Dunhill Namiki ~ The Enchanting Story of Singapore between London and Tokyo

Dunhill Namiki And Singapore

Dunhill Namiki was introduced to the world because of the need to bring Japanese made Namiki fountain pens to the international market when the sales agreement was signed between Alfred Dunhill and Namiki Pen Manufacture Japan in 1920s.  The agreement to sell Namiki Pens under the name Dunhill Namiki was the biggest breakthrough for Namiki in its brand history.

How did Singapore come into play in the pivotal role as the conduit for the East & West culture?  An interesting box containing an antique Dunhill Namiki pen reveals how important was Singapore being instrumental in bringing this wonderful love story together.

Dunhill Namiki History
Dunhill Namiki Pens was already selling in Singapore since the 1920s. Amazing !

History is a mirror to the past and has  always repeat itself in different forms.  The modern history of Namiki pens cannot be complete without mentioning this island state Singapore.  It was in Singapore in 1998 that the first shop in shop of Namiki was set up in Elephant & Coral (www.elephant-coral.com)

Prestigious World's First Namiki Shop in Shop in Singapore
Namiki Shop in Shop was first set up in 1998 to feature the full image of Namiki pens to the world.

Two special commemorative pens were made specially for Elephant & Coral in 2005 to commemorate its anniversary.  The Seki Shun 惜春 meaning “Pinning For Spring” is a testimony to the significance  of Pilot – Namiki ‘s  appreciation for this Singapore pen shop’s effort.  Only 50 pieces in black and vermillion colour Yukari Royal (a wonderful size) each are made with a grand lacquered box to contain these pens.  The nib has an unusal crescent moon and five stars which is part of the island state’s emblem.  It is not known if Pilot has ever make any pens for a pen company outside of Japan but this is sure making this pen – Seki Shun , not only rare but a true collectible of all times.

Unsual Black Urushi Fountain Pens
This is one of the rarest maki-e pens made by Pilot for a foreign company – in fact, never for foreign companies.

SekiShunRedThese are truly gems among fountain pen collectors who are always seeking something unusual, especially, if it is from the world’s number one lacquer pen maker Namiki or Pilot.

To celebrate one of the most interesting pens that was ever made for modern Japanese 中古 maki-e pens, it is the Dunhill Namiki Hannya.  The Hannya was handcrafted by Master Kyusai Yoshida 吉田久齋 maki-e master, Chief Designer of Namiki Pen company. (吉田久斋)

Dunhill Namiki Hannya Fountain Pen is made by Kyusai Yoshida
Dunhill Namiki Hannya is made by 吉田久斋

An interesting interpretation of the various signs and symbols of the Dunhill Namiki Hannya revealed more essence and thought behind the making of this extraordinary Dunhill Namiki pen.

The Dunhill Namiki Hannya is truly an extraordinary maki-e pen.
The Dunhill Namiki Hannya is truly an extraordinary maki-e pen.

The Hannya Mask (on barrel)

In the Japanese traditional Kabuki theatre plays, the Hannya mask depicts a woman in anguish and full of jealousy.  It appears to be demonic and dangerous when viewed straight ahead but  when tilted slightly down, the face of the mask appears to be tormented; displaying the extreme complexity of human emotions.

Hannya masks appear in various skin tones: a white or gold mask indicates a woman of aristocratic status.

The Drum – Tsuzumi (on cap)

The tsuzumi 鼓 is a Japanese drum of Chinese/Indian origin. It consists of a wooden body shaped like an hourglass.  The tsuzumi plays roles in both Noh and kabuki theater music

The Maple Leaf –  Momiji 紅葉(on cap turban)

The deep sense of appreciating nature, especially, the red autumn maple leaves is an ancient tradition of “hunting” for the glimpse of visiting scenic areas where leaves have turned vermillion during the autumn seasons.  The practice is called Momijigari 紅葉狩.  A tradition that originates from the Heian era as a cultural pursuit.

Hexagonal Patterns

Hexagonal patterns on the cap symbolize Serpents to convey scales.

The more one knows about the Form and Substance of Japanese pens, the stronger is the urge to acquire only the finest Namiki pens.  Further more, the company does not make any more pens since 2011 and hence, the Hannya is sure going to be very sought after.

Dunhill Namiki presence way back in the history of Singapore puts the island state in a very unique position as the pivot of its brand development.

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Elephant & Coral maintains this website presentation of Rare AAA Namiki, Dunhill Namiki Limited Edition, Pilot, Sailor Japanese makie and limited edition Fountain Pens.

Elephant & Coral is a fine writing instrument pen boutique in Singapore retailing fountain pens like Namiki, Dunhill Namiki, Pilot, Sailor, Graf von Faber Castell, Faber Castell, Montegrappa, Visconti, Aurora, OMAS, Conway Stewart, Montblanc, Taccia, Phoenix Lacquer Art, Parker, Waterman, Pelikan, Stipula, Marlen and Elephant & Coral’s own custom pens.

You can also find our bespoke engraved stationery from Cranes Stationery providing customized solutions to your every needs in fine bespoke stationery. We are the sole agent for Cranes stationery in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.

Visit us at 333A Orchard Road, #03-03 Mandarin Gallery. Singapore 238897 or visit www.elephant-coral.com