Mabie Todd Swan 3172

The 3172 is among the least common of Swan’s 1950s pens. It’s a delightful colour and for once the description of the colour is accurate: pastel green.

Why did this pen not sell well? One must remember that the 50s was the decade of denial of colour – black suits or black morning coats with grey pinstriped trousers. Black pens of course. A man seen wearing pink in those days would have caused a riot and a pale green pen would have caused its owner to be viewed askance.

Enough with the 50s fashion, and on to the pen itself. It’s the same as all the other No. 1 nib torpedo pens apart from its delicate, pleasant colour. I’ve had one or two of these pastel green pens before and it seems that they hold their colour well, unlike the greys which can fade with a yellow tinge.

The pen has a firm Phillips nib. This is correct and may be either original or a replacement. Phillips of Oxford took over repair of Mabie Todd pens and ultimately received unassembled stock which they put together with their own-stamped nibs.

A lovely small pen, not suitable for the flex brigade but a very nice writer and of interest to the collector.

4 thoughts on “Mabie Todd Swan 3172

  1. Such an elegant pen…. Pity for the nib….. I’m one of those obstinate flex brigade types 🙂 … I don’t see the point of a lever filler, if the nib doesn’t flex…. It’s not worth the hassle 😦

  2. Does it say Blackbird on the Section? If so it supports the theory that this was one of Reg Phillip’s later assemblies.

    1. You posed a conundrum for me, Simon! That pen is sold, packed and ready to go. Must I tear open my packaging? As luck would have it, my photos of the nib were big enough and good enough to show the letters …BRD on the section so yes, it’s a Blackbird section.

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