In the world of luxury pens, there are only a few brand names that are considered really belonging to the ranks of the elite. Dunhill Namiki is one of those prestigious names. The brand boasts unmatched craftsmanship and rich history, making it a truly alluring addition to pen collections. Namiki is from Ryosuke Namiki, the co-founder of Pilot, the internationally distinguished pen manufacturer. It was first called Namiki Manufacturing Company when it was formed in 1918, but the firm was renamed in 1938 and turned to Pilot Pen Co., Ltd. British company Alfred Dunhill collaborated with Pilot in the early 20th century when it began selling the maki-e fountain pens, Dunhill Namiki, in its local store and ultimately distributing them internationally.
What sets Dunhill Namiki pens apart from other fine fountain pens is probably the superb artwork on their body. The practice used in creating those artworks is known as maki-e, a centuries-old Japanese lacquer that uses the sprinkling of metallic powders. Only highly skilled maki-e artists are able to create such art even up to this day, making maki-e pens from Dunhill Namiki much more appealing to collectors.
Some of these pens were produced for only a limited number, and their rarity contributes to their value. But to lure unwary pen lovers, there are also bogus versions of these highly popular pens being offered online. And with only the words of the seller and some pictures of the item to rely on, even the most discerning of serious pen collectors can be fooled since the pens in the pictures look so real. By the time it reaches the buyer, it’s far too late to realise that the product is fake.
As were standard in the 1930s, antique Dunhill Namiki pens have flat feeds. Fake pens, on the other hand, often have ribbed feeds that are decidedly modern in style. Dunhill Namki pens also have hard to duplicate exquisitely handcrafted graphics, while fake pens seem to have their printed. The originals generally use taka maki-e, or the sculpted lacquer method, which gives pens raised surfaces and visible highlights.
A dunhill namiki pen is really a work of art. For determined pen enthusiasts, it’s like owning a true work of art with rich history. Unlike disposable pens, these maki-e pens can be passed on from one generation to another. They can add to one’s collection of luxury pens or be given as luxury corporate gifts. Depending on the pen, it can cost from several hundreds of dollars to even as high as more than $50,000 for vintage pieces.