A White Swan

Of course I should have taken these photos against a black or coloured background. I’ll learn some day…

Though they’re not very common I pick up these Art Deco Swans from time to time, usually in black. I’ve never had one of these white ones before. The contrast between the white body and the black ends and section makes a striking pen. Stephen Hull, in his The Swan Pen, says that these pens were intended to be gifts for bridesmaids and nurses. Lovely gifts they would have been too and I’m sure they were much appreciated.

These Art Deco pens were made on the brink of war. They appear not to have been huge sellers, surprisingly considering their elegant design. Though this pen is in generally good condition there is some loss of gold plating on the lever, indicating extensive use.

Though its comparative rarity makes this pen a collector’s item the splendid, very flexible nib deserves use.


11 thoughts on “A White Swan

  1. Deb. I love these little pens, and yes, the #1 nibs on the few I have are quite flexible …
    Funnily, some of them are designated 112B / and a number ….83 being the green snakeskin , but the plain colours…for some reason didn’t get a number..even though they were the same exact shape.
    For such sweet little pens , they put out some mighty juicy writing.

  2. Being an ex nurse, retired last July, I would love to believe it was used by a nurse. I used fountain pens in my end of shift recordings. Only the shift’s ‘narrative’ notes though. Ballpoints were essential in ward daily ongoing medical recordings for historical permanence. These daily used types of notes, like observation charts and bedside notes, were handled quite often by the Multidisciplinary Team and possible damage could happen to fountain pen ink. I read somewhere that, historically, nurses on differently timed shifts used different colour inks. Black, green and red in narrative charting. Would that mean a nurse owning one pen and three different coloured inks to change to? Or a nurse owning three different pens!? We used Bic four coloured ballpoints on handovers. I used the colours to highlight things like important, contact and discuss with or done tasks, etc. Great read as always. Nice to see a unique Swan like this. Cheers and all the best.

    1. A very interesting comment! My husband is on haemodialysis. Whenever we get a quality ballpoint in a batch of fountain pens my husband fits a refill and brings it in for the nurses. That’s not enough, though, as they get through a lot of pens. Every now and again he’ll bring in a dozen Crystal Bics. They only use either black or blue ballpoints. Nursing requires a huge amount of bureaucracy these days !

      1. I love that your husband does that. We sometimes had people do very similar contributions. Believe me, nurses get through pens very quickly. So that action will be much appreciated. Usually it’s another Multidisciplinary Team member that asks to use yours……and you just know the pen will disappear with them. My two colleagues visited me a few days ago and said the notes now at end of day are typed electronically. I would be useless in that task. My typing skills leave a lot to be desired! Best regards to you both. Thanks for your interesting blogs and valuable information content too. Really enjoyable.

      2. The nurses in the dialysis unit do a mixture of form-filling by pen and a computer entry at log on for each patient. I’m glad you enjoy the blog. We try to cover the whole area of writing with fountain pens.

      3. You do a grand job re: the subject. I tend to blog write all sorts of random stuff. The dialysis nurses are extremely knowledgeable. I worked in Cardiac. Met a nurse who covered a few shifts with us from time to time. She worked full time in dialysis. Her knowledge was unbelievably high. I do miss nursing but I really am enjoying retirement now. More time to enjoy focusing on my fountain pens and dip nibs. All the best and Thank you.

      4. Enjoy your retirement. You deserve it! My husband is retired but he spends much of his time restoring pens and writing about them so I’m not sure how retired he is!

      5. Retirement needs motivational purpose and it’s great that pens have become a focus for your husband’s interests. The WordPress blog site is a great network for keeping minds active too. It’s encourages to make enquiries into seeking projects and aims. Thanks for the reply. Much appreciated.

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