Mentmore 46

I have to admit that I’m a little traditional (some might say hidebound) in the type of pens I like. I don’t care for hooded nibs – too modern for me (even though the design is older than I am). I find shiny metal caps a bit flash and in poor taste. I don’t buy pens like that intentionally, but you never know what’s going to turn up in job lots, which is how I came by this strange beast:

It’s a Mentmore 46, made around 1950. There were two versions, one with a silver-coloured cap at 17/-, and this one with a gold-filled cap at 25/-.

I stripped it down to find that it’s a much more traditional pen than it at first appears. It has a normal, if small, nib and a ladder feed. It’s a button filler. As usual with Mentmores the button was a swine to remove, but I have my methods. I fitted a new sac and reassembled it.

I have to admit (there’s that phrase again) that this turned out to be a much better pen than I expected it to be. It’s very well made, with sturdy components and good machining. It writes very well. It may be a little odd-looking, but no more so than any other hooded-nib forties or fifties pen.

The cap, with its clear engraving on the clip, is much less blingy and tasteless than many of these things are. All in all, if I saw another one at the right price, I’d buy it.

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About goodwriterspens
I restore fountain pens, and used to trade as redripple52 in eBay. I also have my own fountain pen sales website, www.goodwriterssales.com

15 Responses to Mentmore 46

  1. jevvv says:

    Any idea where I can get one of these? I used one at school, but no longer have it – I miss it!

  2. Hi Jevvy,
    I’ll be listing this one for sale on eBay UK on Sunday. My eBay nick is redripple52.
    They don’t turn up very often. Either there weren’t all that many sold or they haven’t survived well.

    Regards,
    Deb

  3. Drew says:

    I am the proud new owner of such a pen, and will be restoring it shortly. What size sac did you use, and do you have any tips for removing the button?
    Thanks!

    • Hi Drew,
      Congratulations! They’re good pens. I re-sac so many pens that I’m afraid I don’t remember which takes what sac size – either a sixteen or an eighteen.

      Unlike the later Mentmore and Platignum buttons which screw out, this is a completely traditional button, the same as you would find on a Parker. You just have to pull it out. If it won’t come out, wrap it in rubber to protect it (a piece of bicycle inner tube is good) and pull with pliers. Good luck with the restoration.

      Best regards,
      Deb

  4. Shari says:

    Hi, I have one of these pens on ebay. Listed it for a friend. Can you tell me all about it please? Are they worth alot or not? Whar to find out about it etc?
    Thanks,
    Love pens but a novice. Any help would be appreciated.
    Regards,
    Shari

    • Hi Shari,
      I can’t tell you much more than I have already written. The Mentmore 46 is one of a group of pens that aimed for modernity with a version of the hooded nib that the Parker 51 made famous. It was moderately successful – they’re far from rare – and well made. Demand for these pens isn’t high so they’re hard to put a value on. Depends who’s in the market when you’re selling one. I doubt it would go higher than £40 on a good day.
      Regards,
      Deb

  5. Philip M. says:

    Hi Deb – I’ve just bought a very nice gold-filled 46 on ebay for £30. I have also downloaded a copy of a 1949 Mentmore advertisement that is headlined “Here’ the Star” and gives the prices for the pens as: Rhodiam Plated Permobrite Cap 30/-, Sterling Silver Cap 50/- and Gold-Filled Cap 60/- (so £3 quid for the gold which was a tidy sum in the late 1940s).

    • Hi Philip,

      That’s a good price for the gold filled one. They were quite expensive pens when they were issued but the quality is really high and they would have remained in use forever if they hadn’t been overtaken by ballpoint pens. I’ve seen that advert, I think.

  6. Philip M. says:

    Correction to above – should be ‘Rhodium’ – a bad case of ‘fat finger’.

  7. jevvv says:

    Hey Philip- you beat me on the auction! 🙂 Glad it’s going to someone who appreciates it.

    I’m still hoping to pick one up here in EnZed, as shipping from anywhere else in the world is a shocker. They’re my favourite fountain pen – I love the weight

    • Philip M. says:

      Hi – sorry to disappoint you – I hope you have luck with other pens in NZ. I’ve seen some 46 pens on sale from Oz but on close inspection the caps didn’t look in great condition with wear particularly to the clips. Interesting that quite a few of the Mentmore pens the UK guy was selling over the past couple of weeks needed new sacs – so more expense to get them into good working order. The gold 46, fortunately, is complete.

      • jevvv says:

        I’m not too bothered about the clip wearing, as I’ll be using mine as my everyday pen, when I get one I’m happy with. For nostalgia I’d love one with a silver cap, since that’s what Dad’s had. I realise I’ll probably need to re-sac whatever I end up with.

        Hope you get lots of pleasure out of your new pen Philip 🙂

  8. Philip M. says:

    Hi Jevvv – the “46” arrived today – good looking as in the ebay photos but in need of a little clean.

    I took a soft white cloth and a small spot of Simichrome polish and began to clean the cap. What a revelation! – masses of black on the cloth and the cap now absolutely gleaming as just out of the box in 1946. A light polish on the body and she’s good to go. Filled with J. Herbin Perle Noire and writes beautifully with a fine to medium line. Quite a weighty pen as you know, but well balanced. Good luck with your search for a good “46” – it’s out there waving at you.

    • jevvv says:

      Sounds wonderful! Yes they are surprisingly weighty, and usually I go for lighter pens, but the balance! Any chance of posting pics on Instagram or Twitter or something? And that ink also sounds fabulous 🙂

      • Philip M. says:

        Hi – I don’t do the social media stuff and I don’t think I can post pictures on this blog, but if you send me an email to pmorgan@fircroft.demon.co.uk I’ll attach some photos by reply to you. The ink is excellent – French firm founded in 1670. Regards, Philip

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