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K. Hattori pen


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#1 tzmcneill

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 20:03

A day or so ago there was a note stuck to my door indicating a package was waiting for me at the post office. What could it be? I thought it might be some documents about re-financing my house or something other bit of mundane commerce. To my surprise it was a small package from Japan, land of the rising sun and home to a frequent contributor to this board and proprietor of Kamakura Pens (http://www.kamakurapens.com), Dr. Ron Dutcher. Inside this small package was the small victory of an ebay auction, a 1930's vintage ebonite black urushi finished fountain pen, with a fine "shiro" nib. For those who are not familiar with shiro nibs, they are steel alloy nibs created out of necessity when gold ownership was outlawed in imperial Japan during the Second World War. As I pulled the pen out of shipping material I couldn't help but to think about the day this pen was made, Roosevelt was President of the US, either MacDonald or Chamberlin were Prime Minister of the UK depending upon the month, Stalin lead Russia and Hirohito was the emperor of Japan. I can only imagine what might have been on the radio the day this pen was completed and left the makers bench.

The pen itself measures 5.25 inches long (13.5 cm) capped and is 6.5 inches long posted and is maybe 12 mm in diameter at its widest point. I'm used to larger pens but this one feels very comfortable in my hand. The 70+ year old urushi lacquer is in pristine condition, the only thing that indicates that this pen is not modern is the slight (and I mean slight) brassing on the clip. The urushi has a smooth, almost soft feeling, it feels soft, almost alive. It definitely has a feel that one only gets from hand made items. The nib is a little over an inch long and has a delightful spring to it. The furniture is all silver in color, probably not sterling, and matches the nib. Like many Japanese pens of this vintage this one is an eye dropper filler with the usual Japanese cut-off valve that prevents stained kimonos.

So, what are my impressions of this well seasoned pen? To begin with, it writes beautifully, the nib is very fine but smooth with some feed back from the nib. The nib is a bit springy, so with a bit of practice I could get some line variation out of it. I bet Hanna could make this pen sing. The barrel is comfortable to hold and I can write with it for hours. It is a pure joy. 10/10!

There is something else that is special about this pen. This pen is a "100% pen" from the K. Hattori company. Now when I bought this I didn't know anything about K. Hattori, but after doing a bit of reading, K. Hattori, was the founder of what eventually became the Seiko company. According to Ron Dutcher, this is a very rare pen and could be considered a museum piece due to its rarity. Well, this pen will not be kept under a glass case and merely looked at, it will be used and enjoyed and hopefully passed on to someone else who will enjoy it when my time here is over. As with all beautiful things, we never really own them, we just have the pleasure of taking care of them until it is someone else's turn.

tom.

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#2 HDoug

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 21:42

QUOTE(tzmcneill @ Mar 1 2008, 10:03 AM) View Post
As with all beautiful things, we never really own them, we just have the pleasure of taking care of them until it is someone else's turn.


Ah, this makes so much sense! And it may take some beautiful things many years of use to truly blossom. Beautiful pen. And I'm glad you are using it and keeping it alive.

Doug


#3 AJP

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 22:05

WOW... that is one incredible find!! Congratulations on owning an incredibly beautiful and functional piece of art thumbup.gif
"I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.” - Robert McClosky

#4 SquelchB

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 10:01

I would have a question - what is the Urushi finish? Thanks a lot blush.gif
The theory of the 'lesser of two evils' does not change a thing on the fact that even the lesser evil is still evil.
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#5 tzmcneill

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 12:10

See,

http://en.wikipedia....hus_verniciflua

or

http://www.internetp...age/1404738.htm

tom.

#6 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 13:37

one nice collecting piece wink.gif
Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time

#7 SquelchB

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 19:02

QUOTE(tzmcneill @ Mar 2 2008, 01:10 PM) View Post

Thanks a lot... So far I thought it was some kind of decoration like Maki-e blush.gif
The theory of the 'lesser of two evils' does not change a thing on the fact that even the lesser evil is still evil.
Vaclav Havel


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#8 Abhik

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 07:50

As with all beautiful things, we never really own them, we just have the pleasure of taking care of them until it is someone else's turn.

tom.
[/quote]
Wonderful pen review for a wonderful historical pen!! Your realisation is perfect about beautiful things! Remember an advertisement of Patek Philipp? Same statement!
Enjoy your pen! happyberet.gif
Abhik.

#9 Leigh R

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 10:35

A beautiful piece. Thanks for the review! smile.gif

#10 tzmcneill

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 15:15

I knew that last sentence sounded too good t be my own laugh.gif

Edited by tzmcneill, 04 March 2008 - 15:16.


#11 Juan in Andalucia

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 21:57

QUOTE(HDoug @ Mar 1 2008, 10:42 PM) View Post
QUOTE(tzmcneill @ Mar 1 2008, 10:03 AM) View Post
As with all beautiful things, we never really own them, we just have the pleasure of taking care of them until it is someone else's turn.


Ah, this makes so much sense! And it may take some beautiful things many years of use to truly blossom. Beautiful pen. And I'm glad you are using it and keeping it alive.

Doug


I agree; we are keepers, not owners. Great pen and review.

#12 kiavonne

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 01:11

What a wonderful pen. Ah, if the pen gods would be so kind to me as to mail me such treasures. Thank you for sharing!
Scribere est agere.
To write is to act.
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