The Waterman Pen Company

We love learning and sharing this information; all of our original vintage posters are snapshots of bygone eras, and having them in your home can not only brighten a room but serve as a testament to the days of old.

Today we are focusing on the history behind our wonderful Waterman Pen Company posters.

This photograph from 1906 comes from the New York Public Library.

The Waterman Pen Company was founded in 1883 right here in New York City by Lewis Edson Waterman, the inventor of the first fountain pen. This revolutionary product caused the company to become an overnight success, and they began expansion to Europe by moving their headquarters to the Saint-Herblain neighborhood of Paris (where it remains to this day). The Waterman fountain pen, or porte plume, was instantly successful in Europe and shops big or small began to heavily promote the product in poster form.

La Maison du Porte Plume in Brown by Jean D’Ylen.

La Maison du Porte Plume in Beige, by Jean D’Ylen.
Click on the image to learn more details.

One such boutique was La Maison Du Porte Plume, or The House of Fountain Pens. Run out of a tiny shop in Brussels, the Belgian owner prided himself on his unique and creative advertising techniques.

He enlisted up-and-coming artist Jean D’Ylen, the protégée of famed poster artist Leonetto Cappiello, to create the above two posters. The brown background is exceptionally rare as even fewer were printed.

Ideal Waterman, by Jean D’Ylen.

Jean D’Ylen went on to create an additional poster for the Waterman Pen Company. The Ideal Waterman is one of the rarest of D’Ylen’s works due to its exquisite command of motion and the human form. The Ideal line of Waterman pens were the highest line the company made, boasting 14K gold nibs. For the true European businessman, there was no other choice but the Ideal Waterman.

Here we see a print advertisement for the famed luxury Ideal Waterman.

The Waterman Pen Company quickly realized that beautiful poster art was an excellent way to advertise their bespoke and higher end products.
At The Ross Art Group, we are proud to also have in our collection the below additional pieces made for The Waterman Pen Company.

Les Encres Waterman, by Rouffe.
The text translates to: “The good God made the rainbow with Waterman Inks”.


Waterman’s Ideal Fountain Pen by Wilhelm Burger. This poster depicts the Magi pondering whether to bring along an Ideal Fountain Pen as a gift.

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