I think many of you will know that I never let a Swan SF 230 pass me by if I can help it. This one’s a 60, in other words black hard rubber. I picked it up for a song because of the inscription. Most people, it seems, don’t want personalisations on their pens, especially if they’re picked out in bright yellow! Me – I’m the opposite. A good, professional inscription makes the pen for me and gives it extra interest.
The pen just arrived this morning, hence its dull appearance. I haven’t begun to restore it yet. The pen dates to about 1925, and as it was given to R. Gwynedd Jones on his twenty-first birthday, he must have been born around 1904, plus or minus a few. What else does it tell us? Well, he’s Welsh, more than likely, with that name and he comes of a well-to-do family – this is an expensive pen. I hit Google and fairly soon had turned up two – or it might be one – R. Gwynedd Jones who would fit the description so far as age is concerned. There’s an author (or it might be two authors) who published Yr Offeryn – Ffars Mewn Tair Act (1953) and Y ditectif (1963). The first one seems to be The Instrument – A farce in three acts and the second – wild guess here – something about a detective. So is this our R. Gwynedd Jones, a mid-twentieth century Welsh author who – if my crude translations from the Welsh hold up – was also involved with poetry festivals and Eisteddfods?
The other R. Gwynedd Jones (it really doesn’t seem likely that it’s the same person) was a solicitor living in Pwllheli on the Lyn Peninsula in North-West Wales. In 1935 he was Clerk to the Justices, a good job for a lawyer just starting out, and in the same year in private practice he managed the winding-up of the South Carnarvonshire Farmers Association. So is this my pen’s first owner? Or may it have been that he was part of the slaughter of World War II? Or was he someone else entirely, who lived a long life of pleasant obscurity and never did anything noteworthy enough to hit Google’s indexes?
We’ll never know. I might hang onto this one though. I’ve always wanted an SF 230 of my own and this one is especially endeared to me by the inscription.