Showing posts with label Danitrio. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Danitrio. Show all posts

13 September 2019

Japanese Eyedropper Today (I)

The so-called Japanese eyedropper system –inki-dome shiki (インキ止め式) in Japanese— was in fact invented by Onoto in the beginning of the 20th century. Those Onoto reached Japan imported by Maruzen and the system –an eyedropper with a shut-off valve— clicked among the locals. The final result was that this system was copied and reproduced by most Japanese pen makers along its history up to today.

An Onoto with the shut-off valve system. Not yet a Japanese eyedropper, I guess.

A Japanese Swan (Nobuo Ito's Swan) with the Japanese eyedropper system.

The inki-dome, however, fell out of favor by the late 1950s when Platinum introduced the ink cartridge and most other makers followed the example. Only minor makers –I am thinking of Sakai Eisuke's operations— kept the system alive till the 1980s.

A Sakai Eisuke's pen made in collaboration with Kabutogi Ginjiro (::1::). Possibly from the 1960s.

In 1985, Pilot commissioned lathe master Sakai the creation of a prototype based on the style of the Pilot pens from the early 1930s, The result was what later became the Pilot (and Namiki) size 50 Urushi, and it implements the Japanese eyedropper system.

The Pilot Urushi in size 50--a modern Japanese eyedropper. This pen is incorrectly named by many as Namiki Emperor, but the Emperor model is decorated with maki-e techniques according to the Namiki catalog.

But who else followed? Not much.

Eboya used the system for some years (::2::, ::3::), but its production relied in the know-how of lathe master Kanesaki Noritoshi. Eboya's boss, Mr. Endo, has announced the new production of Eboya pens with this system, but there are no final dates for their release.

An old Eboya (2013) from the Kanesaki time. It implements the Japanese eyedropper system. At that time, the brand name was still Nebotek.

More recently, as of 2018, the sort-lived Iwase Seisakusho also marketed some pens with the Japanese eyedropper system. These were either old incomplete pen bodies by Ishi Shoten (owner of the brand Yotsubishi) or new pen bodies made by lathe master Momose. But Iwase Seisakusho had a very brief life and very few units of it made to the market.

An Iwase Seisakusho based on a body by Momose Yasuaki.

From California, Danitrio makes some models with Japanese eyedropper. These are usually expensive models with urushi or maki-e decoration.

Some Danitrio pens as exposed at Itoya Ginza (Tokyo) in 2010. Photo courtesy of Moskva.

Finally, a surprising actor is the Taiwanese brand Opus 88 (Jin Gi Industrial Co.). But these Japanese eyedroppers deserve a Chronicle on their own.

The Opus 88 Koloro. A surprising new actor in the Japanese eyedropper business.

Opus 88 Koloro – De Atramentis Beethoven

Bruno Taut
Nakano, September 12th 2019
etiquetas: soluciones técnicas, Pilot, Eboya, Danitrio, Iwase Seisakusho, Opus 88, mercado, Onoto, Japón, mercado, Kanesaki, Sakai Eisuke, Momose Yasuaki

22 January 2018

La Visconti Giapponese

Sometimes reading the pen is truly helpful. Well, mostly always.

At the past Madrid Pen Show I saw the pen on the photograph.

A Visconti. A Visconti?

On it, the signs on the box and on the clip did not really match with the pen itself. The logo of Visconti and the plain inscription on the clip contrasted with the basic structure of the pen—a Japanese eyedropper coated with red urushi. The nib, or rather its engraving, provided the final clue—it was signed by GK, Kabutogi Ginjiro, and the pen is, most likely, a Ban-ei made by Sakai Eisuke (lathe work), Kabutogi Ginjiro (nib), Tsuchida Shuichi (assembly), and Takahashi Kichitaro (urushi coating).

A Ban-ei pen with "nashiji" decoration. Nib signed by Kabutogi Ginjiro.

