Thursday, January 6, 2011

Namiki Goldfish

This is my first post. It's going to be long.

This goldfish pen is rather rare these days. But in 2001, it has been on the display shelve of the shop for months. at that time, there aren't many maki-e pen collectors.

Namiki artists are expert when it come to painting goldfish. Why? Bacause it is used as a training subject for new artist.
You can see from the pictures the steps and layers of lacquer painting requires to create this piece of artwork. In fact there are more steps than what is shown.

The translucent fins against the background give life to the goldfish.

At that time, Namiki pens are grade according to and amount of gold dust use on the pen. This is a grade A pen.
Grade A - Lots gold dust. Pen clip is also cover in gold dust
Grade B - Less gold dust. Pen clip not painted
Grade C - No gold dust, except those use as part of the arkwork
Today, this rule is no longer in use (I think). I judge the pen based on the quality of the artwork. But the grading system is a good guide for me then as a beginner.

The artist who painted this pen is 百川.
He is about the same age as Kyosa Yoshida. And probably retired because I don't see his work these days.

Namiki pens in the early 2000s are mostly remake of earlier design.

This 1930s pen looks samilar to the modern piece in design.

I wanted to post about my collection based on the sequence I acquire them. But the goldfish is the 2nd pen in my collection. So why I post it first? Because it's the first pen I laid my eyes on but I wasn't ready to pay that kind of price for a pen. Luckily, maki-e pen was not so popular then. And its was still on the display shelve when I decide to get it.


  1. Alex, nice collection! Do you also collect vintage Namiki items? If so, please do get in touch with me! I have my own collection and I'm keen to meet other afficionados or collectors. email me at please!

  2. Hi rasqal8, thanks for visiting.
    I did not collect an vintage Namiki. Partly because they are too expensive. I can purchase lot most modern pieces with that amount

  3. Alex, have you seen the Kingfisher and Turtle Dunhill Namikis?

  4. @Jason - I've seen pictures of both pens but not the actual pens.

  5. Where are you located? I have them both at the Dunhill store in New York City

  6. Thanks but I'm located in Asia. Too far away.

  7. I just discovered this blogspot. Many thanks for sharing your Maki-pen collection. I am also a maki-pen collector. Cheers, Danny