Mabie Todd & Bard Eyedropper

Here’s a gold-plated Mabie Todd & Bard Swan eyedropper. It’s not mine, I’m sorry to say. I’ve had one or two of these in the past but in nowhere near as good condition as this one. We know that it is before 1907 because that’s when Bard left Mabie Todd.

From what I can see of it – and I understand that the photographs were taken under difficult circumstances – is in very good condition with just some plating loss on the section.

What’s the date and what’s it worth?

13 thoughts on “Mabie Todd & Bard Eyedropper

  1. Very nice pen. As this is plated, then there won’t be any hallmarks but as a best guess I’d go with 1900 – 02. If only I was clever enough to know that from experience it might be good, but have to say I’ve cheated somewhat and looked in Lambrou’s book ‘F.Ps of U.S. & U.K.’ (page 179) – there’s a fairly close match showing there, with a guide date of c. 1900.

    this looks to be an over/under feed, and I could be wrong but the over part looks to have its tip missing – the missing plating can be replaced quite easily.

    The nib point looks unusually broad, hope the tip hasn’t been broken away.

    I wonder what the prize is for the winner of this competition – hope it’s not another Jinhao – perhaps it’s a M.T. ;-):-):-)

    1. I have other photos that show that there is plenty of tipping material. I agree with your date.

      For clarification, this one’s not a competition. Just looking for opinions. For competitiions I only do Jinhaos. Or maybe a Wing Sung.

    1. It’s hard to say with any accuracy. That particular pen sold for £70 but that was seven years ago. Checking completed eBay sales, no similar pen has sold in recent times. Early gold filled Mabie Todd pens go for £140 or so these days. The Mabie Todd and Bard version would probably go higher, given age and rarity. Condition is everything though.

  2. Hello Deb,
    I’m reviving this interesting Blog as I not only have an interest in early MTs and MT&Bs but a while ago came across a real oddity which confounded what I’ve accepted as dates for MT&B.
    I have an old example of a similar MT&B ‘The|Swan Pen’ in what I believe is the ‘wave chased double scroll’ pattern and which dates to around 1900. But then I came across a silver pen holder for a chatelaine which nicely accommodates the old MT eyedroppers with overlays. The design is almost identical to the MT&B chatelaine pens that you can see on rare occasions, and it carries a full set of Birmingham hallmarks with a maker’s mark MT&B (I cannot find any other maker that used these initials, not even for London or Sheffield), but the date letter is for 1912, which seems very late even for ‘old stock’, as I’m sure that I read somewhere that England dropped the ‘Bard’ a year after America.
    A great Blog!

    1. Hi Mario,
      We come across these anomalies from time to time. Bard was dropped from the company name in 1907, so far as I remember. Perhaps someone picked up an old die. Your chatelaine holder sounds very nice.

      1. Hi Deb,
        I’m pretty sure that it must be something like that. The piece is certainly very interesting, but sadly has suffered a little over the years and now has a few dints. These don’t often appear and I would have sent you a photo but couldn’t see how.
        All the best and a great 2020 to you!

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