Some pictures of my sixty years old classic Pelikan 400, green striped. This is one of the iconic pens in the history of writing instruments. (It is still made today, with a bit more “bling”, under the name Pelikan M400.) For this particular pen I have a one-pen original Pelikan leather case in green and black. When writing letters I am mostly using this pen…
Since I wrote the text below I have been made aware of that the inks Salix and Scabiosa have some issues in regard to fading over time and being less resistant to light. I have no further details but urge you to take this in consideration, especially if you are planning to use these inks for journals.
I am not a collector of pens and inks per se, but in order to find the ideal combinations for me, I’ve had to try quite a few. I’ve absolutely no interest in having a lot of fancy pens in the drawer or a lot of bottles on the shelves, but I want that special feeling when I reach for the pen in the shirt pocket and put a trail of ink on the paper and can say: Man, this is classy!
Just recently I think I’ve gathered enough experience to share it with you dear Reader.
Paper is a factor that I cannot completely control. I have to use different kinds of paper qualities from Moleskine and ordinary office paper to G.Lalo ”Velin de France”. The settings in which I write are often far from optimal. I often write in a Moleskine while travelling on commuter trains.
When it comes to pens I’ve decided to go for Pelikan M200s, (and a M400 with friction fit nib unit). Sturdy, reliable, with interchangeable nib-units and they hold a more than decent amount of ink. Pelikan is also a brand with excellent customer service and is a company that you can communicate with, both with the HQ in Germany as well as with your national office, at least in Sweden. You can also buy nib units separately. I also love the Sailor Professional Gear series but the ink capcity is to low for my needs and the Sailor Company is not easy to have a deeper corversation with, at least so for me. Yes, I have a PG Realo that I love and that takes a lot of ink, but I don’t want to have an accident with that nib.
I’m now down to three inks. First Im still using Noodler’s BP Black. Someone called it the ”King of Inks”. Excellent permanency, good flow and a minimal tendency for feathering and bleed-through. But it smears badly even when dried, on paper of decent quality that is. It has costed me some trouble over the years. I’m only using it in my edited diary which I can leave open to dry overnight. When this QV Habana in one of the bigger sizes is finished I plan to say goodbye to this ink. Other inks from Noodler’s just don’t attract me or are not an option for one or another reason. J.Herbin inks are classy with good flow but are bleeding through too much to be usable in, for instance, a Moleskine. Just recently I took the plunge to try iron-gall-inks, Rohrer & Klingner Schreibtinte 40-710 ”Scabiosa” and 40-711 ”Salix” to be more precise. These two inks have blown me off my feet. Fast drying, minimal feathering or bleed-through, waterproof, no smearing and looks classy and a bit antique, and with beautiful shading. I need no other inks besides from these two. Period. The Scabiosa is for letters, signing of documents and ”external communication” in general, and the Salix for everything else.