08 June 2015

Urushi R

Collectors crave for the rarity, but history is written based on common and well-known pens. So, after describing the anomaly of a gold nib made in Japan in 1942 it might be worth to do the same with a more normal Pilot pen from about the same time. This will also provide some basis for future reference.

The Pilot R was the workhorse pen of the company by the late 1930s and 1940s, and some examples have already shown up on these Chronicles. The following model is made of ebonite and is coated with black urushi. It is an eyedropper pen with shut-off valve, which was of the the usual filling (although not self-filling) mechanisms of the Pilot’s R series of pens. The nib is made of 14 K gold, and is a size 1. The date indicates it was made in November of 1937, which is about 18 months before the nominal prohibition on the use of gold in Japan.

This is a small pen, which might be associated to the war restrictions of the time. However, its construction quality is remarkably good. These are its actual dimensions:

Length closed: 120 mm
Length open: 110 mm
Length posted: 148 mm
Diameter: 13 mm
Weight (dry): 12.8 g
Ink deposit: 1.1 ml

The manufacturing date can be seen on the upper side of the nib (positioned like it is on the picture): 11.37.

The barrel carries the usual pre-war imprint: “PILOT” / THE NAMIKI (logo with an N) MFG. CO. LTD / MADE IN JAPAN. On the nib, on its side, we can read WARRANTED / "PILOT" / 14 K / MADE IN JAPAN / -<1>- / HARDEST / IRIDIUM.

All in all, not a rarity, but a very appealing common fountain pen.

Platinum pocket pen, striated steel – Platinum Black

Bruno Taut
Nakano, June 8th, 2015
etiquetas: Pilot, maki-e

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