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Seeking Superb Safe Sepias For Vintage Pens

sepia brown vintage old ink recommendation

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41 replies to this topic

#1 TruthPil

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 03:20

Greetings All,

There are some good lists of inks safe for vintage pens scattered throughout the forums, but I haven't seen any sepias specifically mentioned. I'm in the market for a vintage flex and would like my writing to have an old-timey feel.
I'm hoping we can put together a list of sepia inks (including anything broadly defined as such according to one's own taste) that are vintage pen friendly. I don't mean high-maintenance inks that require utmost pen hygiene, but those you can leave in the pen for a couple weeks without having to worry about corrosion or clogging. Water-resistance is also a plus, but not essential. Staining also isn't much of an issue since vintage pens aren't usually demonstrators anyway.

Any recommendarionaations are greatly appreciated!

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#2 cello

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 03:34

I've never had a problem with, nor a doubt about, any Rohrer and Klingner ink, and their Sepia is as true to color as it gets.  I would recommend that one in a heart beat. 



#3 jmccarty3

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 04:13

I've never had a problem with, nor a doubt about, any Rohrer and Klingner ink, and their Sepia is as true to color as it gets.  I would recommend that one in a heart beat. 

 

+1

 

Also consider Papier Plume Sepia. It will feather if you use it in a really broad nib, but otherwise it is very well behaved. It demonstrates magnificent shading.


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#4 TruthPil

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 06:33

Thanks for those recommendations!
Those look like some nice greyish-brown sepias.
The slight water resistance of R&K Sepia is also appealing.

Any suggestions for the other end of the sepia spectrum, red- or yellow-leaning sepias?

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#5 shaunakde

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 06:52

Waterman's Havana Brown? Its a little plain jane, but does a wonderful job. 


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#6 jmccarty3

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 10:39

Any suggestions for the other end of the sepia spectrum, red- or yellow-leaning sepias?

 

You may already have perused Visvamitra's monumental collection of sepias, to be found here:

 

http://www.fountainp...ty-four-sepias/

 

Not all of these will be suitable for vintage pens, but some will. What is apparent is that "sepia" means different things to different people.


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#7 Sandy1

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 13:25

Hi,

 

in his extensive Sepia Toned Ink Comparison - 32 Inks, Member dcpritch included samples from a flex nib. Part One http://www.fountainp...arison-32-inks/p=2176436 

 

As I am sooo boring, for the most part I prefer a Grey-leaning Sepia, such as R&K Sepia and Pilot yama-guri.

 

Bye,

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#8 ENewton

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 13:43

Another vote for Rohrer and Klingner Sepia.  



#9 pelman

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 20:27

I have loaded a Lamy 99 with R&K Sepia currently. Love the ink and the pen. Definitely recommend the ink.

#10 TruthPil

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Posted 22 October 2016 - 01:10

 

You may already have perused Visvamitra's monumental collection of sepias, to be found here:

 

http://www.fountainp...ty-four-sepias/

 

Not all of these will be suitable for vintage pens, but some will. What is apparent is that "sepia" means different things to different people.

 

Hi jmccarty3,

 

Thanks for putting a link to that helpful resource in this forum. He's missing a few, like R&K Sepia, and doesn't mention usability in vintage pens, but it's incredibly helpful to see the colors and water resistance of a large amount of brownish inks.

 

Hi,

 

in his extensive Sepia Toned Ink Comparison - 32 Inks, Member dcpritch included samples from a flex nib. Part One http://www.fountainp...arison-32-inks/p=2176436 

 

As I am sooo boring, for the most part I prefer a Grey-leaning Sepia, such as R&K Sepia and Pilot yama-guri.

 

Bye,

S1

 

Hi Sandy1,

 

It's an honor to get input from the Goddess of Ink Reviews!

I've been mulling over that amazing comparison of 32 sepias on and off for months. The result of my first pondering was a purchase of Herbin Terre de Feu, but it turned out to look too much like Swiss Miss to me and bled and feathered like crazy on anything used in my office. My second meditation on that list resulted in getting Noodler's Golden Brown, which is amazing in a flex pen but my wife thought it looked too much like what our infant was constantly producing from his posterior at the time.

 

It's a great resource to see what colors are available and some of their properties, it just doesn't mention usability in vintage pens.

