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Platinum Izumo Aurora Raden Maki-E



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This is my new Platinum Izumo Aurora raden maki-e with broad nib. This pen was released in 2016 officially named the Hon-urushi Raden Maki-e Aurora with magnificence of natural phenomenon drawn on the body in traditional maki-e style. Link to the press release. The raden work on this pen is amazing and dazzling in equal measure. The large size of the inlay and the large size of the pen ensure this blazes from across the room. There are several shell colors including yellow that for some reason I find really appealing probably because it seems less common. As we know the pen is large and does not post but there is no need to post. The grip section is smartly designed for writing comfort and the weight is moderated by the ebonite construction. The President nib is a very good and consistent writer. There is no line variation, no flex, and the ink flow is steadily sufficient. This pen just writes a nice line the first time every time; how boring :-). Some people evidently think the nib is undersized for the pen. Well, perhaps, unless you really consider the grip section and writing comfort. I didn't realize before that fountain pen peeps were such size queens.

 

33912233618_d24da7cc44_k.jpg_DSC3219 by Ja Ja, on Flickr

47736905402_0fbd1fec1b_k.jpg_DSC3220 by Ja Ja, on Flickr

46999968744_740180164c_k.jpg_DSC3222 by Ja Ja, on Flickr

47736907742_c8594e47a2_k.jpg_DSC3226 by Ja Ja, on Flickr

40822921293_5d516a68b7_k.jpg_DSC3227 by Ja Ja, on Flickr

 

I found a pen with a similar Aizu urushi raden maki-e in the book Fountain Pens of Japan so it seems this design is either common, traditional, or an homage. The pen is signed but Platinum does not make it easy to know just who the artist was, but I would like to know. There is a nice wooden box, a pen sleeve, some ink cartridges, and a bottle of ink in the package. It's a nice presentation for what is an expensive pen.

 

32867587167_628dbb6ef0_k.jpgIMG_1687 by Ja Ja, on Flickr

33912234928_f4ca8ccacb_k.jpg_DSC3223 by Ja Ja, on Flickr

40822921913_d1e441b33b_k.jpg_DSC3225 by Ja Ja, on Flickr

 

My other Izumo is the Kurikara-ken Maki-e. Both are spectacular works of art. Both are comfortable to hold and use. Both have broad nibs that always work without fuss or flourish. Compared to other urushi pens the Izumo prices range from good value for the money (eg the tamenuri pens) to questionable (my Raden model). Generally, however, compared to other urushi works the Izumo is less expensive but just as good. In terms of writing quality these are Platinum, which means the just write. No flex, nothing fancy, they just work, which is as undervalued as it is reassuring. In my opinion not all the Izumo maki-e models are worthwhile but most are and the tamenuri models are a very good value.

 

47736906492_b04ded936c_k.jpg_DSC3228 by Ja Ja, on Flickr

40822920263_dc914325a0_k.jpg_DSC3229 by Ja Ja, on Flickr

40822919523_703098c0ac_h.jpgwriting sample by Ja Ja, on Flickr

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Lovely pen. Your photos make it look quite appealing.

 

I agree on the vLue of the Izumo modems, especially the basic urushi. If you can find one used you can sometimes get an amazing price.

If you want less blah, blah, blah and more pictures, follow me on Instagram!

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What a beaut! How do the President nibs compare in performance/feel to the 3776 nibs?

"Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination."

Oscar Wilde

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What a beaut! How do the President nibs compare in performance/feel to the 3776 nibs?

The 3776, 3776 Century, and President nibs are all different. The 3776 are made from thinner stock than the rest and so can have a bit of spring, but that is being somewhat generous. The 3776 Century nibs are thicker and have feeds that supply lots of ink. So, they are stiff and wet. The President is more tubular in shape than the others and is of thicker stock. There really is no spring and the feed supplies enough ink not a lot of it like the Century feed. This is my experience.

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ridiculopathy

Beautiful! The #3776 version was [one of] my grail pens because of the interesting yellow shells too. Platinum describes it as an Aizu maki-e, but I still don't know whether it refers to a signature technique or a general category of maki-e originating from the Aizu region. Russ Stutler's oldie but goodie website has a description of a visit to Aizu with Platinum (https://www.stutler.cc/pens/aizu_makie/index.html) that includes pictures of the #3776 version being made!

