An Early Swan Eyedropper

I saw this pen for sale on eBay and it was the stub nib that attracted me. It turns out to be a ridiculously flexible stub. Never mind your Watermans and Wahl Eversharps (good though they are), if you want a really outstanding nib, look for Swans of the first couple of decades of last century.

Looking at the pen I thought it was early and probably a Mabie Todd & Bard. On looking more closely the part of the imprint that would have said either “Mabie Todd & Co” or “Mabie Todd & Bard” had been partially abraded out. The rest of the imprint is good so it isn’t normal wear. The space between “Mabie Todd” and “New York” is quite long, larger than would have been necessary for “& Co”. It’s my guess that this barrel was made when Bard was still part of the company. By time the pen was ready to be sent out he had retired so his name was removed. That would date the pen at 1907 or 1908.

Be that as it may, this is an exceptional pen. It lays down ink like a paintbrush and the combination of stub and flex makes for some very pretty line variation.

My assistant says, “I’d like to get my paws on that Swan!”


6 thoughts on “An Early Swan Eyedropper

  1. Deb, one can’t help noticing the giant gap between the tynes in your pic !!
    Is that a trick of the light, or could they be in need of a slight (bending down ) tune up ?
    Or….does it write perfectly, so leave the thing alone 🙄

    1. There is a gap there and it does write well, but I’ll be working on the pen before it goes up for sale. I’d done enough for the article but that’s not the end of the process.

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