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Mystery Pen - A "swan Blackbird"?


25 replies to this topic

#21 Cob

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 18:56

I have been fortunate to be able to obtain the opinion of renowned English pen expert Mr Steve Hull.  Steve who is the author of the excellent Onoto book that came out last year is working on a magnum opus about Mabie Todd.  Its title will be The Swan Pen: Mabie Todd in England 1880-1960 .  It is expected to be released in late 2019.

 

Steve has a substantial collection and amongst them has these:

 

fpn_1504896792__img_2525.jpg

 

fpn_1504896827__img_2526.jpg

 

Steve's opinion is that the pens were manufactured in Germany with nibs by Merrian in England.  Clearly there was a determined effort to market them in the Netherlands.

 

In the meantime, this site may be of interest.

 

 

Cob


fpn_1428963683__6s.jpg “The pen of the British Empire” fpn_1423349537__swan_sign_is.jpg


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#22 1791thinkshop

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 02:32

Are any of you aware of an alternative nib for a Blackbird?
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#23 PaulS

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 10:36

assume you mean alternative in size?  ......    the nib for said pen is quite narrow - someone may be able to suggest a specific brand nib that is the equivalent in size.               I'd suggest a Swan No. 1 is quite close (it may be just a tad wider across the shoulder) - if not very nearly the same in width to the Blackbird - but assuming you are missing a nib for your Blackbird pen then you are going to need to source a replacement however you jump.                  The easiest option might well be to use ebay for a donor Blackbird with a half decent nib, or perhaps just wait for a B. nib to surface  -  that is unless you have a stock of a few spare small nibs that you might use to assess for suitable spare.        Your pen would regain its originality if you are able to source the correct Blackbird nib. 

 

Stephen Hull's books are recommended very highly if you collect British pens, wherever in the world you are, and I sense his offering on M.T. is going to be the best yet, and may well outshine his other volumes  -  if only because of what seems to be a high level of collector interest in this make.  

 

Probably because I'm rather old and thick (but only at times you understand) - but I've obviously missed the point of Cob's words  .....     "Clearly there was a determined effort to market them in the Netherlands."       What have I missed within the images/wording above that I should have seen and that would have made those words 'clear'? :) 



#24 peterg

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 19:11

While not questioning Steve, I do wonder if they may have been made in the Nederlands rather than Germany. Both countries produced those Germanic piston filler style of pens. Perhaps Merlin shook his magic wand?



#25 Cob

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 22:47

Regarding my statement about the pens being marketed in the Netherlands, you will see that on the first page of this thread there are two separate references to Netherlands activity with these.

 

Cob


fpn_1428963683__6s.jpg “The pen of the British Empire” fpn_1423349537__swan_sign_is.jpg


#26 PaulS

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 10:49

thanks :)   -  it's the activity of linking two separate pages that obviously was too taxing on the brain.              I enquired the price of a late ish  Blackbird, in a mottled russet/red this morning, at the antiques market  -  staggered to be told £75 - so naturally it stayed there  -  fortunately I already had the model.





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