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One Step Beyond (the ordinary, that is)

Most of you that know me or have dealt with me in the past, know that I buy, sell, restore and service vintage fountain pens. What some you may not know is that I have a decent collection of my own vintage pens that are not for sell.


I started BillsFinePens with basically one brand, Esterbrook. I like the feel of those pens, the colors, way they write and the variety of nibs available for each writing experience. I went from using the pens I had to trying my hand at restoration. Those of you that restore pens or have tried in the past, know that lever fill fountain pens are a pretty good place to start and Esterbrook seemed a good pen to start with. But, I have already run off on a gambit as restoration is not what this blog is about.


My interest has gone beyond Esterbrook and now have a pretty decent personal collection of Esterbrook, Parker, Waterman, Montblanc and many other, not so well known pens. The Not-so-well known is what this blog is about.


My first choice, and keep in mind these pens that I will be talking about each week, come from my own personal collection, is the Mentmore Diploma made by the Mentmore Manufacturing Company in merry old England. The company started making pens in the early 1920's and continued to do so until the early to mid 60's. They made pens often under other names including Platignum which continued to be made until 1960. Legend has it that during the war companies were asked to contribute what they could of their unique expertise to the war effort and Mentmore was asked to manufacture pens. Not just any pen, but pens that could carry maps, compasses and even secret agent stuff with poison darts. True???? I dont know but they made nice pens.


The Diploma was made around 1952 or so. The one shown in the photographs is black with gold trim and a Mentmore 14ct gold nib. It is a button filler and still draws a respectable .4ml of water or ink, if you prefer.


I love pens and I love talking about pens. If you are interested in a new or vintage Esterbrook or many other vintage brands of fountain pens, mechanical pencils and even bullet pencils, visit my website at www.billsfinepens.com Great Fourth of July sale on 7-3-22 and 7-4-22.

Until next time remember:





Life Is Short, Buy A Fine Pen And Write In Cursive, YOU DERSERVE IT.



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