Fancy Platignums

When Mentmore created its sub-brand Platignum in 1929, the intention was to provide an inexpensive pen with a steel nib. Mentmore regarded its steel nibs as the equal of any gold one and so they may have been, for a time, but those nibs have not lasted well nor, indeed, have many of the pens. To be fair, they were not alone in that. A combination of the steel and the inks of the times destroyed most such nibs over time.

The first Platignum owners were probably quite well-served and the pens were good value for the small amount of money they cost in comparison with the market leaders. Countless children went to school with a Platignum and it was not until later, the nineteen-fifties and sixties, that they became the subject of subsequent complaints.

There was a period in the thirties and perhaps into the forties when pens made from very beautiful celluloid were issued under the Platignum name. At first it was only the pen and pencil sets in very decorative boxes that were seen as collectable, especially in America. A very colourful collection could be amassed for little outlay.

However, as it has become ever more difficult to make complete collections of more expensive pens, these brightly-coloured Platignums have attracted more attention as individual pens. There can be problems with shrinkage and loose cap rings so it is worth searching for the best examples.

Thanks to Richard Dorkings for photographs.

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