Namiki Emperor Crane

The Namiki Emperor Crane showcases the craft of Maki-e at its finest. This large flat-topped eyedropper-filled fountain pen provides a generous surface area for the urushi lacquer and hand-applied precious materials used to create the crane motif. Namiki's solid gold 18k nibs insure that this memorable work of art is also a beautifully functional and smooth-writing instrument.

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The Emperor Crane begins a new series of flat-top pens utilizing precious materials including gold dust, raden, and egg shell all embedded in layers of urushi lacquer and coated with more layers of clear urushi.

With its mythical 1000 year life, the crane has been a symbol of longevity and good fortune. After World War II, it also came to represent world peace. Here, with the pen as a kind of canvas, we see the cranes dancing against the dark, with raden, silver and gold enlivening the surface.

Tree motif from lower cap. Water motif from lower barrel.
This is the finest example of hand-placed quail egg shell employed in a design that we have seen. Notice the layered effect of the shell in the depiction of the crane's wings.
The tail feathers, legs and beak are crafted in gold pigment.

Without the interruption of a pocket clip the cylindrical canvas of this fountain pen is a perfect place to explore detailed and miniature art. 

Only a very smaller number of these pens are completed each year - though not individually numbered, they are truly limited to a very small production because of the nature of this craft and the few people with these kinds of skills.

Intense detail is married to superb composition. The overall effect is stunning.


The following information is from Namiki's certificate of authenticity:

"The Crane design incorporates four different Maki-e techniques: Togadashi-maki-e, Taka-maki-e, Raden (abalone shells) and Rankaku (quail egg shells). Togidashi-maki-e is a method in which gilded patterns are dried, re-coated with urushi, and finally burnished to a high sheen using charcoal. This style of Maki-e dates to the seventh century.

"The Taka-maki-e method is a Maki-e applied on patterns in raised relief and dates to the twelfth century. The Raden and Rankaku lacquering styles are used in order to create an overall feeling of depth and dimension. Execution of these techniques requires great expertise and experience." ...and considerable time. 

Measurements & Specifications

Closed Length 6.8"
Barrel Length 5"
Barrel Diameter 0.7"
Section Diameter 0.5"
Ink Capacity 6 ml
Filling System Eyedropper
Cap Type Threaded
Clip No Clip
Postable Not Postable
Pen Weight 47.7 g
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