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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Pelikan Maki-e Unique Collection: No. 10 Samurai

The Namiki Limited Edition 2012 reminded us of the Pelikan Unique Collection number 10, titled Samurai. In our option, this is most beautiful maki-e pen in this year (2012) Pelikan Unique Collection Edition 2012.

Looking at the both pens, we couldn't help but wonder if both maki-e artisan Yamazaki and Kawagaki has a informal tea session over the artwork and theme for both pens before the project was launched.

This is not the first time we noticed such similarity in theme and artwork of maki-e pens by different brands ... sound like the Apple and Samsung smart phone.


From the pictures of both pens, we can see that the Pelikan maki-e artwork is much complex and the good details as compare to Namiki. The maki-e technique use too is more technique.

The Pelikan Maki-e Samurai from Unique Collection 2012 uses 3 maki-e technique, the Togidashi, Taka and raden maki-e technique.

The Taka or high relief maki-e technique is the most complex of the three techniques on the Pelikan Samurai Maki-e Unique Collection Edition 2012. The artisan mixes charcoal powder or gold powder into the lacquer, so that the pattern of the design is raised above the surface, giving the design pattern a three-dimensional effect.

 If your thumb glides over the surface, you will feel the difference.

The togidahsi maki-e technique required the artisan to apply multitude layers of the rare Japanese lacquer Urushi and polished each layer to give the pen a perfect finishing. 

The artisan first draw the design on a tracing paper. He transfer the design on the pen by tracing the design. He then uses the desired colored lacquere prepare the artisan himself to paint the design. Once the design is completed, he then sprinkled with a multitude of lacquer-layers or gold and silver dust.


The raden maki-e technique is look simple as it just required the artisan to "paste" the raden on the pen.

In this Pelikan Samurai maki-e Unique Collection Edition 2012 pen, the raden maki-e technique is used to  decorate  the leaves.

The raden is actually the blue color part of the abalone shell. Though the size of this abalone shell is big, you will notice that the blue colour part of the abalone shell is actually only a small part. The blue part of the abalone shell are cut into small piecess and affixed to the coating of lacquer on the fountain pen.

Once that is done, the fountain pen is coated once again with lacquer, and then the surface is polished one more time. The coating and polishing process is repeated many times. It was believed to be about 15 - 20 plus layer of urushi is necessary to give the maki-e the perfect finishing that we see.

As this is natural material, no two leave look and have the same color.


Like all art work, we need to brief mentioned the theme of the pens. The following paragraph was taken was provided by Pelikan.

Shogun was the title of the military dictators who reigned in Japan from 1192 to 1867. In 1725, the Shogun Tokugawa Yoshimune held the first deer hunting event in Japan. Remembering this historic event, a deer hunting scene has been re-created on this fountain pen. It shows a Samurai riding on his horse, about to hunt a deer using the typical Japanese bow and arrows.

Auction details
Artist:Mr. Mushu Yamazaki
Based on model:Souverän M 1000
Nib:18 carat gold, size M
Techniques:Togidashi-Taka-Maki-e
Minimum Offer:9.500 €
Bidding starts:Oct. 12th, 2012 - 2PM CEST
The hammer falls:Oct. 19th, 2012- 2PM CEST


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