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Jinhao 950 Porcelain (“Horse”, “Dragon”)

jinhao porcelain chinese fountain pen

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#1 Alex2014

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 08:51

I bought this FP’s by curiosity, but I ended by loving them. I like the fine Chinese pottery, so a “porcelain” FP tempted me instantly after I saw their pictures on internet. Besides, Jinhao had the good idea to use as decorations some well-known Chinese cultural symbols that challenged me to decipher them here, in my first review.

 

 

1. Appearance & Design (7/10). Both pens look nice, with the cap and the barrel made by glazed white ceramic and chromed trims. The imagery is silk-screened in blue cobalt, remembering the traditional pottery from Jingdezhen, the most important center of Chinese ceramics. The appearance however is rather modern, well proportionate due to the metallic tubular ends and to the wide ring of the barrel.

 

Jinhao 950 Horse-1.jpg  Dragon 3.jpg

 

The horse printed on the barrel of the first FP is a copy of Xu Beihong’s drawing named “Running Horse”. Xu was an important painter from the first half of the twentieth century, famous for its drawings with horses. The copy is enough closed to its original (image bellow), catching the horse in an elegant running movement.

 

download.jpg

The symbolism of the horse changed with time in the Chinese mentality, but it still preserved its first meaning, as a representation of the military power in art. The horse here seems to hover, contrasting thus with the traditional symbol by its suave suppleness. Let us remember that 2014 is the Year of the Horse according to the Chinese calendar.

On the cap there are four verses in Chinese calligraphy whose mining I could not identify. The calligraphic writing is completed by the seal of Xu, in red. It would have been better if the manufacturer offered to the curious people like me some explanations regarding the imagery and the translation of the verses, but no written information accompanied the FP. 

 

Dragon_detaliu 1.jpg  Dragon_detaliu 2.jpg  The cap.jpg

The dragon on the other FP is the symbol of the Emperor, as well as a mythological sign with favorable auspices. It is represented here in a traditional manner, as a huge coiled sneak with four feet, a demon head and a burning pearl (the symbol of wealth, good fortune, prosperity, etc.). On the cap is the calligraphic Chinese character of the dragon, in Hanzi. Such references may enrich the design of the pens and increase the pleasure when admiring these FP’s.

At the end of the cap, there is a black button, which I would had expected to be blue. On the ring are engraved the name of the producer as well as the model number (JINHAO 950), and on the clip is engraved a carriage, the emblem of the manufacturer.

The FPs came in simple blue boxes of cardboard with plastic foam supports within. Certainly it is not a luxury box. I gave only 7/10 points also because of the quality of the screen printing, which is one according to the serial manufacture technology.

 

 

2. Construction & Quality (8/10). The FP is definitely a solid one, though I could not say anything about the impact resistance of the ceramics. The ceramic pieces are glazed and pleasant to the touching, but the quality is far from the more valuable porcelain pens. The engravings are carefully done, also the chroming. With few exceptions, the manufacturer paid attention to details. The push cap fits well but needs an excessive force to be pulled off. The black plastic section is very ergonomic and easy to grip, its diameter diminishing slightly towards the nib. I disliked however the abrupt passing from the barrel to the section, which is somehow unaesthetic and coarse.

 

Jinhao 950 Horse.jpg

 

3. Weight & Dimensions (7/10). Jinhao 950 Porcelain is a full-size FP, its dimensions being:

Length capped: 139 mm

Length uncapped: 125 mm

Length of the section: 27 mm

Barrel diameter: 12 mm

Section diameter: 9/6,5 mm

It is definitely a heavy FP, weighting 52 gr capped, which for a porcelain pen might be reasonable. To write with the cap posted is uncomfortable yet not impossible. With the cap aside, the pen seems balanced and easier to use.

 

4. Nib & Performance (9/10). Jinhao 950 comes with a medium steel nib engraved with a decorative theme, and with the name of the manufacturer. The nibs are 17 mm long, being a bit disproportionately small in comparison with the pen.

I was amazed to find how smooth the nibs are. They are among the smoother nibs of mine! I had read about the quality of Jinhao’s nibs, so these nibs may be not exceptions. They are somehow responsive at the pressure, varying the width of the stroke, though there is a little feed-back on Rhodia paper. On a low quality paper the feedback is however consistent. So, even I bought these pens for their beauty, I decided to put them to work. Both FPs work very well out of box – no skipping, no hard starting or something like this until now.

