Diamine Monboddo’s Hat intrigued me from the moment I heard the name and saw the colour, but I have too much ink already, so it took a while before I caved in and bought a small bottle of it, and then a while more before I had the chance to use it.
Ever since Lamy Dark Lilac made its appearance a few years ago all dark purple inks have been judged against it, perhaps unfairly. There is more than one shade of dark purple in the world, and in any case unless you’re really set on trying to replicate Dark Lilac’s hue there’s really no need to create that comparison. Let inks stand for themselves first, and then let people know how close they are to an ink they may own or look to purchase.
Diamine Monboddo’s Hat has a delightful name and was made in collaboration with the Fountain Pens UK Facebook group. Diamine’s collaborations have all been interesting so far, and this one isn’t different. Monboddo’s Hat is a reddish leaning deep purple with a green gold sheen that can easily be slipped into office use rotation without anybody noticing. I have used Tomoe River paper to bring out the most of its sheen and shading, but even here it’s not a wild ink.
It’s hard to get the lighter hue of the ink to show while writing, but I made a quick sketch which shows the colour variation Monboddo’s Hat has:
Use Tomoe River paper and tilt it a bit to see the greenish-gold sheen this ink provides.
You can see the sheen on the top row here. Looking at the writing without tilting the paper makes them just look like an almost black purple.
It was fun doodling around with this ink. Here’s a closeup on all that Monboddo’s Hat has to offer:
The sketch was done using a Nakaya fine elastic nib. Where I put less pressure and moved the nib faster you see the lighter shades of purple and less sheen:
I used a fine brush to draw this flower, and a drop of water to show that Monboddo’s Hat isn’t waterproof or water resistant (nor does it claim to be):
Sheen on display:
Regardless of if it’s a good substitute for Lamy Dark Lilac or not, Monboddo’s Hat is a wonderful ink that is worth buying. The shade is dark but still vibrant, the sheen adds interest and pizzaz, and it’s a lot of fun to draw with if you have that inclination. Being a Diamine ink it’s also affordable and easily obtainable, with the added plus of being part of a welcome collaboration between a very old brand and a very modern community.