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Vintage Ink and Ink Bottles - Pendemonium!

Updated May 19, 2018

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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

I985 $25

Sanford No. 274 Blue Black Fountain Pen Ink - clear 1.5 ounce cylindrical bottle with light blue, dark blue, red and yellow label. Embossed Sanfords on bottom. This bottle would have originally had a cork stopper, but the stopper is missing. Ink dust in bottle. Measures 1.75 inches diameter and is 2 3/8 inches tall. Label in very good condition.


I1028 $25

Visco Ink Bottle - I1028Visco Ink, Visco Chemical Products Co, Cleveland, OH - clear 4 oz ink bottle with cork stopper (no adornment on top, just a cork). Yellow, red and blue label with fountain pen illustrated. The label has several creases in the center area, bottom right label corner is missing. Bottle measures 2.5 inches square and is 2.75 inches tall. Ink dust in bottle. Unusual label, have not seen Visco Ink before.

I1034 $10

Osmiroid Ink Bottle - I1034Osmiroid Red Calligraphic Ink, ca. 1980s, made by Hunt Speedball in Statesville, NC under license from ES Perry in England. Cone shaped 2 oz clear bottle. Plastic screw on lid is embossed on top with the Speedball "S", small amount of ink in bottle. Base of bottle is embossed: Hunt Mfgr Co, Statesville North Carolina, Speedball USA, Measures 2.25 dia and is 2.25 inches tall.

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.

I1180 $10

Parker Superchrome ink, ca. early 1950s, clear glass rectangular bottle with ribbed sides, black metal screw on lid with Parker imprint in silver. 3 ounce bottle. Blue Black, no ink, Illustration of Parker 51 fountain pen on label. Very good bottle and cap, light wear to label at top right edge.

I1202 $15

Sanford's Penit White Ink in original box - clear - ounce diamond pressed glass bottle, white metal lid with black imprint: Sanford's White Ink Shake Well. Base measures 1.25 inches square and bottle is 1 7/8 inches tall. Dark blue box with white lettering and printing on all sides. Front: For Albums and Greeting Cards, Side: for Dark Colored Stationery, Back: The Smart Way & directions for use, Side: for scrapbooks. Big chunks of dried white ink inside bottle. Excellent condition.

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.

I1395 $20

Early Pelikan clear glass bottle with rubber stopper. Stopper is embossed with the famous Pelikan logo - the Pelikan is in her nest with two baby birds. Label reads: Pelikan Cola Semi-Liquida Cont. Neto 16cc. Industria Argentina. One of my Argentinian friends kindly translated that Cola Semi-Liquida is similar to what we in the US know as rubber cement. Indeed there is some non-liquid brownish substance in the bottle that resembles rubber cement. The label also has a light coat of the same substance, but no interference with clearly being able to read the label. Bottle measures 1 3/8 inches diameter, height is 1 7/8 inches. Very unusual.

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.

I1421 $12

Parker Superchrome Ink Bottle, rectangular clear bottle with ribbing on two sides, black metal screw on cap is printed Parker in silver. Black and white label shows the Parker 51 fountain pen. Jet Black. 3 fluid ounces. Dried ink in bottle. Little ink smudge on label, otherwise very good condition.

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.

I1438 $35

Caws clear glass ink bottle, front is embossed: Caws Ink & Pen Company New York. Base measures 2 1/8 in dia, height is 3.25 in. One small chip on applied lip. Very nice condition and a hard to find ink bottle.

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.

I1494 $20

Sheaffer Skrip, Jet Black, 2 ounce bottle, flat metal cap with NO imprint (unusual), NO Skripwell and this bottle really should have one (very unusual), yellow and blue box printed in English and French. Bottle full of usable Skrip. This unusual bottle without a SkripWell is truly a collectible! Very good condition.

I1497 $15

Onward Writing Ink Bottle Clear, square ink bottle with a three sided red, black and white label: Amidst nice flourishes - Onward Writing Ink Red For Fountain and General Use Made in USA. Wood topped cork stopper style cap is painted red. There is still a little red ink in the bottom of the bottle. Measures 1.75 inches square, height is 2.5 inches. One tiny corner of the label on top left side is torn, otherwise very good condition. PLEASE NOTE: If you purchase and do not care for the ink which I would not recommend using, we would prefer to empty the ink out before shipping to avoid any leakage on the label.

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.

