Here’s the pen I was waiting for, a Swan Leverless with an Eternal No 2 nib. I have a list of Swan patterns but there are gaps in it and this one’s not there. I would call it brown and gold with cream veins. Anyway, it’s a stunner and I’ve never seen this pattern before. The only detraction, and it’s slight, is a professionally engraved name on the barrel.
I almost didn’t get it. In fact I got it for what I had bid, less about a couple of quid. It isn’t so very long ago that when a pen of this quality came along it was going to reach somewhere in the £70 to £80 mark. Now, not only have prices gone up, there’s no kind of pattern to them. What sells for £90 one day sells for £160 the next. That makes it hard to know where to place your bid. You can’t arrive at a ball park figure. Ebay pen sales isn’t a ball-park any more; it’s a space without limits, populated by slightly crazy buyers. I’m not saying that this pen was overpriced – I don’t think it was – but, for instance, there was a red marbled Conway Stewart 15 in unrestored condition that went for more than seventy quid last week. That’s bordering on the lunatic. 15s usually go for around £30, and this one was just a run-of-the-mill example.
Be that as it may, I spent quite a while this morning studying that pattern.. You could lose yourself in it. Mabie Todd’s patterns outshone all the rest.
This is one of the earliest Leverlesses, from 1933 or 1934, I believe. The name that’s on the barrel is “Chas Gyford” – not a name that’s commonly seen. I did a search and came upon a likely-looking Charles Gyford. If that was the first owner he didn’t get to enjoy his pen for long because he popped his clogs in 1938.