Quill Pens

Post Comment

I am in the midst of updating the J. Herbin website.   J. Herbin, as many of you know, is a company founded in Paris in 1670 by a sailor, M. Herbin.   La Societe J. Herbin has manufactured inks since 1700–over 300 years.   Its black ink – “Perle Noire” is almost as old.   Louis XIV, Napoleon, Victor Hugo, Coco Chanel  and many other remarkable people   have used J. Herbin inks and sealing wax.

Because of our rich  connection to history, I am planning to  include links to  related companies, organizations and craftspeople that prepare a complimentary product to J. Herbin sealing waxes and inks.   These include seal makers, calligraphy guilds and associations, and quill makers. paul

I had the pleasure of meeting Virginia craftsman, Paul Terban, at a Washington Calligraphers Guild event several years ago. He makes exquisitely fashioned inkwells, and also prepares and cuts nibs for quill pens. Terban and Company supplies period writing tools to pen enthusiasts, artists, calligraphers, writer,  Civil War reenactors, and prop people for films.

His handcut quill pens include goose quills–the most popular–and even porcupine quills!   I vaguely recall that some quill pens are made from swan feathers, but I have no idea where they can be found.

Visit Paul’s website here. Another source for quill pens is Lewis Glaser Quill Pens in Charlottesville, VA. (no website)

An interesting historical footnote: According to the Supreme Court Historical Society, 20 goose-quill pens, neatly crossed, are placed at the four counsel tables each day the U.S. Supreme Court is in session; “most lawyers appear before the Court only once, and gladly take the quills home as souvenirs.”   This has been done since the earliest sessions of the Court.

2 thoughts on “Quill Pens

  1. The Goose-quill pen thing at the Supreme court is interesting.
    So…they’re still doing this today? fascinating. I wonder how nice they write. Personally, I prefer metal nibs myself, I’ve used a quill carved from a goosefeather before, and although it was probably meant more for show than use, it just felt too bendy and didn’t hold very much ink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.