If you look back through my blog you will see that I have written several times about the gold-filled overlay Swans. They are not uncommon as they were ideal gifts for all sorts of occasions: birthdays, Christmas, graduation, retirement. For that reason they often appear with interesting personalisations. Some are plain, others have beautiful engine-turned patterns.
Though so far as I am aware no identifying number was assigned to gold-filled pens the pen under the overlay was recognisable. The Safety Screw Cap eyedropper filler was used up to the mid-twenties, thereafter gold-filled pens were based on the SF2, the Swan Minor 2 and smaller ring-top versions.
I believe (correct me if I’m wrong) that before World War II all these overlay pens were made in the USA. Despite the companies in USA and Britain being separate stand-alone entities a relationship remained.
This example is in very good condition and the presence of its original box adds to its appeal and value. I would date it to the late twenties or early thirties and it’s based on the SF2. As an aside, all the gold-filled pens I have seen seem to have had No 2 nibs. There may be bigger ones but they have not come my way. The pen has the usual stepped clip, a handsome feature, and the large ball end sets the clip off well. The engine chasing is enough to draw you in, in appreciation of the pattern.
Several years ago I used to buy these gold-filled pens for around £40 – £60, believe it or not! Since then their price has rocketed and I don’t believe I could afford one now. That’s a pity because I believe this is one of those instances where price has exceeded value. Years ago I was selling them to customers who had every intention of using them – they’re often great writers – but at today’s prices I think they are likely to be collectors’ pens.
I’m delighted to have the chance to feature this delightful gold-filled pen, to add to my previous posts about them. Many thanks to Paul Stirling for the photographs of his lovely pen.