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Did Ben-Gurion use this pen to sign Declaration of Independence?

Descendant of a signatory to the historical document is attempting to sell the item for $500,000, but his claims are contested by experts

David Ben Gurion signs Israel's Declaration of Independence on November 29, 1947. (Hans Pinn/GPO)
David Ben Gurion signs Israel's Declaration of Independence on November 29, 1947. (Hans Pinn/GPO)

The grandson of David-Zvi Pinkas, a signatory of Israel’s Declaration of Independence, is attempting to sell a pen that he claims was used by most, if not all, of the officials who signed the document proclaiming the State of Israel into existence in 1948.

“To the best of my knowledge, everyone signed with this pen. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say this is the second most important historical artifact, after the Declaration of Independence,” the descendant of Pinkas, who is trying to auction off the item for at least $500,000, told the Kan public broadcaster.

However, Kan investigated the matter and found that the popular Parker 51 fountain pen was likely only used by Pinkas, a Zionist activist who went on to become a government minister.

On the founding document, the signatures appear to be written in different forms of ink. Photos of the signing also show they had each used a different pen, experts told Kan.

Israel’s Declaration of Independence

According to Shimon Dana, an expert on pens and the owner of the Dana Pens store in Tel Aviv, the pen used by Israel’s first prime minister David Ben-Gurion was a locally made Katab fountain pen.

The location of Ben-Gurion’s pen remains unknown, according to the network.

The pen used by David-Zvi Pinkas to sign Israel’s Declaration of Independence. (Screenshot: Kan)

With the new information, the starting price at the auction for Pinkas’ pen may be affected.

Of the 37 signatories of the iconic document — which include prime ministers-to-be Golda Meir and Moshe Sharett — 25 signed it on May 14, 1948, in Tel Aviv, alongside Ben-Gurion, while 11 others were trapped in besieged Jerusalem and later added their signatures and another was abroad.

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