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Please ID this 1984 Pilot Maki-e pen



PithyProlix

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PithyProlix

And a translation of the Japanese would be very much appreciated as well.

 

I just purchased it - should receive it in a couple days. It will be my first Maki-e pen.

 

 

9a1f8420-2fb6-410a-9b98-47fc0bbaa644.jpg

b2ebe9d4-9431-489b-981d-14e389874670.jpg

489ef30d-d975-4580-bce2-7c0846a04c71.jpg

86e409d8-e4d4-46f8-84f1-deeaf32bbd33.jpg

"Most people enjoy the sight of their own handwriting as they enjoy the smell of their own farts." - W. H. Auden

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It's a Pilot Deluxe.  國光會 is Kokkokai, Pilot's in-house group of maki-e artists.  Their modern website is here: https://www.pilot-namiki.com/en/about/kokkokai.html

 

The artist's personal signature looks like 久山 to me, but I don't have access to a list of the artists to give you any more information based on the name.  The most comprehensive lists are in books I don't own.  The link above lists currently active members, while this link has a bunch of names but not the one on your pen: http://www.smokingsamurai.com/DUNHILL_NAMIKI.html

 

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Maki-eMagic

It is in Fountain Pens of Japan as Soukaku (cranes) by kokkokai - but FPOJ doesn't identify the artist who left the signature, and neither do any of the current selling listings. I had a copy of Briggs collection on loan but returned it, so can't cross check there, and I've seen a Namiki Yukari cranes by Masato and Dunhill Namiki cranes by Masaru but clearly this one is 10 years or slightly more older than both and by someone else.

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PithyProlix

Thank you both, @liubrianand @Maki-eMagic. I wasn't looking for a maki-e pen - didn't know much about them other than admiring the pictures I have seen online - and this was an unexpected purchase. I am learning about maki-e now so I really appreciate the information and the links. Fascinating! 

 

 

"Most people enjoy the sight of their own handwriting as they enjoy the smell of their own farts." - W. H. Auden

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PithyProlix

BTW, I did a bit of Googling and the only thing I could find about this artist was a blog post description and pictures of what looks might be another one of his pens, here: http://taka215.blog63.fc2.com/blog-entry-16.html. If the Google translation is correct the pen was made in the late 1970s.

 

This is the image from that blog post.

 

 

pilot_tokei_01.jpg

"Most people enjoy the sight of their own handwriting as they enjoy the smell of their own farts." - W. H. Auden

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IlikeInksandIcannotlie

As the others have said, it is a Pilot Deluxe Maki- e, I got the plain black version a while ago. The nib will be a little soft (perhaps, mine is an 18K version and was produced in 1976). The 1984 Pilot Catalogue on kamisama gives the price of this pen as 100,000 yen. Beware while you use the pen, though, the ring at the front, just behind the nib tends to lose its plating.

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A Smug Dill
4 hours ago, PithyProlix said:

This is the image from that blog post.

 

Now that is a good-looking pen! :drool:

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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Maki-eMagic
4 hours ago, PithyProlix said:

BTW, I did a bit of Googling and the only thing I could find about this artist was a blog post description and pictures of what looks might be another one of his pens, here: http://taka215.blog63.fc2.com/blog-entry-16.html. If the Google translation is correct the pen was made in the late 1970s.

 

This is the image from that blog post.

 

 

pilot_tokei_01.jpg

 

Ah this one I can find the name for, according to FPOJ page 244, it is tokei ((male chicken caught by profanity filter) fight) by Gen (Moto-o Takamura) - but Gen Takamura's signature is in the Dunhill Namiki list and does not match your pen. To complicate things there is an error in the FPOJ entry where this pen is the leftmost pen of three, but FPOJ mixes up left and right sides in the description (describing the left pen as botan (peony) by Senzan Murata, and the right hand pen as tokei by Gen Takamura. I suppose there is a chance the pen names only were mixed up but the artists were not and this is by Senzan Murata? Check out the last signature on the Dunhill page: Senzan (no second name) and the middle character 山 is correct (according to what I can see from your photo), but the first and third aren't quite the same - though it is clearly a bad photo on the Dunhill page. Does your pen signature look like the last one on the list for Senzan?

 

Edit - just to make things stranger, there is another one of these tokei for sale which is clearly made by Kyusai Yoshida (I've two of his pens with me as I write this), and that signature of course nothing like the one on the image above.. so multiple different people clearly made this pen (common in the Namiki Yukari line even today but less common for pens as nice as this).

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IlikeInksandIcannotlie
43 minutes ago, A Smug Dill said:

Now that is a good-looking pen! :drool:

You'll have to go vintage for this, Smug!

