I am indebted to Andrew Hooper who kindly indicated these interesting items to me. They are at present displayed on an auction site.
These are a dagger and a compass in the guise of fountain pens, and were provided for the use of undercover agents in World War II. Many of us will be aware of Platignum versions. This dagger pen was made in England but I cannot be sure of the manufacturer. The compass is placed in a foreign-made pen. Unfortunately none of the pictures actually show the compass. I guess that it is attached to the inside of the section.
They are an interesting insight into a not very distant world of espionage and sabotage. I can imagine that the compass would be immediately consulted by an agent parachuted into occupied France, for instance, but were the daggers ever used? This one looks capable enough!
The Platignum versions appear to have been made in that factory. This compass appears to have been added later to a normal pen. This hints at a Q-like technician in a room full of lethal gadgets.
Fountain pens are, of course, no longer expected to be in everyone’s pocket. The most recent lethal delivery system (that we are aware of) was an umbrella. It’s sad that fountain pens are even superseded as a means of killing people!
My apologies for the photos. I borrowed them from the auction site.
5 thoughts on “Not Fountain Pens”
Can’t imagine a pen clearly marked with “made in England” was a great undercover item for a WWII agent! 🙂
A very good point!
Unless it was an axis agent, I suppose…
It is reported that Mentmore (& it is a Mentmore) did produce such pens for the SOE however, it may also be a novelty letter opener.
The other ‘SOE secret compass pen’ is just a novelty pen. They are cheap ‘Foreign Made’ pens with plated nibs, probably aimed at boy scouts and the like. Not sure how a miniture compass pressed into the cap jewel can be very secret. I hope the person who paid £300 plus premium is happy with his investment.
If anyone wants a similar pen for £300 and no premium I’m sure that I have one or two knocking around!
Well, that came down to earth with a bang! Thank you, Peter.