The third design in the Signature Collection is the AL3 Bitoku (Virtue). Launched in 2006, it is an elaborate composition, meticulously handcrafted by the Maki-E master Issho Sawada. The Bitoku pays tribute to the Tokugawa family.
The Tokugawa clan was a Daimyo family and gained power in 1603. Tokugawa Ieyasu was the most famous shogun. He founded the Tokugawa dynasty and built a new capital in Edo, the city that is now Tokyo. Tokugawa shoguns ruled until 1868.
During the Edo period (1603-1867), Japan was divided into autonomous territories under the control of feudal lords. These ruling families were called Daimyo which means “great name”. Under the leadership of the Daimyo, the samurai warriors served to protect the lord’s lands and fight against his enemies. The word “shogun” is a title that was granted by the Emperor to the country’s top military commander.
There exist a great number of wares decorated with designs associated with the Tokugawa Dynasty. These are so important to the Japanese culture that they have a museum dedicated to the art. The AL3 Bitoku embodies three of the most important designs. These were represented on ware during a wedding of a daughter of the Tokugawa clan.
The Peony is the supreme flower and it is regarded as medicinal. It is seen as an omen of good fortune, it is the emblem of love and affection and feminine beauty, as well as the sign of spring. The Peony was, until 1929, the National flower of Mainland China.
The zigzag geometric pattern is found on many Tokugawa wares. It is depicted on the Bitoku in gold dust which imparts strength and richness to the overall composition. The zigzag design is called Hishimon (lozenge). It is a form of a diamond pattern which is a traditional design in Japan.
The Chinese Lion, also known as “Dogs of Fu” or “Fu Dogs” were symbols of superhuman strength and power. They were emblems of valor and energy. These lions originated in China and later became part of Japanese culture. They are one of the sacred creatures of life. Interestingly, Karajishi-Botan, which means lion and peony, is an old Japanese folklore.
The AL3 Bitoku is a unique and harmonious symbiotic composition of the Chinese Lion and the Peony flower, enhanced with the zigzag geometric design, associated with the Tokugawa clan.
The Bitoku is consummately executed in Shishiai-Togidashi Maki-E and Kakiwari Maki-E by the master Issho Sawada. These are two of the most demanding and highest level Maki-E techniques. The process of creating the Bitoku design is very laborious and lengthy but the result is an exquisite and rare work of art.
There is a choice for the canvas of the Bitoku. The Parker Duofold Centennial, one of the most celebrated pen models of all time and the Classic Legend fountain pen.
A letter of authenticity handwritten by Andreas Lambrou, which he signed with the Artist and Masa Sunami will accompany each pen.
The series is official and carries the warranty and after sales service of the Duofold or the Legend, whichever is the canvas of the design.
The pens are housed in hand made gift boxes specifically designed for the collection.
The Bitoku is an original and unique design. It is completely hand crafted with natural precious materials. All pieces in the series conform to the same poetic theme, but each differs just enough from the others to be truly a distinctive work or Art.
The series comprises 15 pieces on the Parker Duofold Centennial and 15 pieces on the Classic Legend world-wide. Each piece is handcrafted to order. Please contact us for availability and price.
The AL3 Bitoku is completely handcrafted with natural precious materials. All pieces in the series conform to the same poetic theme, but each differs just enough from the others to be truly a distinctive work of Art.
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