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Thread: What is the significance of "88" for Italians?

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    Default What is the significance of "88" for Italians?

    I notice that a lot of limited edition Italian pens come in series numbering (88 + 100x). The various colors of Aurora modern flex, 188 each, and the Nebulosa (888 if I recall). Stipula and Visconti have similarly numbered limiteds. Not to mention the Aurora 88 pen. So, why do Italians love this number so much? "Ottantotto" does roll off the tongue nicely, but surely there must be something else. A post on FPN chronicling the history of Aurora 88 mentions that it was a nod to the Parker 51, but why this particular number?

    Wikipedia lists a lot of interesting tidbits, but nothing specifically about Italy. I think it's safe to assume they are not targeting the Far East clientelle (certainly they were not back in 1946, when they made the first Aurora 88), and that this has nothing to do with the neo-Nazi numerology. After some more googling, I learned about the 88th Infantry Division, which was the first to enter Rome in 1944. This could explain the Aurora 88 in the post-war years, but not the pervasive use of the number nowadays.

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    Default Re: What is the significance of "88" for Italians?

    Some interesting theorizing about the origin of the 88 name around the 3:49 mark in this video.

    As for why the repetition of 88 today - part of Aurora's heritage? No idea why other makers use it, though it certainly wouldn't hurt in the Chinese market.

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    Default Re: What is the significance of "88" for Italians?

    Quote Originally Posted by catbert View Post
    Some interesting theorizing about the origin of the 88 name around the 3:49 mark in this video.
    I saw that video before, but completely forgot that he discussed the numbers. Thanks for the link!

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    Default Re: What is the significance of "88" for Italians?

    88 has no special meaning in Italy.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/88_(number)

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    Default Re: What is the significance of "88" for Italians?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fabri00 View Post
    88 has no special meaning in Italy.
    Says the user with "00" in his name...

    Ok, so I guess Aurora chose "88" for whatever reason, perhaps even superstition, and then the number sort of got ingrained in the Italian pen-making scene. Interesting.

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    Default Re: What is the significance of "88" for Italians?

    I was interested in this after having lived in Italy for some years I was not aware of any significance of the number 88. Some say the number 88 was chosen for that pen to mimic the Parker 51 name and as has been noted 88 has particular loquacious liquidity in Italian.

    On a whim I emailed Aurora about it and got this reply today. It seems they basically feel it is lucky for them.

    "As you have underlined, in Aurora we are particularly fascinated by number 88 and there are many reasons for that.

    Letís start with the fact that Aurora Mod. 88 is our best seller and was designed by Marcello Nizzoli, a famous Italian designer, in 1947.

    Moreover we find that number 8 is a very lucky number as the Italian word OTTO (stands for 8) is palindrome, so a double 8 should be twice as lucky!

    Also 8 is the sign of infinity and last but not least, when testing the nib of our fountain pen before selling it, we draw an endless 8 with the ink.

    Have a look at this video to see what we mean: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4uPEyY7I6JLbUV5SHQ4S3QzaXc"

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    Default Re: What is the significance of "88" for Italians?

    No special meaning whatsoever for us. It just sounds really nice. Definitely no neo-Nazi symbolism either: Marcello Nizzoli (who created the 88) was an anti-fascist, while the founder of Aurora was in fact a Turinese Jew. I think itís just because of the Aurora 88, hence so many of Auroraís LE pens have ď88Ē as a number. Iíve never seen this number being used in other companies (the Stipula Casa Battlů I have on my desk is a LE of 193 pieces, go figure). But if they do, itís probably because of the Far Eastern markets

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    Default Re: What is the significance of "88" for Italians?

    A Stipula LE of 88 was just sold in the classifieds: https://fpgeeks.com/forum/showthread...w-Prisma-88-LE

    Actually that post reminded me that I wanted to ask about this. It's not limited to Aurora, that's why I thought there is some cultural meaning behind the 88.

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    Default Re: What is the significance of "88" for Italians?

