No. 12 Safety
This pen is from the personal collection of Ariel Zuñiga - a generous contributor on FPN, seminal Montblanc collector’s books, and now this website. Watch out for a series of reviews of truly rare pens thanks to AZ’s generosity!
The Montblanc No. 12 safety pen was manufactured between 1922-28. The No. 12 was being made by the 'Rouge et Noir' (ReN) brand of the company earlier but once ReN was discontinued in around 1922-23, the No. 12 continued being made under the 'Montblanc' brand with the white star. Large safety pens were being made by Montblanc even earlier. I have seen a catalogue from c. 1912 presenting such pens, but the largest version was the No. VIII. Also, those pens did not yet have the cap top star logo which was only introduced in 1914.
This particular No. 12 under review is one of the earliest versions and was probably made around 1922-23 because of the imprint on its cap which was not found in subsequent production. The imprint says “Montblanc Niederlage Stöffhaas Hamburg Berlin” which I believe implies that this pen was made for distribution from the Stöffhaas branches in Hamburg and Berlin. Stöffhaas was the official exclusive MB retailer in the 1930s with outlets around the world. One often finds pens with this retailer’s name imprinted on the cap.
This is the largest size MB pen ever made! It measures more than 15cm posted!! Just look at it next to the 139 in the picture on the right! I have had the opportunity to hold a No. 12 and it is exceptionally large.
Collectible Stars I rates the No. 12 a 9 out of 12 in rareness. While it is not uncommon to find these pens for sale on eBay or from renowned sellers, the price quoted is quite astronomical - ranging from USD $ 10,000 to $ 20,000.
This No. 12 has a massive 14k nib with “trademark” imprinted on both sides, making it period correct.
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