Oshidori (Mandarin Ducks)
Limited Edition Maki-e Collection
Conway Stewart is working with
many highly praised and recognized Maki-e artists for its 2006
is the third pen in the spring collection crafted by the renowned
artisan, Mr. Koichiro Okazaki.
Hanakui Oshidori (Mandarin
Mandarin Ducks are a theme frequently featured
in Oriental art. A notable characteristic of this species is intense
loyalty. Pairing for life, they represent conjugal affection and
fidelity in eastern art. Their presence represents balance and
proverbs for loving couples use the Mandarin Duck as a metaphor
and they are frequently used as symbols during Chinese weddings.
The species was once widespread in eastern Asia, but it is now
endangered because of large-scale exports and the destruction
of its forest habitat.
The populations in eastern Russia and China are
probably well below 1,000 pairs, although Japan may have around
Mr. Koichiro Okazaki's work name is Kogaku-san.
His work is painted freehand without any outline of design or
silk screen process. While 90% of currently produced Maki-e artwork
utilizes man-made Urushi lacquer, Kogaku san uses only 100% natural
Urushi lacquer, collected by hand from Urushi trees.
draws his inspiration of these particular Mandarin Ducks from
treasures housed in the Shosoin temple.
Shosoin is an imperial storehouse. It is located
inside the Todaiji Temple in Nara just northwest of the Great
Buddha. The building serves as a time capsule housing the treasures
of the Silk Road (the overland trade routes from China to the
This temple has protected and preserved around
9,000 different items dating back to the 7th and 8th centuries.
Amongst the thousands of treasures, the Shosoin serves as museum
of Persian motifs including animals, trees, birds, and lion hunting,
artifacts from the Roman Empire, an unparalleled collection of
musical instruments from Iran and China, carpets from western
China, a rhinoceros horn bowl from Champa (today central Vietnam)
are just a few of the national treasures.
building holds ritual objects used in China and brought to the
Japanese court for its own purposes; objects made in Japan that
reflect Japanese imitation and innovation of Tang Chinese; and
archives, temple furnishings, and ceremonial dress.
Shosoin's significance extends beyond Japan the
building is widely acknowledged as the "Treasure House of
Kogaku-san has depicted a pair of these colorful
birds set against a flowing backdrop of running water. Each brightly
painted Mandarin Duck is clasping a long stalk with flowers. Raden
inlay and gold powder are carefully used to accent both the ducks
The shimmering surface of the flowing water is
detailed with gleaming gold and green.
This wonderful design adorns the cap and barrel.
It is an amazing display of both art and nature.
Each piece carries Kogaku-san's
signature, and the coveted
Red Seal signature signifying the highest level of Maki-e art.
by Mr. Koichiro Okazaki
Limited to 25 pieces
Nib grades: Extra Fine to Extra
Broad, Italic Fine, Italic Medium, Italic Broad
Filling mechanism: converter cartridge
Retail Price £3,774 $6,310 €4728
to 25 pieces worldwide
EDITION SOLD OUT!
About the Artisan:
Mr. Koichiro Okazaki's work signature is Kogaku-san. Born
in 1959, Kogaku-san has received prestigious recognition,
including the award of Kao (his authorized monogram) from
Kuda Munenori of Sado Omote School as well as placing
in several national urushi-related exhibitions. Kogaku-san's
art is very popular and can be seen on many traditional
accessories, such as ornamental hairpins and jewelry.
He has a strong following and is much
admired by people collecting his work on expensive combs
used for decorative purposes. One of his most distinguished
works was on a citizen pocket watch that sold for $20,000.
Kogaku-san's attention to detail is amazing. Some of his
artwork has lines no thicker than a human hair.
Kogaku-san's work is painted freehand
without any outline of design or silkscreen process. While
90 percent of currently produced maki-e artwork utilizes
man-made urushi lacquer, Kogaku-san uses only 100 percent
natural urushi lacquer, collected by hand from urushi
Click on the
images below to view additional designs
crafted by maki-e artisan Kogaku-san