James Bond Shooting Pen

James Bond Shooting Pen

The story begins in an anonymous hotel room when Pentrace reader Willis reports a pen sighting while watching the Bond movie “Never Say Never Again” on TV. With the details posted on the message board, our intrepid agent 007 (jeff Peirce) who was monitoring communications that night, reports back with the information that the pen is in fact a Mont Blanc 149 (old style) with a Union Jack flag on the barrel. He is also able to confirm that the very pen is now in the possession of “M” (Mike Mihlberger of Office&Things).

Flying down to “M” the following day, 007 records images of the pen on a special disposable camera and arranges for “Q” (jeff’s son James) to digitize and compress the images and relay them trans Atlantic to Pentrace HQ in Ireland.

Unbeknownst to our agents, the evil operatives if ISP were conspiring to thwart the successful transmission of the images, but reckoned without the resources of 007 who, having battled with the system many times before, had arranged for duplicates to be sent by both “Q” and agent 006 (Brian Nelson). Despite several dastardly attempts by the evil email operatives, the images were digitally enhanced and safely transmitted to the website for examination by international pen experts…

The movie “Never Say Never Again” was not one of the “official” Bond movies. It wasn’t directed by Cubby Brocolli and didn’t feature the famous opening theme or shooting sequence. It saw the return of Sean Connery to the role of Bond after many years in what was in effect a remake of “Thunderball” with a twist. The villain was Fatima Blush (Barbara Carrera) and it was she who met her demise on the end of a rocket-propelled by the MB 149 shooting pen, leaving only a pair of smoking spike heels behind!

It is unusual for a person with the refined and educated taste of Bond to carry a fountain pen with a gaudy flag emblazoned on it, an image more suited to a British seaside resort souvenir shop, but the props people obviously saw nothing wrong with redecorating the precious resin. Another Mont Blanc was employed in the film “Octopussy”, this one a Solitaire with a listening device in the removable blind cap. The Solitaire was filled with a concentrated mixture of nitric and hydrochloric acids, a combination which can be approximated by mixing equal parts of Penman Saphire and Private Reserve Tanzanite.

“M” displays the pen Union Jack pen from time to time in his shop but refuses to sell it or even quote a price. He was given it by Mont Blanc in the early days, and it is certainly a great conversation piece. Even better is the fact that it remains within the pen community and is not lost in some back-lot prop store.

Many thanks to Mike Mihlberger for allowing the pics to be taken and published here, to James Peirce for the technical work, Brian Nelson for the backup support, and most of all to Jeff Peirce who was both Producer and Lead Cameraman.

To end on a quote from the film:

“We’re not allowed to give endorsements.”

Bond to Fatima Blush, who insists that he put in writing that she was his greatest love.

Next time you’re asked to check your MB 149 at the door, you’ll know why!

The Story Of Sumgai

The Story Of Sumgai

The name Sumgai has by now become synonymous with the dread nemesis of all collectors, the cause of “the one that got away”. Of course, the real dark secret of Sumgai is that we all get a chance to be Sumgai ourselves sooner or later. As a wise fellow once said, “we have met the enemy, and he is us”

Well, it has finally happened, yet, as I relate this tale, be warned! In true Lovecraftian fashion, I am certain that It is still out there, somewhere, biding its time, awaiting the moment in which to strike again… It had been a poor couple of days, lots of looking, stopping every few blocks or so, to root through antique malls and shops, only to hear the same sad story. It had been here….. The dark and malignant presence of the evil demon of pen collectors, Sumgai. I heard the same terrible story from a hundred dealers.

“Oh, yes, we had a bunch of pens, one big old red colored one, and one was all silver. But Sungai was here yesterday and bought them all.” It was truly horrible, the devastation that had been wrought upon this area. I quailed under the knowledge that I was too late, I had missed my chance to save these pens from the grasp of Sumgai. It was as if It was everywhere at once, through some awful porthole to another dimension It came, snatching up the pens, never to be heard from again.

I began to despair of finding anything, so as I turned towards home, I was of a mind to pass by the gleaming new antique mall. But then a sixth sense warned me. I vague feeling of something calling to me, deep within the recesses of my mind. I stopped and pulled into the parking space that was suddenly there, right in front of the door. I went in, and for the first ten minutes, it appeared as if It had been here, or if there had just never been any pens, to begin with. Then suddenly, I saw them! A case with about ten pens in it! I looked wildly around for a clerk, certain that It had already gone to find one and was on Its way back to buy them all! But no, I found one, and she opened the case and laid them out on the countertop! Four Vacumatics, and a couple of 51s.

The Vacs were all priced the same, $125. There was a tooth-marked black standard, a green demi, a brown standard, and… A brown Oversized! The 51s told the same story, both priced the same, $50, a plain beaten black one, and a Signet capped double jewel. This was the time for action, swift and certain action! At any moment Sumgai could stroll through the door, and there was no telling what It might do when It found out I had beaten It at Its own game! I offered $150 for the Oversize and the Double jewel 51. No doubt glad to have helped in the defeat of Sumgai, the dealer agreed! I had triumphed!

As I drove away, I thought I saw an awful form materialize and slink into the store. It seemed that there was a horrible cry, but I couldn’t be certain, I had the radio turned up…

This article was originally published in Stylophiles.