For Christmas I treated myself to a bottle. Not of wine, nor perfume, but of a headier and far more potent potion – fountain pen ink.
J. Herbin of France was founded in 1670 by a sailor, Monsieur Herbin, who brought back from his travels to India formulas for sealing wax that made him his fortune. Some years later the company also began manufacturing ink, and thus they are “the oldest name in ink production in the world.” They made ink for the Sun King, Louis XIV, and a black ink for the sole use of author Victor Hugo.
To commemorate the company’s 340th anniversary this year, they released a limited edition ink – the “1670″.
J. Herbin calls the color rouge hematite, described as a “dark red color and earthy tone”. The hue recalls the color of the company’s logo, while the use of red wax to seal the cap is a reminder that the company also makes wax to seal the grand cru wines of Europe.
The bottle is a different shape from their usual, being a heavy glass cube. The cap is of aluminum, sealed with red wax; the neck is strung with gold cord sealed to the bottle with gold glue-gun wax.
The ink goes on blood red but dries in gradations and with flecks of gold here and there. The color is warm and saturated. It has depth and complex layers of shades that make it more suitable for use in pens with flex or calligraphy nibs.
Writing sample made with a Waterman 52-1/2v, circa 1915, with a superflex gold nib.
“1670″ is available online and, in the Philippines, at Scribe Writing Essentials store, Eastwood Mall, Libis, Quezon City.