    Oh, let's have a little more of this meaningless fun. Marcello Nizzoli is not famous only as the designer of the Aurora 88. He is also credited with the design of the Olivetti Lettera 22 typewriter, another outstandingly successful product. And 22 is one-fourth of 88, is it not?

    My own first Olivetti typewriter was the Lettera 32, which somewhat ruins the continuity. But my second Olivetti was the Studio 44, and 44 is half of 88.

    On what I consider to be a sadder note, I may add that although Esaia Levi was a Turinese Jew, he was also a Fascist. Not a quiet Fascist, in his heart and around the dinner table, but a rather prominent Fascist. He was a Fascist senator for years. He and his family were saved from the worst of the consequences by an official process by which they became honorary Aryans.

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    Default Re: What is the significance of "88" for Italians?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerome Tarshis View Post
    On what I consider to be a sadder note, I may add that although Esaia Levi was a Turinese Jew, he was also a Fascist. Not a quiet Fascist, in his heart and around the dinner table, but a rather prominent Fascist. He was a Fascist senator for years. He and his family were saved from the worst of the consequences by an official process by which they became honorary Aryans.
    Source(s)? The information would hardly be surprising...just look at the Aurora Etiopia...
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    Default Re: What is the significance of "88" for Italians?

    The easiest secondary source is Italian Wikipedia, where his forename is spelled Isaia. One might indeed say "Christian name," with whatever degree of irony: In the end he judiciously converted to Catholicism. According to the Wikipedia article he left a generous bequest to the Holy See.

    The pens are generally thought to be commendable.

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    Default Re: What is the significance of "88" for Italians?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerome Tarshis View Post
    The pens are generally thought to be commendable.
    The Etiopia is beautiful only if separated from its historical context. Personally I could never conscience paying a cent for one.
    Last edited by fountainpenkid; November 12th, 2017 at 10:24 AM.
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    Default Re: What is the significance of "88" for Italians?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahriman4891 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fabri00 View Post
    88 has no special meaning in Italy.
    Says the user with "00" in his name...
    .
    when I did my email fabri was already existing.
    It was the year 2000 therefore I added the last 2 numbers of the year and fabri00 was ok.
    I personally do not believe in any meaning of the numbers.

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    Default Re: What is the significance of "88" for Italians?

    Goulet's new Visconti collaboration is limited to 188 pieces. Could try asking them why.

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    Default Re: What is the significance of "88" for Italians?

    Visconti pens are commonly limited to 188 whoever they sell through. I am guessing it is because the company was founded in 1988 and they have found that about 200 works to sell as a limited edition so why not 188 to reflect the founding date of the company - kind of?!

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    Default Re: What is the significance of "88" for Italians?

    How wonderful to have nothing better to think about than responding to a thread about the model numbers of pens.

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    Default Re: What is the significance of "88" for Italians?

    Quote Originally Posted by kevmid View Post
    Visconti pens are commonly limited to 188 whoever they sell through. I am guessing it is because the company was founded in 1988 and they have found that about 200 works to sell as a limited edition so why not 188 to reflect the founding date of the company - kind of?!
    Though why do we have an Aurora 88 (Aurora being founded in 1911), and not a Visconti 88?

    Sailor Japan was founded in 1911, same year as Japan and has a Sailor 1911*, but we don't have an Aurora 1911

    Maybe I'll ask a professor at the college I work at, he's born and raised Italian, and I already know from him that in Italy the number 13 is actually considered lucky there (with 8 being quite lucky too). Maybe he will have heard something about 88.

    :P Maybe someone is trying to double their wealth with doubling up on a lucky number?

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    Default Re: What is the significance of "88" for Italians?

    Quote Originally Posted by KBeezie View Post

    Aurora being founded in 1911
    Aurora was founded in 1919, same as Platinum. After Pilot's disappointing centenary lineup, I'm looking forward to the next year, wondering what those two will have to offer.

    But please do ask your professor!

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    Default Re: What is the significance of "88" for Italians?

    I asked at Pineider's shop in Florence when I bought my Arco there. They said the 8s are for the Chinese market. That makes perfect sense. 8 is a very special number for the Chinese.

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