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Last Updated 02/02/2019 07:19:52
From Subject - Books About Pens

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Pen, Inks, & Evidence

A study of Writing and Writing Materials for the Penman, Collector, and Document Detective

By Joe Nickell

ISBN 0-8131-1719-4

Publisher: The University Press Of Kentucky

Publishing Year: 1990

1St Edition

1St Print

Language: English

Book Format: Hard Cover

Book Dimensions: 22x28.7 cm

228 Pages



“The centuries-old art of handwriting is practiced daily by millions, yet few have any idea of its history or that of the tools used in writing. In Pen, Ink & Evidence, Joe Nickell traces the development of writing and writing materials from the ancient cuneiform tablet to today’s ball-point-scribbled memo.

Nickel demonstrates not only how ink, paper, pens, and pencils have been manufactured and used over the centuries, but such ancillary activities as learning calligraphy, cutting quill pens deciphering old scripts, detecting forgeries, identifying watermarks, dating ink bottles, and reading faded manuscripts. He also traces the development of autograph collecting, describes how to identify inks, and offers sidelights on postage stamps, early typewriters, mourning stationery, fountain-pen-fillers, and the evolution of the desk.

Richly illustrated from the author’s own collection, the book includes photos of historic inkwells, traveling writing kits, pens of glass and gold, ink-eraser knives, quill cutters, paper-weights, letter openers, pen racks, and sealing-wax melters, as well as documents ranging from valentines and genealogical records to secret messages.

Pen, Ink & Evidence is an essential text for calligraphers, archivists, literary scholars, historians, genealogists, collectors, document analysts, teachers of handwriting, and all others with an interest in writing and its accoutrements through the ages.”



"I greatly enjoyed this book which has extensive descriptions and illustrations, tracing the development of writing and writing materials fom the ancient cuneiform tablet to today's ballpoint scribbled memos.
Co-authored by Charles Hamilton, world-famous historical document dealer, document detective and forgery analyst.

This material is well presented covering writing tools from the quill, steel, gold and glass pens. Everything pen/ink related such as pen wipes, holders and accessories. Well organized history of inks, ink containers, it's histories and properties. The history of paper and paper making, watermarks, stationery seals, cards and envelopes. The history of the written forms, penmanship and I found especially interesting examining historical documents for fakes and forgeries. Black and white illustrations through out are extensive illustrating all aspects. His bibliography alone is a valuable source of materials for further study.

I highly recommend this book.
Another fascinating book by author Joe Nickell is Detecting Forgeries & Forensic Investigation of Documents."
As originally rewiewed by Len Provisor on



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