I don’t tend to purchase much brown ink. When I first got into fountain pens, all I wanted was the perfect, vintage sepia ink but I bought a few bottles early on that I didn’t like and swayed away from browns for a long time. This P.W. Akkerman #22 Hopjesbraun is making me rethink my stance on brown inks. Its got TONS of shading and is a warm, dusty reddish/golden brown that reminds me of the Southwest and cowboys and Albuquerque sunsets. How a Dutch ink company can generate a color that reminds me of New Mexico? Quite the impressive feat.
There is a wonderful, dark halo around the letters when writing with my stub nib Esterbrook. Its just such fun to watch the ink darken around the edges of the letterforms as the ink dries. But that’s the catch.
Hopjesbraun dries slowly. I even smudged a bit in my painting at the top of the page because it dried quite a bit slower than the Zuiderpark I tested last week. I suspect in a finer pen or on slightly more absorbent paper, it wouldn’t be quite as big a deal but as a messy left, the dry time was a bit long. For letter writing where I could pause here and there to let the ink dry before I stuck my arm in it, it would not be a problem but as a daily use ink… well, for this lefty I’ll have to save it for special occasions. But it is one of the prettiest browns I’ve ever used.
So if you’re a tidy righty, grab a bottle ASAP. And my fellow messy lefties, you’ve been warned to proceed with caution.
DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Vanness Pens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.
7 comments / Add your comment below
I was wondering what kind of paper do you use for the swab tags, and if you buy them like that?
I use Maruman Mneomosyne flash cards for my ink swabs. I purchase them from Jet Pens.
Thank you very much! I am quite new a this whole FP world, and it’s amazing!
I picked up the Hopjesbruin at the Atlanta Pen Show and it became an instant favorite. I also enjoin the DeAtramentis’ “Tabacco” and “Whiskey”. But for a real antique sepia, I’ve never found anything better than R&K’s “Sepia.” Makes any paper look like an old legal document to me. Thanks for your review.
Being a Dutchman, I understand the name of the ink. All Akkerman inks have names that refer to The Hague, the city where the Akkerman pen shop is located. “Hopjesbruin” comes from the name of a candy: “Haagse Hopjes” (The Hague Hopjes). It is candy for grown ups, tasting of coffee. The name comes from a man named Hop in who was addicted to coffee but the doctor said he couldn’t have it any more. He instructed a baker to make the sweets.
The color of the “Hopje”candy is a sort of caramel-coffee brown. “Bruin” does of course mean brown.
Do I want to ask you according to your preferences which is the perfect vintage sepia ink?
Historians comment that the original sepia ink was used at least since Roman antiquity and was made from the pigment obtained from sepia or cuttlefish ink, a marine cephalopod similar to squid, hence the name of the fountaipen ink
In the market there is a very wide range of sepia inks, from very dark brown to coppery, there are even some of tones that are difficult to describe, which tend to the dark lilac gray color like Rohrer & Klingner and Platinum Classic
Thank you for your attention
We recently did a post all about sepia ink that might give you some ideas.