A Gold Plated Swan Ring-Top

I like gold plated Swans and I used to handle a lot of them but prices have gone insane on eBay. Sellers set a starting price equivalent to that of a solid gold pen. They don’t sell, of course, but I can’t buy them either.

This ring-top started at a reasonable price and the seller was well repaid for a pen that needed restoration and I got a pen at a good price for me. Smiles all round. It’s 9.9cm long, capped, exclusive of the ring. The wave pattern is attractive.

As with all pens the main thing is the nib and that’s what’s so good about this one. It has a fine stub, an uncommon type of nib.

Like many gold plated vintage pens, this one has a little ink damage at the edge of the metal. I wonder if modern inks are as caustic as some of the old ones.


6 thoughts on “A Gold Plated Swan Ring-Top

  1. Deb, Regarding ink damage, if I recall my ‘O’ level chemistry correctly almost nothing attacks gold except aqua regia (a mix of concentrated hydrochloric and nitric acids) and I doubt ink contained that mix. I think the plating was probably not perfect at the edges so the ink was able to get past the gold and reach the base metal which was then eroded by acidic elements in the ink (tannic acid might be there). With the base metal being attacked, the gold layer would then easily detach and flakes would drop off. With the gold layer gone the ink could then easily attack the base metal, leaving an area with a cratered surface.

  2. That sections GF overlay damage is VERY minimal, compared to how much damage these pens usually have in that area. I did at one time try to gold Electroform these sections, but it didn’t work out for me. Graphite paint, then gold electroplate on that, fairly common jewellery technique for non conductive items.

  3. Lovely pen, like a functional piece of jewellery. I have come across many ring-top and similar sized pens, with very expressive nibs. Any thoughts on why this was so?

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