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Mabie Todd Swan 1500 ED. c.1910.

Regular price £135.00

The Mabie Todd 1500, introduced in 1910, went on to play a major role in extablishing the Swan brand as the most successful pen of the Edwardian era. 

Manufactured in hard rubber, known as 'Vulcanite', the '1500 series' was offered as 'standard' and 'mounted'.  The mounted version, this pen, featured two gold bands on the barrel.  These were either 23Ct. gold plated or unmarked solid gold.  The bands on this pen could be either, they show no brassing or wear, even at the edges, where, after over a century some signs of plating may be expected.

The 1500, an 'eyedropper' (ED) pen, was in production for around a decade but the 'over and under' feed, the long slip cap, gold bands, and the presence of a twisted silver wire inserted into the feed suggest that this is an early pen.  A 1910 advert for the Swan range shows an identical pen.

The pen has been conservatively restored and tested.  The section, feed, and nib were cleaned and checked but the underside of the nib was only lightly cleaned as it is likely that a shine on this region may reduce adherence of ink to the nib.  

The twisted silver wire was a device to improve ink flow along a channel in the feed and a number of smaller channels on the inside of the section.

Although the pen was made in the U.K, all Swan 1500 pens were fitted with an American made 14 Ct. Gold nib, this one is clearly stamped 'NY', for New York.  It is an exceptional writer, offering a very responsive flex which gives good line variation with little effort.  a person with a decent 'hand' would enjoy producing some impressive results with this pen.

At 13.8 cm. capped and an enormous 17.6 cm. posted, the 1500 is a very long and elegant pen.  It is also quite slim, with a barrel diameter is around 1cm.  These dimensions would have suited the original purchaser very well as it would probably have been the first experience with a new fangled fountain pen after years using a similarly proportioned dip pen.

The hard rubber has taken up an even brown patina which I have made no attempt to remove, it is part of the character of a hundred and odd year old vulcanite pen.  The imprints, on barrel, cap, and section, identify the pen as a British made Swan 1500.

Although the pen still fullfils its function admirably well, the Swan 1500 is not suitable as an every day writer to be carried around but as a 'signature pen' for letter writing or just for the pleasure of using an item with such historical significance it is second to none.