This ornate Victorian reproduction dip pen has an intricate bas relief cast metal hand grip crowned by a Fleur de Lis and a Regal Red feather. It's a beautiful work of art as well as a fine writing instrument. It accepts standard dip pen nibs and despite it's stunning appearance, it is every bit as functional as it's more mundane counterparts.
Before Dip Pens there were Quill Pens. Quill pens were made from the flight feathers of large birds and they were essentially just a sharpened feather. Quill Pens were the primary writing instrument in the western world from the 6th to the 19th century. Quill Pens worked fine but they had a significant disadvantage. The tip of the feather wore down quickly and needed to be regularly resharpened until it finally wore down completely.
This reproduction Victorian Dip Pen has all the Olde Worlde Charm of a traditional Quill Pen but all the functionality of the steel nibbed Dip Pen.
Quill pens went into rapid decline when John Mitchell invented the steel nib in 1822 and a generation of Dip Pens with steel nibs were born. About a hundred years later the fountain pen usurped the dip pen and about fifty years later the ballpoint pen usurped the fountain pen and now the ballpoint pen is under threat from digital media.
Dimensions: 230mm long without nib.
Hand Grip Width: 9mm.
Hand Grip Length: 76mm
Feather Length: 154mm
Feather Width: 42mm at widest part.
If you're new to Dip Pens:
Dip pens are very simple writing instruments that consist of a nib holder and a replaceable nib that is simply pushed into the business end of the holder. They don't use an ink cartridge or contain an ink reservoir of any kind. You simply dip the nib in ink and write. The biggest drawback with dip pens is that they can only hold enough pen for between a few words or a few lines, then you have to dip the nib back in the ink to continue.
The fountain pen was regarded as a huge improvement and rapidly took over from the dip pen. Being able to write pages instead of just a few lines was regarded as a major improvement but there are some very distinct advantages to a Nib Pen. There is practically nothing that can go wrong with a Dip Pen - you can use any type of ink in them, they don't clog or leak, there are no fine feeders or capillary tubes to block, and you can very easily replace the nib allowing you to use a wide range of nibs in the same pen.
Oh, and they're fun to write with.
Here are the basics:
1) Dip the nib into an ink well for a few seconds.
2) Drag the nib over the edge of the ink well to remove excess ink.
3) Get the nib started on a scrap of paper.
4) Write. When it runs out of ink repeat 1) to 3).
It's best not to dip the nib into a bottle of ink that you use for your fountain pens as it could become contaminated with paper fibres which could block your fountain pen. You don't need a fancy ink well though - an egg cup is ideal.
Dip pen nibs have a sealant on them to prevent tarnishing and need to be washed in warm water with a bit of detergent before use. Otherwise they won't retain the ink.
Dip pens are still in wide usage today and are the weapon of choice for many illustrators, artists, graphic novelists especially manga authors.
Dip Pen Victorian - Silver with Regal Red Feather
- Product Code: DPVISIRRR
- Availability: SOLD OUT