For Montegrappa, Theory of Evolution marks a return to classical craft, with lost wax castings that juxtapose Darwin’s landmark findings with the architecture of a building conceived as a ‘cathedral to nature’. Issued in editions of 165, fountain pens and rollerballs utilise sterling silver across their full length, and feature a Montegrappite core and hinged, exhibition-case finial.
Among the many motifs found in the edition’s design, vermeil highlights those associated with Darwin’s findings. On the reverse face, figures reference his observations of Galapagos finches and tortoises, of giraffes as proof of natural selection and his famous Tree of Life – a metaphor for the interconnection of species.
On the opposing face, science’s continuation of Darwin’s work is illustrated by frames depicting stages in human evolution and genealogy’s double-helix DNA structure – detailed in vermeil on a spring-loaded silver clip. Also realised in vermeil is a concealed ape skull studded with rubies. A ‘peekaboo’ case mounted on the finial features mirror-polished silver on the inside lid, allowing writers to contemplate their own evolutionary journey.
Castings used to frame these motifs draw from the eclectic Romanesque and Gothic Revival masonry of London’s Natural History Museum. Stone is simulated by a Montegrappite core visible through gaps in the overlay. Our in-house artisanal resin is also used within the finial, where it is visible in cross section.