I1535 $60

Renard Ink Powder with Package - Vintage French red ink powder with original outer package. Two small cardboard boxes filled with red ink powder, the small boxes are bright red with bright yellow printing and a great illustration of a fox. The red boxes have never been opened, I am sure they still contain ink powder, as to whether it is still stable, I'm not so sure. Makes one litre of ink. These two small boxes are inside the original outer wrapping paper, a sort of oilskin type heavy paper package with a Renard label on the front. The small red boxes are in absolutely pristine condition. The outer wrapper has been neatly opened on one end and overall is very good - label clearly readable and no tears in the package. Very interesting item from the early 1900s and in exceptional condition. This includes two red boxes of ink powder and the original outer paper packaging.

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.

I1543 $15

Waterman's Washable Blue Ink Bottle, ca. 1950s, slightly faded light and dark blue label with a white sea gull, Clear glass 2 ounce Tip-Fill bottle with black metal screw on lid, Washable Blue ink dust in the bottle.

I1550 $20

Waterman's Ideal Red Ink Bottle, ca. 1920s, 2 ounce cylindrical clear glass bottle embossed red hard rubber lid with cork attached - Ideal Globe Waterman's Ink. Ink stain on about half of the outer edge of the cap. Just a hint of red ink dust in bottle.

I1554 $40

Sanford's Tin Marking Set No. 440 - This marking set is in an early tin and cardboard cylindrical container, the lid pulls off to reveal a tin base with spaces cut out for the small bottle of black marking ink and a small black wooden dip pen which would have been used to mark your clothing. The front states that this is for marking on all fabrics and many other materials, it is waterproof, laundry proof and not affected by salt water. The small clear glass bottle with black metal screw on lid has some ink residue inside. Brown cardboard cylinder is in very good condition as is all of the tin with exception of the lid which shows a lot of patina. Overall very good condition and an unusual Sanford's Tin.

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.)

I1590 $15

Carter's Cube Ink Bottle No. 886 - Geese flying across a full moon. Originally filled with 2 oz of Carter's Midnight Black Permanent ink, now there is just a bit of ink dust in the bottle. Black metal screw on lid has a few light rust spots. Label has a small tear in upper right corner and you can see where some Midnight Black ink dripped down the left side of label in days gone by.

I1595 $10

Carter's Koal Black Ink No. 79 - Yellow, black, white and metallic gold label. Square bottle was originally filled with Carter's Koal Black Ink, there is some very black ink dust in the bottle. Black hexagonal stopper is marked Carter INX Products, the stopper was once detached from the cork and has been re-glued, I don't think I'd be opening it too gingerly. 2 ounce bottle. Label stained and tear on right side.

I1596 $40

Carter's Spotty Racer No. 297 - This is a great bottle, Carter's liked to play with words and of course Spotty Racer was a solution for erasing spots from fabric. Great illustrated label in soft yellow, light and dark blue and metallic gold. The back of the label has detailed instructions in fine print for use, also another fine print panel with Other Uses for Spotty Racer including washing windows and cleaning bathroom fixtures. Obviously Spotty Racer did it all! Bottle measures 1.75 in diameter and is 3 5/8 in tall. Partial and very well worn box is included. The bottle has an excellent label.

I1618 $12

Parker Super Quink Ink, Permanent Black, 2.5 ounce bottle, opaque black plastic bottle with black plastic screw on lid. Black and white label with a fountain pen nib. About half full of what seems to be good usable black Parker ink. Very good condition.

I1638 $15

Weber Drawing Ink Bottle - This vintage 1920s bottle has one of the most elegant labels I've seen. Black and white design with perfect lettering and flourishes. It reads from left to right: Pure Brilliant Reliable and Opaque. Weber Waterproof Pigment Drawing Ink Sepia - Brown - Pardo. Freely Flowing Non Corrosive in Brush Pen Ruling Pen Lettering Device. The back side advises to Shake Well and this ink is for Architect-Engineer-Draftsman-Artist. This clear 1 oz bottle with stopper with stopper is in excellent condition. The sepia ink inside is no longer fluid and has dried to little chunks.

I1642 $20

Carter’s White Ink Bottle No. 441, white milk glass bottle, black metal screw on lid, 1 ½ oz. Perfect black, white and red label with cameo in center. White ink inside is dry. Excellent label, lid and bottle.

I1643 $100

Antique Figural Shoe Ink Bottle - ca. 1850s blown clear glass ink bottle is in the shape of a shoe. Measures 3.5 inches long, .78 inches wide and 1 inch tall. Figural inkwells such as these are rarely seen. This one is in excellent condition.

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!   

I1653 $10

Carter’s Indelible Outfit with Pen & Pen Holder - Nice graphics on this red, white, blue and black metal tin.  Inside the tin is a small clear glass bottle (no ink inside) with black screw on lid and coordinating red, white and blue design.  Also a small black wood dip pen holder and a steel dip pen nib.  Dip pen holder and bottle are in very good condition, but the dip pen nib is well worn with old ink present.  Outer tin has a few rust spots, but overall is very good.

I1654  $15

English Ink Bottles from the 1860s - Snap top English ink bottles in aquamarine glass, each bottle is eight sided and measures about 1.75 inches in diameter.  Please note that each bottle varies slightly in size, all are clean and in very good condition  The blown glass hexagonal shaped ink bottles were made in England and snapped off the end of the glass blowing rod. They date to ca. 1860s and are made of aqua glass. Since each was individually made, you'll notice some differences, but basically you have an 8-sided ink bottle, irregular lip edge due to being snapped off the glass rod and they each measure about 1.5-1.75 inches at base and 2-2.5 inches tall.
(several available at time of listing) 

I1683  $25

L.A. Reeves Regal Imperial Ink Powder, ca. 1940s, Canada - Original tin with green and blue paper wrapper label.
This tin of permanent blue black ink powder would make 1 Imperial Quart of ink.  Very detailed directions for constituting powder to ink are on the wrapper.  There is still ink powder, perhaps they are ink powder chunks inside the tin, when I shake the bottle you can hear them rattling around inside.  It looks like the lid to the tin was opened at one point in time, or perhaps attempted to be opened, the lid has some crinkles around the edges from probably a screwdriver blade and it is now firmly in place.  Label is in excellent condition. Original price label from Mahon's is on the bottom of tin, in the day it was .35.   Powdered ink was always popular in years gone by,
especially during war times when materials were scarce and carrying bottles of ink around was not always convenient or practical.   Nice examples in original containers just don't turn up very often. This one is in very good condition.  

I1695  $10

Sloan's Ink Eradicator made by Waterman in England.  Two clear glass bottles with grey stoppers inside white, green, red and black printed box.  Removes coffee and fruit stains, too!  No liquid in bottles and even if there were, it would have degraded over the years. Shop wear to box edges & top of lid. 

I1711 $15

Waterman's Tip-Fill Bottle, ca. 1940s, 2 ounce, clear glass, yellow and red label, Carnation Red Ink label. Black metal screw on lid. Original box. 2 ounces. Faceted bottle is designed so you could tip it on a facet and be able to fill your pen with every last drop of ink. No liquid ink in bottle, just ink dust. Very good condition.

I1728 $25

Sheaffer SkripWell bottle, ca. late 1990s.  Cylindrical clear glass 2 ounce bottle is a little squattier than the regular 2 ounce Sheaffer bottles.  This bottle was made to fit into certain Sheaffer Prelude Desk Sets. Matte gold two tone screw on top is marked: Sheaffer Skrip Ink with a white dot.  Bottom of bottle is embossed: Sheafffer Pen Skrip Ink   Gold tone, red white and black oval shaped label reads:  Sheaffer Skrip Ink.  Filled with Black Skrip.  Mint condition. 

I1730 $15

Waterman's Tip-Fill Bottle, ca. 1940s, 2 ounce, clear glass, vivid green, yellow, black and white label, Tropic Green Ink label. Bright yellow metal screw on lid. 2 ounces. Faceted bottle is designed so you could tip it on a facet and be able to fill your pen with every last drop of ink. Tropic Green ink dust in bottle. Very good condition.

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.

I1738 $10

Carter's Cube Ink Bottle No. 56 Sunset Green, Sailing ship against a green sunset. Originally filled with 2 oz of Carter's Sunset Green Ink, now there is just a bit of ink dust in the bottle. Green metal screw on lid in very good condition. Bottom left portion of label is missing.

I1739 $15

Carter's Cube Ink Bottle No. 176 Sunset Red, Sailing ship against a red sunset. Originally filled with 2 oz of Carter's Sunset Red ink, now there is just a bit of ink dust in the bottle. Dark Red metal screw on lid in very good condition. One sunset red ink spot on label, otherwise very good.

I1740 $10

Carter's Cube Ink Bottle No. 176 Sunset Red, Sailing ship against a red sunset. Originally filled with 2 oz of Carter's Sunset Red ink, now there is just a bit of ink dust in the bottle. Dark Red metal screw on lid shows a lot of silver patina along the edges.Top quarter of label is missing.

I1743  $20

Carter’s White Ink Bottle No. 441, white milk glass bottle, black metal screw on lid, 1 ½ oz. Perfect black, white and red label with cameo in center. White ink inside is dry. Excellent label, lid and bottle. 

I1744  $20

Carter’s White Ink Bottle No. 442, white milk glass bottle, black metal screw on lid, bottle not marked, but seems to be 1 oz. Perfect black, white and red label with cameo in center. Light wear to the rim of metal cap.   White ink inside is dry. Excellent label, lid and bottle. 

I1745  $10

Carter’s Oval Ink Bottle No. 969, Washable Blue Seagull label, clear glass 2 oz bottle, medium blue screw on metal lid.  Washable Blue ink dust in bottom of bottle.  Small irregular hole in label about center, lots of wear to the lid. 

I1747  $15

Carter’s Oval Ink Bottle No. 939 Permanent Red Sunset label, clear glass 2 oz. bottle, red screw on metal lid.  Tiny bit of permanent red ink dust in bottom of bottle.  Excellent label.  Small area of rust on lid. 

I1748  $10

Carter’s Oval Ink Bottle No. 919 Permanent Blue-Black Starburst label, clear glass, 2 oz bottle, light blue screw on metal lid. Blue-Black ink dust in bottom of bottle.  Very good label.  Edge of
lid rim is rusty.  

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. 

I1752  $20

Carter’s Ryto Ink No. 146, cylindrical clear glass bottle, no cap, Original label is in excellent condition and preserved with a clear protective sleeve wrapped around the bottle.  Bottle is clean. Excellent condition. 

I1755  $25

Carters Blu-Rex Ever-Blue Fountain Pen Ink No. 166-7, clear glass two ounce bottle, cork stopper with black hard rubber top is embossed:  Carter INX Products. Three sided label in pastel blue, bright red, white and black. Label states that this ink writes an intense blue and remains Ever Blue. There is some solidified Blu-Rex Ever Blue ink in the bottom of bottle. Includes box, light blue with whte, black and red, Carter’s Fountain Pen advertised on two sides of box, One inner flap missing, the main fold of flap is intact, but detached from box.  Ink bottle in excellent condition, the box is a bonus. 

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.

I1759  $50

Carter’s Junior Cube Desk Set, ca. 1940s, Bottle features Mama Cat with two kittens following against a full moon, light blue, black and white label in excellent condition.  Black metal lid.  2 Ounce bottle.  Black soft rubber base is marked For Use Only with Carter’s Ink in the recessed area where the bottle fits in perfectly.  Base is marked:  Junior Cube-Stand Use Only With Carter’s Cubes. The Carter’s Ink Company Patent’d 101268 Made in USA.  Base measures 3.5 x 2 1/16 inches.  Curved end designed to hold a pen, pen is not included.  Very good condition. 

I1764  $15

Figural House Ink Bottle, Japan, ca. 1960s, dark green glass, outlines of front door, windows and shingles are embossed on the rectangular house shaped bottle.  Measures 1 7/8 x 2 3/8 inches at base, height is 2 3/8 inches. Use it for water, ink mixes or your favorite ink.  Excellent 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. 

I1788 $10

Fount-o-Ink No. 2S ca, 1940s, USA.  Clear 2 ounce clear glass bottle with beautiful Art Deco pressed pattern surrounding the bottle.  Metal screw on lid was designed to be used with Fount-o-Ink desk sets. The bottle would have been inverted into the desk set and has ¾ inch opening.  Just some Royal Blue ink dust in the bottom of the bottle.  Bottle measures 2 in diameter and is 2 5/8 inches in height.  There is not label on the bottle, nor have I ever seen this model with a label, the base is embossed Fount-O-Ink in a crossed design.  Box in good condition with a few ink stains inside and outside of the box.  Overall very good condition. 

I1791  $15

Waterman’s Permanent Black Ink, ca. 1940s, Clear Tip-Fill Bottle with black metal screw on lid, bright yellow, red, black and white label has a little wear to the lower edge.  The Tip-Fill bottle was designed so you could lay it on one of the side facets and be able to access the ink easily to fill your fountain pen. Bottle is about half full of what seems to be very usable, very black ink, so sediment showing and smells right!  Comes with original box in very good condition.  Overall very good condition and a great example of a Tip-Fill bottle. 

I1796  $20

Carter’s Fountain Pen Ink No. 556-7, ca. early 1930s, USA.  Clear glass 2 ounce square bottle has some green ink dust in the bottle.   Cork stopper is topped with a green ainted wood disk marked Carter INX Products.  White, green, black and metallic gold label wraps around three sides, small hole on one side panel otherwise label is in very good condition.  The Yellow and green box is in excellent condition.  Also included inside the box is a small Carter’s advertising insert printed in full color, one full side advertises the Carter Pen & shows a beautiful illustration of the coralite blue. The reverse side advertises Carter’s CICO paste with nice illustrations of CICO tube with box and the white milkglass CICO past bottle.  Insert in excellent condition. 

I1798  $30

Scriptson Encre, France, Bleue Noire Inalterable.  Permanent Blue Black.  Black plastic screw on lid.  Nice clear glass bottle is faceted and you can place it on a lower facet to access more ink.  Bottle is almost full and this seems to be perfectly usable ink.  Comes with original Kraft colored box printed in blue and black. Both bottle and box are in excellent 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. 

I1807  $20

Delta Colleseum Ink, ca. 1997, Italy.  Frosted glass bottle with antiqued pewter screw on metal cap marked Delta.  Great label and in original black box.  About ¾ full of vivid bright sunshine yellow ink which would have matched Delta’s Colleseum fountain pen.  Excellent condition. 

I1813 $25

Delta Inchiostri Fountain Pen Ink.  Clear glass bottle with gold screw on lid embossed Delta.  Full of Delta orange ink.  Comes with original black box. Mint condition. 

I1816  $15

Carter’s Writing Fluid Ink Bottle, ca. 1930s, clear bottle with hard rubber topped cork stopper (hard rubber is oxidized).  Label is dark blue with printed red seal, metallic gold and white lettering:  Carter’S Blue Black Writing Fluid.  There is a bit of blue black ink crystals in the bottom of the bottle.  Bottle measures 1.75 inches square, height is 2.25 inches.  Label is in excellent condition. 

I1824  $10

A.T.Cross Ink, ca. late 1990s – early 2000s, Made in Germany, clear glass 2 oz bottle is filled with black ink.  If this bottle looks familiar and the Germany makes another connect, your may have already figured out that this ink was made by Pelikan and re-branded for Cross.  Bottle is almost full of what appears to be good usable ink.  

I1827  $10

Speedball Perfect Flowing Waterproof Black Lettering Ink – A Rich India Ink made by The Hunt Pen Co, ca. 1930s.  Clear glass cylindrical two ounce bottle with black metal screw on lid. There is ink dust in the bottle, but no fluid ink.  Great illustrated label with an umbrella in the center.  The label wraps entirely around the bottle with much small print about the virtues of this ink and to stir thoroughly.   There is even a little arrow on the top of the lid indicating which direction to turn the cap.  2 ounce bottle measures 2 5/8 inches height and 1 7/8 inches diameter at base.  Very good condition. 

I1828  $10

Rexall Graph Ink Bottle, ca. 1930s, Clear octagonal shaped bottle with royal blue, black and white label, black metal screw on lid does have rusts spots on the top.  Noted on the label that the ink was for Steel pens and fountain pens and also states:  Del Ray of Boston Made in USA 3 Fluid Ounces.  There is no fluid ink in the bottle just a tiny bit of Blue-Black ink dust clinging to the sides of the bottle.  Not your average ink bottle design and the bottle is in very good condition, just the rust spots on the lid.  

I1830  $10

Rotring Brilliant Black Ink, circular clear bottle with black plastic screw on lid.  White label with simple graphics on the label.  30ml – 1 ounce. Bottle is almost full and ink seems quite usuable.  Marked on the side of box “For Fountain Pens”.  

I1834  $10

Sanford’s Permanent Blue Black Fountain Pen Ink, clear glass bottle with ribbing on three sides.  Perfect black and white label on the front.  2 ounce bottle.  Screw on black metal lid shows rust on the top.  There is some blue black ink dust in the bottom of the bottle.

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.

I1838  $10

Winner Blue-Black Ink Bottle, ca. 1940s, clear glass bottle bottle looks to be about 1 ounce, curved front and back sides, straight on the sides.  Black metal screw on lid.  Perfect label in a sort of blue-green colored background with white and green lettering:  Winner Blue-Black Ink For Fountain Pens.  Writes and Dries Blue-Black.  Bottle measures 1 3/8 x 1 7/8 inches.  Height is 2 1/8 inches.  There is some thick blue black ink in the bottom of the bottle.

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.

Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors
This association site offers up all sorts of ink bottle information as well as info on glass in general.

Pottery Ink Bottles
An article by Ed and Lucy Faulkner, well researched text and many illustrations of early ink bottles.

The Carter Ink Company
An article by Ed and Lucy Faulkner, history of Carters, many photographs of unusual early Carter's Ink bottles.

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!)

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.

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 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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