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Clip For A Snake..?


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Hello everyone!


I've just spent far too much money on a greeny-gold, red veined Swan snakeskin. The little chap doesn't have a clip. I don't suppose anyone's got a spare knocking about, or any idea where I might find one? Any help with a model number would be fantastic. My patience with the Swan lists wore out as an accident's made prolonged web-monging physical torture just now. The pen's not yet in my possession or I'd provide pics but it's a SF, maybe a minor (?) and it has a wide gold cap band and a gold lever. Lovely looking No. 1 nib.



Thanks for any help! xx

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  • Greenie


  • Cob


  • missuslovett


First, a short story. Shortly after I inherited my Grandfather's Sr. Duofold Modern black and pearl, I realized how much I was drawn to fountain pens. I thought I would get an example of each of the Big Four. I had a demi Eversharp skyline, and beat up Sheaffer flat top, and my Duofold. Then on ebay, i saw the coolest pen ever. Had no idea what it was, but I put in a max bid of $100. Way more than I spent on my other pens. I won at nearly that price. Then the invoice came for about $160. Oops. didn't know I was bidding in pounds sterling.


Well, after I got the pen, I was not at all disappointed. I discovered Mabie Todd Swans. Here is the pen that started my love affair with this brand. The second composite picture shows how the dark scales change as you rotate the pen and become silvery at different angles.





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And now what might be my favorite part of my entire pen collection



(they are all about the same size except the smaller silver one, just the photos are different magnification)

In order left to right: SM 205/85

no marking for the next 4 pens

1st blue - also no marking

2nd blue SM 205/83

green SM 205/84

small silver SM 100/86 (odd pen for a few reasons)

lg silver SM 100/86

Edited by Greenie
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There are three different types of inserted clip, superficially similar when mounted on these pens.


All the pre war-ones have as far as I know, the same type with a solid tag serrated at right-angles that inserts. Later models, and I am not certain when the change was introduced, have a sort of split tag with either serrations inside the split horizontally or again with right-angled serrations. A clipless cap can be identified as to type of clip by the fact that inside the opening may be seen to be composed of two holes internally rather than a plain slot as on the earlier types.


I have been quiet lately having been on holiday in France. I didn't find any pens at the one Broccante I attended (I had hoped to pick up a nice Meteore or Bayard...) but here's a couple of Swan self-fillers spotted at Evian les Bains.







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

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Greenie - what a stunning collection! Mine seems to be top picture, somewhere near the two pens on the right. It's hard to judge the exact colour from the photos I've seen of it. It's quite golden but definitely with red veins. I'm guessing it's an SM100/ somewhere in the 80s ??? Cobb, I hope you enjoyed your break! The aperture for the clip on my pen is a horizontal slot with small downward nibbles at each end. The hole looks quite clean but obviously I haven't got my sticky fingers on it yet, so there may be hidden problems.


I've been after a snakeskin for a while now because they're such lovely colourways and I like pretty things! But pristine, they're usually too rich for my pocket.Hopefully I'll get the chance to make this one whole again. :)

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Unfortunately, I don't know anything about the inside portion of the clips on these models. I was just (a bit too much) excited to see anyone bring up my favorite pens. Well, these and the lizard patterns. So I am trying to hijack the thread for a broader discussion of the Snakes and Lizards. Hey - at least I am up front about it. :D


I have never seen any model numbers attributed to the red vein. I think my two examples would be the same color, but one is definitely silvery with red veins, and the other is a bit of a gold/silver hybrid color with the red veins. I assume just changes over time and not two actual different colors. Ditto regarding the lack of model numbers for the light green with darker green veins. I have owned one other of the light green in the past, but it also did not have a number on it.


Standard color code lists name four colors of snakeskin and four colors of lizard skin.

My pens confirm these "known" numbers. But no numbers on the light green or the gray and red vein.


83 - blue snake, 84 - green snake, 85 - mauve snake, 86 - silver snake

87 - blue lizard, 88 - green lizard, 89 - red/magenta lizard, 90 - silver lizard.

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Hijack away! I think they're some of the most beautiful pens out there.It's a red letter day for me because I've just taken delivery of snakey, an emerald Vacumatic and a sparkling Demi Skyline! All three for under £100!


I think the red veins are some of the prettiest. That little bit of contrast gives them an edge. Mine has no marks on it but the usual "Swan" Self Filler and trade mark. Here are some very bad photos. One taken with a flash and one without.







Edited to add: Nib has nice flex and it's still got its original Swan sac. Bless!

Edited by missuslovett
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OK. So we are up to 3 (my two and yours) of the "Red Veined Pearl" or gray with red veins or silver with red veins or whatever.... And all three lack any numbers.


I think I like that name - Red Veined Pearl Snake.


What shall we call the light green with medium green lines?


(and please tell me about an original Swan Sac - )

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Red veined pearl snake...I like it! Though I have a rather childish Carry-On Up Your Innuendo kind of mind and it makes me smile. Here's an update with some more bad photos!







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Well, that sac imprint certainly backs up your statement ! I have never seen that. Then again, most of my sacs are crushed and chipped away to remove them, so maybe I have just missed it every time.


As for the innuendo, I am a urologist. Don't try to start with me, young lady! It will quickly become far too inappropriate for the forum!


OK - naming contest for the light green snake with medium green lines!


Ready... Go!

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Haha! OK, I'll keep my own filthy counsel! As for the pens... A green veined leaf snake? That sounds a bit too snakey, perhaps. Green veined Harlequin snake? though Harlequin's a bit bright; Green veined Emerald snake; sap veined leaf snake? Maybe dark veined green snake; mint veined green snake?


:) I'm not very good with names...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here's an update on my snakey Swan. Whole again, once again thanks to Cob for the clip. It has a really nice smooth nib with a lovely lot of flex. Pic with flash and without, for shiny, shiny...





Edited by missuslovett
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Enjoy! Take a little care with posting. The lizard pattern is almost always found cracked, but this pattern also has some tendency to crack along the spiral direction of the pattern. The band should lessen the risk, but a little care is in order.

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Thanks for that. I can feel how that might be so as it posts on the 'tight' side, like my 59. I always feel my way with old celluloid as it seem to get into habits in the handling. This one really is a joy to write with!

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