No. 45 K-type Push knob Filler

This pen is from the personal collection of Joudenali. Watch out for reviews of truly rare pens from his treasure chest!

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In 1924, Montblanc introduced the "Meisterstück" series which was intended to be the company's top-of-the-line offering. The initial models were safety fillers and lever fillers, and then in the early 1930s the push-knob filler variant was introduced. These pens were numbered based on their price in German Reichsmark (RM), from No. 15 to No. 45. The original Meisterstück series came in safety filler, lever-filler, and then pushknob filler. Also, an "L" series was launched in the 1930s. This had a streamlined design - the cap top was long and torpedo-shaped rather than short and flat-roundThe "L" in its model name stood for luxus or luxury. Also, a "K" series (kurz or short) was launched, which closely resembled the "L" design except that the pens were shorter. I presume this size was marketed to ladies. The K series was available in in gold overlay, silver overlay, and colours like lapis, pearl, malachite, burgundy, and black, among others.

The No. 45 is a rare pen in itself. But, there is something even more special about the one under review here - it is the short or 'K' version of the No. 45.  Usually, the K series pens have a "K" imprint next to the model number on the blind cap. I have seen examples for the K20 and K25. But, the pen under review only has "45". This is a short pen, but with substantial thickness. This short version of the 45 does not appear in any reference books, nor in any catalogue of the time, and Joudenali claims that it is the only one known to have been found. Was it a prototype that did not go into production? 

This pen was made in Hamburg between 1931 - 1936 for the German market. We know exactly where this pen was sold because the store's name is imprinted on the cap. Montblanc would do this for special retailers. In this case, the cap of the pen bears the imprint "M Weidler Wien" which refers to Max Weidler Füllfeder Vertriebsgesellschaft - well known as the first stationery shop in Austria, founded in 1888 and running even today. Back in the day, its client's included royalty from the courts of Austria, Romania, and Bulgaria!

Weidler store today! Pic credit -> https://www.weidler.com/

The body and cap of colourful Mesisterstück pens are believed to be made of celluloid, but one particular advertisement from the late 1920s showing this series of pens in its lever variant asserts that "In keeping with our tradition of quality, we do not make pens made from cheap celluloid material that is flammable; our material is absolutely breakage and fireproof". Now, I don't know if this means that the material itself is not celluloid (maybe Galalith/casein) or if the advertisement simply implied that the quality of celluloid used by Montblanc was superior. In any case, the black pens like the No. 45 we have here, were made of black hard rubber. 

This pen has a beautiful 'teardrop' clip which is period correct. The push knob filling system on the No. 45 was known as Stoßfüller. It was advertised as being so convenient to use that it needed only a single hand to fill the pen. The barrel imprint of "DRP 508058" refers to the Stoßfüller patent.  You can read the entire patent here -> link

 

Finally, the No. 45 has a 245 18c gold nib with the early "45" imprint nib. The nib size is quite large, and in fact, it is the largest size in the series. But, notice how well it suits the thickness of the pen. 

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