Excellentia! A Superlative Writing Paper
PEN WORLD|June 2017

How a chance meeting between an American Master Penman and a 753-year-old Italian artisan paper manufacturer resulted in a masterpiece of deluxe writing paper pleasure.

Deborah Basel

We were asked to evaluate the paper based on its compatibility with fountain pens, the appearance/feel of the paper, line quality, drying time, degree of absorption, opinion of the watermark design, and feedback on the size— traditional European A4 (8 ½ in. x 11 in.) as opposed to the “Monarch” sized (7 ¼ in. x 10 ½ in.) paper. The group’s opinion of the first batch was unanimous—the surface was not smooth enough for comfortable fountain pen use. Pellegrini’s team developed the perfect solution: a second coat of gelatin sizing on the front side of the paper only, which smoothed the surface and gave body to the paper without adding unnecessary thickness. The post-test product is A4-sized and a joy to both behold and use with any manner of writing implement. Yeager even jokingly tested it with a large size Sharpie marker (the only ink that caused any bleed through at all)! The improved paper went out to for a second round of testing and was unanimously declared a success. Ryan Sirignano of Kenro Industries was so impressed with the paper when he tried it with the new Aurora Duo Cart pen and the relaunched 88 (with the company’s new flexible nib!) that Aurora will also be promoting and endorsing Excellentia.

The limited run of handcrafted paper will be exclusively distributed through John Neal Books (johnnealbooks.com) to fine writing stores. Bittner, The Pleasure of Writing (bittner.com) is proud to announce that it is a select North American retailer of this special edition handmade paper. Fabriano Excellentia will come in two quantities: a plush, deluxe marbled paper keepsake box with a pull-out envelope drawer containing 25 sheets and envelopes that will retail for $100; and a smaller “pouchette,” or origamitype folder, containing 10 sheets and envelopes, for $35. Whether writing with a quill pen, fountain pen, ballpoint, or rollerball, the paper is a masterpiece to admire, touch, and above all, to write on. Savor the experience! Enjoy!

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