I’ve written about the Swan 3160 before but this pen makes it necessary to write about it again. 3160s are fairly common – as the cheapest of the Swan range I expect that they sold in considerable numbers. They’re great pens to write with but they are not my favourite to restore because of the screw-in section which can be awkward. I’ve never seen the benefit of a screw-in section in a lever fill pen.
Anyway this pen is special because of the nib, which is a gently oblique stub with some flexibility – a truly lovely nib. I’ve had many Swan stubs over the years but this is the first one by Phillips of Oxford.
Perhaps this nib was a replacement for one that was damaged, or it might have been that the owner had a yearning for an oblique stub and had his nib changed. As it has “Phillips Oxford” on it, we know that the nib would have come from Mr Brown who took over Marrians the nib makers and supplied Reg Phillips. It’s not impossible that this pen was made up from a barrel and cap which was part of the stock that Phillips took over when Mabie Todd went out of the fountain pen business, effectively a “new” Mabie Todd Swan 3160 from around 1960.
The information comes from Stephen Hull’s magnificent The English Fountain Pen Industry 1875 – 1975.