Japanese "Suisen" Daffodil Maki-e Fountain Pen


Three companies dominate Japanese fountain pen making, all established in the 1910's and 1920’s, and all motivated by their common desire to develop a superior Japanese counterpart to their Western competitors such as Waterman and Parker. Ironically, the latter companies have lost their once top dog positions in the 'fountain pen world', while Sailor, Pilot and Platinum today represent the Holy Trinity of excellence in writing utensils. The main and defining reason for this accolade is the fact that all three companies supervise their production from beginning to end within their very own factories. No subcontracting ensures total quality control, and private ownership protects their original vision and enthusiasm for pen making. 

Urushi lacquer (or maki-e) first used in Japan around 300BC, is a symbol for status, prosperity and discerning taste. It is therefore unsurprising that Sailor, Platinum and Pilot/ Namiki sought to apply this quintessentially Japanese technique to pen making early on during the 1920s. Beyond its aesthetic merit, the urushi lacquer acts as a protective casing as it is acid free, alkaline free and resistant to both heat and water. Maki-e comprises a broad range of techniques but translates essentially to 'sprinkled picture'. The choice of subject matter, through symbolism and allegory, reveals the individual expression of the maki-e artist as well as hinting to a feeling, personality and individual circumstances of the pen owner.

In this instance, the subject matter of daffodils is well codified in the Hanakotoba, a sort of dictionary of the meanings of flowers. A flower native to Europe and Northern Africa, the daffodil symbolises respect, making this pen a perfect gift for elders, a superior at work or anyone who you wish to convey respect and admiration for.

Back to pens - aesthetics aside, Pilot maintains its pole position for nib quality and this pen is no exception. We wholly recommend this beautiful implement as a gift or for any pen lover's collection.

Body material: 
Hand applied urushi lacquer with maki-e inlay.
Nib size: Medium
Nib material: 14k gold
Cap type: Threaded screw-on cap
Cartridge type: 
Takes Pilot cartridges which can be found here and is sold with a refillable Con-70 converter in the barrel for use with bottled ink. Can also be used with a Con-40 converter, which can be found here.
Dimensions: 14cm capped, 12cm uncapped, 15.5cm posted.
Included: presentation box, converter cartridge, one black ink cartridge.

Made in Japan