19 October 2010


This chronicle is about one of those wonderful pens Mr. Niikura usually brings to the Wagner pen clinics. It is a Pilot pen manufactured, or labeled, for the Matsuzakaya department stores.

This is a black ebonite safety pen—the ink deposit is filled through the retracted nib. According to Lambrou’s Fountain Pens of the World, in the jargon of the company, safety pens were called L-shiki (L-式). Most likely, then, this pen dates back from the early 1920s.

14 K gold, number 2 nib. Made in Japan.

Fine nib, the kanji on the label says. And that might have been the price at its time: JPY 4.50.

As was the case for some other pens mentioned on these chronicles (I, II, III), this pen was sold only at the department stores whose name was engraved on the barrel. But back in the 1920s, the reasons behind this strategy were very different to those of Itoya’s and Maruzen’s regarding their current pens and inks.

My thanks to Mr. Niikura.

(Pilot Elite pocket pen with Silver cap – Sailor Red Brown)

Bruno Taut
(Tokyo, October 18th-19th, 2010)
[labels: evento, Mercado, Pilot]

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