Blackbird BB205B/45

In the late 1930s Mabie Todd made a range of small pens with stepped clips – or rather, two ranges of pens, because there was the Swan SM range and the Blackbird BB range which were practically identical, except for imprints and nibs. The only other difference was that, so far as I know, the Swans were self-coloured or snake or lizard-skin and the Blackbirds were marbled.

This is an example of the Blackbird version, but one that has been used well and has had a repair or two. The clip is a replacement, and it has a Swan No 1 nib instead of the Blackbird original. I could set this pen aside and wait for the correct clip and nib to come along in the fullness of time, as they undoubtedly will. However, I’m going to sell it as it is. These pens don’t fetch a particularly high price even in perfect condition because they’re small. The alterations that have been made obviously don’t affect the pen’s writing characteristics, which are very good. The Swan nib is an upgrade, after all.

It’ll make a fine daily writer for someone. Sometimes a pen is just a thing to write with…

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