Swan 3250, Revisited

I’ve written about the Swan 3250 before but it’s worthy of further consideration. It’s part of that post-war series of pens that were fitted with brass threads. Soon after, that feature was dropped.

The colour is very dark. I have seen, in eBay listings, the pen described as black or chocolate brown. It is actually burgundy but it needs a strong light to really appreciate it. The plastic that the 3250 is made from appears to be especially hard and durable. The barrel imprint is invariably fresh and clear.

Strangely, there seem to be two versions of the 3250 – or perhaps three, if one includes the Calligraph. This pen, as the number would indicate has a No 2 nib. It also has two cap rings. But I have seen several – too many to be an error – with a No 3 nib and three cap rings, still bearing the number 3250 on the barrel. It’s just another of Mabie Todd’s numbering puzzles.

Mabie Todd’s major failing lies in the gold plating which wears easily. This example is pretty good; there is even plating on the ball end of the clip. The lever is slightly humped, and there is brassing at the high point.

These nibs are often flexible to some degree and this one is no exception. It gives appreciable line variation. The 3250 is a sound pen and one in good condition, as many of them are, will compete well with many much more expensive modern pens. It has a better nib than any modern pen, it looks good and is robust enough to outlast many present-day pens


3 thoughts on “Swan 3250, Revisited

  1. shouldn’t be critical – I’m a great lover of M.T./Swans – but this very dark burgundy seems neither one thing nor the other, though perhaps that’s the whole point, and maybe it was intended to be discreet and very non-bling. Though you only have to look at ‘the Hull classification of colours’ to see they weren’t really committed to quiet looking pens:-)

    I’ve three examples of the 3250 – two have brass threads and medium length levers, and the third has plastic threads and a noticeably longer lever and overall is 8 – 9 mm shorter than the brass threaded pens.
    Caps looks to be identical on all three – so just the barrel that differs.

    If I have a real gripe with these things it’s the difficulties encountered when trying to remove the stub remains of the intrusion clip when doing a replacement – often there’s so little of the clip to grip that removing the part from within the cap is a nightmare.

    ‘The Book’ remains on course for October.

    1. I can only assume that Mabie Todd knew their market. These pens are among the most common of their period. I’m not all that keen on the brass threads from a conservation point of view. Some of thse pens end up with very worn cap threads, and this can lead to the difficulty where the section becomes stuck in the cap. One answer is to shellac the section to the barrel (take note, Grandmia, this is the only occasion where I make such a recommendation!)

      Yes, that broken bit of an inserted clip can be a total son of a female corgi to remove. A job for a dentist, I think.

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