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Pen Porn: Sailor 1911S Maki-e Maiko

Posted in Fountain Pens

Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for pen envy or impulse purchases resulting from viewing this post.

Per usual, you can click on the images to view them larger. I do my best to provide you with the best pen porn. πŸ˜‰

On September 1st, Goulet Pen Co. sent out an email announcing their Sailor “Don’t Miss the Boat” sale. I’m assuming it has something to do with Sailor’s upcoming price increase, but I digress. I wasn’t looking for any Sailor pens, but I decided to take a look and see what was on offer.

To my surprise, I found a pen I wanted. I’ve really been enjoying urushi art pens, and the Maiko caught my eye, especially considering it was approximately half price. The sale price put it at just a bit higher than a standard Pro Gear pen, so I bought another pen that I shouldn’t have. I’m not doing well at all in my quest to buy less pens this year.

Sailor 1911S Maki-e Maiko

FYI

I can’t find much info about the Maiko online. The Goulet page β€” before it disappeared β€” said the pen is resin and the design is screen printed, then finished by hand. It’s clearly an older edition, as I found a YouTube review that was posted 7 years ago. And, based on a search of Sailor’s website, it appears to be discontinued. I’m guessing that this pen got lost in Goulet’s wearhouse and I was lucky enough to snag it before anyone else did.

The Design

The overall design is rather simple, making excellent use of negative space and color to draw attention to the maiko.

Let’s start with the main focus. Obviously, as the pen is named Maiko, the maiko on the pen is the focus. The colors are lovely, and, when viewed quickly or from afar, is gorgeous.

Showing the Maiko from a distance

I photoshopped this “360” view so you can see the full design. I’m sorry for the “bumpy” look, I did the best I could to even it out.

Sailor Maiko 360 view

The Maiko’s design is the brainchild of Kosen Oshita. I don’t know if he did the maki-e work as well, or if he only drew up the design. I can’t read kanji, so I also don’t know if the signature on the pen is his or someone else’s.

showing the artist's signature

The fans on the cap are beautiful, and the various sakura petals are well done, too.

Imperfections

While I rather like the design, and the pen as a whole, it’s not without imperfections. There are three major issue, captured in the images below.

  1. There is an odd patchiness in the “front” section of the maiko’s hair. The rest of her hair is a solid brown, so I don’t think it’s supposed to have the extra translucence.
  2. There is something off about the maiko’s forward arm. Because you can see the inside of her sleeve, I would expect to see her arm as well. Perhaps, though, it’s merely supposed to be the sleeve folded back a bit. If so, that’s fine. However, there’s still an issue with the gold outline around the red. It doesn’t extend all the way to the blue towards the bottom of the teardrop shape. It’s a problem that occurs everywhere the blue and red meet. It’s not, however, an issue on the fans or the maiko’s hair, so I don’t think it’s supposed to be that way.
  3. The design for the maiko’s kimono includes whitespace lines. They’re a nice touch, and help break up the blue. However, in the white space between the kimono and the obi, the line is wavy, and the clovers on her kimono even bleed into her obi. This, especially, cheapens the look of the design to me, more so than issue #2.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, of course, the question is, “was it worth it?” My answer: yes, but only because I got it on sale. I would have been disappointed if I’d paid full price for the pen. At full price, there are so many pens with better urushi work. However, at the sale price, I can say, “you get what you pay for.”

I think I’ll enjoy having this one in my collection, but I’ll stick to Pilot or Platinum for my future urushi pen purchases.


Thank you for reading until the end, I hope you enjoyed this post. Do you own one of Sailor’s 1911 maki-e pens? If so, does yours have minor imperfections? If not, would you like one? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you.

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