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PithyProlix
42 minutes ago, Maki-eMagic said:

Does your pen signature look like the last one on the list for Senzan?

 

Sorry, did you mean to post an image from FPOJ? Unfortunately I don't have the book. I expect the pen to arrive tomorrow - I will post better photos.

 

Thanks again for helping! 

"Most people enjoy the sight of their own handwriting as they enjoy the smell of their own farts." - W. H. Auden

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PithyProlix
3 hours ago, IlikeInksandIcannotlie said:

As the others have said, it is a Pilot Deluxe Maki- e, I got the plain black version a while ago. The nib will be a little soft (perhaps, mine is an 18K version and was produced in 1976). The 1984 Pilot Catalogue on kamisama gives the price of this pen as 100,000 yen. Beware while you use the pen, though, the ring at the front, just behind the nib tends to lose its plating.

The funny thing is that, although I do not have a Deluxe, I've seen a few for sale here in Thailand every once in a while. I have even identified one for someone else! I guess the maki-e (plus an aging brain, perhaps) threw me off. As soon as I read liubrian's initial reply, I thought, 'duh, of course it's a Deluxe' ... 

 

Thanks for the pricing information and the pointer about the ring plating. If this pen has no evidence of having been inked I might just keep it that way. 

"Most people enjoy the sight of their own handwriting as they enjoy the smell of their own farts." - W. H. Auden

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IlikeInksandIcannotlie
6 hours ago, PithyProlix said:

This is the image from that blog post.

By the way, this pen was worth much more, the MRP was 250k yen for this model.

 

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Maki-eMagic
10 hours ago, PithyProlix said:

 

Sorry, did you mean to post an image from FPOJ? Unfortunately I don't have the book. I expect the pen to arrive tomorrow - I will post better photos.

 

Thanks again for helping! 

No, FPOJ doesn't have an image of the signature, best if you share the signature when it arrives - when you've stopped admiring a lovely pen!

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PithyProlix
14 hours ago, Maki-eMagic said:

Does your pen signature look like the last one on the list for Senzan?

 

13 hours ago, PithyProlix said:

 

Sorry, did you mean to post an image from FPOJ? Unfortunately I don't have the book. I expect the pen to arrive tomorrow - I will post better photos.

 

Thanks again for helping! 

 

3 hours ago, Maki-eMagic said:

No, FPOJ doesn't have an image of the signature, best if you share the signature when it arrives - when you've stopped admiring a lovely pen!

 

Sorry, I do not know what you wrote - "... last [signature] on the list for Senzan..." - refers to. 

 

Pen is in the final delivery stage :) - pictures soon! 

"Most people enjoy the sight of their own handwriting as they enjoy the smell of their own farts." - W. H. Auden

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Maki-eMagic
1 hour ago, PithyProlix said:

 

 

 

Sorry, I do not know what you wrote - "... last [signature] on the list for Senzan..." - refers to. 

 

Pen is in the final delivery stage :) - pictures soon! 

http://www.smokingsamurai.com/DUNHILL_NAMIKI.html

 

In the Marks section of this web page (click on it under the main body) is the list of signatures. The last one, incomplete and a little blurry is Senzan - let's see if your pen when you get it matches that (I suspect it won't).

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PithyProlix
17 minutes ago, Maki-eMagic said:

http://www.smokingsamurai.com/DUNHILL_NAMIKI.html

 

In the Marks section of this web page (click on it under the main body) is the list of signatures. The last one, incomplete and a little blurry is Senzan - let's see if your pen when you get it matches that (I suspect it won't).

 

Gotcha - sorry, I should have figured that out. I am taking photos of the pen right now but here's a quick n' dirty photo of the signature.

 

The first character is definitely not a match to Senzan's signature. Perhaps it's a match to Kyusai's? If yes, does that mean the artist's name starts with "Kyu"?

And I'm thinking the second character does not match Senzan's - Senzan's seems left/right symmetric. The second character of the signature on mine does not. 

 

Just perhaps, it matches the signature on the 'chicken fight' pen image I posted earlier. That image is really low resolution but I did some processing - the 2nd character in both signatures appears to have a square-ish 'hook' on the right. But it's still hard to tell - plus the artist of that pen is not on the smokingsamurai page either.

 

signature2.thumb.jpg.1de2cbef444edbfd59ef74b39168f624.jpg

 

 

pilot_tokei_sig_01.jpg.07ce129a4623a830ea16c579bba1f767.jpg

"Most people enjoy the sight of their own handwriting as they enjoy the smell of their own farts." - W. H. Auden

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PithyProlix

By the way: Wowee - my pen is SO BEAUTIFUL and exudes top quality. The photos don't really do it justice whatsoever. And I don't think it's ever seen any ink.

