Stationery Factlets #3: The Queen’s Ink 1

This factlet is quite different to the previous ones. One difference is that I was unable to corroborate this information from other sources, so there is a chance it is a factoid rather than a factlet. The other difference is that it is not well known, so it’s probably a ‘You read it first on Bleistift’ factlet.

I believe there are a few very popular TV series about Queen Elizabeth II at the moment, though I haven’t seen any of them – so this factlet might be of interest to a wider audience that it might have been a few years ago.

The fact that Queen Elizabeth II is using Parker pens is well known. I believe Parker was been issued a Royal Warrant of appointment as sole supplier of pens and inks more than 50 years ago.

A Parker Penman ink bottle. This one is Mocha.

Well, here’s the factlet about one of her favourite inks:

“There have been a number of different Parker Penman ink colours produced over the years including the most beautiful shade of tangerine1 which is supposed to have been a favourite of the Queen and used by her on personal correspondence. The story goes that when the colour was withdrawn the palace planned to remove the Royal Warrant only restoring it when they agreed to continue producing the colour especially for the Queens private use.”

Someone I don’t have a reason to distrust has confirmed to me that in his company’s archive they have a private letter from the Queen, written in Penman’s tangerine coloured ink.

The Penman inks were discontinued more than fifteen years ago. They had a high saturation so were popular with many users, but this high saturation also meant they would clog your pen up if left alone for too long.

 

 

 

  1. I am not sure whether this is the ‘Ruby’ colour. I didn’t come across many Penman inks. Ruby is the closest one to Tangerine I know of. []

Kaweco’s Valentine’s Special

Recently, my wife told me about the following Valentine’s Special from Kaweco China. As I haven’t seen anything about this set yet in the West I thought I share the details with you.

It includes a pen for her (in the Strawberry Pink colour) and one for him either blue or green.

Kaweco’s Valentine Set for China (Image © Kaweco)

Her pen comes can be used as a clutch pencil or you can insert the included ‘ballpoint pen lead’ to make it into a ballpoint. His is a fountain pen and you can pick from two colours, which look like the Retro Blue and Industrial Green I have shown in a previous blog post about Kaweco’s special colours for China, Taiwan, Macao and HongKong.

Early orders will get some additional postcards from America’s Rifle Paper Co.

The set also comes with a leather case and costs ¥520 (~$80; €65; £58).


Price and exchange rates: January 2018

I believe that the use of Kaweco’s image shown in this blog post falls under “fair dealing” as described by the UK Copyright service.


Copic Copies (and Lego Notebooks)

Another one of those ‘there’s a good offer in the UK’ blog posts, so the following might be of limited interest if you are not in the UK.

My first (and only) set of Copic markers is from the Nineties. Back then a friend told me about them and after hearing about their miraculous properties I really wanted to try them out. Back then, like today, they were not cheap. As far as I remember I paid around 20 Deutschmarks for each of them1. Well, they did and still do a nice job, but they usually bleed through the paper, maybe because they are alcohol based, so the reverse of the sheet of paper will look nearly as ‘stained’ as the front.

They certainly keep well over the years, my Copics all still work well. Just one of them had some of the ‘ink’ leak a bit into the cap, but that can be cleaned easily. If they ever dry out you can refill them.

Why did I mentioned them?

When we went grocery shopping this weekend I saw that Aldi in the UK sells a whole pack of what looks like Copic copies for less than the price of one real Copic marker. It seems a good offer, but I can’t comment on the quality of the pens.

✏︎ ✏︎ ✏︎ ✏︎ ✏︎

..and here a little bonus I found in the local Lego shop: Lego notebooks, reduced from £10 to £6. I assume the offers are similar in different Lego shops, but I can’t be sure.

In case you wonder, I bought neither the Copic copies, not the Lego notebook.

  1. As a comparison, as far as I remember a casual job paid around 10 DM/h at the time and video and computer games were around 60 DM at the time []

Stationery Shopping in Germany 3

After several blog posts and videos about stationery shopping in Shanghai today’s post is about stationery shopping in Germany.

The video shows one of Müller’s branches’ stationery selection. Originally a pharmacy, Müller are now a chain selling all sorts of items.

The video is in 4K, so you’ll see more details if you open it in YouTube instead of watching it embedded in this blog post.

✏︎ ✏︎ ✏︎ ✏︎ ✏︎

On a different note: a former colleague1 sent me a link to this article from The New York Times Magazine today:

Inside One of America’s Last Pencil Factories

The pictures are droolworthily excellent. Have a look.

  1. Thanks, Mark. []

Noblesse De Mine

Sabine Syfuss-Arnaud published another pencil-related article in the leading French business magazine Challenges. I didn’t know what kind of article this one would become, but it looks great.

The magazine is out now.

I can’t resist writing this: Faber-Castell has a silver pocket pencil from 1890. A photo of that pocket pencil would have fitted so well with this article.