Mabie Todd Swan

1920s
About This Pen

The SF 230 Swans were mainstay pens in England throughout the 1920s. Made of vulcanite (hard rubber), the English name for ebonite/hard rubber, the Self-Fillers were direct descendants of the first SF1 and SF2 in the late 19-teens, and continued the evolution. This example is a handsome one, in good condition. These pens were almost all the same length, 14 cm (5.4”), and slim, 1.2 cm (.45”), so even as late as 1930, appeared to look traditional. Most SF230s I’ve seen have, like this one, two barrel rings surrounding the extensive imprint. The crown has a brown rippled vulcanite ring and top, centered by a gold ring that matches the barrel rings. The clip is long, but starts a bit lower on the cap, which also shows the model imprint. The nib is a Mabie Todd 2, in gold, and it writes a very firm fine line, slowly and with substantial flex; this pen does not flex for this left-handed overwriter, although it writes very nicely for me without flexing. This SF230 does not have any significant flaws, although it shows its 100 years of age around the edges. It’s a major part of early fountain pen history, and can be a steady user for many years to come. It comes with an original Swan box, probably contemporaneous but not from this pen.

This pen is not for sale.