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Vintage Ink and Ink Bottles - Pendemonium!

Updated July 6, 2020

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This is the place to be for old ink bottles from the early 1800s up to the 1960s. Many of the bottles we have listed are strictly for the ink bottle collector. We also have a number of older ink bottles that still contain useable fountain pen inks which many fountain pen aficionados prefer over modern day inks.

In addition to our selection of vintage ink bottles on this page, you'll also find related items such as ink eraser fluids, rubber stamp inks and traveling ink bottle containers.

Vintage & Collectible Inks

MM750  $45

 Vintage Bell with Bottle Opener on the top, ca. 1940s, Newark NJ, white metal, marked: Lewis Roberts Inc. Fine Printing Inks. Measures 3 1/8 inches tall. Very good condition and would look great on your bar. Of course it is perfect functional. Very good condition.

I1054 Bottle $25

I1054F. Werer Co Waterproof Drawing Ink, clear oz dropper bottle with black and white elaborate label. Embossed on bottom: F Werer Co Phila and in the center a quite detailed embossing of a Sphinx. Very dried up ink inside bottle. Cork style lid with dropper is loose. Some specks of ink on the label, but overall not too bad and quite unusual.

I1280 $10

Parker 61 Instant Ink - ca. 1961. General consensus amongst the Parker gurus is that these are far more rare than the Parker 61 pens they're designed to be used with! Rarity does not always equate to expensive and these are much less than a Parker 61 fountain pen! Parker Instant Ink is a Super Quink Ink concentrate for use with the Parker 61. The idea was to plug the Instant Ink cartridge onto the end of the capillary filler, dunk in water, let it mix with the ink and feed into the pen. Ink cartridge is still sealed in the package. I doubt the ink concentrate is still usable, but I'll leave that for you to try if you decide to do so! Most of package is missing, ink cartridge intact.

I1412 $10

Carter’s Rytoff Bottle - Rytoff was one of many names Carter's used over the years for their vast line of Ink Erasers and Ink Removers. This small concave sided amber glass bottle would have once been part of a kit inside a Carter's tin. Black faceted bakelite lid. There is liquid inside the bottle, but this stuff was taken off the market many decades ago, I don't think I'd try it. Bottle measures about 1.75 in side at base and is 2.75 inches tall. Very good condition with a great label.

I1435 $10

Carter's No. 495 Rytoff Ink Eradicator, ca. 1970s, amber cone shaped bottle with black plastic screw on cap. Red, white and black box. Measures 2 in dia and 2 1/8 in high. Bottle is empty.

I1457 $10

Carter’s No. 481 Indelible Cloth Marking Ink Outfit - Complete boxed set includes wooden stretcher, red, white & blue labeled bottle of Indelible ink (ink dust inside), wood mini dip pen and Carter’s steel nib. Complete instruction pamphlet also included. Box measures 4.25 x 2 x 2.5 inches tall. Great graphics and a nice little kit from the late 1940s.

I1512 $5

Higgins India Ink Bottle No. 4415, ca. 1970s, 1 ounce clear glass dropper style bottle with black and white label. Small amount of India Ink in the bottle. Includes black and white box, but it is well worn. Bottle in very good condition. This dropper style bottle makes a good bottle when cleaned up for ink mixing and storing your special colors.

I1536 $40

Sanford's Xit Ink Eraser, small amber glass bottle with brown rubber lid inside a tin printed in yellow, red, white and black. The Sanford's Xit logo and markings are on three sides, one side has lengthy and detailed instructions along with warnings for using on paper or cloth. No matter which brand of ink eraser or eradicator, it always came with a lot of warnings! I am certain that the liquid inside the bottle has degraded and is no longer useful. Tin shows just some light wear to edges, it is in very good condition.

I1542 $15

Waterman's Carnation Red Ink Bottle, ca. 1950s, slightly faded pinkish-red label with a red rose, Clear glass 2 ounce Tip-Fill bottle with bright red metal screw on lid, Carnation Red ink dust in the bottle.

I1558 $15

Stephens’ English Ink Bottles - ca. 1950s Stephens' Ink Bottles were made in England. These came to us in the large box pictured which originally held 24 bottles. Clear glass oval shaped bottles have a black metal screw on lid. The lid is embossed Stephens’ in script across the top. The dark blue and white label indicates these are No. 696 Stephens’ Blue Black Writing For Every Make of Pen. All that remains in the bottles is a bit of blue-black ink dust, the ink has evaporated. Labels in very good condition. Minor bits of rust showing on the high points of the lids. Each bottle measures 2 x 2 3/8 inches at widest base points, height is 2 7/8 inches. Fluid ounces not marked on bottle or label, but these appears to be about 2 ounce sized bottles, your average desk stop ink bottle size. These bottles have fared very well over the past 60-some years helped along by the fact that they were tucked away in their original box. Nice little piece of post-war English history. Clean them out and refill with new ink or use them to mix your special colors in. (We have several available.)

