The Mentmore 46 X 2


Here’s a fine pair of Mentmore 46 pens, probably made a few years apart as there are notable differences between them. 46s came in three versions, gold-filled, sterling silver and what Mentmore calls Permobrite, which seems to be rhodium plating over I know not what – probably a nickel layer and brass, I should think. These two are Permobrite ones and they look pretty good.


I think the plating may be suffering a little loss on the grey one but the black one still looks perfect. The differences I spoke of are evident here. The barrel end is more blunt on the grey pen and the clip is a different shape. The black one is slightly longer, too, but that may not be a design change. Many older pens weren’t made quite identical, particularly where length is concerned.


Permobrite probably doesn’t really mean anything, in the sense of being a patented alloy or plating method. Other companies don’t use the term so it was probably a Mentmore trade name. The only other mention of it I can find is in the description of the cap of a Platignum ballpoint pen. It certainly looks good, with that bluish-white shine that you see on rhodium-plated white-gold jewellery. Even the lowest-priced 46, then, was quite a luxurious writing instrument by today’s standards. Goodness knows what a pen of this quality made from these materials would cost nowadays.


As a great admirer of the 46, I keep threatening to add one to my small collection of keeper pens. That black one is looking especially attractive…


3 thoughts on “The Mentmore 46 X 2

  1. apologies for resurrecting this one Deb, but having re-read your notes thought it might be of interest to share one or two observations on the ’46’.

    I’ve four examples of this model, with caps in Sterling, g/f, and Permobrite which are the three you mention. I’ve another with a metallic cap, but it lacks any wording on the cap, so unsure as to metal type but in view of the colour/sheen similarity suspect it’s another Permobrite just lacking the word. The caps on my Permobrite examples, have a hint of an almost gilt colour, which is attractive when in good nick but when worn they look tacky.
    All four of my 46’s are b/f, carry appropriate barrel imprints and have the more blunt rounded end and similar ‘short’ clips to your grey pen.

    But I’m intrigued mostly by your comments re your example of the longer, black pen, with a more pointed barrel end and differing clip and cap pattern which you say is also a ’46’.
    I have an identical pen, b/f in deep plum colour, and the barrel imprint shows ‘MENTMORE 69′.
    Unfortunately, it’s the only ’69’ I have, so unable to make comparisons with which to support the possibility that as mine is a ’69’ then perhaps yours is/was, since the imprint on mine seems to leave no possibility for suggesting it’s any another model from Mentmore. Is there a barrel imprint on your black pen?
    Judging by my examples, it would seem that the differences between the two models are many, and although not clear in your pix one of these is the substantial ‘step’ mid-way in the section of the ’46’, which is almost non-existent in the ’69’. The ’46’ also shows a large ‘flat’ area under the section, which doesn’t occur on the ’69’.

    I hate to be contentious, especially when you have what appears to be identical boxes showing ’46’ for both pens, but am surprised by the array of differences between my 46 and 69 such that they could be interpreted as being the same model.

    Appreciate you are probably knee deep in renovations:), but interested to hear your thoughts some time.

    Paul S.

    1. Hi Paul,

      There is something you have to understand. I’m a pen seller. I don’t keep those pens. They are not there for me to consult after all this time. That said, the pen was a 46. They varied quite a bit throughout the period of production.

      1. thanks Deb – oh, I couldn’t be a seller – just hate to part with my finds:):)

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