A Large No-Number Swan

Swan turned out a lot of pens with no number.  I’m not sure why that should be the case.  Maybe they thought it wasn’t especially important, or maybe there was another reason, unfathomable to us now down the long stretch of years.

Despite the lack of a model number this pen can be dated to the war years by the centrally-positioned swan in the barrel imprint.  It’s a big beast, 13.8cm capped and of course there’s that trowel-like No 6 nib.  Though there are spots of wear here and there the gold plating is generally good and the pen is free of  cracks, scratches and bite-marks.




The gold Swan emblem on the top of the cap is unusually clear and clean.  The barrel imprint could have been done yesterday, so sharp and clear is it.
It’s big and it’s dignified in its solid black.  The three rings and gold Swan emblem reinforce this suggestion of opulence under reserve.  This is the pen of a man of status (and in those days it invariably was a man) to whom the distance from those under him was important and should be made evident.  It marked him out as a leader in just the same way as did his bespoke tailoring, his Rover,  or even Bentley did.

Of course we believe ourselves to be more democratic these days, but we still enjoy the craftsmanship of a surpassingly well-made pen.

5 thoughts on “A Large No-Number Swan

  1. Hello Deb,
    As always I read your blog avidly. A fantastic source of information.
    Could this be a 645 from 1937. I have one of those (doesn’t have a number as well) and this looks very similar from the picture (provided this is a self filler).
    Bear in mind my knowledge of these matters is limited. My main involvement is in writing with these great pens.
    Best regards,

    1. Hi Mehdi,
      No, it’s not a Self-Filler, it’s a Leverless. After production resumed following the bombing of the Harlesden factory, Swans were stamped with a “Type B” imprint with the Swan image set centrally, which is what you see on this pen. That dates the pen between 1940 and 1942 or ’43. Though it has no number, it follows the design of the 2060 in every respect. I’m afraid you’ve lost me with the number 645. 45 is grey pearl, but the model number would need another digit, like, for instance, 6345 which would be a grey pearl pen with two barrel bands and a band at the crown of the cap, with a No 6 nib.

  2. Hello Deb,
    Sorry I did not mean to write self filler. Mine is leverless. As far as 645 I tried to look up in John Brindle’s list and in Part Two A 645 is mentioned dated 1937. I was told by the pen collector who sold me mine that it was 645. The only thing is the position of the Swan which you say means that it was during the pen was made between 40-43. Perhaps I have just added to the confusion.

    1. I think that I’ve added equally to the confusion in forgetting about those 3-digit models, mainly because none of them have come my way. I don’t know how to make any sense of those numbers. However, I still think my pen is an unnumbered 2060, because of the barrel imprint.

      1. Hello Deb,
        I am really curious to know the outcome when you come to a conclusion about this model. I am no expert by any stretch of imagination. One thing I am sure of though, it is a great pen.
        Have a nice weekend.

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