I felt the need to get out and about this morning, so I fired up my time machine and went back to 1952 to buy these two Mentmores.
In truth, it’s rare to see sixty-year-old pens in as good condition as these. A speck of wear on the lever of the black chased one, and that’s all. Along with a few other pens, mostly Watermans, these came from a well-cherished collection that’s being sold off.
Though they’re not the kind of pen I use, because of their (mostly) stiff nibs, I admire Mentmores. I think they may have suffered a little from association with their budget brand, Platignum, but in actuality they’re very sound pens, at least the equivalent of Conway Stewart or Summit, and, in the case of their button-fillers, a more efficient filling system than either. Users of modern pens take to them readily, because they tend to have a larger iridium ball, like contemporary nibs.
It may be winter now, but looking at the button-filler, with its glorious golds and bronzes, transports me right back to autumn. No-one else uses that celluloid. It’s quite exceptional; bright, warm and satisfying to the eye.
There may be a little less to say about this sturdy lever-filler, but I do enjoy good, sharp engine-chasing. This is a fine example.