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Mabie Todd Swan ED. 18Ct Gold Bands. c.1910.

Regular price £225.00

The Mabie Todd Swan 3000 series was the original Swan 'Size 1 pen', introduced in 1879.  From 1900 Mabie Todd expanded the number system to describe the pen style and nib.  The nibs, made in New York, were either 'long' (flexible) or short (firm), and came in 4 widths: broad, medium broad, medium or fine.  The pens were either plain or 'mounted' (various bands.)  According to the key provided by Mabie todd in 1900, to assist customers in their choice of pen this pen is a 'Swan 3201', a mounted size 1 pen with a medium broad, short nib.  

Manufactured in hard rubber, known as 'Vulcanite', this mounted version features two solid Gold, 18Ct. bands.  The bands are 8mm. wide and are stamped 18Ct., hallmarking was not compulsary at the time and many pen manufacturers preferred their own mark.  Although it would be close to sacrilege to remove them it is worth noting that they are probably around a gram each in weight and today's price for 18Ct. Gold is £38.80 per gram, antique Gold probably a little more.

The pen, an 'eyedropper' (ED) filler, was in production until Swan launched the 'self filler' in 1920 but the 'over and under' feed, the slip cap, gold bands, and the presence of a twisted silver wire inserted into the feed suggest that this is an early 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 3000 series pens were fitted with an American made 14 Ct. Gold nib, this one is stamped 'NY', for New York and has an 'over and under' feed.  It is a 'short' nib, meaning relatively short tines, so not designed for flex but it does have a slightly 'soft' feel compared to most firm nibs. 

At 13.8 cm. capped and an impressive 16.6 cm. posted, the 3201 is a very long and elegant pen.  It is also vey slim, with a barrel diameter is around 9 mm.  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 pen is in exceptional condition throughout.  The chasing and imprints have survived well and there is negligable 'browning' of the surface, which has a deep shine. It is a very tactile pen, the hard rubber having a distinctive 'warm' feel.

Although the pen still fullfils its function admirably well, the Swan 3201 is an antique and 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.