DUKE Brush Multifunction
Introducing a multifunction pen from Duke, which can convert from a faux brush for Chinese calligraphy to a rollerball tip, either fed by liquid ink.
The lacquer-over-brass pen measures 5-1/2" capped, 6-1/2" posted with brush (or 6-1/4" with rollerball), and 4-3/4" with cap held aside (4-1/2" for the rollerball).
The cap band is encircled with cloisonné-style lotus blossoms, and opposite the clip is a raised silver representation of the bodhisattva Guanyin, the Chinese goddess of mercy.
Removing the slip cap (which re-seats with a secure 'snap) reveals the flexible calligraphy 'brush', fed by liquid ink. Made of a soft, sponge-like material, the faux-brush allows for the writing of traditional Chinese characters (or Japanese 'kanji'), with a fidelity as close to using a real calligraphy brush and ink stone as I've seen.
The characters shown in the photo were written by my wife, Lai Yee. Although the feel was slightly different from a real brush, she said, the faux-brush allowed her to control thick and thin lines, by varying the pressure applied (just like a traditional brush -- whether holding it with a regular western 'pen grip', or the more traditional Asian position, as shown here:
The pen also allows use of a super-smooth rollerball, fed from the same ink source as the brush. This is accomplished by unscrewing the pen's barrel, which exposes the metal ink reservoir. Although unthreaded, I found that pretending to 'unscrew' while giving a slight pull on this metal tube works best in separating it from the tip. This can be done to either exchange between the brush and rollerball tips, or to fill the reservoir from the included bottled ink.
The gift-boxed pen includes a bottle of specially formulated black ink, which was designed to work flawlessly with both the rollerball and the faux-brush. Just 4 to 6 drops, applied with the eye-dropper end of the ink bottle when the pen begins to run dry, allows for continual writing, measured as 400 meters worth using the brush, or 1500 meters worth with the rollerball!
The rollerball's metal tip allows for the most demanding writing, from the Sunday crossword puzzle to multipart forms. But, unlike the pasty 'ink' used in a conventional ballpoint, this liquid-ink rollerball provides for a smooth, skip-free writing experience, allowing for a quick note -- or an extended writing session.
The large gift box, in the shape of a book, has a faux crocodile finish to it. If you decide not to keep your pen supplies in the insert after opening, just pull it out and you have a perfect hiding spot for valuables on your bookshelf! (Shhhhhh).
IMPORTANT SERVICE NOTE: Every nib that ships from His Nibs is closely examined under high magnification and tuned or adjusted if needed. About 85% of modern nibs need some adjustment out-of-the-box from the manufacturer for an optimal writing experience. Most commonly, the tines of the nib are misaligned -- which would cause scratchiness at the minimum; the slit between the tines is partially or fully closed -- which would starve the nib of ink and at best cause skipping; or the slit between the tines is too wide -- which will either again cause skipping, or conversely, flooding. There are other factors -- such as separation of the nib from the feed -- that are inspected and repaired before any pen leaves the Palace.
The only 100% guarantee of course comes when the pen is actually filled with ink and written with for the first time, but our pre-shipping inspections and tunings have eliminated 99.99999 (my finger is getting tired) of the frustrations that a customer experiences when first using a new fountain pen. Although this can be time-consuming on occasion, it affords our customers a much more pleasant experience when receiving a fountain pen from His Nibs -- and saves us the frustration of dealing with returns!
Ordering Procedures & Returns
International customers, please note, we will not falsify shipping documents
Please send your order and shipping address (along with any questions) to:
We will email you back with your order total (PA residents please add 6% sales tax)
Credit cards, for the quickest fulfillment of your order, are accepted through PayPal, a secure site allowing you to use your credit card without us even seeing the information. If you'd like to make use of this credit card service, please let us know when you email your order and address, and we'll email you the appropriate Request for Payment, and instructions for the simple payment procedure (you don't need to join PayPal to use it).
If you would like us process your credit card directly instead, then please email us:
1. Card # (dividing this number in two, between two emails, will
If you'd rather pay by money order or check, kindly make payable to:
ship via insured Priority Mail
Warranties and returns
If an item proves to be defective, in most cases the manufacturer's warranty will apply. However, please email us first so that we can determine the easiest way to resolve the problem to your satisfaction. In the case of fountain pens -- which are a bit more individualistic than other writing instruments -- what may at first appear to be a defect (hard starting or poor flow for example), can in almost all cases be resolved with a few simple 'tweaks' to the nib, which we'll be happy to guide you through or perhaps suggest returning to us for adjustment.
Should you wish to return a non-defective item within 3 days of receipt because it doesn't suit you for some reason, again please email us and we'll arrange an exchange, credit or refund (minus any shipping/insurance charges), if the item is returned in an 'as new' condition. If you've dipped a fountain pen to try its writing characteristics, kindly clean off any ink residue prior to shipping -- to save us both a nasty surprise .
We want you to be happy with your purchase from HisNibs.com and hope to have you join the ranks of our many long-term, repeat customers!
Revised: March 11th, 2014