J. Herbin Fountain Pen Ink

Water-based, pH-neutral inks that saturate deep into the paper and dries quickly. Good enough for Louis the Sun King and every discerning fountain pen user since. Made in France. (more info)

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J. Herbin Fountain Pen Ink - Kaufmann Mercantile

The smooth, rich ink immediately saturates the page with a steady, even flow that dries quickly. The inks are non-toxic, pH neutral and water-based. J. Herbin has been making inks and sealing wax — accessories for the well-written letter — since 1670, when pen and paper were the primary means of long-distance communication. 

For 300 years, the ink recipe has not changed much. The natural ink is pH neutral and water based, a balanced ink that is as smooth for calligraphy experts as it is for amateur writers choosing to use the ink Victor Hugo used exclusively to write The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

The ink is sold in "D" bottles a convention held over from the old French unit of measurement, Demi Courtine — a 30 milliliter bottle by today's measure. The little bottles have a unique groove along the top, like an ashtray, allowing for the pen to be rested with ease should the writer become weary. 

Use & Care

Simply drag the pen across the surface of paper no need to press with vigor, as one of the benefits of writing with a fountain pen and ink is that hardly any effort at all is needed to write beautifully. If you're looking for a fountain pen, this precise little instrument and the J. Herbin ink are a good match.

Place the fountain pen, nib first, into the bottle of ink until the nib is entirely covered. Twist the piston converter counterclockwise at the top. This forces the air out of the converter. Then twist the top of the piston converter clockwise to draw the ink up into the converter. While holding the nib above the bottle of ink, slowly twist the piston converter counterclockwise until a bead of ink flows from the tip of the nib. Gently blot excess ink from the nib with a lint-free cloth or blotter paper. 

Production & Design

The company was established in 1670. M. Herbin was a sailor in the days when crossing the globe took months. During his many long voyages to India, M. Herbin perfected a sealing wax recipe. The lacquer was smooth and securely sealed envelopes. By 1700, M. Herbin had left the sailor's life behind, setting up shop in the upscale Parisian neighborhood of St. Germain, creating deep, beautiful inks for the King, the picky and decadent Louis XIV. One can only imagine the slanderous, juicy letters penned by the Sun King with this famous ink. 


30 ml (1 fl. oz)

–Éclat de Saphir (blue)
–Perle Noir (black)
–Bleu Nuit (dark blue)
–Rouge Caroubier (red)

Made in
  • USA
  • Free shipping in the USA for orders $150+
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  • 90 days on all unused items.
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  • NY & NC.
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