The great reputation of Namiki pens results from a chemical observation. Ebonite becomes dull in the presence of ink. Namiki leads a team of specialists who suggest in 1925 to use the traditional Japanese lacquer of maki-e type which is sprinkled with gold and silver powder for creating exquisite decorations. The Namiki pen becomes a work of art.
The expansion of the brand is an excellent example of international cooperation. In 1930 Namiki signs a contract with Dunhill so that the British company will sell the Namiki products in major cities worldwide.
Sorabji was an a British composer of Parsi origin. Known for his secret temperament and tendency to a reclusive life, he needs luxury conditions to do its work. He commissioned two fountain pens to Dunhill-Namiki, undated but perhaps at the time of preparation of their contract.
He chose the No. 50 size also named Emperor 16 cm long which is the largest available. One of the pens is decorated with a tiger and the other with a cat in maki-e lacquer realized and signed by two different artists. Nibs are in gold.
This pair of upscale writing instruments is estimated $ 100K for sale by Bonhams in San Francisco on June 16, lot 1126.