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Mabie Todd Blackbird Fountpen. c. 1911

Regular price £155.00

The Mabie Todd Blackbird Fountpen was the very first Blackbird to be produced, it was  introduced in 1911 after an article in the 'Stationers Gazette' stated that:

'Messrs Mabie Todd & Co., believing that there is a growing demand for a reliable pen that can be purchased for about 5s. have produced one named 'The Blackbird' to sell at that price'

This is the pen, a 1912 advert for the new Blackbird is shown in the last photograph.  The image shows the details, such as the feed and the imprint, clearly matching those on this pen.

The pen is an eyedropper filler, one was included with the pen when new.  It appears that the glass has survived intact for over a hundred years but the rubber bulb has solidified and broken at some time. The dropper was still in the box and is shown in the photograph, it will be included with the pen.

Made in hard rubber, the pen is in truly remarkable condition.  The chasing is sharp, as are the imprints, and there is no sign of oxidation.  The surface is unblemished and has the deep shine of pristine hard rubber.

The nib is the correct 'M.T. & Co.' 12 Ct. Gold No.2, note that it is 12, not 14 Ct. and doesn't have a 'Swan' or 'Blackbird' imprint, although the straight feed is stamped 'Blackbird'. The nib  has a little flex.

The barrel is deeply imprinted with:

                                                BLACKBIRD FOUNTPEN

                                           M.T. & Co. Made in England

Around the end of the cap is another 'Blackbird' imprint and 'Medium' is printed around the end of the barrel.

At 13.7cm. capped and an outrageous 17cm. when posted it is an extremely long and very slim pen.  Many of the original owners would have been used to using a dip pen so would have been familiar with, and more attracted to, a slim profile.  

The box and leaflet are in good, clean condition.  Given that the pen has not oxidised it must have been kept in the dark for much of it's life so it is reasonable to presume the box is original, the inclusion of the eyedropper also suggests this.

At well over a hundred years old, and in such outstanding condition, this pen would clearly grace any collection of English fountain pens.  Although it would also not be wise to use it as an every day 'routine' writer perhaps it would serve very nicely as a 'signature' pen to be used for letters, cards, and special occasions.

Quote from magazine and photograph of advert are from Stephen Hull's superb book, 'The Swan Pen'.