Regular readers among you will by now have realised how popular Japanese fountain pens are becoming and how much we love these essential, efficient and at the same time sophisticated writing instruments. Among the major representatives of this category, of course, is Sailor, which with the King of Pen has certainly set a benchmark for Cigar-size fountain pens. And when functionality and art are combined, well… the result becomes poetry.
The King of Pen. Already the name is a program, isn’t it? The piece to aspire to. I have the chance to posses a couple of Sailor fountain pens and of course, a King of Pen must be part of it. And indeed, the King of Pen gives you a writing experience that can’t be compared to any other writing instrument, I know at least. The combination of a bold barrel and the finesse of the 21ct Gold nib is absolutely unique. If you haven’t tried it yet, make sure you get your hands on one of those as soon as you can. You won’t regret.
If there is one possible criticism to the King of Pen, you could maybe say, it has a little bit a boring style. In fact, the classic King of Pen is basically a black ebonite cigar-shaped barrel with a golden clip on it. That’s it. But evidentially Sailor, as almost every Japanese brand does, combines extremely functional design to ancient art and traditional manufacturing. The perfect synthesis of this essential sophistication is the latest King of Pen Tamenuri ‘Shirodame’ released lately by Sailor. A beautiful King of Pen made by master Koushu Nishihara with an ancient Urushi technique limited to 88 pieces worldwide.
Master Koushu Nishihara has already created 2 King of Pens with Tamenuri Urushi, the King of Pen Tamenuri and the King of Pen Tamenuri ‘Midoridame’, both sold out since ages. The name Tamenuri is particularly relevant for this Urushi technique as “Tame” means “pool” and “nuri” refers to the lacquer coating process. And you can actually see through the layers of clear urushi lacquer as if you were looking into a pool. So deep and fascinating. In fact, the artist applies translucent Suki-Urushi to a special base coating resulting in a deep patina which will naturally lighten and mature with use over time. One of the most interesting details about the Tamenuri ‘Shirodame’ is the almost white base of the cap (“Shiro” translates “white” in Japanese and “Midori” stands for “green”) and at the base of the barrel. If you remember our post about the Namiki Yukari Royal, we talked about Urushi laquer in general, which is normally black or red, so relatively dark colors. Therefore, it’s even more impressive the bright shades achieved on this piece. Absolutely stunning and already a highly collectible piece. Make sure you get one sooner rather than later.