Openinkstand Art & Calligraphy

Vintage dip nib boxes


I’m not a big collector of dip nib boxes, I wish I was, but my funds usually go towards the actual dip nibs or other usable stuff. But sometimes my purchases come with vintage boxes and I am always happy for that. Here are some of my favorite ones.

This Spencerian 1 was my first box. It’s pretty simple, just an illustration of the nib in a yellow blue box and a blurb on the back. Classy!

“One of the strongest proofs of the great popularity of these Pens, and an undeniable confession of their superiority is, that a number of firms have manufactured, or cause to be made, Pens similar in style, for which they claim the same unrivaled perfection of action possessed by the justly celebrated spencerian pens. We would, therefore, caution the public against these gross impositions, and state that since July 1st 1871, all boxes containing the genuine Pen have borne a facsimile signature, thus.” Them’s fighting words!

The Hunt boxes is a little fancier, but is full of advertisement, front back sides is full of blurbs of its awesomeness.

Okay we get the point!

The Gillott boxes are really pretty, these are different nibs but the boxes look the same. The side is just an extension of the lovely blue illustration.

And on the back they differ a little, but the message is still the same: “JG regrets to say, certain disreputable Makers have tried to impose upon the Public a spurious article, bearing the misspelled name of the patentee and sole manufacturer, thus Gilott or Gillot, so as to retain the sound, please to observe, all the genuine pens are marked in full “Joseph Gillott’ and every packet bears a facsimile of this signature, thus.” Hey, fun fact.. the Spencerian 1 and Gillott 604EF are very nearly the same! Is this some 1800s mud-slinging? Scandalous!

Some boxes are plain though, these Soennecken pens are amazing but come in a very plain box. No boasting or replicas here, just a regular ol box.

These Esterbrook nibs come in a really attention grabbing red and gold box. The box feels nice and textured and well made too, it’s actually my fav!

I half expected the blurb on the back to be something like “Our awesome pen have totally been copied by numerous jerks and make sure to buy the Original which come with a facsimile of our signature thus” but no.. it just goes like this: “The first steel pens manufactured in America were made by Richard Esterbrook in 1858. Esterbrook Pens of the superior quality that has made the company thus founded one of the great pen producers of the world, are packed only in sealed boxes like this bearing this original signature.” Much more subtle!

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