The variety of Swan Leverless pens seems unlimited. There’s always another one never seen before, or so it seems.
This one has no number on the barrel but we could work one out for it. It’s Leverless and has a No 3 nib, so that’s L3 It has two barrel bands and a band on the crown of the cap, so that’s another 3. There’s no band at the lip of the cap, so that’s 0 but it might be 4, because these are not the usual bands but the “stacked coin” type. The pen is black so that’s 60, so we have an L330/60, or possibly an L334/60. I favour the former.
The shape of this pen suggests that it’s not quite the very first of the Leverless pens; new designs came along in 1935 and I think this is one of them. It’s comparatively thick and it’s a centimeter or two shorter than most Leverlesses of the period.
The clip stud once had more red in the mix; it has faded considerably.
Many of these thirties Leverlesses have Eternal nibs. They’re good nibs but I prefer a little flexibility and that’s what this pen has. I have yet to write-test it properly but it appears to be a semi-flex.
For many years, Leverless pens suffered at the hands of the ignorant. They didn’t work because they were re-sacced as if they were lever fill pens, and probably for this reason there were a few people who took every possible opportunity to disparage the Leverless.
Thanks to the Marshall and Oldfield book, repairers now know how to fit a sac in a Leverless so that it will work as it should, and the popularity and value of the pens has risen tremendously in the last couple of years.