Mabie Todd Swan

1910s

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 is an American Swan, from the 1910s. As is typical for these little pens, it is 3 3/4” long, and is complete with its ring for holding the pen to a ribbon or long necklace. It is gold-filled over black hard rubber, with a fleurs-de lis pattern engraved in the gold. This is a very pretty pen, in very good condition. The metal is without dents; the only area of significant wear is from posting the cap at the top of the barrel. The imprint and the barrel end is faint but complete, showing “Swan Pen” Mabie Todd Co. New York” above “Made in U.S.A”.  The nib is quite beautiful, in what appears to be 14k, imprint is similar to the barrel’s, with a “2” to denote nib size. As with many of these little ringtops, it writes a flexible EF to M, and can take a bit of pressure.

Price: $105 Sold

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