Shortly after the Souverän M800 40 Years Anniversary Edition, Pelikan has just announced a new Maki-e Limited Edition inspired by the legendary Phoenix bird and its meaningful legends. Like every other Maki-e work of the German, the new edition looks impressive and is available in a very limited number of copies, as expected. Let’s discover it below!
Appearing in myths, ornaments, works of art and widespread in East Asian culture, the Phoenix is one of the most prominent symbols in Chinese mythology standing for virtue, wisdom, harmony, beauty and prosperity. In addition to its symbolism, the Phoenix possesses an extraordinary beauty, no wonder why it inspired this Maki-e edition.
To portray the splendour of the Phoenix and capture as much detail as possible, Pelikan used the mighty M1000 as a canvas due to its generous dimensions, as they did with previous Maki-e editions. Looking at the complexity of the illustrations on this pen and considering the Maki-e techniques used, it is clear that we are dealing with a masterpiece. Of all the four main techniques, this edition showcases the most elaborate as it combines both Togidashi Maki-e and Taka Maki-e techniques.
The first coat of Urushi lacquer heralds the start of the decorating process, which can take hours to complete as artisans must wait until each layer of lacquer is completely dry before moving on to the next step. The Pheonix bird is beautifully highlighted by the coloured lacquer applied to the surface.
The bird’s neck and head are made of what looks like raden, a fine detail that is sure to shine exquisitely in the light. By using the Taka Maki-e technique and applying multiple coats of Urushi lacquer to key elements of the illustration, the artists were able to raise the silhouette of the bird thus achieving a three-dimensional effect that can be felt by touch.
As for the technical specs of this edition, nothing has changed, so we’re talking about the same famous piston filling system and 18k gold nib (medium size) engraved with the Pelikan logo. To match the edition, Pelikan also produced a traditional Japanese pen box made out of paulownia wood.
Due to the fact that each pen is hand-painted, there are only 123 copies available worldwide priced at €3,700, which are already sold out, according to German brand officials.
What I’ve always liked about Pelikan’s Maki-e artworks, besides the breathtaking appearance, is the collaboration between the two cultures and the exchange of expertise – each pen is produced and assembled in Germany (meeting German quality standards) then flies straight to Japan where the decoration process is carried out by skilled Urushi artists.