A Coral Jackdaw

Paul Stirling kindly sent me photos of another coral pen (3173). This one is a self filler Jackdaw, evidently quite late. You can be sure it’s a late pen when you see that duck-like swan. A few years earlier Mabie Todd would not have used a swan image on a Jackdaw or Blackbird. The pen […]

Mabie Todd Jackdaw

In Britain, Mabie Todd had a quite straightforward hierarchy of pens: Swan, Blackbird and Jackdaw.  There might be subsets like Swan Leverless and Swan Visofil within that and even off-the-wall bizarre individual models like the splendid Jackdaw Toledo but, in general, the order held true.  There wasn’t a huge qualitative difference between them, though a […]

A 1935 Mabie Todd Jackdaw

In the hierarchy of Mabie Todd pens the Jackdaw was the lowest in Britain, occupying the same place as the Swallow in America.  These were school pens and were made to a lower level of quality than the Blackbirds and Swans.  It’s rare, for instance, to find a Jackdaw that doesn’t have noticeably worn plating.  […]

Sunday Rambling

I’ve spent the day repairing pens.  I only fixed five but that’s because they were all in a bad state.  Three Swans, a Waterman and a Conway Stewart, all with buckled nibs and other problems.  Many thanks to Laurence Oldfield for his nib straightening kit.  I bought the full set a few years ago and […]

The Abbey Pen

This rather handsome Mabie Todd pen is neither a Swan nor a Blackbird, nor yet a Jackdaw. It’s just “The Abbey Pen”. I’ve been unable to find any explanation for it and this is the only one I’ve ever seen. Wyvern made an Abbey pen in the 30s but I think that’s just a coincidence […]

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“Will you walk a little faster?” said a Parker to a Swan “There’s a Blackbird close behind us and he’s treading on my flight See how eagerly the Blackbirds and the Jackdaws will alight! They are waiting on the web page – will you come and browse the site? Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, will you come and browse the site? Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, won’t you log onto the site?” *With apologies to Lewis Carroll

The Starling Pen

Don Powell, who lives w-a-a-a-a-y over yonder in Oregon told me about this interesting pen that he had.  I say “had” because he has very kindly given it to me.  ‘Twas a very pleasant surprise when it arrived in the post yesterday. It’s the English-made black chased hard rubber Starling pen.  The first thing I […]