The last 4461 I wrote about had a No 6 nib shoe-horned in. The section and feed were correct so it may have been the factory making the best of what they had to hand. I thought it a real success. This is the 4461 as it should be, with a No 4 nib.
The very fact that Mabie Todd used black hard rubber at this date is an often-discussed puzzle. Here’s another one. Many of the BHR Swans of this date don’t fade easily, particularly the larger ones. I’ve had several around this size in shining, pristine black and they haven’t been messed about with any of the re-blacking preparations available these days. I’m not going to try to guess why this pen, like some others I’ve had, is so good. I’ll just enjoy it.
These pens were made without the brass threads of some of the lever fillers. I don’t really like the brass threads; they can wear their plastic counterparts and they change the balance of the pen, adversely to my mind.
With its narrow/medium/narrow cap bands and satisfying girth, this is a prestige pen, expensive and elegant without being excessive. It remains primarily a writing instrument and a very good one. It could be said of the larger Swans that their first purpose is to impress and I would find the uncommon No 8 nib awkward to write with. The No 4 nib is certainly big enough to be noticed but it doesn’t demand an uncomfortable writing angle.
Perhaps this pen’s owner moved early to Biro’s ballpoints and laid his fountain pen aside. There are very slight posting and capping marks, otherwise the pen is as it left the shop seventy years ago, complete with box and papers.