Philosophy and calligraphy are woven into Chinese history, and even in this record-breaking pen. We bought some samples of this special pen – Confucius – from the Chinese manufacturer to evaluate it; here are my considerations.
What Confucius got to do with the calligraphy?
The calligraphy – literally “the art, the discipline of writing” – was the most effective means of disseminating Confucian art; precepts and written, in fine calligraphy, adorned walls and books for centuries of Confucian schools. After 25 centuries, this pen pays homage to Confucius and the art of calligraphy.
The sober black lacquered wood box containing the Confucius – a pen honouring the Chinese philosopher Kong Fuzi, lived in the VI Century B.C., whose doctrine was the official religion of China for 2000 years until the early twentieth century, recently rehabilitated by the Chinese government – is embellished by the image of the philosopher and some characters inlaid.
Inside, there are a pen and a bottle of ink, with the omnipresent warranty certificate – entirely in Chinese.
The pen is rather large (150 mm in length to a max diameter of the cap 16 mm).
The metal cap is finished with genuine Chinese black lacquer; the silver portrait of Confucius and pictograms that recall his precepts are relief obtained here with the technique of Cloisonné, like the Gui Bao.
The cap is completed by a geometrical decoration symbolizing the Great Wall; a pattern that also occurs on the clip, ending with the usual Duke logo.
The metal barrel is relieved – physically and visually – by a bamboo lining; in this case, the type “Zhu JinSi”, very thin and with golden hues.
I appreciated the excellent balance between the color of the black cap and the precious bamboo, as well as the sobriety, the simplicity of this pen.
Now comes the best, by unscrewing the cap!
I was ready, of course, but it’s anyhow a breathtaking surprise.
It consists of two overlapping sheets that fold up together at the tip; other pictographs etched on the upper plate.
I feel helpless: here we need a handwriting expert to assess strengths and weaknesses.
In fact, a handwriting expert won a Great World Guinness Record by drawing consecutively 2008 different Chinese characters using a fountain pen equipped with this calligraphy nib.
The filling system is cartridge/converter.
The pen is very nice and has a very affordable cost, despite its fairly accurate workmanship and high quality materials (lacquer, bamboo).
Maybe the decor is a bit heavy for my Italian taste, but it has its own style, clearly Chinese, without Western influences.
The unique nib alone would deserve our interest, because it opens unexpected possibilities in fine lettering: do try it …
Therefore, I’d say that it is very good “value for money”.
And if the traditional Chinese culture intrigues you, and are not intimidated by the rich decoration, look at the presentation of GuiBao: you’ll be bewitched!