The additional literature included in the box describes, in Italian, the virtues of the “lacca giapponese” (urushi, of course) and speaks of its long history. It also includes instructions on how to fill and use the pen. Finally, it declares that the pen was part of a limited edition of 100 pens per year, but it does not disclose for how long. This particular unit was made in 1990 as it is numbered as 007/90... out of 100 pens made. (NOTE added on Sept. 2020: Some reports --see comments-- speak of serial numbers over 100 despite what the pen docs claim. So we should add some pinches of salt to those words despite coming from Visconti).

So, what was Visconti doing at that time? How come this very Japanese pen showed up under an Italian brand?

Visconti started its operation in 1988 and immediately contacted the Japanese lathe master Kato Kiyoshi, with whom Visconti would later collaborate in the fabrication of some models, including some versions of the Ragtime. And it is also at this time that Visconti contacted Sakai Eisuke and his team.

Apparently, there was at least two series of pens made by the Ban-ei group for the Italian brand. The first one, to which the pen shown today belongs, had a golden ring on the cap. As was mentioned before, Visconti released 100 units per year and there are records of at least two batches: 1990 and 1991. About the colors, some sources say that there were pens in ro-iro (black) urushi, but I am only aware of pens made in shu-urushi (red) as the one here shown. The clip inscriptions are either "VISCONTI" or "URUSHI".

The GK-signed nib of the Visconti Ban-ei. Note also the inscription on the clip: "VISCONTI".

A second series of Ban-ei pens were produced at a later date—1993 or 1995. On this occasion, the pens carried no rings and came in three colors: black (100 units), red (100 units), and green (50 units). The units I have seen have their clips engraved with the word "URUSHI", but there might be other other texts on them.

Some people speak of a third batch of pens previous to the first series here described. They could have been prototypes and test products later marketed by Visconti.

These are the dimensions of the pen I found at the Madrid Pen Show (2017) that belongs to the first series, and was made in 1990:

Length closed: 145 mm
Length open: 126.5 mm
Length posted: 176 mm
Diameter: 16.5 mm
Weight (dry): 25.3 g
Ink deposit: 3.3 ml

The cap ring carries the unit number of the series over the production year. This particular unit is the 007.90: number 7 (out of 100) made in 1990.

It is interesting to note that these Japanese Viscontis seem to predate those Danitrio-commissioned (::1::, ::2::) that are much better known. However, these Visconti pens remained essentially anonymous, as was customary on Ban-ei pens, and the Italian brand did not even declare where they had been made.

Of course!—we all know by now that GK was a magnificent Italian nibmeister… But reading the pen helps to know what you had on your hands beyond what labels and inscriptions might say.

Platinum 70th anniversary, green celluloid – Sailor Yama-dori

Bruno Taut
Nakano, January 17th 2018
labels: Ban-ei, Visconti, Danitrio, Italia, Japón, nibmeister Kabutogi Ginjiro, maki-e

16 June 2017

On Ban-ei Nibs

On this text, some more notes on Ban-ei (挽栄) pens, including some corrections to my own words.

These pens made by Sakai Eisuke (酒井栄助) and coworkers (Kabutogi, Takahashi, Tsuchida, Kitamura, Nakamura) are difficult to follow. They are, for the most part, unmarked with any brand name, and as a result they are invisible to many aficionados.

Ebonite bodies, often lacquered, occasional maki-e and urushi-e motifs, mostly gold nibs, Japanese eyedropper filling system (albeit with exceptions), teardrop clips… All these are some usual features of Ban-ei pens, but in no case are they exclusive to them.

The only element in Ban-ei pens that carried some sort of marking were the nibs, although not always. Many of these pens implemented nibs made by Kabutogi Ginjiro (兜木銀次郎), and these were more often than not labeled in one way or another—either through some JIS number (3233, 4622, 4922), some of the brands owned by this nibmeister or, more often, through the initials GK.

On this case, the nib is labeled with the brand name "Steady", one of the brands registered by the nibmeister Kabutogi Ginjiro. Its JIS number was 3233, but it is not engraved on this particular nib.

