This is another of my “moment of madness” pen purchases. I bought it for several reasons. One was that I love blue on white porcelain. Another was that it was fantastically cheap (an important factor!). Another reason is that, as Mr Barnum said, “there’s one born every minute”.
This pen is quite large at 13.8 cm, and it is immensely heavy. At 54 g, it makes a good paperweight or, at a pinch, a doorstop. This is explained by the fact that the barrel and cap are porcelain. It’s not made any lighter by the hunks of metal that adorn the barrel and cap end and give access to the interior to fit cartridges or the supplied screw converter. These large lumps of metal, as well as depleting the resources of the planet, detract a little from the overall effect of the pen. The artwork is extremely fine whereas they are chunky – though not badly cast – and it doesn’t all go together well.
You can have these pens with a variety of different artwork. There are sailboats, Chinese calligraphy, bamboo, shrimp and horse. The Dragon version appealed to me and I have no regrets, but the horse version is very attractive as well. This is not the most delicate porcelain you have ever seen nor, of course, is the artwork original, but the very low cost of these pens is nonetheless quite surprising. The clip bears a shield with what looks like a chariot. This relates, I am told, to the terracotta Warriors of Xi’an. The same symbol is stamped on the converter. Removing the barrel exposes a most businesslike piece of threaded pipe. The last time I saw quite such a robust assembly was on the fuel line of a diesel engine. The Chinese lettering on the cap spells out “Dragon”, I believe.
The pen worked as it should on the first try. No need to flush or dicker with the nib. The push on cap fits so firmly that it takes a conscious effort to remove it. The pen can be posted but given its weight, why would you? The Jinhao nib is a real surprise: it’s very good indeed! It’s firm, medium and very smooth without being slippery. I found the pen pleasing to write with despite its weight. This was not the nib I expected in a cheap Chinese pen. It’s comparable with the nibs in many more expensive pens.
I bought this pen from eBay seller yougainmore for £7.28 which includes postage from Hong Kong. It arrived in nine days which seems perfectly satisfactory to me. He is an excellent and reliable seller and provides a great range of Jinhao and other Chinese pens. Jinhao, it must be said, is a very large cut above the Chinese pens I used to buy a few years ago.
I seem to have bought and written about quite a number of new pens recently. I think I’ll create a new category to cover them, probably called, “Moments of Madness” because that’s what they are.