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Mabie Todd Swan SF230 C. c.1925.

Regular price £185.00

Please note: This pen is reserved.

The Mabie Todd Swan 230 C was one of a new range of Swan pens introduced in 1924, it featured in an advert in the Punch magazine for Christmas 1925. This is shown in the photograph from Stephen Hull's excellent 'The Swan Pen' book.

It describes the pen as a:

'Size 230 C Self-filling "Swan" fitted with three 18-ct. rolled gold bands and clip.'

The price of 23/6 would have been a good chunk of a weekly wage, more than a full weeks worth for a manual laborourer in the north of England at the time.

The pen is often described now as a 'Swan SF 230', Mabie Todd only used '230' as the size of a self filling pen and, I think, the 'C' indicated the gold bands , or possibly a clip.  An imprint is just legible on the end of the barrel describing it as a '230 C  S-F'.

Constructed in smooth hard rubber with a wood grained ring at the top of the clip, the pen is in outstanding condition throughout.  The rubber has an excellent finish which contrasts perfectly with the 18Ct. rolled gold giving the pen a very striking, and unmistakenly, vintage appearance.

The pen has been conservatively restored to bring it as close as possible to it's original state, the only replacement part is the ink sac, the old one had long since solidified.  The worn, but legible imprints, are the result of honest use, not polishing.  There is a slight loss of plating on the edge of the lever and a 'narrowing' of a small section of the top cap ring which, on close inspection, appears not to be as a result of damage to the ring, it looks as if it has always been there, although I can't imagine why.

The 'self-filling' lever system is easy to use, works well, and takes up a good volume of ink.  The nib has a heart shaped breather hole, it is stamped:

SWAN 2 14Ct. Mabie Todd & Co. Ltd. Made in England

I'm fairly sure it says 'Made in England', but the bottom half of the last line is obscured by the section, this is almost always the case.  During restoration I prefer not to disturb a nib that has probably been in position for about a hundred years without reason to do so.  At the time Mabie Todd were using some New York nibs but I think this one is English.

The nib has relatively long tines, indicating that it may be flexible, and this proved to be the case.  It writes with a medium to broad line with a responsive flex giving good line variation.  In the right hand and with a little practice I'm sure it would produce very impressive work.  It's a pity my scrawl does it no justice.

When capped the 230 C is a fairly normal 14 cm. in length but when the cap is posted on the barrel it is an outrageously long 17.8 cm., seven inches 'in old money'.  It's a very tactile and hugely attractive pen, really quite splendid!

 At almost a hundred years old, and in such good condition, this is clearly a very collectable pen, it has age, rarity, quality, and condition.  Although I obviously can't recommend that is should be carried around as an every day writer, I do think that pens such as this should be used and even shown off, that's the joy of owning one.

If you are interested in this pen, please don't hesitate to get in touch.  I will be very happy to answer any questions and provide further information and photographs.