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Namiki Emperor Chinkin Dragon – the maki-e masterpiece

During my conversation with Lars yesterday, it was quite clear that his absolute favorite piece is the incredible Namiki Emperor Chinkin Dragon. An oversize writing instrument featuring a maki-e decoration of a dragon all around the barrel and the cap of the pen. Let’s have a look at this artwork.

Emperor and Dragon. A combination that has a long tradition. Historically, the Chinese dragon was associated with the Emperor of China and used as a symbol to represent imperial power. Emperors wore robes with dragon motif as an imperial symbol, and high officials might also be presented with dragon robes. Most commonly depicted as snake-like with four legs, the Chinese Dragons are widely used in Chinese artefacts. they traditionally symbolize potent and auspicious powers, particularly control over water, rainfall, typhoons, and floods. So no surprise that the chosen motif by the famous Master chiefs of the Kokkokai group of artisans is a golden dragon.

Jumbo size

Everything on this pen is just enormous. But let’s start with the nib of this fantastic writing instrument. 18ct solid gold and a size that impresses at first sight. Just huge and so well refined, as we are used by Namiki. Lars tells me, that he could use this pen every day because it has one incredible advantage compared to other pens. The size of the ink tank. 6 ml. You basically never run out of ink for weeks if not months. Not bad, right? The eye dropping filling system is the same of the Namiki from the 1930’s and filling it up is like a ceremony that the owner will enjoy.

Sumptuous details

Evidentially, most of the time, your eyes will fall on the decoration around the writing instrument. Every line, every dot and every sweep is just so precise and meticulously done that you could spend hours observing it. Multiple chinkin layers and a large use of gold powder bring this amazing design to life. Each pen is finished in marvelous hand chinkin technique in a process that can require up to a year. And this is quite remarkable in a world that is so hectic and impatient. 

I hope you enjoyed this short overview of this rare Namiki writing instrument. This is a such a stunning piece, that I can’t wait to see it again to discover the next tiny detail that I have missed the last time Lars and I had a chat.

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