Swan Leverless L330/64

I had decided to keep the green Swan from my recent capture and I cannot keep them all, but I do admire this L330/64, certainly one of the finest of Mabie Todd’s patterns and very uncommon.

It is described by the company as brown and amber and that’s accurate though prosaic. It’s like the swirling colours of hot, home-made caramel, stirred in the pan. And there’s a reminder of dark, rich heather honey.

This is an earlier pen than the Swan L245B/62 I wrote about recently. Early to mid thirties would cover it, I think. It’s an exceptional design, even beyond the pattern. Harmony is created by the two narrow barrel bands and one at the top of the cap. It continues with the black turn-button, top of the cap and section. The top of the cap is also graced with a Swan outline in white.

The treasures are not over! The Swan No 3 nib is one of those with a breather hole we call a keyhole. It isn’t quite as keyhole-like as the Waterman one but as descriptions go it will do. In any case it makes for an exceptionally elegant nib.

It’s a splendid writer, having plenty of the flexibility that many like nowadays. It’s very smooth, just short of glassy and with the slightest pressure the tines spread and lay down an expanding line. Lifted, the nib snaps back to its natural line instantly.

Because the L330/64 is uncommon, bordering on rare, this pen may go to a collector who will never use it. I cannot comment on that; once the buyer has his/her pen it is no business of mine what they do with it. It may be that the collector gets just as much pleasure from viewing their pen as the writer does from using it. After all, it is a visual delight and an objet d’art from the swirling pattern to the milled bands.

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