I’ve written about the Spot pen before and outlined its history. Mentmore tend to be rather dull, worthy pens with unyielding nibs but the Spot brand seemed to allow the company the freedom to make an altogether more interesting pen. There were true ripple pattern pens, something no one apart from Waterman made. The one I wrote about before was a thirties pen in the style of the Balance.
This is an earlier pen, perhaps the first half of the twenties by its appearance. The black chased hard rubber remains black, quite unfaded, and the engine turned pattern is sharp enough to cut you. The tolerances are tight and everything fits together just as it should. It’s a beautifully-made pen and it wears its years very well.
There are a couple of very interesting things about this pen. First, it has a box lever and a swing pressure bar, just like a Waterman. So far as I am aware Mentmore didn’t use this system on other pens. That’s something to think about.
Then there is the unfaded black hard rubber. Some of the finest pens – Onotos and Swans – often fade badly. Others remain as black as the day they were made. Far from the most costly pens having the most durable black some of the cheapest nineteen twenties pens are the ones that remain dark and shiny. I’m thinking of those anonymous pens with threads on the end of the barrel to receive the cap. Why is this? Are there different black hard rubber recipes with some having more durable colour?
Yesterday I wrote about Paul L’s Pitman pens. If you look at this photo there is a striking resemblance between the College pen and this Spot. That’s kind of interesting too.
We are fortunate indeed that the glorious Spot box has survived in such fine condition. Often the box would have been pitched in the trash but this one has been kept and treated with care. It’s one of the most attractive pen boxes with its leopard and its bright colours.
Spot pens are highly collectable and much sought-after. This wonderful example is surely bound for a collector’s display cabinet. It’s a delightful writer but some pens really do need to be preserved.
Many thanks to Paul L for the photos and information on this lovely pen.