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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

#41 TruthPil


    Flexy obliqueness!

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 08:35

Sorry to revive an old thread, but, for those who recommended R&K Sepia for vintage pens, how do you guys think it'll fare with gold plated parts? I couldn't find anything regarding the ph levels of R&K inks, and the whole nibs getting pitted or losing plating kinda scares me

Thanks in advance for any input


I couldn't find any specific Ph reference, but it was called "neutral" in one product description. It doesn't have any IG content, so I wouldn't be too worried. 


I see this thread has resurfaced....

If the OP can track down vintage Skrip Brown (red box era), that may be just up his/her alley.  It was a lovely sepia brown (actually says "Sepia" on some sides of the box, while saying "Brown" on other sides).  Sadly, I had a leak (fortunately contained by a ziplock bag) and lost most of the contents.  But it was a wonderful ink.  If the price was right I would definitely buy another bottle of it.  (I think the red box stuff is more recent than the yellow box stuff -- one of my boxes of Skrip in the yellow box has directions on one of the box lids on how to fill a Snorkel!  :rolleyes:)

The original formula of Birmingham Shadyside Walnut Street Brown was very good -- but they changed sources for the dye components, and the newer version is much redder.

Another vote for Iroshihzuku Yama-guri, but the Iroshihzuku inks tend to be wet -- sometimes too wet for the pen they're ink (it was way too wet, for instance, for a 1990s era Pelikan M400 Brown Tortoise, with a juicy and springy F nib -- quite disappointing because I thought it would be a good combo for doing drawings).

Might not be sepia toned *enough", but last year's Edelstein Ink of the Year, Smoky Quartz, is also very nice.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


 ETA: If you can still manage to track DOWN a bottle of Smoky Quartz, that is....  :blush:


Thanks for the tip about old Sheaffer Brown! I'm really enjoying my yellow-boxed 1950s Sheaffer Permanent Blue-Black, so it'd be nice to have a vintage brown/sepia around as well. 


The one sepia-ish ink I keep coming back to over and over for both vintage and modern pens is Herbin Lie de The. R&K Sepia can be too thin and dry at times and I also get bored of the color when I don't have the right pen-paper combination to bring out the shading. The Herbin ink always cheers me up and looks classy. 


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#42 Bo Bo Olson

Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 19:48

If you have a spare arm and a leg, the discontinued MB Sepia is an ink I like.


Back when I was a noobie, when all things but the MB bottle of MB was hated, I'd gone to my B&M to get the bottle....had Racing Green in my hand; the most hated ink in the world...some sort of murky green....and murkey was not 'IN.

(In spite of the best alchemist in the world, Racing Green is not cloned..... :doh:)

The new and the old bottles are well worth having.


Took the bottle of Sepia (E12)...thinking it was a brown ink....When Toffee came in the Sepia ended up in cobweb corner. Then tried it again a couple years down the road....and ran out to German Ebay and got a second bottle for E19 and postage.


Seldom, in past auctions on German Ebay one went with 10 bids for only E17.00....but there was but one.

Look in other countries Ebays.


I hate coming to Inky Thoughts.....I keep wanting to ink a pen.....and I want to stay at only 5 pens inked not my normal 17....so I can use up some inks.




Waterman's Havana Brown...this is the very first time I've seen that called sepia.

Didn't shade in any test I saw so was never on my list.


Smoky Quartz....that too, but now that I think of it, it's in that  sepia direction.

Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 10 January 2018 - 19:54.

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,


The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.




Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: sepia, brown, vintage, old, ink recommendation

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