 

Pen maki-e is on a cylindrical surface, of course. I'm curious if there is a fairly easy way to stitch together photos of it and geometrically project the resulting image onto a flat surface - especially in a way that the resulting geometry doesn't appear distorted. (?)

"Most people enjoy the sight of their own handwriting as they enjoy the smell of their own farts." - W. H. Auden

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PithyProlix

OK, with some assumptions that the information on the blog I linked to is correct, I think the artist of my pen is Kyusai (also translated as Kusai), who is listed on the smokingsamurai page. It was a little difficult to figure out, I'm ignorant of how Japanese works, and my explanation might be a bit confusing, so please bear with me and let me know if you think I am correct or not.

 

  • I looked again at the untranslated Japanese text of the blog post I linked to previously (http://taka215.blog63.fc2.com/blog-entry-16.html). The blog author is Yoshiharu-san, who seems to have a very large and very incredible collection.


    作者は吉田久斎さんです。 銘の「久山」は久斎さんの若かりし時の銘です。
     

    so the blog post author identifies the inscription as 久山. Google translates the above to "The author is Hisashi Yoshida. The inscription "Hisayama" is the inscription of Mr. Hisayama when he was young." [emphasis added] (I don't know why in the first sentence the name is "Hisashi Yoshida" and in the second it is "Mr. Hisayama".)

  • Yoshiharu-san identifies the inscription of the older Hisashi Yoshida/Mr. Hisayama as 久斎.

  • Yoshiharu-san has another blog post for another pen - a Mandarin duck pen - with the same inscription and same text as his previous post I linked to: http://taka215.blog63.fc2.com/blog-entry-14.html. It also has the same text, "The author is Hisashi Yoshida. The inscription "Hisayama" is the inscription of Mr. Hisayama when he was young." BUT, note the Google translation of the post title:

    久斎作「鴛鴦(おしどり)」[Google translation: Kusai's "Mandarin duck"]

    Of course, there is an inconsistency between how Google translates 久斎, even on the same page: in the title it is "Kusai" and in the text is "Hisayama". Put 久斎 into Google Translate by itself and the translation is "Kusai".
  • The image of the signature on this Mandarin duck pen appears to be a very close match to mine. (For some reason FPN won't embed the image so I am uploading here.) Also the date code on the nib indicates 1981, just three years before my pen.
    pilot_oshidori_02.jpg.7b723bb240c82f31ea32249c09dc054d.jpg
  • There's another post (http://taka215.blog63.fc2.com/blog-entry-17.html) with a pen that Yoshiharu-san identifies the artist's name as 吉田久斎. Google again translates this to "Hisashi Yoshida" but note that the 'Kusai' signature - 久斎 - is part of the name. (There is no date code on the nib - the translated blog text indicates 1996.)
    dunhill_uzura02.jpg.b7b0734d12bbc588385a65a303fba008.jpg
  • The signature for Kusai on http://www.smokingsamurai.com/DUNHILL_NAMIKI.html - it appears to match the quail pen above created by the older Kusai/Hisashi Yoshida (again FPN is not embedding):
    Kyusai1.jpg.05b13a06daf2be063e8ec77486d36617.jpgKyusai2.jpg.405b1790f433250748bd928bba089791.jpg
  • The text on the the smokingsamurai page is "Signature: Kyusai [久齋] Kyusai Yoshida [吉田 久齋]" (Note: "Yoshida"). The 2nd character is slightly different -  on the blog site versus 齋 on smokingsamurai - but Google translates them to the same thing.

 

By the way, here are some more pens Yoshiro-san identifies as Kyusai's (Hisashi Yoshida) - no signature can be seen in these photos:

http://taka215.blog63.fc2.com/blog-entry-2.html 

http://taka215.blog63.fc2.com/blog-entry-65.html

http://taka215.blog63.fc2.com/blog-entry-85.html

http://taka215.blog63.fc2.com/blog-entry-309.html

http://taka215.blog63.fc2.com/blog-entry-395.html (2nd row, right; 3rd row, right)

http://taka215.blog63.fc2.com/blog-entry-396.html (first picture, left)

 

A Google image search on  久斎 or 久齋 yields many more of Kyusai's pens, pictures of him, etc.

 

"Most people enjoy the sight of their own handwriting as they enjoy the smell of their own farts." - W. H. Auden

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Great sleuthing. Thank you.

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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