To my mind the absolute apex of the Mabie Todd production is the Minor of the 1930s. The flat-topped gently tapered shape is elegant and the celluloid patterns in which they come are some of the best produced by any company. The name “Minor” is a little misleading; these are big pens at 13.6 cm capped.
I saw an SM2/57 in eBay a few days ago and I was determined to have it. I last had one in that blue-bronze pattern in March 2011. It cost £48 then and I probably thought at the time that it came close to breaking the bank! The one I bought this week was well more than twice as much, but that’s what these pens cost now, in unrestored condition.
It arrived this morning and it lives up to my expectations. The colours are wonderful and the pattern gives the impression of great depth. One would not have thought that blue, bronze and black would go together well, but they do, to delightful effect.
Everything about the Minor comes close to absolute perfection. The inserted clip is a good design and the hard rubber lever blends in with the barrel much better than metal would do. The nib has a tilted tip, a specialty of Swans at this period which always makes a good writer. This one has some flexibility, perhaps semi-flex.
I have said before, about the SM range, that no better pen has ever been made. I reiterate that here. More than eighty years have passed since this pen was made and I do not believe it has ever been surpassed.
Sorry about the quality of the photos. I was unable to capture the colours of this beautiful pen as well as I would have wished