I1652 $10

Sanford’s Wood Panel from original shipping crate.  Wood panel measures 18 x 5.75 inches and is printed with Sanford’s logo.  It is rough along the lower edge, someone didn’t take the time to remove it carefully from the crate.  None the less, it is rare to find old ink boxes, this one would have dated back to the late 1890s - early 1900s. It’s a heckuva lot less expensive than a fully intact Sanford’s wood shipping crate which runs $100-$200 depending on age and condition and of course if you can find one!   

I1731 $15

Parker Super Quink Ink Bottle, ca. 1950s, Canada, 2 ounce, clear glass, white, black and bright blue label for Permanent Blue Black Super Quink. Black screw on metal lid with silver imprint - Parker and the oval arrow logo. 2 ounces. No ink in bottle. Comes with original box marked Don Mills, Ontario. Both bottle and box in very good condition.

I1750  $30

Carter’s Ryto Ink No. 146, cylindrical clear glass bottle with cork stopper and black hard rubber stopper top marked:  Carter INX Products.  Bright yellow, red and black label in excellent condition. Once filled with Ryto Blue-Black Ink, all that remains now is a hint of ink dust in the bottom of bottle.  Comes with original Ryto box. Very good condition. 

I1756 $25 

Carter’s Green Fountain Pen Ink, cylindrical clear glass bottle with cork stopper topped with black hard rubber, top of stopper is embossed:  Carter INX Products.  Nice label in ivory, metallic gold and black. There are one tiny ink stain just to the left of the word Cartrer’s on the label.  A little bit of green ink dust remains in the bottle.  Includes original box – yellow with Carter’s info in a green shield on two sides, Carter’s Fountain Pen is advertised on the other two panels, including info on the patented rocker spring clip and the osmiridium point.  Cute little saying written in cursive coming off the pen nib:  a Good Writer that’s the point.   Two box flaps detached and inside box, main flap is also detached.  Very good condition.

I1766  $10

Carter’s Rytoff One Solution Ink Eraser in bright Red, white and black metal two part tin,  Tin measures 2 in diameter and is 3 1/8 inches in height. Inside the tin is an amber bottle with black bakelite lid.  These various ink removers had a short life span, I would highly suggest you not use them and presume that none of them no longer perform their original purpose. The tin is very collectible and is in very good condition. 

I1799  $15

Sanford’s No. 246 PenIt Ink Bottle, 2 oz size, pressed glass diamond pattern clear glass bottle, black metal screw on lid with illustrated quill pen and wording:  Sanford’s Penit Cardinal Red No. 246 Fountain Pen Ink. Measures 2 inches square at base, height is 2.5 inches – note that this is not the little PenIt bottle, but a 2 ounce sized bottle.   There is a little red ink dust in the bottle.   The inside of the top box flap is printed:  Clean Your Pen Thoroughly Before Filling With Penit – this would be the first thing you see on opening the box and it makes me wonder if cleaning your pen before filling with ink was an issue even back in the 1950s.  Red and white cardboard box and the ink bottle are both in excellent condition. 

I1837  $100

Eversharp Ink Kleen Fill Bottle, ca. 1940s, clear bottle, 12 facets, black metal screw on lid. Dark blue and white label is in very good condition, just one small little scrape on the “N” in the word Kleen and the lower right edge of the label has a little rough area. Dried ink inside bottle. The original filler device which sits inside the bottle opening is intact. Base measures 2 in at widest points, height is 2.75 inches. Bottom of bottle is embossed: Eversharp Kade in USA 2 Fld. Oz This is only the second Eversharp ink bottle we have ever acquired and they are seldom seen. A truly rare ink bottle and an unusual piece of Eversharp history.

I1865  $80

Stafford's Fountain Pen Ink Holder, ca. late 1890s. Wood holder is painted dark red. The Original Stafford's label on the front is in red, white and blue. Some of the lettering is faded on the label and there are few small tears to the top edge of the label. Inside is a clear glass ink bottle, the oiginal cork stopper has gone missing over the years, but we have replaced with a new cork. There is an additional black and white label on the bottom of the holder that reads: PATENTED MAY 17th. 1892. Staffords Ink was established ca. 1858 and was in operation until the 1950s. The bottle and wood fountain pen ink holder is in very good condition.

