Mabie Todd Swan Leverless 1060

I searched my previous posts and was surprised to find that I have never written about the Swan Leverless 1060 despite having restored many of them.

It’s a comparatively large chunky pen, measuring 13.5 cm capped. This is a 1950s pen, by which time Mabie Todd had given up using brass threads. The filling system comes in for some criticism on the pen discussion boards but it’s actually unjustified. Serviced properly the Leverless takes a good draught of ink and is notably convenient and clean to refill.

This pen has a very good Swan No 4 nib. There is a spoon-like depression at the tip of the nib, just before the tipping material. It thrusts the tip of the nib forward and upward giving an excellent writing angle, like some Sheaffer nibs or the Macniven and Cameron Waverley dip nib. I’m not sure when Mabie Todd began and ended making nibs in this way. One cannot really predict which pens will have this style of nib. I would be pleased if every Swan was fitted with this truly excellent nib.

Taking all its attributes together, the 1060 is one of Mabie Todd’s best post-war pens. Despite being quite expensive it sold in considerable numbers and we are fortunate that many have survived.

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13 thoughts on “Mabie Todd Swan Leverless 1060

      1. I just hope they stick to the style they had instead of mucking it up like other’s who make a comeback under the old name seem to not do. And Apparently the new MT company will just be doing limited editions.

  1. can certainly vouch for the smoothness of these spoon tipped nibs – I’ve a No. 4 with this feature, and it’s creamy smooth.
    Re body shapes ……….. obviously I’m missing something, as I’m struggling to see the difference between the 1… series with pointed (Balance type) caps, as showing here, and what appears to be an identical shaped pen under the 4… series, also with pointed caps ……… all leverless.
    Unfortunately, I don’t presently have any pens from the 1…. series – perhaps if I had same in the flesh I might see the difference.

    Not that I would know from personal experience – far to uninformed for that – but I’m not aware of a flat top, with medallion, being given the 1… series designation (which I had understood to be allocated only to those models with pointed caps like the pen shown here. Is this ‘other’ pen shown on the John Brindle list – I did look but none the wiser:-)

  2. Mabie Todd’s UK nibs were supplied by William Marrian. It is believed that they also supplied nibs to Waterman’s (hence the problem with Swan & Waterman supplied warranted nibs). I wouldn’t be surprised if they made De La Rue’s nibs too.

  3. is that an issue Peter? :-):-) – uniformity can sometimes be a blessing:-)
    I’d assumed your comments about a ‘problem’ implied some physical defect – but don’t believe that’s what you meant – though most collectors prefer the nib to also carry the same name as the pen – possibly since WARRANTED, on some brands, often means a replacement nib. This can detract from originality:-)

  4. We all play the game ‘Who made that?’, usually with third party products, but even, occasionally, with the larger brands. As Deborah said, all manufacturers could copy each other, and to an extent did but why would they when they were producing down to a price? Just look at Lang’s, a major third party producer and see how they mixed and matched using existing designs. Equally most of the fittings were made by the same Birmingham manufacturers, so warranted nibs could give an additional indication of who made the pen. Warranted nibs pose a particular problem in that the manufacturer is missing and were often fitted as a replacement but if there are sufficient numbers with the same period nib it is fair to ask if that is the original? Nib manufacture was a specialised job and there was a limited number of manufacturers and nib imprints. After looking at too many E-bay pens it is possible to start drawing conclusions as to whose nib it was and whether it is original. So it is a bit of a problem when different manufacturers use the same nib along with fittings and designs. But it keeps us guessing. Nobody is right. All we can hope for is the balance of probability!

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