This Blackbird 5245 was made at a time when the smaller Swans and these Blackbirds looked very like each other at first glance. The shiny, plain black ends on the Blackbird are a clue. Blackbird quality has always been high for what is seen as a second-string brand. I would say that in terms of quality there is no difference between Swans and Blackbirds. The only real difference is that Blackbird nibs are thinner – and shorter on some models though not this one.
I saw this pen on offer in eBay. It was low priced because the nib was quite severely crumpled. I decided that it was worth buying because the rest of the pen was very good and the nib was special, an oblique stub. You don’t get many of those in Blackbirds. Though there was a chance that the damage to the nib would be too great for me to repair I took a chance on it.
When the pen arrived I was very glad that the barrel and cap were as good as advertised but I didn’t hold out much hope for the nib. It had been dropped on a hard surface, creating a severe crease below the breather hole. The tips of the tines pointed in different directions. On the good side the nib was intact with no cracks.
I got down to work with my set of nib tools. These allow pressure to be exerted both on the concave and convex aspects of the nib. It took quite a while – more than an hour – but as I managed to return the body of the nib to something approaching its original shape the points of the tines drew together. Though the crease remains in a much reduced state it doesn’t affect how the nib writes. It has been restored to a very pleasant oblique stub with a decent amount of flexibility.
It’s likely that the nib will require some finger adjustment at the write-testing stage but I’m pleased with how it has turned out.