Heirlooms feed your soul
The working relationship between Andreas Lambrou and Masa Sunami began in 1980. They are both avid pen collectors and started to study and collect fountain pens at a very young age. Over the years they have helped each other to source pens for their collections and exchanged information on the pen industry. Sunami assisted in the Japanese chapter of Lambrou’s first book, Fountain Pens Vintage and Modern (1989) and translated the book into his native Japanese. This was published in 1990 through a fruitful cooperation with the Parker Pen Company.
Masa Sunami also assisted with the research and photographs of the Japanese chapter in Lambrou’s book, Fountain Pens of the World (1995).
Masa Sunami was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1950. He began to collect pens at the age of 12 and over the years he has amassed more than 10,000 pens as well as a wide variety of writing equipment ephemera.
He has written several books on fountain pens and pen collecting in general. He is a regular contributor to magazine columns.
He has created unique designs which major manufacturers like Pilot-Namiki, Platinum and other Japanese makers have utilized to produce unique pens for him, in a variety of materials and Maki-E.
He is acclaimed as Japan’s number one pen collector.
Andreas Lambrou was born in Nicosia, Cyprus in 1942. He started to collect fountain pens at the age of 12 in his native Cyprus then in England while studying at London University. His love of pens inspired him to study their history, design and manufacture. He has written articles for international publications including Pen World, Business Magazine, Vogue, The V.I.P Guide to London, etc. and has catalogued and valued pen museums of international pen manufacturers. He has authored three books on fountain pens and their industry worldwide.
He is a co-founder of Classic Pens Ltd. established in 1987, in London, England and the founder of Classic Pens Inc. established in 1998 in Los Angeles, California.
Through him Classic Pens provides the spark for ideas and working relationships with craftsmen, artists as well as international pen manufacturers. Together, they have created the company's unique and exquisite pen collections. This philosophy continues.
Andreas Lambrou is recognized as one of the leading international authorities on fountain pens and their industry worldwide.
Lambrou and Sunami have always been interested in customized fountain pens. In 1992, their working relationship culminated in some unique Tsugaru Maki-E designs produced by Pilot for Classic Pens.
The art of Maki-E is thought to have originated as early as the seventh century. It is based on the use of a natural, durable lacquer called urushi, which comes from the sap of a Japanese tree. The art of Maki-E was first applied to fountain pens in the mid-1920s by Pilot.
In 2000, their working relationship was strengthened when they began development of the LS designs. These combine the cultures of East and West and they are created by some of the top Maki-E artists in Japan. Each and every design carries the prestigious Red Seal signature of the artist.
The celebrated Tatsuya Tōdō and Shogetsu Mitani, both in their early fifties, are two of the younger Maki-E masters in Japan. They have both been awarded a great number of highly coveted prizes for the excellence of their work.
Red Seal signature of Master Tatsuya Tōdō
Red Seal signature of Master Shogetsu Mitani
The first creation is the LS1 Kirara (Geometric). It comprises more than 1000 individual strips of blue pearl and pure gold. These natural and precious materials envelop the body of the pen creating a unique and exquisite work of art. The Maki-E Master is Tatsuya Tōdō.
The LS2 Sazanami (Random) was also launched in 2001. It is handcrafted out of blue pearl and segments of pure gold which are artistically placed on the cap and barrel. The variety of size and shape of the segments enhances the composition. The section and part of the barrel are adorned with color lacquer and gold dust which compliment the blue pearl.
The LS3 Ichimatsu (Repeating Rectangles) was launched in 2002. The composition utilizes blue pearl, white pearl, coral and pure gold in a repeating rectangle design, a specialty of the Master Tatsuya Tōdō.
The preparation of more than 1,500 strips of the four natural precious materials to the exact size and shape, then hand polished is certainly labor intensive. The application of this large number of strips to create the unique composition requires the highest degree of skill. The fruit is the exquisite Ichimatsu Maki-E Art Pen.
