The art of Damascening consists in inlaying soft metals into a harder background: primarily gold or silver into a dark oxidized steel background. The result is an intricate decoration which is very similar to niello but much more resistant to use and time. The definition of Damascening makes reference to the beautiful patterns of damask silk.
This technique was skilfullly developed in many countries such as Japan, Syria, and Europe both for the decoration of precious weapons and for the production of refined jewellery.
In Europe the city of Toledo, in Spain, became in the 19th century one of the major centres for the production of damascened weapons and jewels. The word "Toledo artwork" soon became synonimous with damascened decoration and many items enriched with this metal embellishmment came to be referred to as "Toledo".
In the 1930's the Toledo decoration was highly fashionable. It was used to decorate items of everyday use such as cigarette cases, trinket boxes, combs and the like. It was used to decorate pens as well.
Pelikan added this decoration to its Toledo model in 1931, creating one of the most successful and most desirable models ever.
In 1986, Pelikan manufactured a modern version of the famous Toledo in the M 700 size.The M900 size was first introduced in the united States with only 500 pieces in 1991.
These pens had a 18 ct gold nib and the inscriptiton "W. Germany" on the cap. The model met with great success and it was introduced in Pelikan's catalogues with a 20 ct gold nib which was soon replaced with a 18 ct gold nib.
These early versions of the M900 ( generally called "old style") are extremely rare and desirable today. Their production was ended in 2002 to be replaced by their modern counterparts, which have a number of different details, among which the logo on the cap top and the lack of the serial number on the decorated sleeve.
This Pelikan Toledo M900 is part of the old style production. The pen is unused and comes with its complete packaging. The nib is B.