Pilot Namiki limited edition pen to celebrate the accession of the Emperor Akihito in 1990. On the accession of a new Emperor the Japanese calendar starts a new era, named by the emperor and the year of his accession is Year 1 of the new calendar era. Akihito named his era “Heisei” a name taken from Chinese history and philosophy, meaning peace on heaven and earth. The name “Heisei is written on the end of the barrel.
The design of the double phoenix by the maki-e artist Kyusai Yoshida represents renewal and re-birth. The Taka-maki-e technique was used by the artist to show each phoenix in three dimensions on the cap and barrel using pure gold, blue gold and platinum powders amongst the foliage. The artist created a pen filled with symbols suited to the start of a new Emperor’s reign: silver clouds on the cap represent ashes, the clip engraved denotes eternity while the nib engraving denotes “strong progress”. The artist’s signature is on the barrel.
The edition was limited to 1000 pens. This pen edition number is 1035, imprinted on the barrel end. The explanation for the pen numbering above 1000 is that the numbers 4 and 9 are considered taboo, unlucky and so numbers containing a 4 or 9 were not used.
The pen has a Namiki medium nib (which writes quite a fine line) and a push down piston filler. I tested the pen just once to see how it wrote so it is in mint condition. It comes in the original wood case with the edition’s bottle of ink but does not have the outer card box or document.
Information about he pen is in the reference book “Fountain Pens of Japan” by Andreas Lambrou and Massa Sunami.
Price: £995 ($1259 €1198) ….. Including shipping
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