Mabie Todd Swan 1500

The 1500 is the most common eyedropper Swan, the workhorse of the Edwardian period along with others that did not have the quality to survive in such numbers. They are perhaps unexceptional pens but are almost always lifted by their splendid New York nibs.

This example is well worn, a little faded and the chasing is only visible when the light catches it at certain angles. Barrel and cap imprints are still good, the pen holds ink perfectly without the necessity for smearing it with grease and the over-and-under feed is still in good condition. (It is worth stating, as an aside, that the threads on Swans are very rarely so worn that grease is required to hold ink. If the threads are thoroughly cleaned the pen is as ink-tight as when it was new.)

The lettering at the base of the barrel only informs us that the nib is broad but in reality it is stubbish with a slight tilt towards oblique. Ink flow is good and the pen writes very well.

When this pen was made, in 1910 and for a decade thereafter, design was still influenced by the dip pen. With a diameter of 9.25 mm this is a very slender pen. It is the 13.7 cm capped and a whopping 17.7 cm posted. Caps were still friction fit at this date but the screw-on cap would be the next major upgrade.


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