The LS4 Asuka (Ancient Emperor City) and the LS5 Nagisa (Sea Shore) were announced in 2003. They are extensions of the LS3 Ichimatsu (Repeating Rectangle) design. The gold and coral strips are longer and cover the whole height of each rectangle. These designs are two of the most difficult to craft, in particular the coral strips which are cut and shaped to the exact size and then polished by hand. This time consuming preparatory work, however, gives a wonderful three dimensional effect to the compositions.
The LS6 Youbi (Elegance) was launched in 2003. It was handcrafted by the Maki-E Master Tatsuya Tōdō. The Youbi is a mosaic style composition whereby the tiles (squares) are sprayed with various colors urushi lacquer and gold. On one side of the pen, the tiles are gold or green, on the other side gold or red. When the pen is closed the colors align. The composition is accented by the artful placement of pure gold tiles. The design extends to the gripping section and its luster compliments the black body of the pen. Finally, the clip feathers are painted with the two principal lacquer colors of red and green whilst the arrow tip with lacquer and gold dust.
The LS7 Mitsubachi (Honey Bee) was launched in 2003. It is a three dimensional, very high relief composition in pastel shades of cream, brown and gold. It shows honey bees at work producing honey over the honeycombe. There is a honey bee on the cap, two on the barrel and the Queen honeybee on the gripping section near the nib. The consummately executed design shows incredible detail of the high relief bees down to the minute details of the veins in their wings. The Honey Bee composition, to our knowledge, is novel for fountain pens. The Master of this work is Shogetsu Mitani.
The LS8 Iruka (Dolphins) was launched in 2004. It is a three dimensional high relief composition in shades of blue background to represent the Ocean and shades of textured gold for the dolphins. Pearl inlay brings out the sparking eyes of the playful dolphins. The consummately executed design displays incredible detail of the high relief dolphins and blue shades of the sun blessed Ocean. The Dolphin composition, to our knowledge, is novel for fountain pens. The Master of this creation is Shogetsu Mitani.
The LS9 Iruka Dansu (Dancing Dolphins) was also launched in 2004 to compliment the LS8 Iruka. It is a three dimensional high relief composition. The background reflects shades of blue to represent the sun blessed ocean and white foam created by the dancing dolphins. The textured gold shades of the dolphins are complimented by pearl inlay which emphasizes their sparkling eyes. The consummately executed design displays incredible detail of the high relief dolphins and the wonderful blue shades of the ocean. The Dancing Dolphins composition, to our knowledge, is novel for fountain pens.
The LS 10 Inochi (Life) was launched in 2004. It was inspired by the Oak tree, a symbol of strength, the green leaves represent dignity, integrity and honor. Its green leaves and golden acorns also represent a new season in the forest, a new beginning in life. Indeed, Inochi in Japanese means Life.
The LS 11 Nihonrisu (Squirrels) was launched in 2004. Squirrels are a symbol of trust. They are friendly, playful, energetic and plan well ahead for the future. The composition shows a pair of playing squirrels on a tree surrounded by leaves. The artist has created a unique texture making the pen body look similar to the tree bark. This textured background is sweet to the touch and to our knowledge is novel for fountain pens.
The LS 12 Shimarisu (Chipmunks) was created to compliment the LS11 Nihonrisu. It was launched in 2004. Chipmunks are symbol of trust. They are curious, playful, and they represent balance between trust and caution as well as flexibility in one’s opinion. The composition shows a pair of playing chipmunks on a tree surrounded by leaves. The artist has created a unique texture making the pen body look similar to the tree bark. This textured background is sweet to the touch and to our knowledge is novel for fountain pens.
The Lambrou Sunami LS Collection offers pen lovers worldwide exquisite and novel Maki-E compositions. This philosophy of Andreas Lambrou and Masa Sunami, the two long time friends and pen collectors, will live on as new LS Art Pens are created enhancing the LS collection in diversity and prestige.
Read the PenWorld Fantastic Fusion: East Meets West article about the Classic Pens LS Collection.
feed your soul.
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