The fountain pens in the Zodiac collection by Namiki are delicate works of art, signed by their author, whose motif, borrowed from the symbols of Japanese tradition, has been engraved free-hand on copper-plate. The ink is fed either by a piston converter or by a cartridge.Each of the Zodiac fountain pens requires, as do the Emperors & Yukari, three months and sometimes more of expert, loving and minute craftsmanship. Such is the time that must be devoted to bringing to perfection the ornamental grace, true to the Maki-e craft, mingling polychromatic lacquers and gold dust.The Maki-e, a decorating technique patiently refined by Nipponese artists over the centuries, came to full bloom in the 14th and 15th centuries A. D., when, as it was highly sought by the aristocracy, it came to enrich the looks of the implements used in the tea ceremony.Maki-e is part and parcel of the cultural heritage of old Japan. It involves no less than thirty some different processes, that concur in decors of utmost subtlety and unrivalled luxury.Patiently and serenely adorned following the rules of that ancestral craft, the fountain pens in the Zodiac collection sing in praise of a civilisation foregone. Only those to whom time is irrelevant may decorate with infinitesimal paint brush strokes, these loving birds, symbol of longevity, fruitful life, borrowed from the mythology of ancient Japan.