The Big One – The Swan Leverless 2060

This is the big one. Though it is said that there are No 9 nibs, and therefore one would expect that there should have been pens that would accommodate them, and there certainly are a few No 8 nibs, most of us will never see a bigger Swan than this, the Leverless 2060. It’s true that some earlier Swans were longer, but the girth of this pen together with the lump of gold that is a No 6 Eternal nib give it an unequalled presence. The 2060 had a short and constricted production run and is therefore comparatively uncommon. There’s a story to this one.

By 1939 the Swan range had undergone a redesign. They had become shorter and thicker.

They were streamlined with a flat top and they carried a form of washer clip under a black cap top dressed off with a gilded Swan logo. The barrel imprint had the Swan logo to the left of the four lines of information. This is the “Type A” imprint. The Leverless range contained, as well as the highly-esteemed plain black businessman’s pen, an array of lizard skin designs in blue, green, garnet and pearl grey. They all carried the “L” designation in the form L—/–, L212/87 being the blue lizard, as an example. Mabie Todd had a superb range of pens, and I think it can be said that this was one of the great high points of the company’s history.

In September 1940 the main production facility at Harlesden was bombed. Production stopped for a time until premises were found at Golden Lane, and enough equipment was scraped together to resume manufacturing though at a lesser rate.

These pens bear the “Type B” imprint, where the swan sits centrally, and their identification is truncated to four digits, as with my 2060. Production of these pens, and the cheerfully coloured lizards, continued throughout 1941 and 1942, in what seems like a minor but worthy act of defiance against the horrors of the Blitz and the increasing austerity of wartime. In 1943 the Board of Trade began licensing pen production and these models disappeared.

6 thoughts on “The Big One – The Swan Leverless 2060

  1. I have been after one of thesse for a while. One went on ebay recently but I missed it. I have an 0160 with the No2 nib and am looking for an 1060 with the No4 nib to complete the set. There’s no rush though. 🙂

    I have a 4660 also with the No6 nib, how does the 2060 compare in size?

    1. Hi Malcy,
      I struck it lucky with this one – £22.00! There were 9 bids in total but they must have been in penny lots.

      I think this pen and the 4660 must be pretty close in size – the 4660 has the same trim and is clearly the successor – but I haven’t seen them side by side.

  2. I just got one of these from a trade for one of my pens. Directly from the UK. Post factory bombing version.
    I absolutely love it. Yours and mine are the only two I have ever seen with the gilded swan on top of the cap. I usually see the caps with the swan missing and the screw head exposed. Is the gilding gold plate? Is the swan removable if I want to replate?

    1. Hi Ray,

      Good to see you here! Those are very nice pens. What nib do you have?

      Yes, you can remove the gilded swan. I’ve done it, very carefully, with a sharp needle. I start very tentatively, ready to pull back at once if there is any hint I’m doing damage. However the base metal underneath is quite strong and once you have it moving, you’ll soon have it out.

      1. I saw your reply for the first time just now while reading about your other Swans. Mine seems to be a stub possibly boarding on the broad side. I need to measure. In my previous comment, I asked about replating the gilded swan on the cap. Evidently, mine was just dirty. The plating is just fine. I also have the L212/60 with a beautiful gilded Swan and its plating is just as nice. I guess I got lucky!

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