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10 April

Montblanc Patron of Art Homage to Moctezuma I: A Tribute to the Cultural Legacy of the Great Aztec Ruler

 

Limited Edition collection honours the remarkable artistic and architectural achievements of Aztec culture, and the influence of one of its great leaders.

 

With its origins in the culture of writing, Montblanc is actively engaged in the promotion of arts and culture. Part of this engagement has been to recognize the exceptional contributions of modern-day patrons of the arts around the world for the past 28 years with an annual award. Every year, to coincide with the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award, Montblanc introduces a Limited Edition writing instrument that pays tribute to the cultural legacy and patronage of a historical patron of the arts. Created in the Montblanc Artisan Atelier from precious materials and shaped by highly skilled master craftsmen with great care and dedication, the new Montblanc Patron of Art Edition celebrates the life and influence of Moctezuma I (c. 1398-1469). In partnership with the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia in Mexico, the four limited editions tell the story of the cultural achievements of Moctezuma Ilhuicamina who was elected ruler of the great Aztec Empire in 1440 and reigned for nearly 30 years during its golden age. In addition to 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 Tenochtitlán, today’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.

 

 

Montblanc Patron of Art Homage to Moctezuma I Limited Edition 4810

In honour of Moctezuma’s credentials as a great warrior, the shape of the edition 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 atlatl’s thread-wrapped handles. The lacquer colours of the cap and barrel – petrol and carmine red – evoke the colours of Aztec culture and the royal cloak in particular. The pattern on Moctezuma I’s cloak, a symbol of his high rank, is represented on the cap underneath translucent lacquer. The cap is embellished with two Aztec glyphs taken from the Mendoza Codex that indicate the years in which the reign of the great Aztec king began and ended. The decoration on the cap top ring and upper part of the clip is inspired by Aztec jewellery. The spear-shaped clip is refined with an engraving of a Central American quetzal’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 honours the ruler’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 Tenochtitlán: a three-armed cactus with a royal diadem and two scrolls.

 

 

Montblanc Patron of Art Limited Edition 888

The colours of this edition – turquoise and carmine red – were favoured in Aztec culture and used in royal garments. The engravings on the Ag 925 sterling silver cap represent Moctezuma’s weapons, skulls and traditional Aztec’s ornaments. The lacquered turquoise barrel is engraved with a pattern reminiscent of his cloak, a symbol of the high rank of Moctezuma I, and 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 quetzal’s feather and set with a triangular-cut green jade. The forepart of the writing instrument and the cone with its distinctive hammering optic are crafted from Ag 925 sterling silver, contrasting with the precious 750 champagne-tone gold fittings and the handcrafted solid gold nib adorned with the Aztec glyph for the city of Tenochtitlán: a three-armed cactus with a royal diadem and two scrolls. The Montblanc emblem made of mother-of-pearl on the cap top is embedded in the engraving of an Aztec sun disk honours the ruler’s diverse architectural constructions and ornamentation in the cities of the Aztec empire.

 

 

Montblanc Patron of Art Limited Edition 87

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 Limited Edition 87 is richly decorated with turquoise, a stone favoured in Aztec decorative craftsmanship. The turquoise mosaic in Aztec style on the cap is handcrafted with meticulous attention to detail and an artistic sensibility that makes every one of the 87 pieces in the edition slightly different. The mosaic is refined with Au 750 solid champagne-tone gold inlays set with jade cabochons and a central Aztec motif symbolising the ‘five suns’ creation myth. The gold on this edition is specially treated to create a vintage look similar to the distressed appearance often found in ancient artefacts. The barrel is crafted from precious Central American cocobolo wood, a reference to both the material used to make the traditional atlatl and to the famous El Sargento tree in Mexico City, planted during the reign of Moctezuma I. The barrel is embellished with the four stepped solid gold bands as a special reference to the Templo Mayor. The mother-of-pearl Montblanc emblem on the cap top is embedded in an engraving of an Aztec sun disc. The handcrafted Au 750 solid gold nib is adorned with a fine engraving inspired by the Aztec glyph for the heart, a symbol for sacrifice. A further glyph engraved on the forepart represents the second name of Moctezuma I: Ilhuicamina (meaning ‘he who shoots an arrow into the sky’).

 

 

Montblanc Patron of Art Limited Edition 8

The limitation number of just 8 pieces is inspired by the ‘stone of Moctezuma I’, the only remaining piece of the great Templo Mayor excavated in 1988 and featuring eight rays. Moctezuma I ascended the throne as the fifth king of Tenochtitlán 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 of this rare edition 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. Three-dimensional engravings of the symbolic eagle and cactus represent the foundation myth of the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlán, while the two double-headed snakes that frame the artwork are Aztec symbols of renewal, fertility and luck. A reference to the highly mythologised sacrificial rituals 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. The cap top is crowned with a Montblanc Diamond embedded in an engraving inspired by an eight-rayed Aztec sun disc. To coincide with the release of the four Patron of Art Homage to Moctezuma I Limited Editions, Montblanc is introducing 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. Statesman, ruler and patron of art, Moctezuma brought Aztec culture to its pinnacle. With every intricate design detail and through the beauty of fine craftsmanship, Montblanc tells the fascinating story of this great figure who made a lasting cultural impact on human civilization.

 

Montblanc Patron of Art Homage to Moctezuma I Limited Edition is available from April 2020 at Montblanc boutiques worldwide and online. For more information visit www.montblanc.com

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