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Swan Ink Logo Dates


12 replies to this topic

#1 MercianScribe

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 14:33

Here is a wee bottle of Swan Ink. I think it's from the '20s, judging solely by the style, but that's not a particularly reliable method!

 

Does anyone have any more accurate insight?!

Attached Images

  • Swan Ink.JPG

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#2 Cob

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 16:17

That bottle is not 1920s in my opinion.  I have a couple similar to it - my guess would be 1930s or maybe even 1940s.  I think the clue might be in the price and purchase tax shown - but I am not certain about this.  I doubt hat a small bottle of ink would have cost 6d in the 1920s.

 

Cob


Edited by Cob, 07 February 2018 - 16:18.

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


#3 MercianScribe

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 05:17

Thanks, interesting angle. I've tried finding one of those good historical sites with prices of everyday goods but no joy yet, and there's not much old ink advertising online either. I shall keep looking.

 

By the way, yesterday I did this:

 

IMG_1768.JPG

 

And it worked really well.


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#4 Cob

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 06:10

Here are mine - I have another of the big bottles ¾-full of Swan Ink.

fpn_1518070140__swan_bottles.jpg

Cob


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


#5 MercianScribe

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 06:53

Niice! Saw someone trying to sell one of those big ones for $70 on eBay... empty! And s/he reckoned it was from the '10s!

Anyway, I've now checked boxed docs and ads from the 1900s to 1940 on eBay, and still haven't found the exact font. In a few cases, especially in the '00s and '10s, they used more than one concurrently: a slightly bulbous, fun font like these and one or two serious serif typefaces for newspaper ads and some box docs. But I can't find evidence of their having used two of the whackier fonts at the same time, so all I can conclude so far is that it's post-1940. And given how close it is to the 1940 one I would have to go with just postwar as my next guess - I just don't think it looks like a '50s aesthetic.


Edited by MercianScribe, 08 February 2018 - 06:54.

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#6 MercianScribe

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 06:55

Unless... anyone could chip in on the Swan logo itself?


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#7 Cob

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 15:25

Niice! Saw someone trying to sell one of those big ones for $70 on eBay... empty! And s/he reckoned it was from the '10s!

Anyway, I've now checked boxed docs and ads from the 1900s to 1940 on eBay, and still haven't found the exact font. In a few cases, especially in the '00s and '10s, they used more than one concurrently: a slightly bulbous, fun font like these and one or two serious serif typefaces for newspaper ads and some box docs. But I can't find evidence of their having used two of the whackier fonts at the same time, so all I can conclude so far is that it's post-1940. And given how close it is to the 1940 one I would have to go with just postwar as my next guess - I just don't think it looks like a '50s aesthetic.

 

I have been generally occupied with the pens which are complicated enough, but the bottles have a charming period appearance which warms the cockles of my heart (redolent of a time in which I would prefer to live).  The big bottle there cost me 99p on ebay; I was the only bidder.  I felt sorry for the seller: he posted it to me, beautifully packed in a big box for about £3.50!

 

Cob


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


#8 Cob

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 15:33

Here's the other big bottle - different again:

 

fpn_1518103809__swan_bib_blue_black_ink.

 

And three I uploaded from somewhere:

 

fpn_1518103896__swan_ink_x_3.jpg

 

Finally my "Last Drop" Swan travel bottle and aluminium case

 

fpn_1518103968__last_drop.jpg

 

Cob


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


#9 ralfstc

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 22:11

Purchase tax was 1940-1973 (when VAT was introduced).

 

Ralf



#10 ralfstc

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 22:30

Cob, your big bottle may be from 1940-43 or 1946, judging by the percentage (16ish%, half of the 33 1/3 % tax on wholesale price. Retail is twice wholesale, hence the halfing of the "rate"). I'd guess 1942 if the label colour was consistent.

 

Anyway, just a semi-informed stab!

 

The same periods would apply to the OP's bottle.

 

Cheers,

 

Ralf



#11 Wardok

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 22:49

Based on the evolution of the logo on page 175 of Fountain Pens of the World, the logo on the original bottle in this thread is about 1930.

 

Note there is an ink bottle in the bottom corner of an ad from 1927 on page 168 but I'm not sure you an make out enough detail to discern the logo 

 

Also I have had a look through my ads and "Swan Inks from 6d" in July 1919 and 6d bottles were available in 1935 (Illustrated London News Coronation Special. Doesn't help much but doesn't rule out these earlier dates


Edited by Wardok, 08 February 2018 - 23:18.


#12 Greenvill

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 19:02

small-blackbird-ink.png

 

This is the latest re-incarnation of the logo!

 

Mabie Todd England have launched new bottled fountain pen ink http://www.blackbirdink.co.uk



#13 Cob

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 21:24

Crikey! I wonder who is making Blackbird Inks?  And interesting that whoever runs this has acquired the rights to the name Mabie Todd Ltd!

 

Meanwhile more on topic, here's an interesting one I acquired recently:

 

fpn_1520717057__swan_manuscript_black.jp

 

Cob


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




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