All pens serviced and tested. Full pre-delivery check, free U.K. postage and money back guarantee.

Swan Safety Screw Cap No. 4

Regular price £135.00

The Swan Safety Screw Cap pen was in production from 1911 to 1918.  An eyedropper filler, it featured a screw cap with an inner sleeve that tightened against the flared end of the section to give an ink tight seal, hence the name.  The New York nib and 'Swan No.4' imprint on the cap suggest that this is a very early version.

The pen is constructed in hard rubber,  the chasing is still clearly visible and the barrel and cap imprints quite clear. The surface is very good, it has the slight brown patina associated with hard rubber pens of this age, which is even and quite attractive. . Conservative restoration  principles are not consistent with abrading or reblacking this kind of patina, it is to be expected, and welcomed, after over a hundred years.  

The nib assembly was disassembled, on an old pen it is often wise to leave the nib in situ but as this is an eyedropper I thought it would be better to be certain that the channels in the feed were clear.  The nib is a 14Ct Gold size 4, the correct nib for a size 4 pen.  At the time Mabie Todd manufactured 'long' (flexible) and 'short' (firm) nibs, this is the flexible version.  It is clearly stamped:

'Mabie Todd & Co. New York. 4.'

The British branch of the firm would continue using New York nibs on some of it's pen into the 1920s.  This is a full flex 'wet noodle' nib, it writes with a fine line under virtually no pressure but flexes to an extra broad, snapping back to fine as pressure is released.  The test was performed with a full pen, it gives excellent ink flow allowing the nib to flex without 'tramlining.  Anyone with a decent' hand' would enjoy producing spectacular results with the pen.  

At 13.7 cm. capped and an impressive 17.3 cm. posted this is a long and elegant pen.  The very light weight was an important consideration at a time when the fountain pen was an essential tool which could be used for long periods without fatigue. 

At well over 100 years old the Swan Safety Screw Cap No. 4 is a vey rare pen and is not recommended as an 'every day' writer to be carried around in a pocket or bag.  It is, however extremely 'usable' in that it still does what it was designed to do very, very, well.  It is very tactile and comfortable in the hand and it is definitely a pen with a great deal of character, a great 'signature' pen.