 

Edit to add a picture of the #3776 version. Same artist signature as yours (not shown).

 

fpn_1557468676__img_7366.jpg

Edited by ridiculopathy
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Beautiful! The #3776 version was [one of] my grail pens because of the interesting yellow shells too. Platinum describes it as an Aizu maki-e, but I still don't know whether it refers to a signature technique or a general category of maki-e originating from the Aizu region. Russ Stutler's oldie but goodie website has a description of a visit to Aizu with Platinum (https://www.stutler.cc/pens/aizu_makie/index.html) that includes pictures of the #3776 version being made!

 

Edit to add a picture of the #3776 version. Same artist signature as yours (not shown).

 

fpn_1557468676__img_7366.jpg

 

Oh, that is nice, thanks for sharing. I'd like to get that version too! Now I know what pen they were making on that website.

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A Smug Dill

You have a lovely-looking pen there.

 

The 3776, 3776 Century, and President nibs are all different. The 3776 are made from thinner stock than the rest and so can have a bit of spring, but that is being somewhat generous. The 3776 Century nibs are thicker and have feeds that supply lots of ink.

Um, I have several Platinum #3776 not-Century models with wooden barrels and snap caps, and I see no evidence that the nibs on them are different in thickness from that on the Platinum #3776 Century Bourgogne.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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You have a lovely-looking pen there.

 

 

Um, I have several Platinum #3776 not-Century models with wooden barrels and snap caps, and I see no evidence that the nibs on them are different in thickness from that on the Platinum #3776 Century Bourgogne.

Century nibs measure about twice as thick on my calipers.

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I find it interesting that several people have compared the non-elastic Nakaya nibs to the 3776 nibs. However, Platinum opts to use the stiffer President nib in their upper end (Izumo) pens.

"Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination."

Oscar Wilde

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I find it interesting that several people have compared the non-elastic Nakaya nibs to the 3776 nibs. However, Platinum opts to use the stiffer President nib in their upper end (Izumo) pens.

Nakaya (non-elastic) nibs are very similar in shape, feel, and thickness to the 3776 nibs. I dare say identical but I don't really know. There is a strong family resemblance let's say.

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Since the introduction of the 3776, Platinum has used three bais models for the nib. The original is curved around the feed. The other two are flatter and for different diameter feeds. Whether Platinum began using the larger nib and feed with the Century would take much more research.

 

However, over the years the inscriptions on the nibs have changed. Also, feeds that were originally ebonite and are now plastic. I believe this preceded the Century. My experience is the pens with ebonite feeds write better.

 

Some Platinum nibs are more flexible than others. No idea why or how. Maybe it is one in a hundred. Manufacturung defect, perhaps. Assuming the Nakaya nib is a Platinum clone, the nib can be flexible.

 

My presidents are very similar to the 3776. There is little flexiness.

 

All are smooth writers.

stan

Formerly Ryojusen Pens
The oldest and largest buyer and seller of vintage Japanese pens in America.


Member: Pen Collectors of America & Fuente, THE Japanese Pen Collectors Club

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mongrelnomad

I think the President nib on my Izumo is my favourite Platinum (or Nakaya) nib...

Too many pens; too little writing.

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ridiculopathy

I find it interesting that several people have compared the non-elastic Nakaya nibs to the 3776 nibs. However, Platinum opts to use the stiffer President nib in their upper end (Izumo) pens.

 

 

President nibs are 18K, which I suppose fits in with the higher end image.

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I think the President nib on my Izumo is my favourite Platinum (or Nakaya) nib...

Interesting...Is it the smoother stiffness? I wonder why Nakaya opted for to emulate/use nibs from Platinum's "lower" product lines.

"Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination."

Oscar Wilde

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Interesting...Is it the smoother stiffness? I wonder why Nakaya opted for to emulate/use nibs from Platinum's "lower" product lines.

Maybe because early Nakaya models were fancied up 3776 pens (older 3776, not the century)? I'm not 100% sure but I have one of their earliest pens and it's a 3776 with urushi. Maybe Platinum retained the President as a model for the parent company only?

Edited by zaddick

If you want less blah, blah, blah and more pictures, follow me on Instagram!

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