Funded! This project was successfully funded on June 4, 2012.

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Allegory pens - made from reclaimed woods that are between 100 and 50,000 years old. Tell us what you think.

I've always liked pens. I'm a pen geek. I have owned a few that were pricey and very nice. There was one, though, that I carried with me every day for longer than any other. It wasn't the most expensive one I owned, but it was given to me by a close friend when I got a promotion I had worked my butt off for. It had history and meaning.


This project is about offering pens that have similar significance to their owners right out of the box. While we can't replicate the deep personal relationship I had with my friend, we can use materials that have a rich history, and use a variety of them so that many people can find a story they connect with in their pen. The pens will be made from reclaimed woods that are at least a century old. You can read about the woods we use here. We will also make Limited Editions with woods that took part in major historical events.

The Kickstarter funding will improve our shop's capabilities so that we can make the pens more efficiently and consistently. The methods we use today are great for prototyping but make it very time consuming to accurately reproduce a design. Our pens will always be handmade, and each one will be subtly unique, but with better tools we can do better work faster. Also, some of the woods we want to use are only available occasionally; Kickstarter funding will help us react quickly to opportunities to purchase hard to find woods.

We write to express ourselves, I think a writing instrument should lend to that expression and provide some inspiration as well. What do you all think?

You can visit us at allegorypens.com to do more research about our products and plan.

Why reclaimed woods?

We've chosen to exclusively use reclaimed woods in our pens for a few reasons:

  • Their stories are priceless: Some of our woods are thousands of years old. They come from all over the world. The timeless and boundless feel they have is a great source of inspiration.
  • They are stunning: Reclaimed woods have a unique character that comes with their age. There is no substitute for time.
  • Positive ecological impact: I was a Boy Scout for awhile growing up, and I still love to camp. I believe your campground should be cleaner after you leave than before you got there. For this reason we have also partnered with the National Forest Foundation to plant a tree for every 10 pens we sell. We will keep planting trees for as long as we are making pens.

What will we do?

We will have three types of pens on offer:

  • Collection: We will offer a collection of designs made from woods that we can obtain on a consistent basis. The collection will include a wide variety of hardware types.
  • Limited Editions: Occasionally we come across reclaimed wood from a historical building, ship, or event. When we do, we will release Limited Editions that come with a numbered certificate of authenticity.
  • Custom Commissions: Since our goal is to give people pens that are personally meaningful to them, we will offer custom commissions. Customers will be interviewed and reclaimed woods will be sourced from places and time-periods that have personal meaning. 

Also, if we are able to exceed our goal we will begin to introduce new additions to our collection. Maybe even some Kickstarter exclusives...

Thank you

This is a labor of love for me. Your support for this project, whether it is a dollar or a tweet, means the world to me on a personal level. 

Also, a big thank you to Key Lime Films for the outstanding video and photography, and to Jake Simmons and the Little Ghosts for the music.

The Collection/Rewards

You can see pictures of the individual rewards below. Some of the donations include multiple items so be sure to check the descriptions on the right as well. Shipping to USA is included. Please add $10 for international shipping. More photos available on our facebook page.

Hand-Signed Print

A hand-signed print of one of our first design documents for the collection.

Gift Package

A maple and rosewood gift box that coverts to a desk-stand, and a credit toward a purchase on our website. (pen shown is not included)

The Troubador

Primary wood: Sinker Cypress. Before the industrial revolution loggers practiced log driving - where floating logs down-river to a temporary sawmill was the first step in the process of creating lumber. Occasionally logs would sink and become trapped in the silt at the bottom of the river. If enough silt was laid down before rot and erosion set in, the log would be preserved. Today these century-old remnants of pre-industrial America are recovered from the bottom of river beds.

Inlay: Picklewood Redwood. Prior to the onset and broad adoption of refrigeration technology, food preservation was a much more complex task. Pickling was a primary method of food preservation and a lifeline for many homes. Large amounts of lumber were required to construct pickling vats. Today these vats are no longer necessary in such quantity, and they provide an excellent source of reclaimed lumber. The pickling solution used in the process adds beautiful character to the wood.

Writing type: Twist-style ballpoint comparable to cross apogee

The Mogul

Feature: Touchscreen Stylus on clip-end of pen.

Primary wood: Picklewood Douglas Fir. Picklewood Douglass fir comes from the same type of pickling vats as the Redwood used in the Troubadour and Aficionado. Its beautiful blonde color and tight grain pattern make a beautiful pen.

Inlay: Bog Oak. At the end of the last ice age, rising water levels caused huge oak forests throughout England, Ireland, and other parts of Europe to die standing and fall into the muck. For the last 3,000 - 5,000 years these trees have been preserved in anaerobic conditions underneath peat bogs. Their age has changed their color to a deep black with rich brown grain.

Writing type: Twist-style ballpoint comparable to cross apogee

The Aficionado

Primary Wood: Picklewood Redwood. Prior to the onset and broad adoption of refrigeration technology, food preservation was a much more complex task. Pickling was a primary method of food preservation and a lifeline for many homes. Large amounts of lumber were required to construct pickling vats. Today these vats are no longer necessary in such quantity, and they provide an excellent source of reclaimed lumber.  The pickling solution used in the process adds beautiful character to the wood.

Inlay: Bethlehem Olivewood. Throughout Israel there are olive groves that have grown for over 2,000 years. These trees saw Rome come to the area, and eventually fall. They saw much of Biblical history unfold, and they still stand today to bear witness to the trials faced by the region. These trees are highly protected; those who maintain them gather branch trimmings and deadfall and make them available to tourists and woodworkers.

