inks and writing

Updated: Jul 10, 2021

Established in Paris in 1670 — when King Louis XIV was 32 years old — the Maison HERBIN initially specialised in the sealing wax, fine stationery and ink trade, and imported shellac from India.



The original J. Herbin was a sailor, and from his many journeys to India he brought back to Paris formulas for manufacturing sealing wax and inks.


special formula


Generations of remarkable people, from Louis XIV to Coco Chanel, have used Herbin sealing wax

Generations of remarkable people, from Louis XIV to Coco Chanel, have used Herbin sealing wax. It is renown as one of the highest quality sealing waxes ever made. Herbin's special lacquer formula improved the quality of the seals in adhesion and neatness, helping him to become famous throughout the kingdom. Herbin is the oldest name in pen inks in the world. "La Perle des Encres" (The Jewel of Inks") was created in 1700. "L'Encre des Vaisseaux" ("Ship's Ink") was produced at an unknown date before then.

In 1798, Jacques Herbin, the 4th generation family scion, relocated the workshop and commercial establishment to Rue des Fosses-Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois in Paris.



Victor Hugo


Herbin even developed a special black ink just for Victor Hugo

Herbin is the oldest name in pen inks in the world. "La Perle des Encres" (The Jewel of Inks") was created in 1700. "L'Encre des Vaisseaux" ("Ship's Ink") was produced at an unknown date before then.

In 1798, Jacques Herbin, the 4th generation family scion, relocated the workshop and commercial establishment to Rue des Fosses-Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois in Paris.

It was a time of tumult, discovery and industrialization. The French Revolution was ending, and Napoleon Bonaparte was beginning his ascent. This was also the time when steel nib dip pens began to replace quills for writing.

Herbin continued to develop new inks in the 19th century. They began production of India Ink (also known as Chinese Ink) in 1829. Their violet ink was the everyday color used by students during the Third Republic (1870-1940). Herbin even developed a special black ink just for Victor Hugo, one of the greatest French writers.



hand finished


Today, Herbin produces a range of beautiful fountain pen and calligraphy inks, writing instruments, gift sets and accessories. Herbin inks are made in France, and the finishing touches on the bottles are still done by hand in Paris.