under someone’s Christmas tree is unknown. But we can assume that whoever did receive these pens as a present could honestly claim that they were a treasure to use.
Images courtesy of Fleet Society member Rick Beleson