Here is my most recent bird purchase, a Pelikan Souveran M605 custom urushi raden maki-e. Actually, it's been a spell since I purchased a Pelikan. I've been deep into Japanese urushi pens for a long time now. I've many Pelikan pens and I've undervalued them personally for some time. Most sit unused but this pen reminded me that first and foremost Pelikan pens are just good pens overall. So, anyway, Michael at Dromgoole's in Houston had sent a flock of Pelikan pens over to Japan for some custom urushi work. I reckon I've seen most of the resultant pens and to be honest the results were mixed. The urushi work was universally nice but the effect on the pen was not always as desired. This pen, however, is barely different in dimensions from when it left the factory but the finish has been upgraded substantially!
The raden maki-e is spectacular in every sense of the word. It looks great and catches light like you wouldn't believe, it really sparkles. Note, even the piston knob is covered in raden. With raden the Japanese don't waste. I like how the broken bits are sprinkled onto the pen on the land between the inlay stripes. The stripes line up when the cap is closed. I choose a broad nib and it writes as expected.
Michael may or may not send more pens for this treatment. Evidently, the artist is nominally a scabbard (saya) lacquer specialist and pens are a diversion for her. I'd like to know who the artist is, I always like to know who the urushi artist is (this is unsigned), but I also have interest in Japanese swords so there is another connection.