The “Wow” Ink Bottle: Graf von Faber-Castell

Graf von Faber-Castell ink bottle

I think of myself as a person who doesn’t care about ink bottles that much. A great ink bottle is always appreciated, and might tip the scales towards purchase if I like the ink, but an unappealing ink bottle won’t stop me from buying an ink.

But I just got this ink, in a trade: Graf von Faber-Castell Cobalt Blue. And, wow. This is a beautiful ink bottle. This bottle, alone, makes me want to buy more Faber-Castell inks.

I haven’t even tried the Cobalt Blue ink yet.  They had me at the bottle.

Graf von Faber-Castell ink bottle

You can’t really tell from photos how nice it is. The bottle is made of thick glass, and feels nicely heavy, with a stable base. The main part of the bottle is attractively ridged, and there’s a wavy undulation at the bottom. The label is lovely. And I don’t think I’ve seen a nicer cap on an ink bottle.

Graf von Faber-Castell ink bottle

Even the box is nice.

So, apparently I am besotted by an ink bottle.

I’m sure Faber-Castell focused on the bottle design. A great bottle can make an ink brand stand out. But I still expect it to be good ink. I really liked both Graf von Faber-Castell Carbon Black and Garnet Red. I have confidence in the Cobalt Blue.

I just wouldn’t have thought that I would ever be tempted to buy more inks solely because of the bottle. But if I were ever going to do that, it would be this one.

Graf von Faber-Castell ink bottle


Pen of the Day: Parker 75 with Graf von Faber-Castell Carbon Black

Parker 75 sterling silver ciselé

Parker 75 Sterling Silver Ciselé with fine nib. The Parker 75 is a business-like pen with a no-nonsense, no-flair nib.  It a fairly slim pen by today’s standards, but it’s comfortable to use and works without fuss. It could easily be the one pen you use every day.

The 75 comes in a number of finishes. In fact, this weekend I just saw a beautiful, new-to-me 75 pattern that a pen friend had purchased. I’ve had a few 75s over the years, but I’m down to just this one: the US-made flat top sterling silver ciselé pattern.

This is probably the most common 75, but it’s also my favorite. I’d say it’s the iconic Parker 75.

Parker 75 sterling silver ciselé

Being a total wild child, I threw caution to the wind and filled it with a random ink sample, Graf von Faber-Castell Carbon Black.  I know, settle down, right?

Well, it all worked out because Faber-Castell Carbon Black seems to be my kind of black ink: not dark-as-night, but more interesting to me because it has some shading. This ink also writes very smoothly and resists feathering nicely.  It reminds me of all my favorite black inks: Pelikan Brilliant Black and the black inks from Stipula, Montblanc and Seitz-Kreuznach.

Parker 75 sterling silver ciselé Faber-Castell Carbon Black ink writing sample

Ink Snippet: Graf von Faber-Castell Garnet Red


Since January is at its coldest and bleakest just now, I am trying to jazz things up with garnet ink, in honor of the January birth stone.  It’s a little like inky jewelry.  Except so much more frugal.

Last week was Pelikan Edelstein Garnet, a red orange that I thought added a little spice to the wintery weather. Alas, it’s a limited edition ink from 2014 and so not easily available.

So this week I’m trying a second garnet ink, Faber-Castell Garnet Red.

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