Namiki by Pilot Yukari Royale Frog Fountain Pen
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This Namiki Yukari Royale Frog maki-e fountain pen was created in 2017 in Japan by maki-e artisan Yumi Hayashi, who also has the distinction of being the first woman hired as a Maki-e artist by Namiki. It features the Togidashi-Taka Maki-e technique (burnished-raised maki-e), depicting frogs, leaves, and water designs. The pen has an 18k gold nib in size #20, fills via cartridge/converter (a CON-70 is included), and comes packaged in a wooden box with a bottle of ink.
Extraordinary artistry and craftsmanship, along with superior attention to detail, embody the essence of the Japanese Maki-e art form. The exquisite hyper-realistic, animal inspired design of the Yukari Royale Frog is brought to life through the thousands of skillful touches of the master artisan. The artisan started with drawing the intricate lines of the frogs, leaves and water designs on the lustrous black Urushi lacquer surface, and then skillfully sprinkled 18-karat gold foil and powder in a continuous manner creating a dimensional, powerful and expressive masterpiece.
Captured stunningly on the body of the fountain pen, the artisan has expressed the passage of time by portraying a variety of flowers that come into bloom at different times throughout the year. The tranquil flow of water is expressed with luminous Raden (Mother-of-pearl) and Kawari-nuri. Also among the carefully curated scene are three golden frogs dynamically depicted moving around in a lively manner. Frogs in Japanese, also referred to as “kaeru,” are known to be a popular motif as a lucky charm that will bring health, longevity, protection and wealth.
Each year, after hibernating, the frog has the peculiarity to go back to the pond of its birth, whatever the distance, for reproduction. Its name in Japanese (kaeru) is pronounced the same way as the word, which means return. This characteristic has made it a protective animal for travelers (often as protective amulets) and the symbol of hospitality. Symbol of fertility, because it lays numerous eggs in one go, the frog is also the one of happy returns of any kind, chance, age, happiness, money, etc. It is also thought to give the power of attracting wealth (it was the emblem of the tax collectors in feudal times). At last, it represents resurrection and metamorphosis, the perpetual transformation of man.