Ink Snippet: Montblanc William Shakespeare Velvet Red

Montblanc William Shakesepare Velvet Red ink swab

Shakespeare ink is nice and dark — velvety, as Montblanc might say. It does shade nicely on fountain pen friendly paper.

It also comes in a cool bottle, though only 35 ml. The quill on the label matches the ink color pretty well.

Montblanc William Shakesepare Velvet Red ink and bottle

I put Shakespeare ink in a Montblanc 146 with broad nib. Here’s a quick writing sample.

Montblanc William Shakesepare Velvet Red writing sample

I suspect the ink may be on the dry side, but I’ve only tried it in this one pen, so I don’t know for sure yet.

Everyone’s been wondering whether Shakespeare ink would be similar to Alfred Hitchcock ink, an older limited edition from Montblanc. Now Hitchcock is one of my favorite inks, without question. However, Diamine makes a nice doppelganger in Burgundy Rose, and KWZ Maroon #2 isn’t far off. Both of those are excellent substitutes for Hitchcock, in my opinion.

Which is good, because Shakespeare is indeed different than Hitchcock. Here are swabs.

Montblanc Hitchcock and Montblanc Shakesepare swab comparison

The value is similar, but the hue is of course quite different. Shakespeare is darker in feeling. It doesn’t feel as cheery as Hitchcock (or Burgundy Rose or Maroon #2). Shakespeare feels more wintery.

The ink I have that looks closest to Shakespeare, when you look at swabs, happens to be another ink named after an author: De Atramentis Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. However, though possibly close in hue, the two inks vary significantlyย  in saturation. But here they are.

Montblanc Shakesepare and De Atramentis Sir Arthur Conan Doyle swab comparison

I have not used my sample of Conan Doyle yet, so I can’t say how that looks in a pen. Based on the swabs, I will stick with Shakespeare for now. But it’s interesting to see this.

Here is paper towel chromatography of Montblanc Shakespeare.

Montblanc William Shakesepare Velvet Red chromatography

I find this super interesting, too. Shakespeare has more pink than I expected from writing with it, but the other dyes tone down the pink.

And here is chromatography comparing Montblanc Hitchcock, on the left, with Montblanc Shakespeare.

Montblanc Hitchcock and Montblanc Shakesepare chromatography

So, yeah, not very similar. But we knew that from the swabs.

To be fair, I expected to like Shakespeare ink the minute I heard the name: Montblanc William Shakespeare Velvet Red. I love Montblanc inks. I love Montblanc red inks. I love Shakespeare. I mean, sight unseen, this ink sounded like my perfect ink. The only thing that would have made it more “me” is if they had managed to get the words “ice cream” and “coffee” in there.

And maybe it will have some downsides. It may feather a bit. (I mean, hey, look at the label — there’s a feather, so we’re warned.)ย  But my first impression is that Shakespeare ink is another winner from Montblanc.

Montblanc William Shakesepare Velvet Red ink and bottle


13 thoughts on “Ink Snippet: Montblanc William Shakespeare Velvet Red

  1. I have not been able to get a sample of this ink, or Lamy Dark Violet. If not for pictures, I wouldn’t believe there was such a thing. LOL. Great review Laura! Thanks for the heads up on the Hitchcock look alike.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Royal Blue is my favorite from the regular line. Toffee Brown is probably second for me.

    The Pink I like. ๐Ÿ™‚

    If you ever want another bottle, I’ve got two empty square Montblanc LE bottles. I had so many empties that it was horrifying, so I recycled a bunch. But another Edelstein just joined the empty bottle brigade yesterday. They always seem too nice to throw away, but the only ones I ever use are the empty Waterman bottles.


      1. Their Royal Blue is, to me, the gold standard of royal blues. Shading, lubricity, impeccable behaviour. As someone once said, the most interesting boring ink in the world.

        The only one of their inks I haven’t liked so far is the Pink Ink. I bought it only for the bottle, but a friend loves the colour and was happy to receive it in an empty Pelikan bottle.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Unfortunately I am out of luck. The perils of being this far away I guess. We just don’t get LE inks here, or indeed anything of real interest. Even Lamy Dark Lilac never made an appearance. On the other hand I did manage to grab a bottle of Sailor Tokiwamatsu. So there is that! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I was looking for some but the only seller I could find (in the US) wants $23 for shipping a single 35ml bottle. not going to happen. Funny because I had two bottles of Herbin 1670 sent from Germany that cost less than half that in shipping. Anyway, the Shakespeare red looks very nice. Neat review, Laura!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. that is a gorgeous red! It reminds me of the perfect mix of Diamine Oxblood and Red Dragon, somehow.
    Is it a wet writer or as… medium-dry as the other Montblancs? (I wouldn’t call them dry exactly, but… not as lubricated as some others. If you know what I mean.)
    I think the waiting was well worth it ๐Ÿ™‚ Great ink, thank you for the review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So far, in this one pen, I think it’s on the dry side, but lubricated. So not a gusher, in terms of ink flow, but still feeling smooth from the nib. I think “medium-dry” is the perfect description. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I think it will work really well with wet-writing pens. And I probably won’t waste it in a Safari. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I adore the Toffee Brown, but the “medium-dry” as you say is a little annoying, even in my Pelikan which is commonly a rather wet writer. Ah well, still an awesome color. I’ll probably fall prey to it ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

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