A balance model with the wrongly named "Kamakura bori" decoration.

The nib is marked with the JIS no. 4622, associated to the factory Kabutogi Seisakusho Tabata and to the brand name Seilon.

However, Ban-ei pens also implemented a number of other nibs, and many were simply not signed at all. In particular, Ban-ei used Platinum and Sailor nibs. On both cases, the engraving was the same: “WARRANTED / 585 / 14 KARAT / PEN / IRIDIOSUMIN”, but their geometries are different, as can be seen on the picture.

Two Ban-ei pens with very different nibs--Sailor on the left, Platinum on the right. The later belongs to the Danitrio-commissioned series.

Close up of the nibs. Sailor on the left, Platinum on the right. The engraved text is the same --“WARRANTED / 585 / 14 KARAT / PEN / IRIDIOSUMIN”--, but not so is the size of the fonts. The Platinum nib is flatter than the Sailor.

In the mid 1990s, as we have already seen on these Chronicles, the company Danitrio commissioned some pens to the old troupe of artisans. On this occasion, the pens were properly labeled as “Ban-ei - 挽栄” on the cap lip, thus eliminating the anonymity of the previous works. Regarding the nibs of these pens, there is some conflicting information. For the most part, the nibs of the Danitrio Ban-ei pens are Platinum, but there is also a small batch of nibs carrying a special engraving: 復刻手造万年筆 (fukkoku tezukuri mannenhitsu), reissue hand-made fountain pen. The geometry of these nibs differs greatly from those made by Platinum. It is, in fact, very close to the geometry of the nibs signed with the initials GK.

Danitrio founder Bernard Lyn suggests on this book Maki-e, an Art for the Soul (Dani International Corporation, 2003) that it was Kabutogi’s son, by the name of Toshiya, the new nibmeister of the Ban-ei team after his father (Gingiro) had passed away. And I reproduced this idea on these same pages. However, further investigations in Tokyo pointed out that Kabutogi Toshiya was not a nibmeister and could not be the artisan behind those nibs. Sure enough, he had good contacts in Tokyo and probably access to old spare parts. The consequence of all this, then, is that we might need to add a pinch of salt to the claim that those nibs had been made by Kabutogi’s son.

Four Ban-ei pens. Clockwise from the red urushi pen: Danitrio Ban-ei with the special engraving (復刻手造万年筆) nib, balance model with "nashiji" decoration and GK nib, Danitrio Ban-ei with "nashiji" decoration and Platinum nib, and balance model with maki-e decoration (rabbit and moon motif) and Sailor nib.

Close up of the previous pens. Note the similar geometry of the two nibs on the back--the one with the special engraving and the GK nib. Both are very cylindrical and have heart-shaped breathing holes.

In fact, Mr. Eizo Fujii never mentions the figure of Kabutogi Toshiya on his article “The fountain pens of Sakai Eisuke” (Shumi-no Bungubaku, 34, p. 120-124). On it, Mr Fujii mentions Kabutogi Ginjiro and Platinum as the sources for the nibs of the Danitrio Ban-ei pens.

Lambrou and Sunami, on their side, speak of early Ban-ei pens equipped with nibs manufactured by Ishikawa Kinpen Seisakusho (JIS no. 3231), from Tokyo. This company provided nibs to a number of makers, including Ferme.

A Ban-ei with a Henckel nib made of steel.

A Henckel nib (JIS no. 3417). There are no records of any collaboration between Henckel and Sakai Eisuke, but there are a number of Ban-ei pens out there with this same nib.

Finally, there are some Ban-ei pens sporting exotic nibs. Certainly, many of them are the result of absurd combinations often driven by necessity. But some others are not so easy to diagnose. A case in point is a group of Ban-ei pens implementing steel nibs manufactured by Henckel (JIS no. 3417). There are no records, apparently, of such collaboration, but it is also unusual to see a number of pens with the very same nib. Some aficionados have suggested that these Henckel nibs were attached to remaining Ban-en bodies that were never put to sale.

