Every year, to coincide with the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award, Montblanc introduces a limited edition writing instrument that pays tribute to a historical patron of the arts. Created in the Montblanc Artisan Atelier from precious materials and shaped by highly skilled master craftsmen, the new Montblanc Patron of Art Edition celebrates the life and influence of Moctezuma I (c 1398-1469), who was elected ruler of the Aztec Empire in 1440 and reigned for nearly 30 years during its golden age.
As well as expanding the borders of his empire all the way to the Gulf of Mexico, he is credited for shaping the image of the Aztec state that has endured to this day, one rich in culture and mythology. The capital city TenochtitlÃ¡n, todayâ€™s Mexico City, blossomed under his rule with the construction of new buildings, sculptures and lush botanical gardens. Among his many building projects, he paid particular attention to the renewal of the Templo Mayor, which he reconstructed magnificently.
Four limited editions have been created in partnership with Mexicoâ€™s Instituto Nacional de AntropologÃa e Historia to tell the story of the cultural achievements of Moctezuma Ilhuicamina. Honour his credentials as a great warrior, the shape of the Montblanc Patron of Art Homage to Moctezuma I Limited Edition 4810 is inspired by the atlatl, an Aztec spear-throwing weapon used to propel spears or darts over long distances. The cap features a gold-coated design reminiscent of the atlatlâ€™s thread-wrapped handles, while the lacquer colours of the cap and barrel â€“ petrol and carmine red â€“ evoke the colours of Aztec culture and the royal cloak in particular. The pattern on Moctezuma Iâ€™s cloak, a symbol of his high rank, is represented on the cap underneath translucent lacquer.
The spear-shaped clip is refined with an engraving of a Central American quetzalâ€™s feather at the top and crowned by a red triangular-cut stone. The shape of the cone, refined with a hammer finish, is based on a traditional Aztec sacrificial knife with an obsidian blade. The Montblanc emblem in precious resin on the cap top is embedded in the engraving of an Aztec sun disk, which honours the rulerâ€™s diverse architectural constructions and ornamentation in the cities of the Aztec empire. The handcrafted Au 750 solid gold nib is adorned with a fine engraving inspired by the Aztec glyph for the city of TenochtitlÃ¡n: a three-armed cactus with a royal diadem and two scrolls.
The colours of the Montblanc Patron of Art Homage to Moctezuma I Limited Edition 888 â€“ turquoise and carmine red â€“ were favoured in Aztec culture and used in royal garments. The engravings on the Ag 925 sterling silver cap represent Moctezumaâ€™s weapons, skulls and traditional Aztecâ€™s ornaments. The lacquered turquoise barrel features four lines of Au 750 solid champagne-tone gold, evoking the cardinal directions that radiated out from the Templo Mayor. The spear-shaped clip is refined with an engraving of a Central American quetzalâ€™s feather and set with a triangular-cut green jade
Limited to just 87 pieces in homage to 1987, the year when the Templo Major was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list, the Montblanc Patron of Art Homage to Moctezuma I Limited Edition 87 is decorated with turquoise, a stone favoured in Aztec decorative craftsmanship. The turquoise mosaic is refined with Au 750 solid champagne-tone gold inlays set with jade cabochons and a central Aztec motif symbolising the â€˜five sunsâ€™ creation myth. The gold on this edition has been specially treated to create a vintage look similar to the distressed appearance often found on ancient artefacts.
Limited to just eight pieces, the Montblanc Patron of Art Homage to Moctezuma I Limited Edition 8 is inspired by the â€˜stone of Moctezuma Iâ€™, excavated in the Templo Mayor in 1988 and now on display in Mexico Cityâ€™s National Museum of Anthropology. Moctezuma I ascended the throne as the fifth king of TenochtitlÃ¡n in exceptional splendour, guided in great state to the high temple where he was given the turquoise-coloured, red-bordered royal cloak, the xiuhtilmatli, and a diadem of gold. This magnificence is captured in the design with a cap made of Au 750 solid champagne-tone gold and an elongated shape set with diamonds, garnets, green tsavorites and multi-coloured sapphires.
This writing masterpiece is decorated with an artistic hand engraving of the winged Huitzilopochtli, patron god of the Aztecs. The barrel of the writing instrument is made of dark red precious jasper and enriched with Au 750 solid champagne-tone gold inlays. The spear-shaped clip is embellished with a triangular-cut green jade.
To coincide with the release of the four Patron of Art Homage to Moctezuma I Limited Editions, Montblanc has also introduced a fine stationary notebook in red calfskin Saffiano leather embossed with traditional Aztec motifs, as well as a Homage to Moctezuma I ink in a bright turquoise inspired by the traditional jewels and cloths of Aztec emperors. The collection is available at all Montblanc boutiques and online.