Pelikan updated their Instagram account late yesterday with a post that gives us our first look at the next pen in their 2022 line-up. This one follows the infinitely more accessible M605 Tortoiseshell-Black which has been well received by the community thus far. It should not come as a surprise that we are once again looking at a super exclusive Maki-e release. This is the time of year that we usually see one of these crop up and, while Pelikan has scaled back their release schedule over the past few years, the Maki-e models remain a mainstay. This time, we have the limited edition Maki-e Snow, Moon and Flowers. Pelikan’s announcement relates the following;
“‘Snow, Moon and Flowers’ refers to winter snow, autumn moon, and spring flowers, which are natural beauties in three of the four seasons of Japan, and also conveys the tenderness in the scenery. In addition, it has become a symbolic foundation that supports the aesthetic life of the Japanese people with a calm and peaceful state of mind. ‘Snow, Moon and Flowers’ has been used in various poems and lyrics in praising the beautiful landscapes that strike people’s hearts.”
This newest limited edition will once again be built off of the M1000 chassis and is slated to launch sometime in mid-August of this year. Like models past, this run will again be limited to just 123 pieces worldwide.
Just as we saw with the Seven Treasures (2021), Pelikan’s artist utilized the Togidashi-Taka-Maki-e (Burnished-Raised Maki-e) technique here which is a combination of Taka-Maki-e and Togidashi-Maki-e. It is said that when compared with other Maki-e techniques, a deeper appearing three-dimensional look is possible utilizing this method. The pen’s motif represents the inherent beauty of the different seasons of Japan as depicted by snow crystals, a full moon, and cherry blossoms all painted on a background sprinkled with golden powder. This is actually a very common theme in Japanese art and design, originally hailing from a poem written by Bai Juyi during the 8th century under the Tang Dynasty. The poem would later gain renewed popularity during the Edo period which occurred between 1603 and 1867.
For the most hardcore Pelikan aficionados amongst you, the Snow, Moon and Flowers moniker might look and sound somewhat familiar. Reaching all the way back to 2014, Pelikan hosted a special auction in which 17 pens done in the Maki-e style were sold. Each pen in that lot was unique, never to be reproduced, with some selling for north of $20,000. Pen number 9 in that auction was titled “The Beauty of Nature.” In promoting it, Pelikan introduced us to the Japanese word “Setsugekka” which stands for snow, moon and flower. While far from a direct copy, some of those very same design elements that were once only found on “The Beauty of Nature” have now made their way onto the new M1000 Snow, Moon and Flowers.
Pen No. 9, a lovely M800 titled “The Beauty of Nature” from 2014’s Unique Collection, stands alone as the only one of its kind. Notice how many of the very same motifs first employed here now make their way onto 2022’s M1000 Maki-e Snow, Moon and Flowers
The Maki-e Snow, Moon and Flowers comes with an 18C-750 two-tone gold nib in a medium width though the pen will accommodate any M1000 nib that you might wish to install after the fact. The pen’s furniture consists of the standard Souverän fare which means a gold plated beak clip, two cap bands, two trim rings at the piston knob, and a single trim ring at the section. The cap top is adorned with Pelikan’s single chick logo amidst a background done in a similar style as the rest of the cap and barrel. A dark green ink view window sits behind the section, similar to past releases. Each pen will be individually numbered and will include the artist’s signature. As has been the tradition, this model will come packaged within a gift box made of paulownia wood. Worldwide retail pricing is as of yet unclear, but it is certainly not for the faint of heart. US retailers appear to be asking $4,800 which is just a touch higher than the Seven Treasures retailed for in the US ($4,640). This one gives me the same vibes that the Seven Treasures did though perhaps this design is just a little less busy. I think that those who gravitate towards these Maki-e releases will be satisfied but, thanks to the ultra-limited numbers and high price tag, that is only a select lucky few amongst us. Still, it’s fun to dream of what could be and this is yet another insanely beautiful model that does not have to be owned to be appreciated for its beauty and artistry. What are your thoughts on the Maki-e Snow, Moon and Flowers fountain pen?
Six Years of Maki-e M1000s, left to right: Spring & Autumn (2016), Dragonfly (2017), Peacock (2018), Five Lucky Bats (2019), Japanese Umbrella (2019), Kingfisher (2020), and Seven Treasures (2021)