Mabie Todd Blackbird Inks: Starling Purple

  • Where to buy: Blackbird Inks [Here]
  • Price: £5.95
  • Bottle size: 30ml
  • Price/ml: £0.20 (2dp)
  • Colour: Purple
  • Shading: Some
  • Sheening: No
  • Recommend?: This is going to be really bloody popular. A stunning purple.

Recently I have found myself down another rabbit hole, still in the pen hobby, but more niche. Mabie Todd fountain pens. Unfortunately, Mabie Todd ceased production, but now the brand has been resurrected and this begins with a line of inks: Blackbird Inks (to pay homage to Mabie Todd’s previous line of inks, Swan Inks). So to say I am really excited about this is an understatement as it brings new inks and new pens. I have an offering of six inks to review for you. These inks are made in England – operating in the same way Mabie Todd did back in the 20th century. The pens will also be made in England, which is why the release will be a bit later on because it’ll take longer to manufacture than outsourcing. Though, well worth the wait and stays true to the Mabie Todd brand that brought us the pen of the British Empire.

Mabie Todd Starling Purple fountain pen ink review

All the inks are named after birds, which is a great theme. You can buy the inks here directly. Links to independent reviews will be uploaded as and when they’re made – all links open in a separate tab. You can find the reviews here (all links open to a separate tab)-

Purples can swing quite a few heads, and rightly so. Purple is my second favourite colour, following blue. When I first put this ink to paper, I was very impressed and just wanted to keep writing because I enjoyed it so much. This colour is going to be very popular, I think. It seems that purples come in two camps – vibrant (Lamy Dark Lilac/Diamine Imperial Purple) or ‘dusty’ purple (Diamine Damson). What impresses me about this ink is that it seems to have the best of both worlds. I really like that. For that reason, I felt it important to get a number of comparisons:

Blackbird Mabie Todd fountain pen ink review Starling Purple Diamine Grape Visconti J Herbin Violette Pensee Lamy Dark LilacBlackbird Mabie Todd fountain pen ink review Starling Purple Diamine Tyrian Purple Damson

The way I would describe this colour is a mix between Diamine Damson and Diamine Grape. Slight vibrancy of Grape, while remaining dark like Damson, but also dusty (like Damson).

Blackbird Mabie Todd fountain pen ink review Starling Purple

The ink performs okay on cheaper paper. There’s not too much in terms of feathering or whatever, but you do notice a considerable amount of showthrough.

fullsizeoutput_18f2Blackbird Mabie Todd fountain pen ink review Starling Purple

Waterproofness (or lack thereof).


I think this ink has a lot of potential to become very popular and I hope that more people come to learn about this ink – along with others within this series as they are some really nice colours. As I said above – I love the dusty/vibrancy contrast that this ink is able to provide.


Disclaimer: I was sent this ink in exchange for an honest review. All views expressed are my own.


6 thoughts on “Mabie Todd Blackbird Inks: Starling Purple

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