According to legend, at one Chinese New year the Emperor of Jade summoned all the animals in creation to his palace. Only 12 of them responded to the invitation and as a reward the Emperor gave each of them a year of the Zodiac. The only mythical creature included in the Chinese Zodiac was the Dragon which had several roles, including messenger of the Gods, master of the elements and guide to human beings.
The Chinese lacquering is a masterpiece of craftsmanship: the body of the pen is given several coats, first red then black. The result is a truly dramatic contrast as the fire-red dragon seems to explode out of an infinity of intense black. The Maison de Haute Ecriture has joined with the contemporary Chinese artist, Li Qiang Sheng to create the image of the dragon and add his signature. "Year of the Dragon" has been produced in a total of 888 individually numbered pieces since 8 is considered a lucky number in China.