Glenn's Pens

Pens of Note

Stipula Etruria


Stipula Etruria


Stipula, is based in Florence, Italy, and I have had the pleasure of visiting the company and touring their workshop.


It was in September 2001 that I purchased my first Stipula fountain pen, the Etruria at Novelli Pens in Rome. Marco Parascenzo helped me view the various models and after trying a number of pens, my choice was the elegant Etruria.

Made from Stipula's cellulose acetate. Each pen is hand-turned from a solid rod of celluloid. The oval shape of the pen creates a soft appearance. The pen is very comfortable pen to hold. The body is a rich amber-brown tone and the light catches silver, gold and red undertones. The pen is considered a large but sits in my hand with ease. The gold cap band reminds me of my times in Tuscany as there is a Florentine-look to the gold cap band and the workmanship of the clip.

On the body section of the pen, "Stipula, Etruria 2083" is engraved. That is the number of the pen. While subsequent models were issued with their own names, this is simply the first, the Etruria.

The pen is piston-filled and holds a reasonable amount of ink. I can go almost over an hour in a meeting with solid non-stop writing before I need to fill my pen. There are a a variety of nib styles and I was able to select an 18 kt gold 1.3 oblique nib. Writing with this nib is a real treat for me.

The clip of the pen is a single flat piece of gold-plated metal. It has the Stipula design at the end of the clip - wheat grass, one of the iconic images of the company.

This quote from Renzo Salvadori, the President of Stipula, shows the company's passion to its country:

It was 1991. Sitting at the desk in my office, I raised my eyes for a moment to the window and let my gaze run over the surrounding countryside: slopes traversed by interminable rows of vines still weighed down by grapes, the studied geometry of the vineyards interrupted here and there by farmhouses and cypress trees. I experienced a profound sense of admiration and satisfaction with the land, which is also my land. I was struck by the idea of making a fountain pen that would pay homage to Tuscany in all its facets, beginning with the name: Etruria

Renzo Salvadori, President

This pen remains one of my classics. The particular model is no longer in production by Stipula.


Stipula Etruria 991

Stipula Etruria 991

My 2001 Christmas was exceptionally rewarding. Thanks to Todd and the staff at Seattles' World Pen, then Worldlux, and sadly now closed, for helping my wife buy for me the superb Stipula Etruria 991 fountain pen for an Christmas Gift. The good news is that Karen was so impressed at how easy it was to order the pen and for it to arrive the next day she says if she knew shopping was this easy.

The pen is stunning with its brown celluloid, streaked with dark and light tones of brown and mother-of-pearl highlights. The large band at the base of the cap is sterling silver with a narrow ring of gold on each side. Todd was able to arrange to ship up a pen fitted with a broad, 18 kt gold nib. The pehn is a very smooth-writer.

The Etruria 991 is a special edition of the Etruria, a fountain pen the company first commenced production in 1991 and was made for a number of years but is no longer in production.  The 991 was released in 2001 to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the Etruria line. There were 991 pieces produced.

The pen is available in a variety of nibs, and the nib for this pen is the same as used on the Etruria, Iris or Duetto models. It is a smooth writer. Ink just flows from the pen. The Etruria 991 was inspired from the polychromatic art of the Etruscans. The soft, rounded lines are based on the typical shape of Etruscan amphora. The decorative work of finely tooled silver leaves made using the lost-wax casting process will bring memories of any trip to Tuscany!

The rounded oval end and top of the pen make it very comfortable to hold. Light catches the pearl highlights so the pen is an eye catcher without being one that you feel needs covering up in a business meeting.

The filling mechanism for the fountain pen is interesting. It has converter system that uses either Stipula's classic large-capacity piston filler or an ink cartridge - the small international size. Not being a cartridge fan I can't see using one, but I guess it is nice to know I could!

The pen is limited to 991 fountain pens and I am the proud owner of number 503.


Etruria Alter Ego

Part of the Etruria line the pen follows the same design. The Alter Ego is an interesting almost orange colour celluloid. I bought by pen in 2009, from the original production. It has the classic Etruria look include the wheat-grass gold and silver band on the cap, and the regular Eutruria clip with the traditional Stipula engraving. The pen went out of production, and a limited run was created in 2019 for Goulet Pens, with some design changes. The iconic Etruria cap band has four gold plated sterling silver narrow bands on the base of the cap, and the clip is plainer with less engraving.

Take note, that the piston system used in the Alter Ego is different from other Stipula pens on two counts. It has what Stipula calls a Self Cleaning System, and, it turn the opposite to what you may expect.

Here is something very important: To fill the pen, you turn the top counter clockwise. To empty the pen you turn it clockwise. This is the exact opposite of other pistons. Why they would change this is not sure. The pen has has what Stipula calls a Self Cleaning System (SCS). That means the mechanism cleans the reservoir every time it is filled. This is due to a spinning of the piston head. Be careful, the Self Cleaning Piston operates differently from others.

I have the pen with the 1.1 Italic nib. The two-toned 18kt gold rhodium-tipped nib is large and writes smoothly - this pen is a real pleasure to write with.

The pen is made by a lathe-turned process of a solid gold brown celluloid, there is streaks of blue with some silver and gold detail. The pen is very attractive, and when light hits the celluloid, it is quite dramatic. The pen is a good size for my hand. When the cap is posted onto the pen it has a good 6.5" in length. When closed, it is 5.6 inches long.

The body is of celluloid and is in rich orange/tan colours with veins of darker tones running through the celluloid. The trim on the pen is sterling silver. The pen has more weight than the Etruria Amber, So this is the newest if the Etruria line to be added to my collection, and a welcome member it is.


Stipula Etruria Fiesole

On my September 2011 visit to Paris, I visited Mora Stylo and was asking Christine Regnault to show me some fountain pens with a broad nib. I find in Europe you have to specifically ask as Medium and Fine nibs are very popular. She assembled a selection of pens to try. When I saw and wrote with the Stipula Etruria Fiesole the selection process concluded.

The Fiesole is a limited edition pen, with 193 pens produced. I am very pleased to have pen 124 of 193. I like the style of the Etruria. The Fiesole is hand-turned with rich gold-brown celluloid with veins of rich blue tones. I immediately liked the look of this pen. The Fiosole has a 18 k two tone gold nib and it provides a smooth writing experience. The trim (clip, rings) are hand-cast, solid sterling silver with the classic Florentine decoration. Together they give the pen what I consider a classic look.

The Etruria has a soft, easy to hold design. The slightly rounded ends are very comfortable to the hand. Closed the pen sits a 5.67 inches, open it is 6.38 inches. The diameter of the body is .41 inches. The pen uses a piston ink filling mechanism.

The Fiesole, issued in 2008, is no longer available. The first 88 pens were produced with matching .7 mm mechanical pencils.

Writing with this pen is a very satisfying experience. The nib is listed is listed as a specialty nib, 1.4 just a little larger than the standard broad nib produced by Stipula.

Stipula Etruria

Stipula Etruria

Stipula Etruria 991

Stipula Etruria 991

Stipula Etruria Alter Ego

Stipula Etruria Alter Ego

OMAS 360 2007

Stipula Etruria Fiesole