A friend of mine gave me this previously unopened Parker Penman Ebony ink. Penman is an unfamiliar brand for me, being only used to Parker Quink. Turns out this was manufactured in the 1990’s and discontinued in 2000. The ink is really thick black. The luscious, pearly kind. It doesn’t show any shading and looks to be the darkest black fountain pen ink I’ve tried so far. It was initially marketed as a premier brand of ink, but since it’s highly pigmented, it got a reputation for clogging pens a lot. I would guess this is really a common issue for ink with a higher saturation of color. I inked up my Parker 45 (because it’s easier to take apart and clean if it does clog up) and took it for a spin. I must say, I really love how dark the black is on this ink. Really wonderful. My Parker 45 is a very wet writer, so it pairs up really well with the Penman Ebony. Because of its tendency to clog pens, I wouldn’t recommend this on pens that are hard to clean. I think I’ll also need to be very conscientious of cleaning up my 45 regularly while using this ink. I tend to agree with another collector’s take on the ink. Perhaps Parker overestimated the willingness of people to frequently change inks and flush their pens.
As the popularity of fountain pens declined, inks are being left unused for longer periods of time, unlike when fountain pens are the preferred writing instruments. More frequent use = more flushing and cleaning.
That, or pigmented inks are really just high maintenance. Either way, ermahgerd, it’s a gorgeous ink! Even after it dries up on paper.