Vintage Inks and Vintage Ink Bottles

February 24, 2020 Leave a comment
Vintage ink bottles.

Vintage Ink Bottles

Originally ink was made by combining lampblack with gum and a little water and forming the mixture into small pellets which were dried in the sun and later dissolved in water when required. This is the basis of Indian ink, which, despite its name, was first formulated and used in China. Being water based, it was easily washed off papyrus, parchment or paper, so vinegar was substituted for water and the writing became fixed. Various substances were added to make different colors and for centuries scribes made their own inks, based on their personal recipes.

About 1832 Dr Henry Stephens (1796 – 1864) accomplished the desire to make a writing fluid as permanent and as indelible as the paper or parchment it was written upon. ‘It is proof against every known chemical agent, and combines with the paper so strongly as to resist moisture and most other influence’ the Stephens’ Ink company claimed. The discovery of aniline dyes some years later enabled the corrosive constituents of ink to be removed and the need for pen wipes used for the cleaning of steel nibs after their use vanished.

Above is an image showing a selection of ink bottles featuring some Victorian glass and earthenware examples and later twentieth century examples. For the ink bottle collector there are enough shapes and sizes to offer a wide field of interest. Victorian glass examples can be octagonal, have bevelled edges, fluted or ribbed sides, be unmarked or show the maker’s mark on the side or base. And many where made in the shape of locomotives, a house, shoe or boot, with or without a ledge to rest a dip pen.

Pen Shop

January 14, 2020 Leave a comment
Pen Shop

Penbox Pen Shop

The Penbox pen shop was established in 2001 and moved to its current location in 2005. Fifteen years later we continue to retail prestige pens from many pen manufacturers both in the bricks and mortar pen shop on the high street and online. Indeed, some customers bought their first school pen in the shop and have since returned to buy a pen in celebration of their graduation. Penbox have and continue to specialise in the retail of prestige, special edition and limited edition pens, and in recent years have witnessed a growth in interest in all things stationery related.

Special Edition M800 Pelikan Souveran Brown Black Fountain Pen

October 26, 2019 Leave a comment
M800 Pelikan Souveran Brown Black fountain pen.

M800 Pelikan Souveran Brown Black Fountain Pen

New in October 2019, the special edition M800 Pelikan Souverän Brown Black fountain pen has now made its appearance in the shop. We are currently stocking the pen fitted with fine, medium and broad nibs and also have the matching ballpoint pen in stock and on display. These Pelikan pens can be purchased on the Penbox website or in person by visiting the pen store. Below is an extract of what Pelikan had to say on the launch of this special edition.


Special Edition Pelikan Souverän® 800 Brown-Black

Gracefully with a gentle appearance. That is the look of the new Special Edition Souverän 800 Brown-Black. The warm brown hue in the striped material of this writing instrument is perfectly complemented by the dark brown components. The barrel with brown and black stripes is made of high grade cellulose acetate, manufactured and turned into a sleeve. The rings and the pocket clip are finished in 24k gold plating.

The fountain pen with differential piston mechanism has a two tone, 18k gold nib and is available in nib choices of extra fine, fine, medium and broad. The ballpoint pen with twist mechanism matches the fountain pen perfectly.


Graf von Faber Castell Pen of the Year 2016

September 7, 2019 Leave a comment
Graf von Faber Castell Pen of the Year 2016.

Graf von Faber Castell Pen of the Year 2016

Since 2003 Graf von Faber Castell have produced a limited edition Pen of the Year. Every fountain pen being numbered and presented in a luxury pen box with papers a booklet and certificate. Here we have an image of the Graf von Faber Castell Pen of the Year 2016 which, after being in our stock room for three years, we have just listed for sale on our website. This one is the Special Edition Schönbrunn Pen of the Year 2016 with a gold finish (the pen was also produced in a platinum finish). We feel that this limited edition fountain pen, which is no longer available from GvFC, will not be available for long at this special price.

High standards, extraordinary materials, uniqueness, tradition and quality are the hallmarks of this Graf von Faber-Castell collection.

Pelikan Maki-e Five Lucky Bats Fountain Pen

August 10, 2019 Leave a comment
Pelikan Maki-e Five Lucky Bats fountain pen.

Pelikan Maki-e Five Lucky Bats

Five bats are depicted using Maki-e techniques on the limited edition Pelikan Maki-e Five Lucky Bats fountain pen. Also adding further decoration to the barrel and cap are a number of clover leaves. The Maki-e Five Lucky Bats from Pelikan is a limited edition of 123 fountain pens. The pen is based on the M1000 Souverän fountain pen, has an 18k gold nib with rhodium highlights, is a piston filler using bottled ink, is signed and numbered by the Maki-e artist, and supplied with papers in a paulownia box.

The history of Pelikan goes back to circa 1838 when they first started manufacturing inks, producing their first fountain pen in 1929.

Vintage Waterman L’Etalon Fountain Pen

July 6, 2019 Leave a comment
Waterman L'Etalon fountain pen.

Waterman L’Etalon Fountain Pen

This Waterman L’Etalon fountain pen in a gold-plated basket weave type finish has found its way onto the Penbox website today under Vintage Waterman Pens. It dates from the late 1990s or early 2000s and is in excellent condition. It has a large 18k gold nib in a medium nib grade. After being carefully tucked away in stock for several years it could now be a proud addition to your pen rotation and vintage pen collection.

Waterman CF Fountain Pen

June 8, 2019 Leave a comment
Waterman CF fountain pen set.

Waterman CF Fountain Pen Set

Waterman CF nib.

Waterman CF Fountain Pen Nib

In the 1950s a new fountain pen named the CF (a contraction of ink cartridge filler) was introduced by the Waterman pen company. The CF fountain pen went on to be a best seller for Waterman, and was produced in a wide variety of materials and finished before being phased out of production in the early 1980s. These pens are now sought after by pen collectors the world over and many are still used daily. Here you can view a collectable gold plated vintage Waterman CF fountain pen and accompanying ballpoint pen brought in by a member of the public and purchased by us in the shop.