Mabie Todd Swan ringtop

1918-mid-1920s

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 SelfFiller 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

This little ringtop is another of the very solid small pens produced by Mabie Todd in New York after WWI through the mid-1920s. It does not have a model number, but appears to be a plated version of one seen in literature from 1921. The overlay does not have a pattern beyond two engraved rings at top and bottom of both cap and barrel. Indeed, the barrel imprint notes “Swan Pen Safety Screw Cap”, and although the patent date is 1904, the “self-filler” long post-dates this. At any rate, this pen is a nice ringtop, meant to be written with. It carries a well-scratched finish that polished up pretty nicely, and has one small dent near the top of the cap. The ring is probably original and is secure. The lever is strong. There is a very small bit of plate loss at the very bottom of the barrel. This pen’s strength is clearly its nib: a stubbed gold #2 Swan nib with huge flex.

Price: $110 Sold

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