Writing type: Twist-style ballpoint comparable to Parker 100

The Dynamo

Primary wood: Bog OakAt the end of the last ice age, rising water levels caused huge oak forests throughout England, Ireland, and other parts of Europe to die standing and fall into the muck. For the last 3,000 - 5,000 years these trees have been preserved in anaerobic conditions underneath peat bogs. Their age has changed their color to a deep black with rich brown grain.

Inlay: Ancient Kauri. 50,000 years ago in what is now Northern New Zealand, a major natural event felled huge forests of Kauri trees that had been growing for some 2,000 years. This event also created bogs in the area, which protected these giants from the elements. Today these trees are typically found under farmland, where they excavated carefully and the ground is returned to its previous contours.

Writing type: Rollerball comparable to Montblanc Meisterstuck Classique
Also compatible with the hi-tec-c cavalier refill if you prefer a micro point.

Limited Edition: Aficionado Revolucion

Limited edition of 100 pens with signed and numbered certificate of authenticity.

Primary Wood: Cuban Mahogany. During the final days of the Cuban revolution in 1959, top ranking officials of the Batista regime were fleeing Cuba by any means they could, fearing reprisal from the incoming Castro government. Several of those officials either bought passage on merchant ships or stole the ships outright. The cargo of the stolen vessels was often sold at auction due to strained relationships between the US and the new Cuban government. The mahogany used in The Aficionado Revolucion was among that stolen cargo. Additionally, the Castro regime quickly halted all export of Cuban mahogany. So this stolen cargo represents some of the last mahogany to leave Cuba prior to that ban.

Inlay: Ancient Kauri. What better to complement our first limited edition than beautiful 50,000-year-old Ancient Kauri.

Writing type: Twist-style ballpoint comparable to Parker 100

The Dignitary

Hardware:  24kt gold and Gunmetal.

Primary wood: Bethlehem Olivewood. Throughout Israel there are olive groves that have grown for over 2,000 years. These trees saw Rome come to the area, and eventually fall. They saw much of Biblical history unfold, and they still stand today to bear witness to the trials faced by the region. These trees are highly protected; those who maintain them gather branch trimmings and deadfall and make them available to tourists and woodworkers.

Inlay: Bog Oak. At the end of the last ice age, rising water levels caused huge oak forests throughout England, Ireland, and other parts of Europe to die standing and fall into the muck. For the last 3,000 - 5,000 years these trees have been preserved in anaerobic conditions underneath peat bogs. Their age has changed their color to a deep black with rich brown grain.

FAQ

  • Standard shipping to the US is included for up to 4 pens. Please add $5 (once) for 5-10 pens.

    International orders should add $10 for international shipping of up to 4 pens. Then $10 additional for 5-10 pens.

    Last updated:
  • I'm super flattered that several of you are asking for instructions on how to order multiple pens. In order to do so just add the appropriate amount to your donation and I will work it into the reward fulfillment survey that Kickstarter sends out. I think the extra support is really awesome of you, so we'll offer the additional items at a discount. Here's how to know how much to add:

    Gift box: $12 each (The gift box pictured does not fit the Aficionado or Limited Edition - they are too big. I will post pictures of the nice wood box for these pens soon).

    Additional Troubadour: $50 each

    Additional Mogul: $55 each

    Additional Aficionado: $65 each

    Additional Dynamo: $80 each

    Additional Dignitary: $95 each

    Limited Edition: Due to the fixed number in the run, we can't use this informal method for ordering. I have created a reward that allows you to order two. If you would like a Limited Edition & another pen just select the Limited Edition as your primary reward and use these instructions to add another pen.

    Additional custom commission: $170 each

    Last updated:
  • All Allegory pens use standard refill types. The pen listed as "comparable" under writing type uses a compatible refill. We will carry refills on our website within a few weeks after the kickstarter closes. Each box has an insert that provides refill instructions.

    Last updated:
  • We will be able to fill a somewhat limited number of orders before Father’s Day. If your reward will be a gift for a special occasion let me know and I will do my best to ship it early. If we can't, we'll print a high-resolution photo of your chosen pen with the story of the woods. Everyone should have their pens before the end of June.

    Last updated:
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    3 backers

    Our deepest gratitude and a hand-signed print of one of our first prototype design documents.

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    A great gift for a pen-lover. A rosewood and maple gift box and desk stand and a $20 credit for any pen in our collection.

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    We're deeply thankful for the support of the Kickstarter community. Our first backers can choose either the Troubadour or the Mogul at a substantial discount.

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    The Dignitary: Thank you for helping us reach our goal! We're releasing the Dignitary to celebrate and offering the first 5 at a major discount to say thank you!

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    Limited Edition: Aficionado Revolucion. Made with mahogany from the Cuban Revolution. Check the description on the left for the full version of this wood's interesting story.

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    Custom commissioned pen. One of our craftsmen will personally interview you and create a pen with woods based on places and events that are meaningful to you.

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    The master collection. One of each of the Troubadour, Mogul, Aficionado, and Dynamo.

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    Two Aficionado Revolucion Limited Edition pens.

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    The master collection and a Limited Edition Aficionado Revolucion.

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    The master collection, a Limited Edition Aficionado Revolucion, and a year of pre-market access to our limited editions. We will release at least 4 more limited editions with historical woods this year and you will have the opportunity to purchase them before they are introduced to the public.

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    Corporate gift package. 10 Dynamo pens with custom-printed package inserts for your brand.

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    Honorary family membership, complete with Christmas dinner invitation (seriously) and a one-of-a kind master collection. All of the original prototypes for our line.

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