Tuesday, May 14, 2013

More GK

GK stands for Ginjirô Kabutogi. Or, Kabutogi Ginjirô (兜木銀次郎) in Japanese—family name first. We saw those letters imprinted on a couple of Ban-ei pen nibs, and those letters were, in fact, the only real identification of those pens.

On this things were different. For one, the pen is labeled with the name DIA on the clip and on the nib. In this case, two other signs showed that nibmeister Kabutogi was involved—the brand Steady and the number 3233, which was the Japan Industrial Standard associated to pen operations Steady and Ideal, owned by Kabutogi.


The pen clip. Rolled 14 K gold, and labeled as DIA.


The inscription on the nib reads "Steady / DIA / LIFETIME / 14K / JIS logo / 3233".

Lambrou and Sunami describe Diamond as a family business founded in 1948 in Ôsaka by Shibata Tetsuo. The production of fountain pens, under brand names Diamond and DIA, was greatly improved in 1957, when Nishikawa Noburu, skilled craftsman and pen maker, joined the company. However, the pen production ceased by mid 1960s.

Most Diamond pens were made of celluloid or of lacquered ebonite. Today’s pen belongs to the second group, and it is decorated with a maki-e technique called togidashimon. On it, different colored layers are applied to the surface, and are later cut or polished to reveal a colorful pattern in oval shape.


The barrel shows the colors of the different layers of lacquer applied on the pen. This maki-e technique technique is called togidashimon.

These are the pen dimensions:
Length capped: 144 mm
Length open: 128 mm
Length posted: 172 mm
Diameter: 14 mm
Weight (dry): 21.6 g

The pen, in this case, is an eyedropper filler with shut-off valve. Lambrou and Sunami, in their book Fountain Pens of Japan (2012, ISBN: 978-0-9571230-0), show a very similar pen, albeit with a different filling system—a lever filler. They date it in 1957.


My thanks to Mr. Chen and to Mr. Furuya.


Pilot Custom Grandee, music nib – Gary’s yellow-black iron-gall ink

Bruno Taut
Yokohama, May 14th 2013
etiquetas: Diamond, nibmeister Kabutogi, Steady

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