The other day I saw that Nibs.com had tweeted about a Nakaya Chinkin Karakusa Tortoiseshell Celluloid Fountain Pen. What caught my attention, other than it just being a Nakaya, was that ‘tortoiseshell celluloid’ and ‘Nakaya’ were in the same sentence. To me, that’s a bit odd as I associate Nakaya with ebonite and maki-e. So of course I clicked the link which opened up a whole new world to me.
This new world was filled with gorgeous pens engraved with intricate designs and motifs. The technique used is called Chinkin and literally means ‘sink-gold’. It is a carving technique where the removed portion is filled with gold. There’s also chinkoku, engraving filled with black (koku). Nakaya has used this technique with many different themes but often uses Arabesque and Housouge designs.
Below are a few examples of each and the full range of Chinkin pens can be found at Nakaya.org. As with many of Nakaya’s pens, prices vary depending on the design.