DUNHILL-NAMIKI: Cat, Moon and Foliage Maki-e Fountain Pen, A-Grade, Signed by Hakuko, Period Case, c.1930

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Lot 237
DUNHILL-NAMIKI: Cat, Moon and Foliage Maki-e Fountain Pen, A-Grade, Signed by Hakuko, Period Case, c.1930

US$ 25,000 - 35,000
£ 19,000 - 26,000
Vintage Namiki
DUNHILL-NAMIKI: Cat, Moon and Foliage Maki-e Fountain Pen, A-Grade, Signed by Hakuko, Period Case, c.1930
A rare and significant A-grade pen in pristine condition with bright lustre and sharp details, depicting a black cat reposing among flowering plants; the cap depicts a vast autumn moon rising above assorted foliage. Lever-filler, 133mm. Nib engraved "DUNHILL / LONDON / 14CT / NAMIKI / MADE IN / JAPAN". In period deep blue morocco case, top stamped "MUTZI / 22, April 1935," lined with red velvet and silk.

The maki-e work is rendered in a breathtaking array of techniques, including togidashi, raised shishi-togidashimaki-e, cut gold leaf kirikane, highly reflective gold ground kinji, and irridescent raden. The gold dust decoration covers the full length of the pen, extending to the feed, an extravagance reserved for the very finest examples. The quality of decoration is exceptionally strong, rivaling that of Shogo himself; the work is by core Kokkokai member Hakuko, whose work is not recorded in the standard tetralogy of Namiki reference books by Murakami, Hutt & Overbury, Larquemin and Canton. However, it is noted in Pilot's internally-circulated 60th Anniversary history book (1979) that Hakuko's maki-e lacquer screen entitled "Golden Turtle" was regarded as an unrivalled "masterpiece of masterpieces," placing Hakuko in the same rarefied category of craftsmen as Shogo, Ritsuzan and, perhaps, Gonroku Matsuda himself. It is probable that the present lot is the only surviving pen made by him.
-Marakami, Tomihiro. Dunhill-Namiki and Lacquer Pens. [Sakura City: 2002]. See p.58 for a photo of Hakuko taken from an Italian newspaper ad for Dunhill-Namiki imports, 1930s.
Provenance: Property of a Gentleman.
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