Jump to content
Classifieds is broken, please do not submit any new ads ×

Vintage Pelikan ink Reconstituted

Recommended Posts


At a local vintage store, I have found some vintage ink. Some of it was GTG right out of the bottle, most even almost full, and then there was the one which was just powder at the bottom of the bottle. I bargained with the owner and got for about 1 $, basically thinking, "well, if nothing else, it's a nice bottle".
This is, BTW, a real aged bottle & box where the founder of Pelikan, Günther Wagner, is prominently displayed. At that time, perhaps the Pelikan brand was not so widely recognized?
The type of ink is Königsblau, or Royal Blue, which is fine for comparison, since I already have a new Pelikan 4001 Royal Blue. Or so I thought...
I add 10 ml of water to try and reconstitute the powder into ink, splosh it around a little and let it sit. No hurry, if it takes a bit, I have other inks to play with.

I re-visit this bottle now & then the next week, and it seems that this is going nicely forward, except the color is not looking exactly Royal Blue, quite dark, perhaps grey?
Then disaster strikes: Our 1 YO puppy gets a hold of the bottle from my desk and uses it as a chew toy, with almost all ink ending up on the floor (or in her stomach), box is ruined, lid to bottle is simply gone - (eaten?
) only survivor is the glass bottle itself, with perhaps ½ a ml lying in a corner of it.
No time to waste, must make proper ink swab immediately! Luckily, I have recently gotten, also vintage, a handmade book with 300 gsm paper which I am using as my "Book of Ink" - so I at least have the proper medium for this. When applied, using a dip pen first, then a syringe to get up ink and put it to paper, I see an enormous amount of surface tension in the ink, see pic 1, and it has the color of medium to charcoal grey, depending on saturation. I see a hint of brown also, almost like coke (the fuel). Not at all what you'd expect! To honor this survivor of things life has thrown against it but the puppy with powers
of Galactus, almost ;) I rescue one side of the cardboard box and attach to the page of the ink swab, so I can remember the story of the Königsblau (King's Blue) which became Dark Grey in its old age. Pic 2.

This has all been quite the learning experience with ups & downs & new things - I can't say that I'm sad with the end result, even if I didn't get to write much more than 10 words with this ink.

Stay safe,



Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 6
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • Daneaxe


  • txomsy


  • mizgeorge


  • bunnspecial


Top Posters In This Topic

Posted Images

5 hours ago, txomsy said:

What a wonderful (and wonderfully told) story!

Thanks, txomsy - glad you like it :) Perhaps you can find a vintage ink yourself to enjoy?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh dear. What ever is going on with pets and inks this week! 


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, I still have some vintage ink bottles around, a black Quink with Solv-X, some Cross Black, and Shaeffer (Skrip) red and green.


Plus I also enjoy reconstituting inks, only I do when I get a vintage pen with dried ink, instead of flushing and cleaning, I simply add water and reconstitute the original ink, with I then proceed to use. I like the feeling it brings, the reminiscences of how it was writing back then (somehow, when I do, I feel that that writing with these dried-up inks reminds me more how it was when I was young than modern inks (the color, lubrication, smell, don't know, can exactly pin point it, but it sort of feels more "like I remember it was" than with modern inks). I can't define it, but it feels more "right" or perhaps, fits better my expectations of how I learned an FP would behave.


Sorry, it's an elusive feeling difficult to describe.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yup, can kinda-sorta follow you there...
I'm gonna keep my eye out for more vintage pens & ink, something interesting is bound to happen.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have several reconstituted bottles in my collection, and even have swabbed them and added them to my swatch collections.


I think one of the biggest surprises for me, and what got me going down that path, was a big 4 oz. bottle of Skrip Blue-Black that I bought at a flea market. It was empty, but it was also cheap and I like those bottles.


What I was calling "empty", though, really had a layer of solid on the bottom of the bottle. I started to wash it out, only to find that when I had half filled the bottle I had something that looked a whole lot like ink. I swabbed it and used it with a dip pen, and sure enough it even acted like ink. I started adding water a bit more slowly and stirring until all the solid had dissolved.


That bottle of ink is indistinguishable from a few other bottles of Skrip Blue-Black of the same age I have, including one that I'm almost positive is unadulterated.


On the other hand, Quink Blue-Black is basicaly done for in my experience when it has dried up. It will dry to a gooey sludge, and if you add water you will get some faintly gray-blue water, but nothing like what you'd expect. It took me a bit of hunting to find a good vintage bottle of Quink Blue-Black.


I have another that's kind of middle of the road. I have a bottle of Carter's Washable Blue that I actually bought at the same time as the bottle of Skrip above completely dry but with a lot of powder in the bottle. It redisolved readily, but the resulting ink is sort of a denim color. I don't know what it should have looked like-Carter's products seem ubiquitous in the US, but I've not seen much discussion of them in actual use.


To a bigger question that may govern the OP and also my bottle of Carter's ink-I was told by someone who would be well positioned to know that essentially all standard washable blue inks use the dye Acid Blue #93, or what I know as Methyl Blue(not methylene blue). The exact color is pH dependent, and lower pHs tend to make it a more intense blue. Looking at the structure, there are three sites that could be protonated at low pH and three that could be deprotonated at higher pH. I wonder if a washable blue ink is reconstituted with water, we perhaps have lost some of the other things that adjusted the pH when the ink was fresh. if that's the case, it could seriously alter the color from where it was originally...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Most Contributions

    1. amberleadavis
    2. PAKMAN
    3. Ghost Plane
      Ghost Plane
    4. jar
    5. wimg
  • Upcoming Events

  • Blog Comments

    • Ferocity
      I hope you enjoy it ❤️ You are so very lucky ❤️
    • halffriedchicken
      Not sure if this has been suggested already but would a setting for localized regions or chapters in FPN be helpful? I don't know if there is a way to find local FPN members who would be nearby. I don't know if we want to be discoverable but a setting to know how many members are in 25, 50, or a 100 miles of each other might be helpful. We can create a regions specific network like Craigslist where people could use that to connect with nearby members, conduct in person sales, arrange FPN meetups
    • Daneaxe
      Hi again all, I forgot to tell y'all that I made the post about Sweden ink PIF. Most have probably found it long ago, but here's a link, anyway:      
    • Ayami_109
      I read your blog post and all the replies with much interest. I'm a FP user in Australia. Been part of this forum for years but rarely post. I did come across your ink sharing thread and considered participation. For me it's not lack of interest but lack of time to play around with FP and inks. I'd feel bad to put my hand up for the box and just have it sit until gosh knows when...   I also think that the FP community in Australia is smaller, and I wonder how many in the community are
    • A Smug Dill
      Even so, you'd end up with a fragmented list, and it becomes an O(N²) process for each prospective requestor to check what is available: effectively recreate the list of currently active servers (without any reliable up-to-date info upfront about the inks and number of samples on offer in the thread) from the sequential list of posts, which may be spread over two or even more pages, and then query each server independently to check what is currently on offer.   It comes down to not hav
  • Chatbox

    You don't have permission to chat.
    Load More
  • Expiring Soon

    • By benbot517
      51 years and 8 months
    • By benbot517
      51 years and 8 months
    • By benbot517
      51 years and 8 months
    • By Okami
      51 years and 8 months
    • By Okami
      51 years and 8 months
  • Random Adverts

  • Files

  • Today's Birthdays

    1. AL01
    2. Alan1
      (59 years old)
    3. AlanSpom
      (46 years old)
    4. arubin
    5. BaronDJB
      (35 years old)

  • Create New...