A John Neal Books History Lesson: Hunt 108

A John Neal Books History Lesson: Hunt 108

History Lesson: Hunt 108 Crowquill Nib

In the Nib Nook of the John Neal Books warehouse you will find boxes, cubbies and racks filled with thousands of nibs! One of the nibs that has always been there is the Hunt 108 Crowquill Nib.

Hunt 108 Calligraphy Nib

The Hunt 108 is a crowquill nib with a moderate flex and bronze finish. This nib is capable of incredible line variation with the right pressure, producing elegant hairlines and healthy swells.

It holds a surprisingly large amount of ink for its small size, and can handle lightly textured papers better than most extra-fine nibs.

Here is what fellow calligraphers have to say about it:

“I ordered just about every nib so I could really test things out and see what I liked. This is definitely a favorite. It’s bigger in size for a crowquill nib, which means it holds more ink. It’s also extremely flexible, so huge amounts of contrast can be attained with varying pressure: from some of the finest hairlines to super thick chunky marks. Definitely consider adding this one to your collection.."  - Tumble

“Excellent flexibility - good line weight variation” -Jean 

"The #108 can produce super fine hairlines, and also nice wide shades with light pressure. It also has a surprisingly large ink holding ability and isn't as scratchy as some other superfine nibs. It works best on very smooth paper. Now that there is an inexpensive oblique holder for the #108 that holds the nib at a lower angle to the writing surface to reduce scratchiness, perhaps more people will try the nib."  - Dave

Who is Hunt?: Speedball’s Rich History 

In 1899, the C. Howard Hunt Pen Company began making steel pens. A few years later, it was sold to George E. Bartol. Years later, Hunt began working with Ross F. George and William H. Gordon to created the Speedball A Nib in 1913, the first broad-edge lettering tool of its kind. It was nicknamed “Speedball” because of the efficiency of the pen, which cut working time in half. Speedball has continued its tradition of making high quality nibs, and manufactures many of our best sellers.

Vintage hunt 108 nib flyer

This ad was slipped into many of the boxes of nibs to provide
instructions for customers as well as to promote one of the
original Speedball Textbooks.

If you filled out this coupon, you could get the book for just 25 cents! 

(Coupon is no longer valid, but we can dream, right?

Hunt 108

Tips and Tricks:

This nib is recommended for intermediate to advanced calligraphers. To master, you need a steady and light hand. Here are some tips to get you started:

1.Use a crowquill holder, such as the Hunt #102 Crowquill Holder. Crowquill nibs have a unique shape that requires a special holder.

2.Use a very light hand - do not press down too hard.

3.If the twines of the nib get twisted because of too much pressure, flip the pen over and gently press the backside of the nib into your paper to align the twines.

4.Play around with the nib, test the different line weights and what kind of pressure is needed for each.

5.Don’t be afraid to try or make mistakes! This may be a totally new nib style for you, and as they say, practice makes perfect!

Example of Line Variation:

Create an amazing piece using the Hunt 108? 

Send an email to  enews@johnnealbooks.com

and we will add it to our blog post about this nib!

Shop Hunt 108 Nibs

Sep 22nd 2023 John Neal Books (Source SpeedballArts.com)

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