In the February 2011 issue of Pen World there is a great story about a pen store in the Netherlands that is celebrating its centennial anniversary (centenary). P.W. Akkerman in the Hague is one of those old world pen shops that pen lovers wish they could be locked inside, by themselves, for a week or so. One of the items that I noticed in the article was the line of inks created for the company’s centenary (and named after thirty locations in the Hague), including the picture of the bottle. I just had to have at least one bottle of this ink – for the bottle moreso than the ink (as anyone in my club can attest, I do not need any more ink!)! Each bottle is a whopping 150ml and costs 16.5 euros (about Cdn$22).
I “Googled” the website and found that it was in Dutch (not one of my strengths). The Google translation helped but it was unclear to me whether the pen shop would ship to Canada (I was confident that I could find someone who understood my English) and the cost. So I sent a polite note off to the shop’s general e-mail and promptly received a response from Paul Rutte (paulrutte AT vulpennen DOT nl). Paul was exceptionally polite and terrific to deal with – of course, they would be happy to send their ink to Canada. When I inquired how should I pay – credit card or Paypal – Paul kindly set up a Paypal account for the shop so that I could avoid having to make an expensive phone call to pass on with my credit card number (although it would have been nice to speak to Paul!).
Our club ordered a total of six bottles and we are anxiously awaiting their arrival – Paul was concerned about the recent cold weather that we have been experiencing and so we mutually agreed to delay shipment until about a week and a half after I placed the order. In the meantime, we did receive a couple of bottles (in error) – #15 Verhout Violet (translates to woody violet) and #23 Bekakt Haags (translates to Posh Hague). Our official club photographer Rick snapped a picture of the brown bottle at last week’s meeting:
As Rick notes in the email that he sent to the club with the picture – “The Akkerman inks from The Netherlands do indeed come in a large and interesting bottle. 150 mL or 5 fluid ounces, with an very interesting section at the top of the bottle; when the bottle is inverted a ball (ed. note – a glass marble, no less!) in the neck of the bottle traps ink in the top section of the bottle, allowing you to fill your pen.” Here is a picture of an empty bottle (a bit larger version of the picture in the Pen World article) that clearly shows the glass marble.
Stay tuned for more pictures and swatches of these inks and the balance of the colours that we purchased (but have not arrived yet) – #10 Akkerman LJizer-Galnoten, #5 Shocking Blue, #8 Diep-Duinwaterblauw, #21 China Town Red, and #24 Zuiderpark Blauw-Green.