MONTBLANC No. 12 ROUGE et NOIR "Goliath" Black Hard Rubber Safety Filler Fountain Pen
An extremely rare, fascinating and significant Montblanc "Rouge et Noir" No. 12 "Goliath" safety fountain pen, which can be considered the rarest iteration of the most desirable vintage Montblanc pen ever made. Black hard rubber, barrel imprinted "ROUGE ET NOIR / ORIGINAL PATT APPL", no imprint on cap, turning knob marked "12 M" with breather hole at bottom, rare horizontal knurled-style chasing to inner cap (this style was soon replaced by the more commonly seen vertical chasing), silver pin mounted inside of cap, large red captop star. Fountain pen length 153mm when closed. Massive 14K gold heart-vent nib engraved "SIMPLO PEN CO 12", wonderfully flexible, unrecorded and possibly the only surviving example of a No. 12 Simplo nib. Feed is slotted to accommodate the silver pin inside the cap. Fine to very fine condition, black hard rubber patinated and clean with just a few scratches, barrel imprint quite rubbed and only partially legible, captop star bright red and unblemished, nib lustrous, safety mechanism functions smoothly, section is glossy black. A phenomenal pen: huge, bold, charismatic and possibly unique.
"Rouge et Noir", introduced in 1909, was the first line of pens introduced by the Simplo pen company. Simplo's second line of pens was the "Montblanc" line, introduced one year later. Most collectors are aware of the Montblanc No. 12 "Goliath" produced in very small numbers from 1922 to 1928, but few have suspected the existence of the ultra-rare ROUGE et NOIR version produced circa 1910. The pen does not appear in Jens Rösler and Stefan Wallrafen's comprehensive guide to early Montblanc pens (Wallrafen Stefan & Jens Rösler. Collectible Stars I: Montblanc 1908-1947. [Cologne: 2014]). See p.32 for a listing of Simplo nibs from this era. The No. 12 Simplo nib is not listed as it was previously not known to exist at the time of publication. See pp. 50-51 for the two versions of the No. 12 "Goliath" pens known to exist at the time of publication (black hard rubber and red ripple). The unlisted ROUGE et NOIR is significantly rarer than either of these.