There has been a dearth of new releases from Pelikan during the first half of 202o which is likely a reflection of the turbulent times that we find ourselves in. If pre-release rumors are to be believed, the second half of the year promises to be much more exciting. That run gets kicked off today with Pelikan’s announcement of the forthcoming Maki-e release, Kingfisher. This newest model further flushes out the company’s Maki-e portfolio, adding to last year’s Five Lucky Bats and Japanese Umbrella. Pelikan describes the Kingfisher as, “a masterpiece that combines the craftsmanship of Pelikan Germany coupled with superior Japanese traditional Maki-e painting techniques.” The accompanying literature describes the newest Maki-e fountain pen thusly;
“Kingfisher is a small bird that lives near the waterside. The kingfisher has a long, dagger-like beak. The plumage of most kingfishers is bright, with green and blue being the most common colors. In Japanese, it is also called jade or blue gemstone because of its bright colors. On the fountain pen, two beautiful Kingfishers are vividly painted on the background of burning red autumn leaves. The motive fantastically expresses a colorful scene in the autumn of Japan.”
The Kingfisher is built off the M1000 chassis, consistent with most of their past Maki-e releases. Given the timing of the announcement, you can expect this model to be available next month. While there is no word yet on pricing, you should expect this ultra-limited edition to command a king’s ransom. This one is reported to be limited to just 123 pieces worldwide.
The kingfisher is a colorful small to medium sized bird with most species located in the tropical regions of Africa, Asia, and Oceania. The Maki-e Kingfisher skillfully captures the bird’s likeness and liveliness in great detail. The cap and barrel each depict a bird interspersed with a background of bright autumn foliage. The technical details aren’t yet available, but I can discern elements of raden (finely ground abalone embedded onto lacquer-coated surfaces) and kirikane (gold leaf cut into shapes) employed to good effect within the design. Each fountain pen includes a limited edition number and the artist’s signature hand painted using Maki-e techniques. The run of just 123 pieces mirrors what we saw with past releases like the Five Lucky Bats and Japanese Umbrella.
The Kingfisher will sport Pelikan’s standard 18C-750 two-tone gold nib in a medium width though any M1000 nib can be swapped in after the fact. Complimenting the large nib is Pelikan’s standard Souverän trim package. That includes a beak clip, two cap bands, two trim rings at the piston knob, and a single trim ring at the section, all of which are gold plated. The background for the single chick logo on the cap top is styled to match the pen’s motif. The ink view window on this one again appears to be done in a dark green tint. Based on past releases, I would expect the pen to come packaged in a traditional Japanese gift box made of paulownia wood. While pricing is not yet reported, it’s a safe bet to expect retail to run anywhere between $3300 and $4000 but fret not, cheaper releases are on the way. My personal take on this one is that the Kingfisher is one of the nicest Maki-e releases that we’ve seen in some time, and that’s saying something. I would love to bring this one home to roost but even my flock has its limits. What do you think of the Kingfisher fountain pen? Which Maki-e release has been your favorite over the past few years and will this one be joining your flock?