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Ink Review: DeAtramentis Karl Marx Red


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Recently, I purchased a DeAtramentis “Mystery Ink” along with a bunch of samples from Vanness Pens. Every now and again, retailers such as Vanness will sell, at a reduced price, a bottle of ink with only a small ink stain on the label. I thought it would be nice to give myself a little surprise. When the package arrived, the bottle came in plain brown box. When I opened it, I knew it was a DeAtramentis ink, but I didn’t know which color because the label was completely covered by dried ink. I opened the lid and saw that it was a bright red color. I scraped a little of the dried ink away from the label and it read “K--- Marx”. I searched the DeAtramentis website and found “Karl Marx Red”.

The ink is a moderately saturated bright red with no sheen or shimmer, and little shading.

Photo (taken in natural light)


 Paper: Ivory Letterbox journal paper (a very absorbant paper)
Pen: Lamy Studio with fine nib

Paper: White Rhodia Dot Pad
Paper: Off white Cosmo Air Light
Pen: Lamy Safari 1.1 stub
Paper: Off white Tomoe River 52 GSM
Pen: Lamy Safari 1.1 stub
Paper: Fabriano 1264 Mix Media Notebook

The ink is close in color to Sailor Irori, but not quite as orange. It is lighter and less pink than Pelikan Star Ruby. KM Red also is not as saturated as either ink, and is less wet than Irori, but not as dry as Star Ruby.

Overall, the ink is well behaved, as I would expect from a DeAtramentis ink. It is moderate in terms of wetness and works well with both my wet Lamy Studio with 14k fine nib and my very dry Lamy Safari with 1.1 stub nib. I am very pleased with my purchase - particularly since it was discounted. 

Note: I purchased this bottle of ink myself and all opinions are mine.





"Today will be gone in less than 24 hours. When it is gone, it is gone. Be wise, but enjoy! - anonymous today




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Thank you for sharing!

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

Create a Ghostly Avatar and I'll send you a letter. Check out some Ink comparisons: The Great PPS Comparison 

Don't know where to start?  Look at the Inky Topics O'day.  Then, see inks sorted by color: Blue Purple Brown Red Green Dark Green Orange Black Pinks Yellows Blue-Blacks Grey/Gray UVInks Turquoise/Teal MURKY







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Thank you @DrDebG for this review!

This red is a lovely one and I'm surprised it doesn't feather on absorbent paper. That's a rare combination with red inks in general.

One life!

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Seeing your sample cards, I ordered a bottle of Star Ruby. Thanks?

It's hard work to tell which is Old Harry when everybody's got boots on.

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Sweet review and nice comparisons to other inks. I really like your neat cursive handwriting too. Very well done!

"O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever." Psalm 118:29

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That looks like a nice color.  I have De Atramentis Dante Alighieri (Ruby Red), and now I'm wondering how Karl Marx (which is listed on the De Atramentis website just as "Red" ink) compares color-wise to Ruby Red -- or if it's closer to "Poppy Red".

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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Great review. The comparison to other inks is very helpful. I'm still trying to find a red ink I like enough for daily use.

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