Pelikan M620 Athens, M605 14K Fine, inked with Bookbinders Snake Ink Red-Belly Black

The blue-green-yellow banding makes for a very good looking pen. Though I expect to spend half my time trying to get the cap and body bands to align. Darn OCD.


The silver trim of the Athens allows me to use the full rhodium plate fine nib that came with my M605 Transparent White pen late last year. This nib is a nice wet writer.


Black must be the most boring ink colour that I own. No shading, no sheen, just a consistent black line time after time.


Pelikan M620 Madrid, M400 14K Broad, inked with Bookbinders Snake Ink Red-Belly Black

Yet another of my City series Pelikans makes its way back into rotation. Madrid features a marble effect pattern in red with black highlights and flashes of silver. Three other City series pens (Berlin, Stockholm and Chicago) also feature a similar marble effect pattern.

One feature of Pelikan pens is their nibs are very easy to swap, some even in this case can be swapped between models. This is a M400 sized nib in broad, it is very wet, too wet maybe and very stubby. 

Red-Belly Black is the last of my five Bookbinders Snake Inks to enter my rotation. 

Yes - I have had a very close encounter with said namesake snake. In my youth I lived in a semi-rural area that had paddocks with beef cattle. The paddocks were fenced with barbed wire but had a track through the pastures as a shortcut to the main road with my school and shops. The farmer had wrapped the wire so it was easier for people to step from one paddock to another. The constant traffic flow caused a depression to form in the earth on both sides of the step over. One afternoon as I was making my way home from school across these paddocks and as I was about to step over barbed wire I noticed something in the depression on the far side. Yep it was a large Red-Belly Black snake curled up. Consequently I took the long way home and to this day am always vigilant to check where I am going to place my feet in the bush. 

A very black black, from this wet broad nib. It is a black so no shading. I would like to see this up against some of my other really black inks such as Noodler's Heart of Darkness or Diamine Jet Black. A shootout for another day.

Bookbinders Online Snake Ink

I can't resist a bottle of ink or five, especially when the vendor is from the same city as myself.

The inks were delivered in 24 hours, very well packed in a box with tissue paper. Each ink bottle arrived in a hessian drawstring bag - very novel. My wife quickly grabbed the bags and I daresay she will find an inventive reuse for them.

Cute little 30ml glass bottles


Writing sample using my glass dip pen.

The Everglades Ratsnake scans slightly darker than the shade on the page, the others are quite close.

Initial thoughts:

These look like pretty good inks, they all shade except for the black (black inks rarely shade). They cost AUD$14.90 each for a 30ml bottle - not the cheapest but a fair price.

I think these are a good first release - I would be hoping that we see a few more colours in the future - there must be dark green or burgundy snake out there somewhere.