This is the last of the Montblanc limited edition inks for the week. I picked up William Shakespeare Velvet Red ($19 for 35ml) at Pen Place in Crown Center. It’s positively lethal to have access to fountain pens and ink and paper within walking distance of my office!
I haven’t quite figured out the logic behind why Montblanc sometimes uses the square faceted bottles, sometimes uses the long rectangular bottles and then sometimes uses these round bottles. I’m assuming certain themes go with each but the Miles Davis Jazz Blue went into the square bottle, which somehow I would have assumed would go into the round bottle like this one with the other “legends”.And I think last year they put the Permanent Grey in the round bottle so that blows my theory too. So… I don’t know? Do you?
Finally, the splotch of ink on this bottle is very unbecoming. Of all the Shakespearian related things you could possibly have considered, a red splotch?
For this review, I’m going to start with the swatches because what I found fascinating was that when I swatched this ink, and I did it twice, the color on the swatch card turned out extremely dark. It did not have much shading either. I thought maybe I had over-soaked the card so I did it again and got the same results. Velvet Red appears to be a fairly dense ink, or it can be. So, I thought I’d like to note that first. Especially, compared to other deep reds like Sailor Grenade and Oku-Yama and Diamine Oxblood and Matador Red.
I also tried very hard to adjust the photo of my writing sample to be as accurate as possible but its always difficult to get exact reproductions and adjust for monitor differences. Velvet Red does hint at the tonal variations present in velvet red. How it sometimes looks very red but will have a brownish undertone. However, that same color variation is also very reminiscent of something else: dried blood. And while that is certainly an overriding aspect of many of Shakespeare’s plays, I couldn’t quite get past the fact that it looked like I was writing with dried blood.
This could be quite handy for a Halloween missive or for the more Gothic among us but I found it a little morbid for my Monday calendar notes. Out, out damned spot!
- Paper: Rhodia Uni-Blank No. 18 with 7mm guide sheet
- Pens: Empire vintage traveling dip nib holder with Zebra G titanium nib ($33.50 per 10-pack), Esterbrook #2442 nib in a Shawn Netwon custom nib holder
- Swatches: Col-o-Ring Ink Testing Cards
- Brush: Silver Black Velvet #6 Round 300S, Escoda Prado #2 Round Travel Brush ($16.50)
- Ink: Montblanc William Shakespeare Velvet Red (35ml bottle for $19)
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