29 June 2021

On Ban-ei Nibs (II). 50, 60 & GK

Ban-ei (挽栄), as we know by now, was a pen brand created by Sakai Eisuke (酒井栄助) with the collaboration of a number of expert craftsmen--Takahashi, Tsuchida, Kitamura, Nakamura, and, of course, Kabutogi Ginjiro (兜木銀次郎), the nibmeister.

However, Ban-ei pens have implemented nibs of diverse origin—-Sailor, Platinum, Ishikawa Kinpen... Today I will only describe the three most common nibs made by Kabutogi Ginjiro himself—those labeled as 50, 60, and GK. There are some others, but are not so common as these three.

Three Ban-ei pens with three characteristic nibs by nibmeister Kabutogi.

These are the dimensions of these nibs, together with those of a size 15 nib by Pilot (Custom 823, 743, 845) for comparison. For data on more nibs, please check the text "Nib Sizes, Feed Diameters".

.- GK -. .- 50 -. .- 60 -. .- Pilot 15 -.
.Length (mm). 29 29 30 32
.Shoulder width (mm). 7.8 8.4 9.4 8.8
.Feed diameter (mm). 6.5 6.5 6.5 6.4

From left to right, nibs labeled as 60, 50, and GK. The 60 nib is consistently associated to that flatter-looking feed.

The figures clearly show how all those three nibs are very similar in size. Their feeders are, on the other hand, virtually equivalent with a diameter of 6.5 mm. This means that the nibs are interchangeable in their pens.

Eizo FUJII. “酒井栄助の万年筆” (Sakai Eisuke no mannenhitsu; The fountain pens of Sakai Eisuke). Shumi-no Bungubaku, 34, p. 120-124 (2015).
A. Lambrou & M. Sunami. Fountain Pens of Japan. Andreas Lambrou Publishers Ltd., 2012.

Anonymous 6-bu jumbo pen – unknown blue-black ink

Bruno Taut
Nakano, June 29th, 2021
etiquetas: Ban-ei, plumín, nibmeister Kabutogi Ginjiro


Papish said...

That sleek and ellegant pressence... I really like it.

What does it say on the nibs? Iridosu-something

Thank you for sharing these beauties. Uncommon pens wouldn't be as known if you didn't.

AS said...

Thx for posting

Saltire Turquoise said...

When do the pens date from?

Bruno Taut said...


Thanks for passing by and commenting. These pens are indeed interesting and appealing. And mysterious too given how little is written on them.

It says "Iridosumine" on the nib. You can see some other pics on this text: https://estilofilos.blogspot.com/2017/06/on-ban-ei-nibs.html



Bruno Taut said...


Thank you for reading!


Bruno Taut said...


That is the big question. My best guess is sometime in the 1980s and early 1990s, but I have no solid grounds to say so. Those nibs are prior to those unlabeled --Sailor and Platinum-- used for the Danitrio series by early to mid 1990s. The Visconti series of pens with GK nibs are also from those early 1990s.

I will keep on researching...

Thanks for passing by and commenting.


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