Ink Decluttering

The ink has been claimed. Scott was the first to respond and answer the question. Closing comment.

It time to get rid of some ink and straighten out my cluttered and overflowing ink drawers. I’m trying something a little different for this and if it works out I’ll get rid of some more ink. Unfortunately this is for delivery in the United States only.

The way this works is I filled a USPS medium flat rate box with ink and will send it to one person who agrees to pay $30, including shipping. Payment is not until after the ink arrives safely and is inspected. Once it arrives that person will send me $30 via PayPal send money to friends or Square Cash.

Some (maybe all) the ink has been opened and used for a fill or two. There is at least 75% of ink left in each bottle. The ink in the photo is included, I had room when packing the box so added 3 more bottles that aren’t pictured. So the included ink is the complete 10 ink Diamine Music Set plus 11 more bottles. Diamine Music Ink writing samples are in this post.

The ink goes to the first person to claim it (U.S. shipping only). To claim it either add a comment to this post or contact me using the contact form. Include a mention of your favorite ink color as a small hurdle to verify you read the entire post. Please use a valid email address (it will not be shared with anyone) in the email field so I can contact you. Do not include your address in the comment since it will be visible, I’ll get it via email.

The Ink

Fountain Pen Book Sale

I’m cleaning out my bookshelves and have decided to sell the following fountain pen books. They will be available to my readers until Saturday (noon Eastern Time) when they will go up on eBay for higher prices (sometimes significantly higher). Shipping is to the United States only and is free through USPS Media Mail. I will provide other shipping if you request it but keep in mind that these are heavy books.

These books are now listed on eBay. Click the picture to go to the eBay listing. I will offer a 10% discount to FPQuest readers. To get the discount click the “Ask a Question” link toward the bottom of the listing. In your question mention coupon code “FPQuest” or mention you saw the book on this site. I’ll reply with an offer that’s 10% less than the listed price. All offers are subject to prior sale until you actually buy the book. The discount does not apply to shipping should you pick a non-free shipping method. International shipping is available through the eBay Global Shipping Program, please carefully review the shipping & customs charges before buying the book.

I hate to limit shipping to the US but it will be expensive internationally since the books are heavy. I’ve also had recent issues with the USPS with international shipping which, while no items were lost, the delays and hassles were a problem. When they go on eBay they will be available internationally through eBay Global shipping. (Although I suspect international shipping and import taxes could exceed the cost of the book in some cases. but at least eBay will calculate all that before you buy.) I’ll update this post should they go on eBay.

To purchase you can use the contact form or email me at ray [@] Payment will be via PayPal after I send an invoice. These prices are firm although if you buy three books at once, shipped to the same U.S. address, by noon EDT this coming Saturday I’ll take 10% off the total.

Parker Vacumatic by Geoffrey Parker, David Shepherd and Dan Zazove – $99.00

ISBN: 0954687531

Covers the Parker Vacumatic from 1932-1948 and includes 100’s of illustrations and photos. Book is in excellent condition. No torn or written on pages. Binding in good conditions. Hardcover. The dust cover is a little shelf worn but not torn.

Parker Vacumatic book front

Fountain Pens Past & Present, Second Edition, by Paul Erano – $29

ISBN: 9781574323856

Book is in excellent condition. Hard Cover. No torn or written on pages. Binding in good conditions.  There’s a penciled inventory/price notation in the top corner of the black page facing the from cover.

Fountain Pens Past and Present front cover

Fountain Pens: United States of America and United Kingdom by Andreas Lambrou – $39.00

ISBN: 0856675326

250 Pages, 540 Color Illustrations, 60 hand produced line drawings. Hardcover.

Covers the most important fountain pens from the U.S. and U.K.

Fountain Pens book front

Fountain Pens and Pencils: The Golden Age of Writing Instruments, 3rd Edition by George Fischler & Stuart Schneider – $59

ISBN: 9780764328398


Fountain Pens and Pencils front cover

Parker “51” by David and Mark Shepherd, 2004 – $99.00

ISBN: 0954687515

Covers the history of the iconic Parker 51 fountain pen in 167 pages with hundreds of illustrations and photos. Hardcover with dust jacket.

Front cover of Parker "51" book.

Parker Duofold by David Shepherd and Dan Zazove, 2006 – $79.00 – Sold

ISBN: 0954687523

All about the Parker Duofold in 362 pages with hundreds of photos and illustrations. Paperback. The front and back covers are scuffed. The book has obviously been read but the pages are still tightly bound. No torn or stained pages. No writing on the pages.

Parker Duofold book cover fron

Commonwealth (Boston) Pen Show – 2017

Pen Show Flyer

The Commonwealth Pen Show kicks off in a few hours, running Sunday September 10, 2017 from 9am to 5pm. It’s at the same location just north of Boston, at the Holiday Inn Boston Bunker Hill Area. Same hotel but in a new, bigger room. Full details are on their website. The vendor count tops 50 this year. As usual, Nathan from Noodler’s ink will have a special pen show ink.