 

I1866  $65

Montblanc Ink Bottle, ca. 1980s, Germany, golden colored hard plastic bottle with long ink view window on one side. Very dark blue cap with Montblanc star embossed on the top. Bottle is embossed on front:  MONT BLANC TINTE ENCRE TINTA INK and the Montblanc star top right.  Back side of bottle is embossed MONT BLANC with the Montblanc star top right.  The front edge of the base of the bottle on the back side is angled so that you can tilt the bottle easily and use all the ink.  The bottom of the bottle is embossed: Made in Germany D-2000 Hamburg 100ml. There is ink inside the bottle, it feels about a minimum of half full, however the lid is firmly attached and no amount of twisting and tugging seems to loosen it up to check the ink, we do not want to break the interior threads. I would assume the ink would be blue black to match the cap. May or may not be usable. Measures 3 inches in height and base is 2.25 inches diameter.  Rare bottle. 

I1875  $10

Carter’s Waterproof Drawing Ink No. 358, clear glass dropper style bottle. Bright marigold yellow/orange label with black print: Carter’s Drawing Ink, Waterproof Violet No 358 Made in USA. Bottle measures 1.75 in diameter, height is 3 in. Original box is included – illustration front and back of drafting tools, side panels read: For Artists, Architects & Draftsmen. Carter’s bottles were always little works of art. Violet ink dust in bottle, cork stopper is very tight in neck of bottle.

 

I1879  $20

Parker Superchrome Ink Bottle and Container. Red and white striped metal container with matte silvery colored metal lid are marked Superchrome and Parker. Clear bottle inside is embossed Parker on lower long edges. Black metal lid is marked Parker Superchrome Ink in metallic silver. 4 oz bottle contains red Superchrome residue. Parker did it right with their marketing and the packaging for Superchrome, but really messed up the Superchrome ink formula! If you ever find liquid Superchrome that hasn’t crystallized inside the bottle, do not use it! This bottle has pretty red ink crystals inside. The container and bottle are in very good condition.

I1880  $20

Pelikan 4001 Royal Blue Ink, 2 oz bottle, Germany, Front label in white with Pelikan 4001 printed in royal blue and royal blue printed in black and white in four different languages. Bottom of bottle is embossed “76 Germany”. Plastic cap is embossed with Mama Pelikan and her two chicks. Bottle is filled with Washable Royal Blue ink and it seems to be quite usable. Bottle and box in very good condition.

I1884  $45

Sheaffer’s Skrip clear 4 ounce cylindrical glass bottle with cork stopper. Stopper is topped with a hexagonal wood emblem with raised green lettering: Sheaffer’s Skrip The Successor to Ink. Red and white label is slightly faded and there are a few small tears on the lower edge. No ink or ink dust in bottle. Ca. Mid-late 1920s, this is an early Skrip bottle. The black stopper is a bonus!

I1884  $25

Carter's Double Well Photo Library Past Pressed Glass Jar withbright red, black and metallic gold label.  The interior of the jar is divided into three sections - the larger section would have originally held the Library Paste, the two smaller sections originally held a paste brush in one and water in the other to keep the paste moist.  The design is still applicable today for our modern use - fill the large section with ink, put your fountain or dip pens in the two smaller sections. Pressed starburst pattern in the bottom. Measures 3.5 in diameter and 2 1/8 inches tall. The label shows some light edge wear, but otherwise is very nice. 

I1891  $50

Sanford's Solvene Type Cleaner Faceted Bottle with soft applicator brush on one end.  Light blue, dark blue, yellow and white label is in excellent condition and as typical of the 1920s, the wordy wording on the label tells you everything you could possibly want to know about Solvene Cleaner, especially how to use it. Clear bottle measures 4.5 inches, adding the length of the brush applicator it is 6 inches long. Eight facets. One faceted panel  is embossed  Sanford's INKS and Adhesives. Excellent condition.

I1893  $20

Carter's Two Solution Ink Eraser No. 942 USA, Perfect dark blue metallic gold and white printed metal container for Carter's Two Solution Ink Eraser, Clear and amber bottles with black bakelite lids rest in a divided white metal holder inside the tin.  Tin measures  2 in diameter, height of tin is 3 inches.  Original instructions and informational pamphlet is folded and inside the tin.  Near mint condition.  Please Note:  We are certain that whatever ink eraser chemicals were used in this vintage product have long ago degraded, we advise against trying to use!

I1894  $20

Carter’s Spotty Racer Stain Remover No. 297, USA. Clear glass 2 ounce bottle with golden cap that appears to have never been opened. Full wrap around label is bright yellow with blue and metallic gold print. Comes with box, however top flaps have been removed. Clear liquid inside bottle and label states it is to remove grease and other stains from clothing, rugs, cushions, etc. More than likely that this stain remover is no long viable. Cute little illustration of the “Spotty Racer in blue polka dot clothing.

I1895  $40

Carter’s Ink Blink Blue Ink No. 36, Clear 2 oz cylindrical bottle with hard rubber cork stopper embossed with INX logo, Bright yellow, blue and red label with metallic gold border. Dried blue ink inside bottle. Comes with original box, however flaps are off edges show a lot of shop wear. Bottle measures 2 inches diameter and height is 2 5/8 inches. This bottle and label is in excellent condition and seldom seen!

