These little pens don’t appear often so I was glad to snatch this one even though it isn’t perfect. The slight discolouration at the nib end of the barrel suggests that red ink was used. Also it may have been a ring-top though there’s no ring assembly there now.
Those things aside the tiny pen is a wonder. It was made around 1929/30 when pen manufacturers had mastered the use of celluloid and were exploring its possibilities. This pen is designated L92 which calls up ‘lavender with jade, coral and black rings’. I would have expected a stronger hue from lavender but as the image in Stephen Hull’s The Swan Pen is identical in colour it isn’t the result of fading. That’s just how it is.
The moiré effect is so strong that it suggests a texture. It’s only when you pick it up that you realise that it’s completely smooth. The coral and black bands really stand out. This is a small, Dinkie-sized pen. It posts well which helps but it remains at the outer edge of what is practical. The pen dates from a time when it was assumed that women desired tiny things. Goodness knows why!
The surprising thing is that this wee pen sports a No 2 nib. It doesn’t look as if it is a shoe-horned in replacement for an original No 1. I have no reason to think that it is not original. These multi-coloured pens – there’s quite a range of them – are unique to Mabie Todd in this style. I’ve seen nothing like them from other pen makers.
Stephen Hull: The Swan Pen