I won’t be able to attend this year either, but it’s good to see that the show continues to grow. They also added (unless I missed them in last year’s details) a couple workshops on Saturday. So the show is getting closer to a two day show which I’d be more likely to attend in the future.

Field Notes For Sale

I’ve been working to reduce the clutter around the apartment. I finally got to my box (well, one of them) of pocket notebooks. I decided to put a few that were still in the shrink wrap up on eBay. Even without these I’ll still have far more than I’ll ever use. All are still in the original shrink wrap. Follow the link to the eBay listing for full details.

Standard shipping in the U.S. is free although expedited shipping is a added-cost option. International shipping is available to most countries but it will probably be expensive. The price is set by eBay and will vary by destination.

Workshop Companion

Standard Issue DDC Factory Floor

Drink Local: Lagers

Drink Local: Ales

Art & Sciences


Night Sky



Sweet Tooth – Sold

Lunacy (subscriber set of 4)

The Perfect Penvelope

The Prefect PenvelopeBack in the days when I made daily trips into an office I would use my Franklin-Christoph Penvelope Six case to carry my fountain pens.. True to the name it has six pen slots, but another pen can fit on each side (although with less protection) allowing an eight pen carry. Back in those days I would keep a mix of nib sizes and ink colors. Since then I’ve just loaded whatever pens were handy when I used the case. I only had a a few fountain pens inked up so I decided to ink up a selection appropriate for the Penvelope.

My Penvelope Six dates back to March 2012 and is an early model. I want to say it’s the original version of the case but I could be wrong about that. The case is boot brown leather with a rust colored heavy cloth interior. The leather attracts scuffs and scrapes which gives it a distressed look that I love. The more recent cases claim to be more resistant to scuffs, which is a downgrade in my opinion.

This isn’t a top fountain pen and ink list per se. While I certainly like all these pens and would consider them to be among my favorites, there are certain limitations imposed by the Penvelope. Plus I want a nice mix of nibs and ink. The case has openings on each side and the leather provides little support against crushing. The slots are formed with thick cloth material which isn’t safe for fragile clips. So fragile pens, such as my Sheaffer Balance II’s and vintage Sheaffers don’t travel in this case, no matter how much I like using them. Finally, there are some pens that are just too big for the case, such as my Newton Eastman.

The Prefect Penvelope - raised pensI use fine & extra fine nibs along with three distinct ink colors for marking up documents. So at least three of the pens will need to meet these requirements. I’ll pick the rest to provide a little variety in the writing experience.

My first fountain pen choice was the Pilot Custom 823 with its fine nib (a thin Japanese fine) and Pilot Blue-Black ink. It was already inked, but it would have been picked anyway. The 823 is a great writer and so comfortable that I can write with it for hours. That said, it is the least aesthetically pleasing fountain pen that I use on a regular basis.

Joining it was the Montblanc Meisterstück Ultra Black LeGrand with Montblanc Bordeaux ink. This is my favorite ink and was an obvious choice for inclusion in the case. I always want to have this ink in at least one pen, at least until I run out. The pen is perfectly sized for my hand and the oblique medium nib meets the paper perfectly with my natural grip. The larger medium nib means I don’t use the pen for note taking. It gets used for longer, sit-down writing sessions.

My new(ish) Visconti Brunelleschi, also made it to the Penvelope. It’s another medium nib but a great writer and comfortable in my hand. I filled the pen with matching Callifolio Aurora ink.

I went with yet a third medium nib when I added the Aurora Optima Nero Perla to the case. Aurora Black seemed an appropriate ink for the pen since I wanted to add a dark ink to the case. Even though the pen looks smaller than my previous choices it’s very comfortable in my hand.

My Penvelope Six has three medium nibs and only one thin nib. It’s time for me to fill out the case with thin nibs.

The Fisher of Pens Hermes with a fine nib was my next choice. The pen is a tall one but does fit comfortably in the case. I wanted a green ink both to match the pen and because I like green inks. Montblanc Irish Green is usually my choice, but this time I went with P.W. Akkerman #28 Hofkwartier Green. This ink is beginning to rival Irish Green as my go to green ink.

The sixth choice is my favorite fountain pen. It may be sixth on this list but there was never any doubt it would be included. The Visconti Homo Sapien Bronze Age with its extra fine nib was picked. I wanted some more color so picked P.W. Akkerman #12 Mauritshuis Magenta ink.

The Blue-Black ink in the Custom 823 along with the Magenta and Green inks in the Homo Sapien and Hermes provide a nice color selection for marking up any documents, but they’re also suitable for note taking and just about any other writing that I do.

Just because it’s a Penvelope Six doesn’t mean I have to stop here. There’s room for a couple more pens.

I loaded the Kaweco Brass Sport (extra fine) with a Visconti Red cartridge. I never know when I’ll want a red ink. The pen is short enough to be completely covered along the side of the case.

The final pen was the Sailor Pro Gear Regency Stripe which was already inked with a waterproof ink. I probably wouldn’t have picked it if it wasn’t already inked, although I did want a waterproof ink and I really like the pen. But it’s a little out of place and unprotected along the side of the case.

