The Swan Visofil was introduced in a fanfare of publicity in 1937 and it was clearly seen by the company as a major part of their future but it was not to be. Visofil production was a casualty of the Blitz, so far as I can tell, but it is instructive that whereas the company moved heaven and earth to reintroduce the Leverless and Self Fillers, the Visofil never reappeared. That may have been the government’s decision. They took control of wartime production and, across the industry, the emphasis was on fewer and more simple models. It may also be, though, that Mabie Todd were not entirely grief-stricken at the necessity to drop a model that was expensive to produce, fairly fragile, and had not reached sales expectations.
Comparatively uncommon now, the Visofil is eagerly sought after by collectors, and small wonder. When restored, it’s an excellent filling system, the pen comes in some of Mabie Todd’s most beautiful colours and the trim is decorative.
This is the smaller purse or vest pocket version in Italian Marble, a V111/59, I believe. It’s a wonderful colour mixture and unique to Mabie Todd, so far as I know. As well as in their prestige Visofil models, they used this colour, and some of the other Visofil patterns, in their low-cost Jackdaw school pens. The No1 nib is an oblique stub with some flexibility.
My thanks to Eric Wilson for restoring this pen.