 

5. Filling system & Maintenance (8/10). The pen comes with a Jinhao converter with screw (metallic-ring version), which I consider of a low capacity. I read on FPN that some people had problems with Jinhao converters. I had not difficulties, but I am not sure they could appear. Alternatively, the FP’s can take international ink cartridges.

 

6. Cost & Value (9/10). What something else could I say about a nice FP with a smooth good nib that costs 12 usd on Amazon (including the delivering from China) and only 10 usd on eBay?

 

Conclusion: 48/60 points could be a realistic evaluation of these FP’s. I bought them to assort them to my Chinese porcelain blue painted tea cup set, but finally I found pleasure in putting them to work. It was my pleasure to find that some simple things could be sometimes good-looking without being necessarily expensive. These FP’s will never be my daily writing instruments, of course, but their view could make me joyful now and then. Life may be more agreeable sometimes when you are surrounded by some few beautiful objects like these.

 

For a collector, these pens could be attractive pieces in default of the much more expensive hand-painted, Japanese porcelain FP’s. So I ordered also the “Bamboo” and the “Water Lily” versions of Jinhao 950, both of them promising to be beautiful as well.


Edited by Alex2014, 10 February 2014 - 09:38.


#2 Moshe ben David

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 09:42

Very nice looking!  Amazon is today showing three styles:  the horse, the Imperial dragon, and a Chinese junk (traditional ship).  Not showing the bamboo nor the water lily.

 

It would be great if you could post some writing samples!

 

Best


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#3 Alex2014

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 09:53

The "Water Lily" is a new item. Bamboo, however, is an older model that I suppose to be a copy of a drawing by the Chinese painter Zheng Bankiao (1693-1765). Both of them are available on eBay.


Edited by Alex2014, 10 February 2014 - 12:14.


#4 betweenthelens

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 00:13

Thank you for this nice review. I just ordered the horse model as that is my Chinese zodiac animal. I've had good experience with the Bookworm 675 and the Hero 616 so it's time to try a Jinhao. 



#5 Mesu

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 16:25

Very nice review. Actually i liked the review more than the pen due to the detailed explanations :)



#6 Kansas Pen

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 13:57

Thank you for your very complete review of the JInhao 950.

 

I have a Jinhao X450 that works surprisingly well for being a low cost pen. This particular pen is very stout/heavy. A little hard to keep "wet", but I have been slowly giving the feed a little more space from the tines of the nib. I have been using it a bit more in the past months.

 

I was looking at the Bamboo version of the Jinhao 950 pen on eBay.

Your insightful review gives me some confidence in purchasing another Jinhao.

You sure can't beat the delivered prices of these pens from across the globe.



#7 Alex2014

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 14:08

Mesu: Thanks for your comment

Kansas Pen: Thanks. Meanwhile, I bought also the "Bamboo" and the "Water Lily" versions from czxixixiaozhu (a Chinese seller from eBay). I was gone far from home for three weeks, and when I came back all my 950's started to work instantly out of box.



#8 Kansas Pen

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 14:28

Mesu: Thanks for your comment

Kansas Pen: Thanks. Meanwhile, I bought also the "Bamboo" and the "Water Lily" versions from czxixixiaozhu (a Chinese seller from eBay). I was gone far from home for three weeks, and when I came back all my 950's started to work instantly out of box.

Good to know your 950 "Started" right up. Can't beat the price for nice designs and fairly good quality.



#9 KBeezie

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 18:38

I had my eye on the 950 mainly for it's ceramic-looking exterior, but I could never decide on getting it because I wasn't sure how much the white felt ceramic or if it felt more like glossy plastic. But if it's anything like my X750 or X450 it should be nice, just was curious about that porcelain exterior. 


Edited by KBeezie, 20 March 2014 - 18:39.


#10 KBeezie

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 18:41

Thank you for your very complete review of the JInhao 950.

 

I have a Jinhao X450 that works surprisingly well for being a low cost pen. This particular pen is very stout/heavy. A little hard to keep "wet", but I have been slowly giving the feed a little more space from the tines of the nib. I have been using it a bit more in the past months.