The obvious conclusion is the variety of sources to the nibs implemented by Sakai Eisuke and collaborators. Those made by nibmeister Kabutogi Ginjiro are indeed relevant and even common, but by no means are those GK nibs the only ones; not to mention that this nibmeister was very prolific and worked for a number of brands.

In any event, what matters here is that Ban-ei pens are still a mystery. But that might be the fate a small and artisanal operation with few written records. And some people indeed feel the strong appeal of these almost anonymous pens.

Bernard LYN. Maki-e, an Art for the Soul. Dani International Corporation, 2003.
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.

Sheaffer 1250 – Pilot Iroshizuku Ku-jaku

Bruno Taut
Nakano, June 14th, 2017
etiquetas: Ban-ei, Platinum, Sailor, plumín, Sakai Eisuke, nibmeister Kabutogi Ginjiro, Danitrio, Ishikawa Kinpen Seisakusho, Ferme, Henckel

06 November 2016

Las Danitrio Japonesas

Some weeks ago, my fellow blogger and friend Pedro Haddock published a very interesting article on a Danitrio pen on his blog “El pajarete orquidiado”. I then thought that I could offer some additional information on the story of the Ban-ei pens commissioned by Danitrio in the mid 1990s. This is the resulting text, this time written in Spanish as the information in this language on Danitrio is scarce.

I also wanted to recommend a visit to Pedro Haddock’s blog, one of the most interesting pen blogs written in Spanish. Remember that online translators are there to help you.

Danitrio, como ya está bien explicado, es esa empresa californiana fundada por el taiwanés Bernard Lyn que ahora se centra en plumas de lujo con decoración maki-e. El embrujo de esta decoración de Asia Oriental atrapó a su fundador alrededor del año 2000, pero previamente había hecho alguna aproximación muy interesante. Para explicarla hay que retroceder bastantes años.

La figura de Sakai Eisuke tiene algo de mito en Japón. Nació en 1916 y desde su adolescencia estuvo dedicado a aprender los secretos del rokuro”, el torno tradicional japonés. Alrededor de los años 70 dirigió un pequeño grupo de artesanos –Tsuchida, Ginjiro, Nakamura, Takahashi— en la producción de unas plumas de gran calidad, pero sin nombre. Son las denominadas “Ban-ei” (挽栄), que era el nombre de trabajo de Sakai Eisuke, o “Tsuchida” (Tsuchida Shuichi), que era el encargado del montaje final de las piezas. En muchas de ellas, la única marca que permite su identificación es el grabado de las letras GK en el plumín. GK era Kabutogi Ginjiro, pero no era el único proveedor de plumines para estas plumas, por lo que hay otras plumas con el mismo origen, pero sin grabado identificador alguno.

Varios ejemplos de plumas Ban-ei.

Casi todas estas viejas Ban-ei eran plumas de cuentagotas con válvula de cierre (sistema de cuentagotas japonés), aunque hay ejemplos de llenado por “plunger filler”. Casi todas ellas están decoradas con laca urushi, o con motivos maki-e muy discretos. Pero hay un reducido número de plumas con decoraciones muy lujosas, habitualmente producto de encargos especiales.

Las fechas de esta operación son inciertas y nunca está claro cuáles son los artesanos que intervienen en cada una de esas plumas. Las plumas más recientes de este grupo son de 2004. Y Sakai Eisuke falleció en 2011.

Tres Ban-ei. La primera desde arriba lleva el grabado el nombre Ban-ei en la banda del capuchón. Las otras dos, no.

Dos de los plumines (en el centro y a la derecha) llevan grabadas las iniciales GK, de Kabutogi Ginjiro. El tercero (a la izquierda), perteneciente a la encargada por Danitrio, no. Este plumín fue fabricado por Sailor Platinum.

