What is a Dip Pen?

A selection of Dip Pens sold by Curtisward

A Dip Pen consists of a pen-like handle into which various nibs can be slotted to draw or write with. The nib is simply dipped into ink and transferred to the surface and has no internal reservoir or the facility to take cartridges.

The handle will usually have a ‘rose-fitting’ as shown on the dip pen in the foreground of the image above. Most nib brands use the same rose-fitting so Brause, Herbin, Manuscript, Kuretake, Leonardt and Cretacolor nibs, amongst others, will fit into these handles or ‘holders’. Mapping nibs are the only nibs that will not fit a rose fitting but these usually come with their own handle and sold as a Mapping Pen. The Kuretake nib holder is clever in that it has a fitting that will take both traditional drawing and calligraphy nibs and mapping nibs.

Reservoirs, that are clipped onto nibs to help hold more ink, are available for some shapes of nib. These tend to be just for calligraphy nibs such as the Brause Bandzug range. Drawing nibs do not usually have reservoirs that can fit them and must be simply dipped more regularly to pick up more ink.