Screw-top inkwell from Facets Glass in London.

August 2003

The Accessories are Important Also

There is a limit to the number of pens I can use and over the past years the accessories are becoming of greater interest. It is with great relief that my wife knows I can be satisfied to get a couple bottles of ink at a store. But recently, paper, pen cases, leather desk pads and ink wells are growing in interest.

Ink wells are one of my passions at the moment. Most of the very large inkwells I have seen in France seem to have some relationship to Napoleon -- according to the person selling it -- and have been too expensive. But smaller inkwells, not associated with Napoleon or other person of note, are still affordable and add a new dimension to the use of your pen.

It was with interest that I recently heard from Facets, a company in London that specializes in antique glass repair but also stocks and repairs inks wells.

My current collection of a twenty or so are mainly glass - I like to see the ink. Many of the inkwells available in antique shops were really meant for dipping pens. My advice, if you plan to use the ink well as a working accessory, if you can't put at least 1/2 of a bottle of ink in it, it will not be of much use. Remember, the well should be deep enough to get a nib submerged properly for fill up.

So, as I prepare for this year's trip through Italy, I will be sure to leave some room in my back for an accessory or two - and hopefully even a pen.

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