Montblanc No. 2S Safety

This pen is from the personal collection of Marcwithac - a generous contributor on FPN and vintage pen collector with exceptional taste!

The brand name "Montblanc" was registered by the Simplo Filler Pen Co. in 1910, making this No. 2 safety one of the first MB pens produced between 1910-14. Collectible Stats I rates this pen a 10 out of 12 in terms of rarity, with an estimated 25 pieces or less available today.

Notice the absence of the Montblanc star on the cap top. This is because the star was only introduced in 1914, before which the Montblanc line had full-white cap tops and the Rouge et Noir line had full-red cap tops. The idea of coloured cap tops was patented by one of the founders of the company - A. Eberstein (link to patent). The patent states that the coloured cap top indicates to the user which end of the pen must be held up in order to avoid ink leaks. Further, the patent states that the cap top can be interchanged based on the colour of ink being used, and that is why some blue and green cap tops were made but they are rare to find today! I guess this idea did not catch on - it sounds clever, but it might not have been practical to expect the average user to take the initiative to have several cap tops lying around and match them with their ink change each time.

The cap on this pen has a gold lip. This wasn't part of the original design. It was probably made by a jeweller or repair person in order to restore a crack. There are many examples of old hard rubber safety pens with such gold-filled, gold plated, or real gold overlay work used to stabilize a damaged cap. It is rather beautiful if you ask me!

Advertisement from c. 1911.

"Best safety fountain pen; A suitable nib for every hand"

The nibs on early Montblanc pens were produced in the U K and US. Montblanc made nibs in-house only from 1913 onwards. Considering this, the No. 2s here should have "Simplo Pen Co" or at least "Simplo" imprinted on its nib because that was the company's name at the time. Instead, the nib pictured here is a "Montblanc 2" nib from the 1920s - elegant, but not period correct for this pen. 

Advertisement from c. 1912, printed in Collectible Stars I

This old advertisement from c. 1912 positions the No. 2 model as "Damenhalter" or ladies pen. This was because of its relatively small size. Larger pens were typically positioned for men, as we see with the No. 6 here that is advertised as "Herrenhalter". 

Notice that each size from No. 1 to No. 7 has a short and long version. The 2S under review is the long version, measuring 14 cm capped. I thought the "s" in the model meant short, but I was wrong. What do you think it means? Tell us in the comments section.

For bibliography, see Resources page -->link

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