Time is an endless narrative of daily events and turning points, and with its passing we experience revolutionary transformations, and the effects of increased knowledge. For the most part, what we know of the eras before us, right down to today, comes from recorded words, made up of symbols or letters,be they fashioned in ink on parchment or paper, engraved on clay or pottery, or printed on the pages of newspapers, film scripts, or books. True, much of what has been so inscribed, or chiseled, was first handed down by "oral tradition," but collectively we have come to understand that the physical, material documenting of events and thoughts is far more likely to maintain accuracy and validity, than maintaining an account by word-of-mouth. The never ending flow of books, et alia, continues, chronicling the past and communicating discoveries and ideas that have changed our lives. They go on, recording the history of man. If writing is such an inherently human act, how did it all begin? The first writing system is generally believed to have been invented in Sumer, in the late 4th millennium BC. By the late 3rd millennium, archaic cuneiform had developed into the Ur III stage. Contemporaneously, the Proto-Elamite script developed into Linear Elamite. The development of Egyptian hieroglyphs is also parallel in time to that of the Mesopotamian scripts, and not necessarily independent. The Egyptian proto-hieroglyphic symbol system developed into archaic hieroglyphs by 3200 BC (Narmer Palette), and more widespread literacy by the mid 3rd millennium (Pyramid Texts). Egyptian scribes used a simple straw with a thin point dipped in a rubbery substance mixed with carbon powder and vegetable dye, and applied to papyrus, paper made from the pith of the papyrus plant. After the year 1000 AD, parchment, a thin paper-like material made from calfskin, goatskin, or/and primarily sheepskin (by which it was often referred), was introduced as a more durable alternative. The term, parchment, is taken from the name of the town where the process of making it was perfected, Pergamum, a Greek city in Mysia (later Anatolia, and today, Turkey). Later still, paper was made from cloth, and quill pens created, by having a small cut made at the pointed end of a feather, or plume, enabling the ink to flow smoothly and evenly, thus forming the basis for modern writing, books, and all that followed. In the early 19th century, a wooden straw with a steel nib was used, though at this time nibs were hand made and therefore costly. Then in 1820, three Englishmen invented a machine for manufacturing nibs of different shapes, which could be dipped carefully into ink. Soon scholars all over Europe were using them. The first fountain pens appeared towards the end of the 1800s. They were practical and easy to use and they gained enormous popularity. On 20 October, 1916, "the first and most important Italian manufacturer of fountain pens" (as recorded on the certificate of registration) was established in Florence, or Italian Firenze, capital city of the region of Tuscany. The new firm was called Tibaldi & Co. Miraculously, and gratifyingly to all who claim affection, and even passion, for literature, the written word in general, and the instruments that make belles lettres possible, Tibaldi not only survived both the First and Second World Wars, but thrived between them, despite them, and after the latter. Throughout the twentieth century, people from all walks of life, be they great writers, or everyday people wishing to write down their thoughts, have savoured Tibaldi's elegant, reliable scrivening instruments. Writing instruments are a means of recording and communicating our thoughts. Writing is a way of expressing our very identity. A hundred years ago, we used a typewriter, today we use a PC, and tomorrow, who knows? Maybe an electronic device will convert our thoughts into words; computers already transmute speech. However, when we speak of handwriting, the image conjured up in our minds is indisputably one of the classical writing instrument par excellence: a pen, and, for the purest, a fountain pen. Tibaldi's Excelsa Limited Edition encompasses, in appearance and craftsmanship, the continuum from artistic masterpiece, to refined, technologically superior utensil. The twentieth century heralded vast technological innovation in the field of writing instruments, the market flooding with an abundance of pens. Some enabled easier writing, while others were veritable treasures, created with rare materials, worthy of heirloom status to collect and cherish. Tibaldi pens are at once bejewelled accessories and works of technological innovation, commemorating or celebrating historical events, and cultural beliefs and, or myths. The Da Vinci Code Limited Edition is just such a pen. Nonetheless, at heart they are all chirographic implements, tools designed for unerring comfort and endurance. Just like Tibaldi's early 20th century pens, they are easily imagined and indeed seen on the desks of some of the world's most influential writers, many of whom were born in th' country where Tibaldi® pens were conceived.
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