El anonimato de este grupo se rompió brevemente a mediados de los años 90. Bernard Lyn les propuso hacer una serie de plumas para Danitrio. Llevarían grabado el nombre Ban-ei, en japonés y en caracteres latinos (挽栄 - Ban-ei), y serían unas ediciones limitadas de pocos cientos de unidades. Y Danitrio no las firmaba.

Tres Danitrio japonesas.

En los capuchones, a la izquierda, se pueden ver los grabados "Ban-ei". El más cercano de los plumines fue hecho por Kabuitogi Ginjiro. Los otros dos son Sailor Platinum.

Estas son las Danitrio Ban-ei, las Danitrio japonesas: plumas hechas en Japón, por un grupo de venerables artesanos japoneses para una empresa estadounidense dirigida por un taiwanés. Todas ellas son plumas de cuentagotas japonés y con decoración de laca urushi o maki-e muy discreto. Los plumines son, en su gran mayoría, Sailor Platinum, aunque hay un reducido número de ellos hechos por el mencionado Kabutogi Ginjiro. Estos llevan una inscripción en japonés: 復刻手造万年筆, réplica hecha a mano. ¡Réplica hecha por el propio Kabutogi!

Una Danitrio Ban-ei con decoración "shu-urushi".

Al contrario que las Ban-ei quasi-anónimas, estas Danitrio japonesas se encuentran más fácilmente fuera de Japón. Al fin y al cabo, Danitrio tiene su mercado, sobre todo, en Estados Unidos.

NOTA añadida en junio de 2017: He hecho unas correcciones sobre la procedencia de los plumines de las Danitrio Ban-ei, que son Platinum en lugar de Sailor, como erróneamente decía. Más información, en la crónica On Ban-ei Nibs.

Ban-ei con plumín Henckel – Pilot azul

Bruno Taut
Nakano, octubre de 2016
etiquetas: Ban-ei, Danitrio, Kabutogi Ginjiro, Japón, Estados Unidos, maki-e, Platinum

17 June 2013

Sistemas de sellado (I)

Lo que uno da por descontado a veces resulta que es extraño y desconocido. Cierto es, por otro lado, que la documentación en castellano sobre estilográficas japonesas es escasa. En esta Crónica voy a tratar de explicar el desarrollo de los sistemas de sellado que se dan a lo largo de la historia en las plumas japonesas. Primero hablaré del sistema de válvula accionada desde el culotte. En la segunda parte hablaré del sistema de estrellas. Ambas cuestiones han sido tratadas ya en estas páginas, pero tal vez no esté de más recuperar esa información ahora en castellano.

Las Onoto con sistema de llenado plunger filler estaban entre las primeras plumas que llegaron a Japón a finales del s. XIX y principios del XX y tuvieron mucho éxito en este país. De hecho, algunas de las primeras plumas con marca japonesa fueron hechas por Onoto (De la Rue) para la tienda Maruzen, bajo la marca Orion. Algunas de ellas, en 1910, ya incorporaban un sistema de cuentagotas “sin plunger”; es decir, una pluma por goteo en la que quedaba el vestigio evolutivo del eje del plunger que tan solo actuaba como válvula de sellado del depósito de tinta.

Anuncio de una Onoto de principios del s. XX en la que utiliza el argumento de que con la válvula del propio plunger cierra el depósito y evita fugas indeseadas de tinta. También añade que con esa válvula se puede controlar el flujo de tinta. También es ese el caso de las plumas de cuentagotas japonesas.

Y en la mentalidad simplificadora de los japoneses, algunos fabricantes ya realmente japoneses –Oliver y la Swan japonesa de Nobuo Itô— tomaron buena nota de esta evolución y lo utilizaron en sus propias plumas.

