Bonhams to auction one of world's rarest pens

Simone Says

Simone Says

2015-10-30 13:43:23

One of the world's rarest pens could sell for more than $90,000 at Bonhams in December.

Made by the Japanese Namiki Company in 1930, the red lacquer fountain pen is the first example of its kind to hit the auction market in over 20 years.

The pen was created by Shogo, one of Namiki's most renowned artists, who spent up to six months carefully crafting each pen to an exceptional standard.

Less than 1,500 vintage Namiki pens known to exist, and the majority are housed in private collections. The example offered at Bonhams comes from the remarkable European Namiki Collection, assembled over more than half a century by two generations of the same family, and is expected to sell for £42,000-£60,000 ($64,430-$92,000).

"This is one of the most distinguished pens the auction market has ever seen," said Ivan Briggs, Bonhams Director of Fine Writing Instruments. "The elaborate, raised takamaki-e work combined with the mother-of-pearl inlay on red urushi background give this pen an unsurpassed radiance."

In addition to examples from the European Namiki Collection, the sale will offer further gens from important private collections, most notably an A-grade Emperor Dragon and Cloud maki-e Namiki fountain pen that is the only known example of its kind.

Decorated with with gold leaf hyomon, burnished togidashi maki-e, low relief hiramaki-e, raised takamaki-e, and mother-of-pearl inlay, the pen is expected to sell for £30,000-£50,000 ($46,000-$76,700).

“I’ve never seen a pen before that was made with so many different techniques,” said Briggs. “The design is so complex, it was never commercially produced. Without question, it is the most elaborate and artistically accomplished modern Namiki pen ever offered at auction.”

The Bonhams Fine Writing Instruments sale, featuring The European Namiki Collection and Other Pens, takes place in London on 14th December.

Share on social media
Write a response...

The bookmarklet lets you save things you find to your collections.

Note: Make sure your bookmarks are visible.


Click and drag the Collect It button to your browser's Bookmark Bar.

collect it