25 March 2013

N. M. & Co.

NOTE added on 9/Feb/2018: I completely misunderstood the pen described on this Chronicle. In actual terms, it is not a plain eyedropper pen but a beautiful example of the naikan shiki (inner tube mechanism) present in very early Pilot pens. Its beautiful nib is, most likely, original.

More information, on the following Chronicle: http://estilofilos.blogspot.jp/2018/02/inner-tube-system.html

From the latest pen to a very early one.

The pen on display today is a very early Pilot. In a nutshell, it is a black-chased hard rubber pen with a size 3 nib made of 14 K gold. This is an eyedropper pen, as was usually the case on the early Japanese pens. However, contrary to the very Japanese trend, in this case the ink deposit has no mechanism to be sealed when the pen was not in use. No hoshiawase, no shut-off valve—nothing. In this regard, this Pilot is very much alike to many Waterman’s pens from the beginning of the twentieth century.

The engraving on the barrel is also interesting. To the right of the Namiki logo (the N inside the lifebuoy) it reads as follows: ‘“PILOT” / FOUNTAIN PEN / N. M. & Co.’ Early Pilot pens show this inscription, and it coexisted for some years, possibly up to 1925, with the one that would be stamped up to around 1938, when the company changed its name to Pilot Fountain Pen Co. Ltd., ‘“PILOT” / NAMIKI MFG. CO. / MADE IN JAPAN’. The question, then, is what that M on earlier pens meant. Nobody seems to have a clear answer to it.

The old engraving on Pilot pens: "N. M. & Co."

This engraving belongs to a hoshiawase pen from 1928.

There is another engraving on the barrel of the old pen--"P3CH". Is it be a reference to the size of the nib (3) and to the decoration and the material (chased hard rubber)?

These are the dimensions of this pen:
Length closed: 142 mm.
Length open: 134 mm.
Diameter: 13 mm.
Weight (dry): 15.1 g.

This ad from 1920 shows the more common engraving --‘“PILOT” / NAMIKI MFG. CO. / MADE IN JAPAN’-- that would last until 1938.

And this one from 1921 shows the same, and more rare, engraving present on today's pen. This (and some others) ad can also be seen on Yoshiharu's blog.

Its manufacturing date would be around 1920.

Pilot Short pen– Pilot Blue

Bruno Taut
Shibuya, March 24th, 2013
etiquetas: Pilot

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