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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.