An Interview with Pavoni
The Fountainpen Network (FPN) is where I learned my most important lessons on identifying vintage Montblancs, dating different models, estimating their rarity and value, and just appreciating their engineering and design. Here you will find many generous and kind members wholeheartedly sharing the knowledge and experience they have gained over years and even decades. Pavoni is one such member and his contributions through three FPN threads were a great inspiration to me as a budding collector. I strongly recommend a visit to these threads --> An Enthusiast's Collection, An Enthusiast's Appreciation, and An Enthusiast's Collection - Part 2.
But, I had questions! So, I asked Pavoni about his favourite vintage pen brand, favourite models, and more. Read below...
From L to R - 139, 138, 136, 134, 132, 236, 234 1/2, K 232, 232, 334 1.2, 333 1/2, 332, and two 432 Stylos.
Wartime models with the etched cap bands, instead of the typical cap rings.
The first time I saw a Montblanc in the flesh was at University - a student friend of mine told me his father gave him the pen. I am unsure why but, from the very moment he (reluctantly) gave me the pen to look at (probably a MB 144), I was hooked. I was seduced. I bought my first modern Montblanc - a birthday present to myself about 25 years ago - a MB 145, which took me a long time to appreciate because it was such a poor starter from the moment I wrote with it. I put it away in a drawer for about 5 years, before bringing it out, flushing it and then enjoying it as I should originally have been able to do. I bought my first vintage Montblanc in an old junk shop in Budapest - it was a battered MB 432. This must have been around 2009. Irritated that I couldn't fix this stylograph, I accidentally found and ended up joining the Fountain Pen Network (FPN), from where I was lucky enough to find the brilliant Max Schrage, who had worked for Montblanc in Hamburg for over 40 years. He repaired the MB 432 and slowly but surely my introduction to vintage Montblanc pens became a little obsession.
I am naturally attracted to history and, having worked in the retail industry for 36 years, I was fascinated by Montblanc's history. The Company started in 1905, two years after my own employer had started and as such, it was fascinating for me to note the number of casual similarities between the two companies that had so captivated me and pushed me to learn more.
From L to R - 139, 138, 136, 134, 132, L71, L72
The rationale for my Montblanc collection is well documented on the FPN and I now consider it complete. I have some 12 modern pieces, 18 pieces from the 1950s and some 41 pieces from the 1930s and 40s. The vintage part of my 71 Montblanc collection is my favourite part. I find it hard to describe to someone the feeling I get from holding one of the 13# series. These are magnificent writing instruments that were once so popular, so ubiquitous. I feel privileged to own them and as such, I treat them as my very special friends. And because I treat the pens well, I feel they enable me to write well.
Whilst I also have a Soennecken, UHU, De La Rue Onoto, and Conway Stewart collections, I also have a few pens from Pelikan, a Nakaya, a Platinum, a Visconti, a couple of Parker pens, Kaweco, Waterman, Swan, Wahl Eversharp, Conid, and Desiderata and a Ford Patent pen. However, my pride and joy is my vintage Montblanc collection for the reasons given.
A few 23x pens, and three 334 1/2 pens at the right end.
Mixed lot from the '40s and '50s
From L to R - 138, 139, and 149 (1950s)
From L to R - 139, 149 (1950S), 149 (2010), 136, 146 (1950S), 146 (1985)