La idea, dicen algunos, estaba asociada al temor a ensuciar los valiosos kimono con manchas de tinta. No me cabe la menor duda que los japoneses quisieran evitar manchas, pero lo mismo se puede decir de los estadounidenses o británicos y de sus trajes... Sí es cierto que el clima angustiosamente húmedo de Japón hace de las cuestiones de limpieza una obsesión nacional y tal vez esa sea la razón última de ese temor reverencial. Por otro lado, en el Japón de principios del s. XX, bien pasada ya la restauración Meiji (1867), el uso de los trajes occidentales ya era común.

En cualquier caso, estas empresas empiezan a hacer plumas de cuentagotas con un añadido: una válvula que cierra el paso de tinta a la boquilla que se acciona desde el culotte de la pluma. Esa válvula está cerrada cuando la pluma no está en uso y se abre, con apenas una vuelta del culotte, cuando se necesita usar la pluma. También se puede usar para regular el flujo de tinta en el plumín.

En esta Platinum con decoración maki-e de los años 30 el culotte está levemente desenroscado; es decir, en posición de escritura.

El sistema tuvo éxito y al cabo se le denomina, en inglés, Japanese eyedropper. El término japonés es inkidome-shiki, e implica necesariamente la existencia de un sistema de sellado de la tinta. Este sistema es el habitual entre las plumas japonesas de cuentagotas y es muy raro ver plumas de cuentagotas sin ese sistema de sellado. La excepción, menor, son las hoshiawase, que serán objeto de otra Crónica posterior.

Prácticamente, todas las marcas japonesas han usado este sistema en algún momento de su historia. Incluso hoy en día está en uso: Pilot lo usa en las Namiki con plumín de tamaño 50; para Nebotek es uno de sus tres sistemas de llenado. Danitrio, desde California, se empeña en utilizarlo en su afán de ser tan japonesa como la que más. Y en el pasado, la mencionada Swan (la japonesa), más SSS, Platinum, Sailor, Diamond, Ban-ei, Asahi Tsubasa... y todas las plumas jumbo, sobredimensionadas, de muchos fabricantes.

Una New Clip, tal vez fabricada por Fukunaka-Seisakusho. Se trata de una pluma jumbo con llenado por cuentagotas con válvula de sellado. La capacidad del depósito de tinta es de unos 8 mililitros. Suficientes como para crear una gran mancha.

Es un sistema interesante y divertido, pero tiene un par de inconvenientes. El primero es que interrumpido el paso de tinta entre el plumín y el depósito, el primero se seca muy rápidamente cuando no está en uso. Arrancar es a menudo un poco engorroso.

Una Swan japonesa (de Nobuo Itô) de alrededor de 1915. Junto a la parte trasera de la boquilla se puede ver la pieza cónica de cierre asociada al eje que, por dentro del cuerpo, se conecta con el culotte, tal y como se ve en la foto siguiente.

El culotte de la pluma anterior completamente desenroscado.

El segundo problema es el sellado del sistema en la parte cercana al culotte. La válvula se acciona desde el culotte a través de una varilla axial que entra en el depósito a través de un sello tradicionalmente de corcho. Este sello es muy vulnerable y es necesario reemplazarlo en prácticamente cualquier pluma de este tipo que uno pueda encontrar hoy en día en tiendas o mercadillos. De no hacerlo, la tinta se va a acumular en la cámara del culotte y va a salir en cuanto se desenrosque para escribir. En algunos modelos nuevos (los de Nebotek, por ejemplo) ese sello es ahora de un elastómero sintético.

En conclusión, las plumas de cuentagotas con válvula de sellado accionada desde el culotte son un producto netamente japonés que ha permanecido en el mercado durante los últimos cien años, que es prácticamente toda la historia de las plumas en Japón. Son fáciles de encontrar en plumas tanto viejas –aunque en ellas se impone una restauración a fondo— como en modelos nuevos. En este último caso, las plumas de cuentagotas corresponden, paradójicamente, a modelos caros.

Y en una segunda parte hablaré de otro sistema de sellado: el sistema de estrellas.

Mi agradecimiento a mis amigos del Foro de Estilográficas.

