A Bright Red Swan

This subject has already been covered in Fountain Pen Network but for those of you who don’t read that forum I’m discussing it here.

This pen went through eBay on Sunday and fetched a good price, though not as much as it might have given its rarity. It’s a very late-production Mabie Todd Swan and the only thing that makes it special is the fact that it is gleaming, Post Office red! There were, of course, later red Swans made by Biro, of much poorer quality, but this is the only bright red Swan of this type that I have ever seen.

The seller, radjiel, kindly gave me permission to use his photograph. He said that the pen belonged to a book keeper who used it for red ink. I understand that there is no model number on the pen. It would appear to work out as 3277.

Mabie Todd never ceases to surprise us!


11 thoughts on “A Bright Red Swan

  1. Very cool ! There’s currently a slightly darker red one on ebay ATM , it’s $174 , buy it now.
    I’m tempted, but I’d rather an SM2 or similar.

      1. I get sooooo annoyed with people that post potentially nice pens with horribly out of focus pics …how hard can it be …sheesh !

      2. It’s the close-ups that are bad in this set of photos. Either a camera or a cell phone with no macro function or a lazy photographer.

        I know a commercial pen seller who produces the most outstanding photos with an old, few-pixel camera. It doesn’t take much to make a decent pen photo. That said, I had trouble with light in this dark flat until PhotoShop showed me the way!

  2. the States pen in Rob’s link has been there for some months I think – again it’s not a common colour – the word terra-cotta comes to mind – and I think it’s a shade that we had up on FPN some while back – I could be wrong but it might officially be called coral. Alabaster is another of the scarce plain colours.
    Like Rob, I’ve been tempted to make an offer on the States pen, who knows, I might yet.

    I also thought this bright red one would go higher – though disappointed to hear it doesn’t carry a model No., but agree with Deborah – having checked Steve Hull’s listing of colours, that 3277 would likely be the correct model/colour designation.
    Trying to link this red one with the data on Steve’s list is not as simple as it might be, though those in the know on FPN do suggest this is a very late M.T./Swan production before they became Biro.

    I do have a pen of the same bright red colour – it’s a button bar – a design made originally by M.T. possibly some time in the late 1940s, although it was carried on into the 1950s after the company became Biro. It carries a Swan nib, but is devoid of any other markings or imprint, unfortunately. The 14 ct. nib has an imprinted duck (should call it a Swan I suppose, but it looks more like a duck), surmounting a D shaped breather hole, and a letter H imprint below the nib size No. 2. It also carries the 585 designation, which I’m told was a requirement for the States market.
    If anyone would like to see this bright red button bar pen I can send pix to Deborah if the lady agrees.

  3. P.S. for those who might not know ………….. it’s the last two digits of the model No. that indicate colour.
    I think first is shape, second is nib size.

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