Unmarked Silver Overlay No. 2
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!
Safety fillers are a wonderfully intelligent filling system if you ask me. The nib unit rests inside the barrel when the pen is capped. After uncapping, a turning knob at the bottom of the pen is used to extend the nib unit and lock its collar against the section so that no ink can flow out of the barrel. Because of the fact that the nib unit is always submerged in ink, this pen was advertised as never suffering from hard starts!
This unmarked Simplo Safety pen was made between 1912-20. Notice that it has no cap, body, or tail imprints. As per Collectible Stars I, if a customer requested then MB would sell pens without any imprints on the barrel and cap. But, this was possible very early on and it is rare to find such examples.
The pen measures 13.5 cm capped. Its size 2 nib is period correct and made of 14 k gold. I love those heart shaped breather holes!
Adding to its value and rarity is the Silver 835 overlay on this pen. A few jewellers were known to make gold and silver overlays for MB back in the day - Maenner, Sarastro, and Fend. Also, gold overlays are often connected to Italian manufactured MBs. I have an Italian catalogue from 1926 that advertises a whole range of just gold overlays.
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