Francesco Rubinato antique dip pen set

Before the fountain pen, but succeding the quill, there was the steel dipping pen. Steel pen points took on a wide variety of fanciful designs, the idea being to trap as much ink as possible during dipping and then meter it out onto the paper through the slit in the point. One of these points is a ringer, not a vintage specimen (Can you guess? It is the one on the left...a modern Hunt drawing point).

Up through the middle of this century, steel pens fulfilled many of the same roles that ballpoints fill today. Being inexpensive, the holders could be imprinted with advertising and given away, and steel pens (sometimes called "bank pens") could also be used in banks or other public areas where "misappropriation" by inconsiderate customers would not represent much of a financial hardship.


Using these highly flexible points, writers of the 19th century learned to write in very stylized cursives and roundhands, which eventually led to the Palmerian script most of us here in the US were taught at school (some of us resisted!)

This inexpensive but very nice little set by Francesco Rubinato comes with a wooden holder and an assortment of vintage points, together with some sample pen alphabets, in a nice pasteboard folder. Each example contains a different assortment of vintage points. I found it in a local art supply store while on the prowl for Speedball pens.

This file last posted on:
2005-Jan-20 17:50:26 CST
MCMVIII, the red network