There was one fountain pen I hard a hard time keeping out of the case, but I just couldn’t make a place for it. The Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen with it’s medium nib was hard to leave out. It’s a great pen but another medium nib of which I already had three. It’s also a big pen and while it does fit in a pen slot it’s a very tight fit. It’s not easy to remove and I figure all that stress on the pen as I remove it can’t be good. At the very least the cap band would probably wear down over time due to the friction from the pen slot. And last, it’s a pen I use to test new inks and I was unwilling to take an slot with an untried ink.

So is it a perfect Penvelope? For me, at this time I would say yes. It provides a nice mix of eight pens that should meet all my needs. In a month or two I may get bored with a choice or two and it will no longer be perfect, so I’ll make a change. But for now I’m happy.

The Perfect Penvelope pen selectionPerfect Penvelope Writing Samples

Some Link & Resource Page Updates

I wrote this post over a month ago but then forgot to publish it. So you may already have noticed these changes.

Let’s start with a few links…

A reader submitted a link to a nice list of calligraphy resources at Beaucoup. Calligraphy is one of those things I say I want to learn, but then I realize I don’t really want to since I’d never commit to the time necessary to learn it.

The Pen Show Page has been updated with some more 2017 dates. Noticeably absent is the Washington D.C. pen show. The word is that there will be a new venue this year but it hasn’t been finalized. They say it will be in the northern Va. area during the first or second week of August. I wasn’t planning to attend this year, but if I was then the lack of a firm date at this late point would make me reconsider. I wonder how many attendees and vendors will pass on the show this year? I missed the LI show too, hopefully I can make the Boston Pen show so I’ll get to at least one show this year.

I’ve also updated the links page. There are so many pen blogs now that I split them into two sections. The first is “Enthusiastic Users” which are the folks who talk about their pen & stationery use. They generally don’t accept a lot of pens and ink for free or at a discount in exchange for a review. Doing that’s OK, but I prefer reading about what people use because they like the item (or think they will) and are spending their own time and money. Unfortunately I think that as pens and stationery become more popular some bloggers may experience events such as The Purl Bug which tends to take the fun out of it.

Of course, “ enthusiast” is open to interpretation. I have no doubt that someone who reviews a pen every week is enthusiastic. So I decided to limit the list to 24 sites and I’ll adjust it at times, and maybe reduce the number. As for my definition of an enthusiast site, as Justice Potter Stewart (any many others) said, “I’ll know it when I see it”. In short, I figure they are sites that readers of this site will also like, focused on stationery items & pens the writer buys and uses.

If you have site that’s not on the links page please let me know. Also let me know if you write about fountain pens (or any stationery) as part of a general, personal site and I’ll add it to the list.

Favorite New Fountain Pen and Ink of 2016

It’s time for my obligatory year end post and this year I’ll pick my favorite fountain pen and fountain pen ink from among those that arrived in 2016. This is completely subjective and limited to fountain pens and ink that joined my accumulation in the past year.

I added nine pens to my accumulation in 2016. A tenth, the Edison Extended Mina group buy, came and went during the year. While a nice pen, it just didn’t connect with me. The remaining pens eligible for this selection, in the order they arrived:

One thing I notice in the above list, which I wouldn’t have predicted when the year began, is that less than half the nibs are fine or thinner. I’ve been expanding my horizons.

Shawn Newton Eastman with Esterbrook #2314F nib and Montblanc Irish Green cappedThe selection of my favorite pen really wasn’t any contest, the Newton Pens Eastman wins hands down. It has the twin advantages of being a custom pen built for my hand and aesthetics tastes, while being fitted for my collection of Esterbrook nibs.

You could say the Eastman has a unfair advantage. If I was to limit myself to the off the shelf pens the choice would get harder. The Sailor KOP has been inked nearly constantly since I got it. It’s had six different inks run through it during the last five months. The Montblanc Ultra Black has quickly become a favorite, with it’s oblique nib and an aesthetic I like. But it’s been in my hands barely a month, so I’m still probably affected by it’s new pen distortion field. Then there’s the Aurora Optima which like more than I expected.

Sailor Pro Gear King of Pen - capped on standAny one of those three pens could be my choice as second favorite of the year. But I have to go with the Sailor KOP since I’ve had it the longest and it’s stood the test of time. Plus, it’s the one I used most recently. I’d probably have picked one of the others if it had been the most recently used rather than the KOP.

Papier Plume Burgundy bottle - openThe choice of my favorite ink is a bit easier. I didn’t keep good track of all the inks that were new this year, but my favorite does stand out. Paper Plume Burgundy is the clear winner. A I mention in the ink notes – while it’s not a color match to my favorite Montblanc Bordeaux, the ink properties remind do me of it. This is especially true in my fine & extra fine nibs.

I’ve liked two other inks and expect to use them more. But I’ve only recently loaded pens with them. Montblanc Lucky Orange may finally end my search for an orange ink, assuming it does as well in my thin nibs as other Montblanc inks. The second is P.W. Akkerman #12 Mauritshuis Magenta. It’s a color I really like that’s unique among my ink accumulation.

What were your favorite new fountain pens and ink of 2016?