Yesterday was a Good Pen Day. Many fountain pens were restored and the postman brought this little gem:
It’s a Swan 200, perhaps the least common of the family of Swan eyedroppers. It resembles the 1500 quite closely. It has a Mabie Todd and Co Ltd. imprint on the barrel, which dates it to 1915 or later, but as it has a New York nib which appears original, it’s probably before 1920. Be that as it may, the pen’s not far off a century old, but it doesn’t look it. It’s completely unfaded, the black as dark and shining as the day it was made, and the machine patterning and imprints are pristine.
The high-shouldered nib is a No2, and it’s both oblique and flexible. The pen is a real delight to write with.
Over the years I’ve bought and repaired a lot of Mabie Todd pens. Sometimes I feel that there’s nothing new for me to see – but there is! I’ve seen pictures of the 200 before but I’ve never owned one, and that this one should be in such splendid condition really is the icing on the cake.
Today is write-testing day, along with aligning tines and nib-smoothing. I’m working my way through twenty restored pens, which will take all day.