P. S: A principios de 2014, Nebotek cambió su nombre por el de Eboya.

Platinun Belage – Platinum Pigmented Blue

Bruno Taut
Yokohama, 14-17 de junio de 2013
Etiquetas: soluciones técnicas, Japón, Pilot, Orion, Maruzen, Sailor, Platinum, SSS, Swan (Japón), Danitrio, Nebotek, Asahi Tsubasa

26 December 2012


Ban-ei (挽栄) pens have shown up on these chronicles several times and their double history –as mostly anonymous and as limited edition pens commissioned by the American company Danitrio—is well known. But how do those pens from different times and different initiatives compare?

The differences are indeed minor, as we can check on the following pictures. The first example is a pair of pens made of black urushi. There are some small differences on the dimensions but, the main one lies on the nib. The original Ban-ei’s nib is signed by Kabutogi Ginjirô’s (兜木銀次郎) initials (GK). This was, in actual terms, the only reference to the authorship in the whole pen.

On top on both pictures, the Danitrio-commissioned pen. On bottom, the previous, unsigned (save for the nib) unit. The most obvious difference is the engraving on the cap band of the later model.

The second pair is decorated with a subtle maki-e pattern. In this case, there is a very obvious difference—the cap ring present on the Danitrio-commissioned unit where the brand Ban-ei and the serial number were engraved. And as was the case with the black urushi pens, only the old Ban-ei nib is engraved with the initials of the nibmeister.

The pre-Danitrio pen does not have any band on the cap, and its nib has a heart-shaped breathing hole. This nib is also engraved with the initials GK of Kabutogi Ginjirô just below the JIS mark.

As it is known, Danitrio-era Ban-ei pens were limited editions of less than 500 units. However, the old pens, made in the seventies and eighties, are in my experience harder to find in the market. These older pens are also known as Tsuchida pens, after Tsuchida Shuichi (土田修一), who was in charge of the final assembly of the pen.

My thanks to Mr. Shimizu.

Platinum sterling silver pen, 14 K nib – Platinum Brown

Bruno Taut
Madrid, December 25th, 2012
etiquetas: Ban-ei, Danitrio, nibmeister Kabotogi Ginjirô

25 November 2012


I have already spoken about Ban-ei pens and the team of four experienced craftsmen –Sakai Eisuke (酒井栄助), Kabutogi Ginjirô (兜木銀次郎), Takahashi Kichitaro (高橋吉太郎), and Tsuchida Shuichi (土田修一)—who silently manufactured them in the 1970s and 1980s. Silently, I said, because they did not sign their pens. The story continued in the mid 1990s when Danitrio commissioned these old artisans and their successors to recreate their old works. This time, though, under less anonymous conditions.

復刻手造万年筆, reissued hand-made fountain pen. A 14 K gold nib by Kabutogi Toshiya.

These new pens –the Danitrio Ban-ei series of pens— had some minor variations with respect to the original models. The most obvious are the signs stating the serial number and the name of the leader. On his side, the new nibmeister –Kabutogi Toshiya (兜木利弥), son of the venerable Kabutogi Ginjirô—made clear that this pen was a reissue of the original. That is, in fact, what can be read on the nib: 復刻手造万年筆 (fukkoku tezuku(ri) mannenhitsu), reissued hand-made fountain pen. Other Danitrio Ban-ei pens do not carry this engraving.

The eyedropper balance pen in red urushi. The brand Ban-ei (挽栄) is engraved on the central ring.

This nib corresponds to a balance pen in red urushi. It is an eyedropper pen with shut-off valve. Danitrio produced 150 units of this pen. These are its dimensions:

Diameter: 16 mm.
Length closed: 145 mm.
Length open: 126 mm.
Dry weight: 21.4 g.
Ink deposit: ~ 2.5 ml.

Pilot Custom Heritage 91, SFM nib – Diamine Teal

Bruno Taut
Madrid, November 24th, 2012
etiquetas: Ban-ei, Danitrio, nibmeister Kabutogi