The Namiki Yukari Royale Catfish and Gourd (Hyoutan Namazu) fountain pen has been produced in just 200 numbered pieces worldwide. Noted Maki-e artist Seiki has utilized a variety of techniques, including burnished and raised Togidashi Take and high relief Taka Maki-e, to realize the motif. Precious materials used include both gold and platinum dust.
The theme of Catfish and Gourd is inspired by an ancient Zen koan which asks the question, "how does one catch a catfish with a gourd?" Interpretations, both literary and pictorial, have tended to emphasize the elusive, slippery nature of the catfish and the near impossibility of capturing it with a gourd by conventional or rational means.
Seiki's interpretation, however, seems to find a peacefulness not seen in most depictions - the catfish swims tranquilly while gourds, which are also traditional symbols of wealth and well-being, float overhead.
At least four different Maki-e techniques have been used in the creation of this pen.
is a method in which gilded patterns are dried, recoated
with Urushi, and burnished to a high sheen using
charcoal. This technique dates to the 7th century.
Taka-maki-e method is used on patterns in raised
relief and dates to the 12th century. See how the light
reflects off of the raised surfaces of
the gourd and the catfish. This is one of the most
labor-intensive methods used in the production of Maki-e
Kakiwari and Bokashi techniques have been used for the veins of the leaves - every detail of this motif has been realized with the exquisite attentiveness of a master artisan.
Note the heavy use of gold flake in the body of the pen. The artist's signature is in red kanji. Also notice how the presentation box is shaped like a gourd (see above). The ink bottle that comes with this fountain pen has an image of the catfish on it as well.
Each pen is provided with an 18k solid gold Broad nib. Customers desiring a finer point on this pen will be accommodated with a complementary regrind to the tipping size of their choice.
Retail Price: $6500.00
Our normal sale price: $5200.00 - but
call for special pricing on this extraordinary limited
Unless requested otherwise, each pen or nib you purchase from us will be carefully examined, tested, and optimized for your personal writing characteristics before it ships. See our nib set-up and optimization page for more details.