Montblanc pens are arguably the most exclusive writing utensil in the world. With an elegant and timeless design, fine inks, and exquisite craftsmanship, these pens set the standard for luxurious writing instruments.

On 15 November, Madrid-based auction house Duran Subastas are offering over 300 pens, including a significant number from Montblanc. Here we delve into the history of the company and see the highlights of the upcoming sale.

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Montblanc was founded in Hamburg, Germany in 1906 by a banker and engineer duo. The company was taken over in 1912 by three businessmen who named one model of the pens Mont-Blanc, after the highest peak in the Alps, and thus the name of the company was born. However, the most iconic model is the Meisterstuck (masterpiece) and is the company's signature fountain pen.

In the last 30 years, Montblanc has made special edition pens to honour individuals who have distinguished themselves in the arts, writing, philanthropy and leadership, many of which are featured in the auction.

One of these special edition collections is the 'Writer's' Edition, where the pens are inspired by famous authors, including Virginia Woolf, Agatha Christie, Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain and Ernest Hemingway.

A particularly unique lot is the pen of Alexandre Dumas of The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte-Cristo fame, which was said to be signed by him, but actually carried his father's signature. The misattributed pens are now valuable collectors items, designed with marbled resin, gold-plated mountings and inlays, and an 18-karat gold nib.

Another limited-edition collection is the 'Muses', which is dedicated to famous women of the 20th century. Pen and film enthusiasts can find pens inspired by, and named for, famous actresses, including Marlene Dietrich, Ingrid Bergman and Greta Garbo.

The 'Donation' series was named for classic and contemporary musicians that gifted the world with their outstanding talents. These pens carry the replicated signatures of musician legends, such as Amadeus Mozart, Johan Sebastian Bach and Leonard Bernstein.

The 'Great Characters"'series honours historic figures who have made a lasting impact on society. One of the pens from this series is available at auction, inspired by the Indian pacifist Mahatma Gandhi.

J.P. Morgan, the great Gilded Age industrialist who supported the arts through his prolific Morgan Library, represents Montblanc's 'Patron of the Arts' series with a pen made of carbon and solid gold.

Discover all Duran Subastas lots directly on Barnebys