No. 45 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!
This No. 45 Safety is a rare beauty made in around 1924-29. In 1924 Montblanc introduced the "Meisterstück" series which was intended to be the company's top-of-the-line offering. At that time, the pens were numbered based on their price. So, the No. 45 meant that it cost 45 Reichsmark (RM) which was the currency in Germany at the time. The smaller numbers meant that the pens cost less but also that they were smaller in size. The smallest pen in the line up was the No. 20 (link). And, the largest was the No. 45. This is a large pen by any standard!
Safety 45s are rare as it is, but this mottled red version is super rare - I have not seen it documented in Collectible Stars I even!
One very special characteristic of this pen is its sold silver snake clip which we do sometimes find on MBs from that time, but the original clips like this one are not easy to come by. Also, these clips came in skinny and not-so-skinny variants! See examples in this article -->link. As per CS-I the snake clip has never been offered in official catalogues, and so there is no evidence that it was a standard clip from Montblanc. However, it was made and sold on Astoria pens - a subsidiary of Montblanc - and so it is speculated that the clip might have been offered by retailers even on MBs if requested.
For bibliography, see Resources page -->link