Before I go on to talk about the pen holder, I think I should tell you how I came across it.
I was reading some posts on Fountain Pen Network (FPN) and one of the members, OCArt, had posted that he had seen this pen holder on a French site, Stylo-Plume.org. This peaked my curiosity and I decided to investigate a little further; with the help of Google Translate I was able to follow the trail back to Tradisign and explore the site.
Tradisign is run by Yves Damentko, a very talented leather worker, and if you spend a little time looking around the site you will see some wonderful things; the problem, of course, with wonderful things is they tend to make you want to buy them and Yves work is no exception to this rule.
I contacted Yves to ask about ordering one and Yves replied quickly and after we had swapped a few emails my order was confirmed, and Yves posted the pen holder to me. What is very nice about this little story is the element of trust involved, Yves asked me to pay after he had posted it so he could be certain of the postage costs. In this day and age few people are willing to take you at your word and I am very touched that my word was good enough for Yves.
So, a couple of days later my new pen holder arrived in perfect condition, very securely packaged and has now taken up permanent residence on my desk and as the pictures show it is currently playing host to my Jinhao 159. I chose the 159 because it is the heaviest pen I own and if anything was going to tip it over the 159 would.
The pen holder is lightweight and made from three pieces of leather that are stained to order prior to assembly. The base is made from two pieces of leather shaped like an egg that are stitched together (suede side to suede side), embossed with the Tradisign logo a D inside the Greek letter Omega. The edges are then burnished, and the actual pen holder is attached.
The pen holder is a single layer of leather cut to a shoe or, if you prefer, hat shape that is stitched and then secured to the base at three points and whilst the outer side is stained to match the base the inner side left with a suede finish; and the whole pen holder is stitched with cream thread.
At €40 this is in the same price range as the walnut Penwell ($49 USD) but whilst this pen holder doesn’t turn any pen into a desk pen in the same way as the Penwell it will support the pen cap which allows you to temporarily cap the pen, as you would with a desk pen, when you need to pause mid-use.
For anyone who likes leather desk accessories or is looking for something different either for themselves or as a gift then this pen holder is an excellent choice. I know some people will consider it expensive for a leather single pen holder but what you have to remember is this; when you order a pen holder from Yves it is made to your specification. So, if you wanted a red one or a blue one you could ask Yves if this is possible; you don’t get that level of choice with the mass-produced items.
It’s also pretty cool to sit down at your desk, look at your pen holder and know it’s a bespoke piece that will only look better with the passage of time.
So, is it worth the pennies? Definitely. The pen holder is small enough not be in the way even the smallest of desks and light enough to travel with you as part of your EDC, what more could you ask for?
My final thought is if Yves ever decides to make one ‘inspired’ by the Hogwarts Sorting Hat he’s going to have a long waiting list but I would like to be first in the queue.
PS. The pen holder can be found here:
Disclaimer: The pen holder was purchased with my own funds. The opinions expressed in this review are my own; and other than being a happy customer I am not connected with either the manufacturer in any way.