The late fifties to the early sixties was the period of Conway Stewart’s greatest post-war success, and the choice they offered buyers then was positively bewildering. Unless the buyer went with a model in mind, it would take some time to work through the various colours, patterns, trim levels, sizes and shapes.
This model, the long and slender 73, is an exceptionally beautiful pen with opulent gold trim and a black stud to finish off the cap. It’s not particularly common today, and with its quite large No4 nib it was probably one of the more expensive pens. It sometimes turns up in a set with the No23 pencil.
Those that I have seen have either been black or hatched in burgundy, green or blue, like this example.
Though it’s largely lost to us now, the relationship between the various Conway Stewart models must have been obvious to the company at the time. Now we’re left to grasp at straws. For instance, the No 23 pencil was also paired in sets with the No36 pen. It has similar trim to the 73 with its narrow/medium/narrow cap bands. It’s about a centimetre shorter than the 73 and it’s noticeably thicker. In fact, the 73 looks like a stretched 36. Did the company make the 73 to be a more elegant and expensive alternative to the more popular 36?
I don’t know and I don’t suppose I ever will. It’s just part of the pleasant puzzle that was the Conway Stewart product range.