I1896  $40

Carter’s Black Fountain Pen Ink No. 584, Clear 4 oz cylindical bottle with hard ubber cork stoppe embossed with INX logo. Metallic gold label with black and white lettering. Little bit of dried black ink inside bottle. Comes with original box, however flaps were cut off at one time. Bottle measures 2 5/8 inches diameter and height is 3 1/8 inches tall. Bottle and label are in excellent condition.

I1897  $20

Waterman’s Tip-Fill Ink Bottle, Canada, pastel yellow label with dark blue price, illustration of the world with a Waterman fountain pen, Noir/Black ink, ink stain along top and left edge as noted in photo. Two ounce bottle. Bright yellow metal screw on lid. Bottom of bottle is embossed: Waterman’s 2 0z Registered Made in Canada. Very good condition, this bottle is not often seen.

I1899  $25

Waterman’s Blue Black Ink, Clear lass bottle is fluted along top curved edge, Bright Yllow label with dark blue and bright red print: Blue Black Waterman’s Ink. 16 OZ bottle used to refill smaller desk bottles. There is about and inch worth’s of ink in the bottle. Measures 2.5 inches diameter, height is 7.5 inches. Replacemnt metal screw on lid for Empirin Compound. Very good condition.

I1900  $20

Pelikan 4001 Ink, Germany, 3 oz clear glass bottle, bottle is about ¾ full of Brilliant Brown ink. Black plastic screw on cap is embossed with Mother Pelikan with two birds in the nest. Base is embossed: 76 Germany. Very good condition.

I1902  $25

Moore’s Fountain Pen Ink, clear glass 2 ounce bottle with cork stopper, Light grey label with faded red print. Base measures 2 inches square, height is 2.5 inches. Moore bottles rarely turn up! Very good condition.

Vintage Ink & Bottle Related Resources

Evan Lindquist's Gallotannate Ink Recipe
Evan Lindquist, artist, printmaker, penman and retired Professor of Art at Arkansas State University has experimented extensively with Gallotannate and other old style inks. We invite you to visit Evan's website to see how inks of days gone by were made. http://evanlindquist.com/othermedia/oldink.html

Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors
This association site offers up all sorts of ink bottle information as well as info on glass in general. http://www.fohbc.org/

Pottery Ink Bottles
An article by Ed and Lucy Faulkner, well researched text and many illustrations of early ink bottles. http://www.fohbc.org/PDF_Files/PotteryInks_Faulkner.pdf

The Carter Ink Company
An article by Ed and Lucy Faulkner, history of Carters, many photographs of unusual early Carter's Ink bottles. http://www.fohbc.org/PDF_Files/Ink_Sp2003.pdf

The Original Higgins Ink, A Nevada Invention
An article by Fred Holabird, fascinating account of the first Higgins ink bottles (not the ones made in Brooklyn!) http://www.fohbc.org/PDF_Files/HigginsInk.pdf

Dating Older Ink Bottles
Digger Odell has some excellent general antique bottle information on his website, in particular a good section on how to determine when your ink bottles were made based on bottle characteristics such as mold seams, embossing, type of lid, etc. http://www.antiquebottles.com/dating.html

Old Inks in Your Pens

Many people ask us if they should use old ink and we believe this is another one of those common sense issues! We use 50+ year old ink frequently in new fountain pens and vintage fountain pens with excellent results. Before using old inks, you need to take a few precautions.

Vintage Ink Precautions:

1. Check to make sure there is no sediment, mold or other non-ink substance floating around or in the bottom of the bottle. Solids don't flow well, keep them in the bottle and out of your pens.

2. Look at the color of the ink, if it has taken on an odd hue that just doesn't look right - keep the ink in the bottle.

3. Unscrew the lid and take a little sniff, if you notice any unusual odor, screw the lid back on and refrain from using the ink.

Vintage Blue and Blue-Black inks
seem to have survived the years better than other colors of inks and are a pretty good place to start if you're looking to try vintage inks. Older Sheaffer Skrip, Parker Quink and Carter's Inks are generally pretty stable inks and we've had good results using these.

Never, never, ever use Drafting, Drawing or India Inks
in a fountain pen - these contain shellac which can gum up the insides of a fountain pen quickly. Early iron gall based inks can also be very corrosive to a fountain pen and I urge that you try them out with a dip pen or glass pen instead of a fountain pen.

The National Postal Museum website http://postalmuseum.si.edu/ has some great information about V-Mail and how it worked during the Second World War. Many of the major ink manufacturers made special V-Mail inks during WWII including Parker, Sheaffer, Staffords and others.

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