 

I was looking at the Bamboo version of the Jinhao 950 pen on eBay.

Your insightful review gives me some confidence in purchasing another Jinhao.

You sure can't beat the delivered prices of these pens from across the globe.

 

On my X450 when I had the original nib in it, I just simply re-seated the nib until I got it where I Wanted it rather than just moving it forward. I suspect that the feed or nib out of the factory could still have some oils in it and might need a good rinse thru. Eventually I ended up replacing the medium nib with a Goulet 1.5mm Stub nib, which always starts right up, and smooths very smoothly on the X450. I put the 2-tone nib from the X450 into my nemosine singularity which equally starts right up and writes smoothly (more smoothly than the nemosine 0.8 stub nib it came with). 



#11 Kansas Pen

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 22:41

Thanks again Alex for the information on the Jinhao 950. My bid on eBay just ended @ $9.27 shipped. Now I won't be worrying if I bought a decent pen for the next week or two it takes for the pen to come to Kansas.



#12 betweenthelens

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 12:54

I received mine and was in awe of its beauty. It is really made well with striking attention to detail. I keep it clipped to my planner and it always writes from the get go, even if it's not been used for a day or two and has been jostled around in my purse. My main issue is the heft so it makes a perfect planner pen as I don't use it for extended periods of time.



#13 Alex2014

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 07:10

I had my eye on the 950 mainly for it's ceramic-looking exterior, but I could never decide on getting it because I wasn't sure how much the white felt ceramic or if it felt more like glossy plastic. But if it's anything like my X750 or X450 it should be nice, just was curious about that porcelain exterior. 

It looks definitely like enameled milky ceramics. Moreover, the touching it not at all the same as for a plastic barrel - it's somehow a 'cold' touching.



#14 KBeezie

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 07:16

It looks definitely like enameled milky ceramics. Moreover, the touching it not at all the same as for a plastic barrel - it's somehow a 'cold' touching.

 

So could be a glossy paint on brass which would give that cold feel. 



#15 perrins57

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 17:03

Thanks for the review, just ordered one for my horse crazy wife. By that I mean she's crazy about horses, not crazy as a horse : )


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#16 KBeezie

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 08:21

Thanks for the review, just ordered one for my horse crazy wife. By that I mean she's crazy about horses, not crazy as a horse : )

 

28698607_zps9079505d.jpg



#17 lostintaiwan

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 14:56

Thanks for your review. Do you have script images? Would appreciate a pic.

How does it perform?

 



#18 Alex2014

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 16:31

Thanks for your review. Do you have script images? Would appreciate a pic.

How does it perform?

 

 

As I said, what amazed me was that I left the pen inked and unused for three weeks and then he started instantly, which I could not say about my Parker's (Sonnet and Duofold). The steel nib is very smooth, so stiffer than an Aurora New Ipsilanti. Visconti steel nib seems to me with more variation. Here are some writing samples on Rhodia paper, in comparison with other FPs with M steel nibs that I own.

 

Jinhao%20Sample.jpg

 

 

Other%20Samples.jpg


Edited by Alex2014, 29 March 2014 - 16:39.


#19 thewiccaman

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 22:33

Being new to this in as much as I've always appreciated fine writing instruments but never investigated beyond a passing interest, I've spent way too much time and money the last couple of days since finding FPN.

 

 

Anyway, the point of this long ramble is to say that one of the pens I've splurged out on is a porcelain crane design from Amazon. Not sure if it's a Jinhao or another make but I confess I was swayed by the looks and the concept of a porcelain pen. It's yet to arrive (early next week I'm promised!) so I'll have an idea then of whether my money has been well spent. Pic follows ...

 

51BgVZBruML.jpg

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#20 richardandtracy

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 08:15

Being new to this in as much as I've always appreciated fine writing instruments but never investigated beyond a passing interest, I've spent way too much time and money the last couple of days since finding FPN.

 ...

 

:lticaptd:

Most of us have the same problem! I only came to FPN because I wanted some spares for my Parker 61 because I was getting fed up with having the expense of a new Parker Vector every 6 months as the cap click wore out. It would have been much cheaper in the long run if I'd put up with the expense.

 

Regards,

 

Richard







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