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Unusual Swan Ring Top Fountain Pen.


Whoneedsasword
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Just wondering if anyone can shed any light on this fountain pen? It's just over 3.75" long and it seems to be made of some kind of plastic with a wood grain pattern. The imprint on the lower end of barrel simply reads: SWAN PEN

PAT. MAY 21.18post-142600-0-62671000-1522946076_thumb.jpeg

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This is one of the Swan Moire ring tops pens from the 1920s.

The material is celluloid.

It came in several colors, including green, blue, lavender, coral, fuschia and others. The band colors and pattern vary depending on the base color.

 

Here is an ad from 1928 that shows some of the 142 series colored pens, as well as some of the moire ring tops

 

fpn_1523159696__swan_142_and_242_ad_1928

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Nice! I have one in Jade, which seems to have been the color du jour in the 1920s.

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This is one of the Swan Moire ring tops pens from the 1920s.

The material is celluloid.

It came in several colors, including green, blue, lavender, coral, fuschia and others. The band colors and pattern vary depending on the base color.

 

Here is an ad from 1928 that shows some of the 142 series colored pens, as well as some of the moire ring tops

 

fpn_1523159696__swan_142_and_242_ad_1928

Thanks very much for sharing such an informative illustration. It's very much appreciated and more than I was hoping for!

All I need now is a replacement ring top and it'll be back to original condition.....barring 90 years of use, that is.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Greenie is right, Were the small ring tops 192 + colour code?

Is there a number on the base of the barrel?

No number on base of barrel, just the imprint as quoted on lower end below lever filler.

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There are ring tops to match the colored pens (142 AND 242 series). The codes are 172/(color code)

 

The Moire ring tops have their own system. The colors are unique to those pens.

 

They are numbered 92

The color codes are single letters

 

N/92 = Nile Green

F/92 = fushsia

C/92 = coral

B/92 = blue [why is this name NOT fancy???]

 

There is also a lavender and an ivory. I do not have these colors. The Moak book could not verify the letter code for those two colors

The Ivory pen in the book is marked M/92. I have not seen ads naming the color, but the ivory color is shown in ads, just without reference to a name. The lavender moire is names as such in ads, so I would guess it is L/92

 

Anyone have a Lavender or Ivory Moire ring top to check?

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There are ring tops to match the colored pens (142 AND 242 series). The codes are 172/(color code)

 

The Moire ring tops have their own system. The colors are unique to those pens.

 

They are numbered 92

The color codes are single letters

 

N/92 = Nile Green

F/92 = fushsia

C/92 = coral

B/92 = blue [why is this name NOT fancy???]

 

There is also a lavender and an ivory. I do not have these colors. The Moak book could not verify the letter code for those two colors

The Ivory pen in the book is marked M/92. I have not seen ads naming the color, but the ivory color is shown in ads, just without reference to a name. The lavender moire is names as such in ads, so I would guess it is L/92

 

Anyone have a Lavender or Ivory Moire ring top to check?

 

You are right, and thanks for the clarification Greenie, I think my brain was in neutral yesterday. Has anyone ever seen an ivory example?

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I can confirm the Ivory one is M/92. It is the exact opposite of the coral in that it has coral bands and the coral pen has ivory bands.

 

Steve Hull in his 1994 article on the MT Colour codes in WES Journal No 39 had individual colour codes for the Moire colours: Nile Green /90, Coral /91, Fuschia, /92, Lavender /93, Blue /94, and Ivory /95. I have a a 192/94 in Blue Moire and it is identical dimension wise with my C and M 92s.

 

The other ring tops are indeed 172/XX where XX is 51 for Tangerine, 52 for Lapis, 53 for Scarlet and 54 for Black and Jade. Interestingly the cap band configuration is different on each

Edited by Wardok
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I wonder why "M"

I just looked at a long on line list of synonyms for ivory, and the only "M" is "milky" or "milk-white"

I guess it could be as fancy as saying "Nile Green" to get the "N" designation for green.

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wondering...

 

Similar color range in Parkers, so could the M on the ivory likewise indicate rather than a solid color, the "M" had the striped effect that replicated natural ivory?

Imitation ivory plastic's were popular.

 

Along those lines, another thought is that the "ivory" is not a fancy color, unlike all the other pens in the ads, and so the M stands for Moire? Was that word used back then? The ads only seem to call them "pastel".

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I just saw your gorgeous moire's in the other thread!

The moire I believe is a patterned fabric reference - fancier word than stating subtle stripes.

Look up French Ivory, a commonly used striped pattern celluloid that replicated natural ivory. I could be way off, but the shift from fabric pattern term to a natural material may be why the use of M for striped vs plain ivory color is confusing? Also the stripes in ivory celluloid made it appear to be the more desirable natural ivory, not utilitarian natural bone.

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  • 2 weeks later...

An obliging FPN member just put one up for sale and I GRABBED it. A very nice nib, too.

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  • 2 weeks later...

An obliging FPN member just put one up for sale and I GRABBED it. A very nice nib, too.

I had a look at the stamp: B/92. Interestingly, the blue is darker and greener than the example in the picture. Perhaps there was so much variation that they couldn’t agree on a more precise name.

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