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Urushi Montblanc



Inky.Fingers

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LawrenceN

I uploaded a number of pictures of mine a few months ago (an LE88) but for some reason the forum had them removed

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Probably when you posted the photos said pen was not yet released. It should be fine now. 

 

Mind you, we are talking about a EUR 40,000 or so pen- wont be available at many boutiques just saying :)

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Look up photos tagged with Bokumondo on Instagram. There are a lot of nice 149s there which she has decorated. Her website does not have many 149 pics: https://www.bokumondoh.com/works-1/万年筆-fountain-pens/

 

Michal at Tamenuri Studio has started to do more work on 149s. Here is his site, but IG is better for photos: https://tamenuri.com/

 

Finally Diwakar at District Urushi has been doing 149 customizations with raden: https://www.districturushi.com/

 

That gives you options in APAC, Europe, and the Americas. 

 

Any Yes, MB has one coming out as Pravda noted with a  price so reasonable you might want to pick up a few for assorted gifts to friends. 

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

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fountainpen51
On 1/18/2021 at 1:08 AM, LawrenceN said:

Let's see if this image is allowed to stick

DSC_4455.png

Can you put a picture of the whole pen? looks great! who is the artist??

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I'm not familiar with the process used to decorate those pens. Is it durable (i.e., will it last through the pen's lifetime or is it a more ephemeral embellishment)? Does it require any special care or handling?

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If well cared for, should last several generations. Just look at pictures from museums of old urushi / lacquered items and see how long back you can go.

 

What is well cared for? As I understand it (but I'm no expert) you have to be careful with UV light and try to avoid scratches and beats. No posting. Or if you prefer, no posting and storing them in a dark, soft "place" (e.g. a cloth/silk sleeve or inside its box).

 

Remember, I am no expert, so do not take me too literally.

 

Added:

http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/j/japanese-export-lacquer-panel/

Accordingly, it should last at least 400 years. But there are lacquered objects from Japan dating from 7000 BC.

 

 

 

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But I have to say that it's one thing to have an urushi lacquered display item or something not handled a lot vs an item that is used and taken from place to place etc.   Once, I start hearing about the UV light problem and not posting pens with urushi lacquer, this doesn't bode well for 'genuine' durability but more of a finish that will last a very long time.... if appropriately cared for.  IOW's it's more that it will not  naturally decay with time as some other finishes will despite care.

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LawrenceN
On 2/10/2021 at 4:17 AM, fountainpen51 said:

Can you put a picture of the whole pen? looks great! who is the artist??

Well, I don't know about the specific artisan.  I think "Chisō" of Japan was involved.

Here are some more pictures. 

 

 

DSC_4447.jpeg

DSC_4446.jpeg

DSC_4457.jpeg

DSC_4461.jpeg

DSC_4462.jpeg

DSC_4464.jpeg

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1 hour ago, LawrenceN said:

Well, I don't know about the specific artisan.  I think "Chisō" of Japan was involved.

Here are some more pictures. 

 

 

DSC_4447.jpeg

DSC_4446.jpeg

DSC_4457.jpeg

DSC_4461.jpeg

DSC_4462.jpeg

DSC_4464.jpeg

If I am paying 40,000 Euro, that nib  better be made of Gold or something :)

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fountainpen51
2 hours ago, LawrenceN said:

Well, I don't know about the specific artisan.  I think "Chisō" of Japan was involved.

Here are some more pictures. 

 

 

DSC_4447.jpeg

DSC_4446.jpeg

DSC_4457.jpeg

DSC_4461.jpeg

DSC_4462.jpeg

DSC_4464.jpeg

Thanks!

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20 hours ago, maclink said:

But I have to say that it's one thing to have an urushi lacquered display item or something not handled a lot vs an item that is used and taken from place to place etc.   Once, I start hearing about the UV light problem and not posting pens with urushi lacquer, this doesn't bode well for 'genuine' durability but more of a finish that will last a very long time.... if appropriately cared for.  IOW's it's more that it will not  naturally decay with time as some other finishes will despite care.

 

I would expect that if daily-use lacquered items like bowls, teacups or teapots, storage boxes, jeweler boxes, etc... have lasted centuries, so should a fountain pen.

 

I guess it all stems from a difference in (temporal) cultural backgrounds.

 

As for difficulty of care, for comparison: ebonite should be kept from humidity and UV light... and yet you can still find many black hard rubber pens over one century old that have been used and still are in pristine condition. What will make them brown or green is washing them with water, not drying them and leaving them exposed to the sun: in the long run it will degrade. Washing them, drying them and not forgetting them in an open table under tropical sun is enough. Even so, a light polishing will restore much of the original look. Same with lacquer: you are not expected to leave the item on the open sun over a table, forgotten for days, and even so, some light polishing may do away with many scratches (if it is still there when you return).

