Over the last several years we have become accustomed to annual releases of Maki-e inspired limited edition fountain pens from Pelikan. These models have married nearly a century of pen making experience with the expertise of Japanese artists. Recent past releases have included the Spring & Autumn (2016), Dragonfly (2017), and Peacock (2018) to name just a few. The Pelikan’s Perch has learned that the 2019 Maki-e pen will be called Five Lucky Bats. An excerpt from Pelikan’s sales literature has this to say about the new model;
“In China, the bat is considered a symbol of happiness as the pronunciation of the word ‘bat’ resembles a Chinese word which means ‘fortune is coming.’ The depiction of the bat is considered to be a lucky pattern which brings five kinds of luck: a long life, wealth and respect, health and mindfulness, virtue and grace, and to die without worry and regret. There were times when only noble people could wear clothes using motifs of the bat. In Japan as well, the bat is regarded as a symbol of luck as the word bat is pronounced as ‘komori’ which could be written in Japanese as ‘a lot of happiness.'”
Like the models cited above, this one will be built off of the M1000 chassis, the same line that has been plagued by a supply chain issue in recent months. Fret not as a limited edition of this nature is likely immune to the issues affecting the rest of the series. It is unclear just when we might see this one come to market though I would anticipate a June/July release.
For Five Lucky Bats, the labor intensive Togidashi-Taka-Maki-e technique was employed. This is a burnished and raised style that can give the artwork a three dimensional appearance. Five bats adorn the pen and are embellished with elements of raden (finely ground abalone embedded onto lacquer-coated surfaces) and kirikane (gold leaf cut into shapes). As if five bats weren’t lucky enough, golden four leaf clovers are included to bring a little extra good fortune. Each fountain pen is individually numbered and signed by the artists using Maki-e techniques. Because of the intense nature of the work required, these are produced in very limited runs. The Dragonfly and Peacock only numbered 111 each. The Five Lucky Bats will be an edition of just 123 pieces worldwide.
Like past models, the pen will come with an 18C-750 two-toned gold nib in a factory standard medium width. The cap features a crown cap top depicting the Pelikan logo along with the traditional beak clip and double cap bands. The remainder of the gold-plated furniture includes two trim rings at the piston knob and a single trim ring at the section. There will be an ink view window just behind the section that appears dark gray in color. The pen will be packaged in a traditional gift box made of paulownia wood which has been Pelikan’s custom with these models. Unfortunately, the limited production run and labor intensive work that goes into each of these results in an extraordinarily expensive pen meaning only a select few will get to enjoy the Five Lucky Bats. I would anticipate retail prices in the neighborhood of $3600 and up when these hit retailer’s shelves. Further details about the cost of this model are currently unavailable.
I like the look of this one the more that I stare at it, perhaps a bit better than I did the Peacock. I can’t wait to see some real world pictures because I don’t think the bats are represented well in a 2D image. What do you think of the Five Lucky Bats?