Nos 1970s Pilot Buddhist Scriptures Polished Silver Heart Sutra Pen Vintage For Sale
--Polished Sterling Silver with engraved lettering
–18k White Gold Nib F withDate Code [H1076]
–Original Packaging includes:
-attractive fine paper outer box,
-white, silver, gold brocade cloth box
-small blue polishing cloth
-printed rice paper copy of Hannya Shinkyo in original outer wrapper with calligraphy and red seal
-small pilot catalog
-sealed cartridge converter
In the world of pen collecting, Japanese Buddhist Heart Sutra pens have long enjoyed a kind of cult status all their own. And, accordingly, during the past few years, Pilot, Sailor, Platinum, Nakayaka and Dr. Ron Dutcher of Kamakura Pens have all created handsome limited editions in sterling silver or maki-e urushi lacquer (in prices ranging from $700-$2300). But however nice these recent pens may be, many collectors feel the original Heart Sutra pen made by Pilot Namiki in the mid-1970s– based on their large inlaid nib "Custom" model– has never been equalled.
Known various as Buddhist Scriptures, Hannya Shinkyo, Hannya Shingyō, Hannya Shinyou, and even 般若心经, the original Pilot pens were produced in small numbers (and judging from the date codes, short run batches), for a comparatively brief period of perhaps 5-6 years (likely starting around 1973). Four styles were made: Hyomon maki-e lacquer in red or black with gold lettering, a sterling silver pen with lettering in high relief (which in appearance makes for a dark pen with bright letters), and in highly polished sterling silver with the lettering etched, such as the pen on offer here. Insofar as I know, the pens never appeared in Pilot Namiki catalogues, and though collectors have, over the years, pressed Pilot to furnish further details about the production of these pens, they have declined to provide further details.
In addition to being among the most beautifully crafted pens that Pilot has ever made, the Heart Sutra pens have always been regarded as something very special. To some as lucky talismans that protect their owners from evil spirits and bad fortune, or an object worthy of meditation, as well as being fine writers that feel comfortable in the hand. Indeed, the story has long been circulated-- though sometimes disputed, defended, or dismissed as a brazen marketing ploy-- that for each batch of new Buddhist scripture pens, Pilot would organize special ceremonies at Buddhist temples (derived from the centuries old tradition of blessing swords) where a priest blessed each pen individually.
Up until a few years ago, Heart Sutra pens for sale could be located with patience, and often at not wholly unreasonable cost– on , Yahoo Japan, or from several specialist pen retailers. Indeed, Dr Ron Dutcher (for many years unrivaled as one of the most knowledgeable and resourceful international sources of Japanese pens) fondly recounts buying a whole tray of Heart Sutra pens for ¥5000 apiece in 1997 when he first began in business.
More recently, however, original 1970s Pilot pens have grown both considerably more elusive and considerably more expensive. And at present, one respected veteran German dealer has a Red Hyomon pen on offer for €1850 (approximately $2506), and a Black pen for €100 less. But while all Heart Sutra pens have always been comparatively difficult to find, the polished sterling pen has long been regarded as something of a grail– almost never seen, and as often as not commanding up to twice the price of either the black, red or relief lettered sterling models. It has therefore proved something of a stumbling block for any collector hoping to assemble a complete set of all four styles.
The most convincing of the explanations offered for the scarcity of the polished sterling pens is that they were never actually available for retail sale, that far fewer were made (one estimate being in the range of about 200-300 pens in total), and that it was quite likely that they were only given to Pilot's own top executives (or as very special VIP gifts), and not very often at that.
Whatever in fact may be the case, this is a highly sought-after pen which appears in the market very infrequently.
Additional photos in high resolution can be taken. And I'm more than happy to answer any questions I've not anticipated.
I have considered price with some care, and realize that this is not exactly the bargain hunter's deal of the century. But then I don't really expect to see another polished silver Buddhist scriptures Pilot for sale anywhere especially soon. If the two lacquer examples presently on offer (above mentioned) actually do accurately reflect a realistic current range (and presumably the past few years of dwindling supply and bullish growing demand), this is rather a steal.
As regard to payment, packing, shipping, and returns– please do read the following. And as they say in ese, "Thanks for looking."
The pen will be skillfully packed with great care, marked as fragile, and promptly shipped via USPS or possibly Fedex anywhere in the US, insured for its full sale price, at cost.
I am more than happy to ship overseas to Japan and Western Europe. But all potential international buyers (as well as US buyers beyond the 48 states) are asked to contact me prior to purchase since insurance and trackable shipment can be surprisingly expensive, even with comparatively small parcels. buyers located in other parts of the world will be happily considered on a case by case basis, but absolutely must consult me in advance.
While 's calculation of international shipment may in some instances be higher than the actual cost that I will charge, their domestic calculation appear not to include insurance and may be a few dollars too low. In either case, inquire if you have questions and want a firm quote before offerding. I won't actually charge any "handling" fee, regardless.
ers with fewer than 5 positive transactions or more than two recent negative responses are also asked to contact me before purchase or risk having the transaction cancelled without notice– though I realize all on began with 0 transactions. Finally, this is NOT an on approval sale but an offering and I am NOT a writing instrument retailer. So, while I won't say "never," in the absence of very good cause or material misstatement, an item is not returnable because you've changed your mind or decided you like something else better. I am however committed to dealing on in a fair-minded way (with a 14-year history here, and over a thousand 100% positive transactions), so if there is a problem, I will make every reasonable effort to resolve it with the buyer to our mutual satisfaction.
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