History Buff: The Waterman Pen Company

This marks the first installment in our History Buff series. Look forward to seeing the history behind our posters once a month here on the blog.

One of the most common inquiries we hear from clients is about the history behind our posters.

We love learning and sharing this information; all of our original vintage posters are snapshots of bygone eras, and having them in your home can not only brighten a room but serve as a testament to the days of old.

Today we are focusing on the history behind our wonderful Waterman Pen Company posters.

This photograph from 1906 comes from the New York Public Library.

The Waterman Pen Company was founded in 1883 right here in New York City by Lewis Edson Waterman, the inventor of the first fountain pen. This revolutionary product caused the company to become an overnight success, and they began expansion to Europe by moving their headquarters to the Saint-Herblain neighborhood of Paris (where it remains to this day). The Waterman fountain pen, or porte plume, was instantly successful in Europe and shops big or small began to heavily promote the product in poster form.

Image

La Maison du Porte Plume in Brown by Jean D’Ylen.
Click on the image to see more details.

Image

La Maison du Porte Plume in Beige, by Jean D’Ylen.
Click on the image to learn more details.

One such boutique was La Maison Du Porte Plume, or The House of Fountain Pens. Run out of a tiny shop in Brussels, the Belgian owner prided himself on his unique and creative advertising techniques.

He enlisted up-and-coming artist Jean D’Ylen, the protégée of famed poster artist Leonetto Cappiello, to create the above two posters.   Produced in very limited runs, we are extremely excited to have these two examples of exquisite poster art in our collection. The brown background is exceptionally rare as even fewer were printed.

 Image

 ImageImageImage

In the pages above, we see that La Maison du Porte Plume was known far and wide for its poster art and advertising. The shop and poster were highlighted in the French advertising journal Vendre in 1926.

Ideal Waterman, by Jean D’Ylen.
Please click on the image to learn more.

Jean D’Ylen went on to create an additional poster for the Waterman Pen Company. The Ideal Waterman is one of the rarest of D’Ylen’s works due to its exquisite command of motion and the human form. The Ideal line of Waterman pens were the highest line the company made, boasting 14K gold nibs. For the true European businessman, there was no other choice but the Ideal Waterman.

Image

Here we see a print advertisement for the famed luxury Ideal Waterman.

The Waterman Pen Company quickly realized that beautiful poster art was an excellent way to advertise their bespoke and higher end products.

At The Ross Art Group, we are proud to also have in our collection the below additional pieces made for The Waterman Pen Company.

Image

Les Encres Waterman, by Rouffe.
The text translates to: “The good God made the rainbow with Waterman Inks”.
Click on the image to learn more.

Waterman’s Ideal Fountain Pen by Wilhelm Burger. This poster depicts the Magi pondering whether to bring along an Ideal Fountain Pen as a gift.
Please click on the image to see details.

Advertisements

About The Ross Art Group

Specializing in original vintage posters, The Ross Art Group opened its doors over 18 years ago, and founder Mickey Ross has been collecting original posters for over 25 years. What started out as a hobby, sparked a true passion and developed into a thriving business.
%d bloggers like this: