For my first ink review, I’ve chosen a new ink from my collection, Pharmacist’s Purpura Imperialis. This ink is interesting, and particularly suitable for the inaugural “Vintage Writing” blog post, because it’s an iron-gall ink. Iron-gall ink has been used historically for it archival qualities. It lasts for centuries, if not longer, and will most likely outlast the paper you write on. Note: Iron-gall ink can be high maintenance. Don’t mix it with other inks, don’t leave it in your pen for longer than a few weeks without cleaning, and when you do decide to change inks, flush the pen with a solution of dilute vinegar and distilled water. [Enough said about that here. Anyone who is interested can find more than enough written on the subject online.]
This particular ink is made by an individual in Belgium who goes by the Fountain Pen Network handle Pharmacist, and my understanding is that he makes these inks in small batches for sale through FPN. As his name illustrates, he’s a pharmacist by trade.
The ink itself appears dark purple in the pen. I used my Pilot Custom 74 Violet Demonstrator with this ink, and had no issues. The ink is extremely well-behaved, even on the cheapest-of-the-cheap copy paper at my office. I had no problems with bleed-through, feathering, or smearing. The review below was written in a Clairefontaine notebook, hence the slower dry time, but even on this paper, writing with a very wet nib, there is next to no smearing at 20-30 seconds.
Here is a close-up of the writing. Note that the color has not changed all the way to an almost-black yet.
P.S.: I have used the camera on my samsung galaxy in lieu of a scanner. IMHO, this camera does a better job of capturing the true color of the ink, even though the picture may not be as clear. I think the color reproduction as reflected here is pretty accurate of what you get with the ink.