 

Thanks,

 

TruthPil


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#11 TruthPil

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Posted 22 October 2016 - 01:19

Any thoughts on Herbin Lie de The as a vintage-pen-safe sepia?


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#12 jmccarty3

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Posted 22 October 2016 - 01:24

Any thoughts on Herbin Lie de The as a vintage-pen-safe sepia?

 

It's a bit warmer than my concept of a sepia, but it's a great color and should be perfectly safe for vintage pens. It's also one of the few J. Herbin inks that are available in 100 ml bottles.


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#13 jmccarty3

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Posted 22 October 2016 - 01:28

My second meditation on that list resulted in getting Noodler's Golden Brown, which is amazing in a flex pen but my wife thought it looked too much like what our infant was constantly producing from his posterior at the time.

 

The special Noodler's giveaway ink from the Dromgoole's table at the Dallas Pen Show in 2015 was called Banker's Tan. My impression: baby poop.


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#14 TruthPil

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Posted 24 October 2016 - 08:46

This thread is dying faster than I expected,given the many debates over what constitutes a real sepia color and what inks are safe for vintage pens.

What an overwhelming support for R&K sepia! Needless to say it's now in my shopping cart awaiting the next good reason I can come up with for another ink purchase.

Any other recommendations out there for anything anyone might call "sepia" that they've had great success with in vintage pens?

Now I've got my grey-leaning sepia covered, but still looking for that old brownish type that many call sepia.

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#15 Uncial

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Posted 24 October 2016 - 09:46

Omas and Visconti Sepia are two of my favourites and they are definitely in the brown range. I really like Noodler's Whaleman's Sepia. It's very strange; a mixture of brown, dark grey and a slight purple hint. It looks like paint. I use it in one particular vintage pen because it stops it from burping every five seconds. It isn't the easiest ink to clean out though and it can dry up a little on the nib if you aren't using it regularly. It will also feather and bleed like crazy if you don't use it on high quality papers.



#16 TruthPil

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Posted 24 October 2016 - 12:53

I really like Noodler's Whaleman's Sepia. It's very strange; a mixture of brown, dark grey and a slight purple hint. It looks like paint. I use it in one particular vintage pen because it stops it from burping every five seconds. It isn't the easiest ink to clean out though and it can dry up a little on the nib if you aren't using it regularly. It will also feather and bleed like crazy if you don't use it on high quality papers.


Thanks for your input! I'll look into Omas and Visconti.

I just got a sample of Whaleman's Sepia and will try it out in a cheap modern pen first. It looks quite viscous, so I wonder if dilution might help reduce potential flow, nib creep, and clogging issues. Like you said, it does look like some kind of murky paint, so maybe dilution may make it look a little more like a traditional sepia. Have you tried diluting it?

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#17 Uncial

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Posted 24 October 2016 - 20:27

I haven't tried that so I'm not sure if it would help. It behaves well on Rhodia, Tomoe and Clare Fontaine for me. I've just used it on a gneric Banker's paper and it works fine with no bleed. I keep it thick to halt the flow in a very wet vintage pen. Iroshizuku's Yama Guri might also be an option if you're looking for a darker and less warm browned sepia.



#18 TruthPil

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Posted 25 October 2016 - 07:06

Does anyone have any experience or thoughts about using any of these inks regularly in vintage pens:

 

- Diamine Sepia

- Private Reserve Sepia (many have passionate reservations about using PR in vintage pens!)

- Iroshizuku Yama-guri

- Iroshizuku Tsukushi

- L'artisan Pastellier Sepia

 

or the real deal---Hakase Sepia?

 

Thanks!


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#19 jmccarty3

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Posted 25 October 2016 - 12:34

The only warning I would pass along is that Japanese inks are "said" to be alkaline, and "may" damage vintage celluloid.

 

That being said, I have seen pH readings on FPN that vary all over the place, and there's no hard evidence of how alkaline an ink must be to damage celluloid. I would err on the side of caution with a valuable vintage pen, even though Yama-guri is one of my favorite inks.


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#20 TruthPil

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Posted 25 October 2016 - 13:59

Thanks for the reminder, jmccarty3.

I've heard that about the Japanese inks as well.

I've got a restored gold-filled Wahl ring-top on the way and hope it can last at least another century!


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