This 1927 advert for “The Mottled Swan” shows an enviable pen, probably the SF230/61, so I’m drafting this with my SF230. Unfortunately it isn’t mottled; it’s black hard rubber (somewhat faded) with GP barrel and cap bands. A beautiful mottled Swan for 15/-. That’s 75p! Oh for a time machine! Those pens are very expensive today, even unrestored. They are much sought after – and rightly so!
This is one of the more direct Swan adverts except for the logo at the top, combining a stub nib and two swans within a rather abstract surround. It also lists all the Mabie Todd addresses of that time.
There are a number of other adverts on this page from Punch: there’s Spinet Large Oval Cigarettes, “Soothing as an Old Time Melody” and Orient Line Cruises by the 20,000 ton SS Oronsay and Otranto, to the Mediterranean. There’s also the “Hardy” Angler’s Guide and Catalogue and consultations with Dr Brighton, suggesting that a holiday there is a cure for all ills.
Going back to the pens, the late twenties and early thirties seem to have been the very best of Swan pens though the company produced excellent pens before and after. The SF range and their immediate successors combine a particular elegance with comfort and practicality.