Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 432

Ok, we're back to vintage pens today with a lovely set recently acquired by VPCer Christopher!

Christopher writes: "When it comes to British vintage pens, those made by the Mabie Todd Company out of London were exceptional. Exceptional in just so many ways. For me, personally, the fountain pens produced in the mid 1920s (before Mabie Todd moved to plastic in 1929) over the hard vulcanized rubber just seem to tick off all of the boxes. To start with, I do not think that very many of the pen manufactures of the day could match Mabie Todd’s deep rosewood finish, married with brilliant 14K Gold filled fittings and a big, impressive flexy number 6 nib, just has to add up to an outstanding writing instrument. Add to this the fact that even the grip is in the same matching rosewood finish and I think there is a ton of outstanding ‘Wow’ factor available. But most would have to agree that it was the styling and designs of these pens and pencils that just takes your breath away."

(photo courtesy of Christopher ~ click on image to enlarge)

He continues: "Mabie Todd went one step further, using the branding ‘Eternal’ to indicate a life time warranty and like Waterman with their pen numbering, the Mabie Todd nib size was used for part of the numbering of the pen. So number 6 nib, branded the pen a number 46. As for size, the pen in my Mabie Todd No.46 set, posted at all of 8 ½ inches but caps back to an even 5 inches for the pocket. 

The mechanical self propelled pencil in this Mabie Todd set is beautifully designed with a twist top knob mechanism to both extend and retract the leads. Over and above the matching rosewood finish, there are two 14K Gold Filled bands -one located below the knob mechanism, and the other at the mid point of the pencil. The fittings are all 14K Gold Filled and the ball ended humpback clip has the words ‘Fyne Poynt’ engraved at the top. Otherwise, other than the fact that it matches the fountain pen, there is no other identification on this pencil.

This brings me to a very interesting observation, in that the barrel of the fountain pen is imprinted ‘Swan, Mabie Todd Co. Ltd. Made in England’, but the number 6 nib is engraved, Mabie Todd & Co. New York. Actually, the Mabie Todd company was active in the pen business in both countries. Evidently, the New York operation did make both pens and nibs which were, in turn, shipped to the London Mabie Todd location for selling. But what is just very unusual is the clip on the fountain and the reality that unlike other Mabie Todd Eternal 46 pens, this pen has no evidence of ever having a cap band. In fact, the placement of the clip just does not allow enough room for the wide cap band usually found on Mabie Todd 46 Eternal fountain pens. Plus, the clip has no Mabie Todd or Swan branding on it whatsoever. And it is fastened without rivets, like the other Mabie Todd 46 Eternals I have viewed. The Clip is 100% Mabie Todd and original, matching the pencil clip save its larger size, perfectly. The only identification on the fountain pen cap is the Swan logo on the flat top of this covering. As for overall condition of the set, it is just brilliant and looks to have been hardly used. I am just thrilled to add this fine vintage UK set to my collection and can’t wait to use it." 

Christopher, many thanks for sharing this wonderful vintage set with us! Congratulations on another great find :) 

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