It all begins
in 1670

It all began in 1670

Long-distance shipping is like an expedition, long-distance trade like an adventure story. Beginning over three centuries ago, discover the adventure of one of the oldest French wax and ink factories in the world

Through the centuries

As the years went by, the company expanded its product range, introducing innovations and registering brand names such as Encre violette des écoles de la IIIème République, Perle des encres and Encre des voyageurs. Numerous awards were won at the “great industry exhibitions” in London and Paris.


"Writing with pen and ink is much more than writing, it's giving body and color to our thoughts".


Jacques Herbin

founded in 1670

The birth of Jacques Herbin In 1670, when Louis XIV was 32 years old, the House of Jacques Herbin specialized in sealing wax and fine stationery. Located a stone's throw from the Louvre, in the district of the powerful Corporation des Marchands Merciers, of which it was a member, it traded with the Mediterranean and the Levant, and further afield with India. From Pondicherry or Mahé, the trading posts opened by the then flourishing Compagnie des Indes Orientales, Jacques Herbin imports shellac for the preparation of chancery wax and Indian or Chinese ink. It took six months to reach the Malabar coast, not to mention storms and fevers, the "Passage de la Ligne", the Cape of Good Hope, pirates and English and Dutch ships.

in 1798

A vision of the future In the last days of the Directoire period, the company took a gamble on the future and changed its commercial destiny: while continuing to trade in wax, paper and colors (pigments), it launched its own production of writing inks under the impetus of Jacques Herbin, a member of the fourth generation.

Until 1857

Two more generations of entrepreneurs perfected the manufacturing processes, acquired the know-how and refined the artistic line that still makes Jacques Herbin unique today: products with character, inks with incomparable light and nuance, born of long-distance sailing, distant hues and spices.

in 1823

During the 19th century, Jacques Herbin took part in major international exhibitions in Paris and London in 1823, where it won medals for the exceptional quality of its inks and waxes.

in 2021

The Jacques Herbin company was handed down from father to son throughout the 20th century. Under the Clairefontaine Rhodia umbrella since January 2021, Jacques Herbin continues to write a new page in its history with ink. Clairefontaine Rhodia continues to offer renowned products, starting with wax and fine art and writing inks made in France. These high-quality products have won over customers the world over, and continue to take them on a journey through time.