About This Model
Mabie Todd was one of the oldest manufacturers of fountain pens, having started in the 1860’s in New York with pen holders and pencil cases. Their first true Swan fountain pen was brought out in 1884, featuring a nib with an over-under feed and ink feed via a twisted silver wire. British production began in 1907, and it soon far outgrew American results. Soon Swans became, with Conway Stewarts, top selling English fountain pens, with Leverless and Selfiller models following throughout the 1920’s and 1930’s.
Mabie Todd also produced Blackbirds, as a second level pen. Blackbirds were usually a bit more plain and less adorned than Swans, but made equally well, and generally used the same nibs with Blackbird markings. Their history parallels Swan's, with growth, innovation, and senescence at the same times.
Like Conway Stewart, Mabie Todd produced a huge variety of pen colors and color combinations, each with a distinct model designation that can make specific identification tricky.
With most of the English fountain pen industry, Mabie Todd declined after WWII, and finally disappeared in the late 1950’s.
About This Pen
Mabie-Todd’s Swan Eternal pens were among the nicest of their American production. From the late 1920s, these pens were made both in hard rubber and celluloid, what they called “Eternalite”. This pen is a fine example of their top quality work, in red mottled hard rubber, a ringtop pen. It is virtually unmarked, without scratches or evidence of serious use. The hard rubber’s red coloring emerged with cleaning and is truly handsome. It even has two additional touches not usually seen: a crown ring surrounding the top of the hard rubber cap, and the entire gripping section in mottled red hard rubber. The imprint is complete; with model imprint in the barrel’s base. The trim appears to be gold-filled but is not so indicated; at any rate it is all (ringtop, crown and cap ring, lever) without tarnish and is not missing plate. The nib is probably original to the pen and branded for it, in gold, and writes a firm but wet enough fine. This is a very nice pen, feels great in the hand, and is a very nice writer. Enjoy it!
As with some other pens that were consigned for the purpose, all proceeds from this pen’s sale will be contributed to the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Price: $115 Sold