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Pelikan 4001 Konigsblau (King's Blue, Royal Blue))


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For some reason I've never been much drawn to the Pelikan inks though I know they have their fans. But I got a bottle of the 4001 Konigsblau (King's Blue) with a pen purchase, and thought I'd give it a try. There's nothing bad about this ink, but it just didn't excite me. I've heard reasonably good things about the 4001 lineup, so it could just be that I didn't have the right pen for it with the right nib.


This review done with a Pelikan M201 (B).



This review done with a Lamy Al-Star (M).



This review done with a Pelikan M201 (B). Worked pretty well here.



A straight up blue dye.



Not very waterproof, but that wasn't expected.


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I had seen some color swabs/comparisons and liked it so had ordered several bottles under the name royal blue. Looking at the labels closely I see the term Konigsblau (King's Blue), and since my last name is King, will probably make it my signature blue.




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I love your reviews, due in part to the poems and essay fragments you choose as your writing samples. Thank you.

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Thank you for the great review.

Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).

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Ink comparisons: The Great PPS Comparison 366 Inks in 2016

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This ink is pretty similar to Lamy Blue and Waterman Serenity Blue. The Waterman has less purple. I find it to be a smooth writing ink like the Waterman. Probably more lubricated than Lamy. But maybe that is my mind. I also find Pelikan Blue-Black well lubricated so maybe I got a soft spot for Pelikan 4001 inks right now.

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Abner C. Kemp

This is one of those inks that fits into the category of "washable blues". In fact, Pelikan sells an ink eradicator that works wonderfully with this ink. I suppose the issue for most with "washable blues" is that they tend to be slightly chalky, unsaturated, and bland in color. In my experience, Pelikan 4001 exhibits pretty much every one of those characteristics and isn't an ink I'm particularly fond of. However, I do own a bottle. Both because of the practicality of being able to use an ink eradicator and the fact that this ink is dynamite in any pen that needs a little flow containment. My Pelikan M1000 is on the borderline of being "too wet" and this ink makes it behave flawlessly. It's also quite well behaved and extremely easy to clean out of pens.


That said, for my taste, both MB Royal Blue and Waterman Serenity Blue give a bit more "punch" while still standing firm in the "washable blue" arena (actually I've never tried to use an ink eradicator on Waterman SB but it does work with MB RB). Then again, it all comes down to personal preference. Like I mentioned, it's hard to find much fault with this ink from a behavior and consistency stand point. Thanks for the great review, as always. One of the days I'm going to try out that Mohawk Linen Paper -- so cool!!

Edited by Abner C. Kemp
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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks Abner for the wonderful information. I just discovered on the Pelikan website that they say this is "washable blue" and so in a way the ink is erasable. There, they especially recommend it for schoolwork, presumably so you can avoid scratching out one's mis-spellings on a worksheet to be submitted to the instructor or professor.


Today, we're so accustomed to bulletproof, water resistant, and/or saturated inks that the "washable blues" seem "not as good". But they're meant for a different purpose.


I wouldn't be surprised either if this ink washes out of one's clothing. School being what it is after all...

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Many thanks for the review. It gives a good impression of a decent, yet unspectacular ink, which btw does wash off clothes with no special treatment.

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  • 3 years later...

Many thanks for the review. It gives a good impression of a decent, yet unspectacular ink, which btw does wash off clothes with no special treatment.


Well, so will Pilot Iroshizuku Tsuki-yo, even after two years. That's what happens when you hang up something on a coatrack peg, and other stuff goes over it and you forget what's under there after a while.

Edited by Aquaria
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Bo Bo Olson

Pelikan and Lamy blue are school inks, that wash out of cloths easy. Pelikan even makes an ink eradicator for it's 4001 blue ink that can be used on Lamy and Watermans.

Royal Blue will shade on good to better paper...90g or better...........but it's not an ink I grab. It lacks a little pizazz.


But back in the dark ages...'60's in the States, imported Pelikan inks were cheaper than Sheaffer and Parker inks.

So when I got back to fountain pens a decade ago, the first thing I did was run out and buy some Royal Blue and black....third ink was the then basis turquoise, by Lamy. (well I was in Germany)


Pelikan 4001 makes a good turquoise, violet ...the brown is a bit red....and if you can find some on Ebay get some discontinued Brilliant Green near as good as R&K's Verdurqa or MB's Irish Green, but much cheaper than 19E for MB. The dark green is ok....

I didn't mind them adding a dark green for the multitude that liked that, but in green-green inks Pelikan 4001 two toned shading Brilliant Green started me buying 14 greenish inks with in a year.

You have to smuggle blue black in...order a batch of Pelikan inks from Germany....lots of solks smuggle a bottle or two in. A great blue black ink, well liked by everyone.


I have both Lamy and Pelikan Royal Blue but my Royal Blue as a go too ink is my DA Royal Blue. Is darker, more lubricated. It replaced my Waterman Blue as my wet ink.

Way back in the dark ages Waterman was a wet ink.

But not compared to many Japanese inks, and many Noodler users consider Waterman a dry ink. :unsure: :yikes:

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.

RIP...200's once great nib, now a double ball.:crybaby::wallbash:


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




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Pelikan 4001 KonigsBlau or Royal Blue is my go to ink for use especially in vintage pens due to it's extremely mild nature.


It may be true that it's not too saturated and tends to fade slightly (often due to the characteristics of the paper it's used on), but in all other terms it's one of the best behaved inks I know.

It's a very old formula (I started using this ink in the mid 60s, at school, but it was available well before then) and in this respect it's low content of additives, so it may not be the smoothest flowing ink, but that also means that it's sort of "pure" vs some other formulae heavily burdened by additives.

I have several bottles of it since it often comes as a free bottle with Pelikan pens.

I also admit I like the colour, it's true that it's a slightly purplish blue, but I grew up with it and it looks just right to me (as opposed to blues leaning on turquoise or green), so much that I also like other Royal Blues (Montblanc is the close reference, when I need more saturation, less fading, and better flow).

I don't even really mind that slight fading which occasionally gives it a shade similar to J.H Myosotis Blue.

Surprisingly it can also look very different depending on the pen you use and especially if you let it evaporate a little.

It can become quite a dark blue in such case.

In my personal opinion it is really a classic.

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This ink has risen on my respect list. I once thought it was a bit too washed out, but now I appreciate its straightforward sincerity and reliability. Yeah, I'm approaching 60... ;)

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