 

I'd guess the main difference is that those ancient items were actually preferred and used everyday, specially because they required a lot less care than "common" objects: in a time where everyday objects were made of -several orders or magnitude more fragile- wood or earthenware, lacquered objects were a lot sturdier and longer lasting. From that point of view, lacquer is a great asset, that requires less care and improves durability (besides aesthetics). Also in a -not so long gone- time when repairing objects was common, a slight scratch was likely of no relevance as you could have an artisan give it additional lacquer layers for relatively little cost.

 

From a modern consumerist point of view, where you do not care about durability, where everything is cheaply replaceable, nothing is cared for but simply substituted, everything is machine made at marginal costs, and you are continuously bombarded with "eternal youth" marketing, I can understand that an item that is hand made, more expensive, may age, cannot easily be fixed and is irreplaceable, may look like a "risky" business.

 

YMMV. I grew up in the ancient world, before "Duralex", "Pyrex" and the like, when everything was fragile, expensive to replace, cheap to fix, and you were used to care for everything because everything was fragile. For me, lacquer is a great business: it means an item that, whether cared for or not, will outlast any non-lacquered equivalent under the same circumstances. It is certainly not something to use and discard, not something to misuse carelessly because it is mass produced and easily replaceable. But it will still be longer lasting than any equivalent non-lacquered item.

 

Not to mention: UV may cause cracks, yes... which only add to the beauty of the item with time. Witness old china in museums, with the cracked enamel. So it will become a "living" thing, that ages and evolves with time (which BTW is also within the ethos of the Japanese culture embodied by urushi). It is all a matter of taste. Me, I grew up in a time when age was venerable, not disgusting, and nothing was expected to be eternally immutable or discarded at the first blemish. But if you expect everything to be pristine condition and discarded at the first change, then I reckon urushi may not be for you.

 

Hence, YMMV.

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1 hour ago, txomsy said:

 

I would expect that if daily-use lacquered items like bowls, teacups or teapots, storage boxes, jeweler boxes, etc... have lasted centuries, so should a fountain pen.

 

I guess it all stems from a difference in (temporal) cultural backgrounds.

 

As for difficulty of care, for comparison: ebonite should be kept from humidity and UV light... and yet you can still find many black hard rubber pens over one century old that have been used and still are in pristine condition. What will make them brown or green is washing them with water, not drying them and leaving them exposed to the sun: in the long run it will degrade. Washing them, drying them and not forgetting them in an open table under tropical sun is enough. Even so, a light polishing will restore much of the original look. Same with lacquer: you are not expected to leave the item on the open sun over a table, forgotten for days, and even so, some light polishing may do away with many scratches (if it is still there when you return).

 

I'd guess the main difference is that those ancient items were actually preferred and used everyday, specially because they required a lot less care than "common" objects: in a time where everyday objects were made of -several orders or magnitude more fragile- wood or earthenware, lacquered objects were a lot sturdier and longer lasting. From that point of view, lacquer is a great asset, that requires less care and improves durability (besides aesthetics). Also in a -not so long gone- time when repairing objects was common, a slight scratch was likely of no relevance as you could have an artisan give it additional lacquer layers for relatively little cost.

 

From a modern consumerist point of view, where you do not care about durability, where everything is cheaply replaceable, nothing is cared for but simply substituted, everything is machine made at marginal costs, and you are continuously bombarded with "eternal youth" marketing, I can understand that an item that is hand made, more expensive, may age, cannot easily be fixed and is irreplaceable, may look like a "risky" business.

 

YMMV. I grew up in the ancient world, before "Duralex", "Pyrex" and the like, when everything was fragile, expensive to replace, cheap to fix, and you were used to care for everything because everything was fragile. For me, lacquer is a great business: it means an item that, whether cared for or not, will outlast any non-lacquered equivalent under the same circumstances. It is certainly not something to use and discard, not something to misuse carelessly because it is mass produced and easily replaceable. But it will still be longer lasting than any equivalent non-lacquered item.

 

Not to mention: UV may cause cracks, yes... which only add to the beauty of the item with time. Witness old china in museums, with the cracked enamel. So it will become a "living" thing, that ages and evolves with time (which BTW is also within the ethos of the Japanese culture embodied by urushi). It is all a matter of taste. Me, I grew up in a time when age was venerable, not disgusting, and nothing was expected to be eternally immutable or discarded at the first blemish. But if you expect everything to be pristine condition and discarded at the first change, then I reckon urushi may not be for you.

 

Hence, YMMV.

Thanks for that response. Just what I was looking for since I have no direct prolonged experience with Urushi lacquer. 

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