Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 21

Thread: A Big Swan

  1. #1
    Senior Member eachan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Location
    Highlands of Scotland
    Posts
    374
    Thanks
    911
    Thanked 627 Times in 246 Posts
    Rep Power
    2

    Default A Big Swan



    This is one of the bigger Swans, made around 1948, so during the last hurrah of the fountain pen before the ballpoint took over.

    The nib is quite a chunk of 14 carat gold. Many of these large Swans have "Eternal" nibs which are invariably firm.

    This isn't the biggest Swan. There's one with a No 8 nib, a mighty beast indeed. We had one a few years ago but they are very uncommon and becoming very expensive when they do appear. The one we had was in an earlier style. I'm not even certain they made a No 8 in this later, torpedo style.

    They used to say that the best of the Conway Stewarts was the doctor's pen, the Swan was the bank manager's pen and the Onoto was the lawyer's pen. But they'll say anything...

  2. The Following 16 Users Say Thank You to eachan For This Useful Post:

    + Show/Hide list of the thanked

    catbert (November 24th, 2020), Chrissy (November 24th, 2020), christof (November 24th, 2020), Chuck Naill (November 24th, 2020), Cyril (February 9th, 2021), da vinci (November 25th, 2020), Detman101 (November 24th, 2020), digitalsedition (November 25th, 2020), FredRydr (November 24th, 2020), junglejim (November 24th, 2020), markiv (October 24th, 2021), penwash (November 24th, 2020), Pterodactylus (November 24th, 2020), Schaumburg_Swan (November 24th, 2020), XYZZY (November 24th, 2020), Yazeh (November 25th, 2020)

  3. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Outside of Seattle, WA
    Posts
    40
    Thanks
    17
    Thanked 54 Times in 28 Posts
    Rep Power
    0

    Default Re: A Big Swan

    Neat looking pen. What's the filling mechanism? (I'm not a Swan person or even a vintage person, so pardon if the answer is obvious:-)

    From the overall shape of the nib I have to wonder if the Pelikan M1000 nib took some design hints from there.

    The second picture (i.e. the nib picture) makes it looks like plating is rubbing off. Is that just a trick of the light?

  4. #3
    Senior Member Pterodactylus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Austria
    Posts
    3,046
    Thanks
    1,735
    Thanked 3,545 Times in 1,368 Posts
    Rep Power
    12

    Default Re: A Big Swan

    Great pen, thanks for showing it.

    If you don’t mind I would like to add my big Swan as companion to yours.







    (Mabie Todd Swan 4660)

  5. The Following 9 Users Say Thank You to Pterodactylus For This Useful Post:

    amk (November 25th, 2020), Chuck Naill (November 24th, 2020), da vinci (November 25th, 2020), Detman101 (November 25th, 2020), junglejim (November 24th, 2020), markiv (October 24th, 2021), mizgeorge (December 20th, 2020), Schaumburg_Swan (November 24th, 2020), Yazeh (November 25th, 2020)

  6. #4
    Senior Member eachan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Location
    Highlands of Scotland
    Posts
    374
    Thanks
    911
    Thanked 627 Times in 246 Posts
    Rep Power
    2

    Default Re: A Big Swan

    That's a beautiful nib!

  7. #5
    Senior Member eachan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Location
    Highlands of Scotland
    Posts
    374
    Thanks
    911
    Thanked 627 Times in 246 Posts
    Rep Power
    2

    Default Re: A Big Swan

    Quote Originally Posted by XYZZY View Post
    Neat looking pen. What's the filling mechanism? (I'm not a Swan person or even a vintage person, so pardon if the answer is obvious:-)

    From the overall shape of the nib I have to wonder if the Pelikan M1000 nib took some design hints from there.

    The second picture (i.e. the nib picture) makes it looks like plating is rubbing off. Is that just a trick of the light?
    The nib is 14 carat gold. It isn't plated. The filling system: the pen takes a much larger sac than a lever filler of that size, in this case a 22, filling the whole barrel. The turn button is rotated anticlockwise, turning the internal paddle which compresses the sac and expels the air. Immersed in the ink, the turn button is turned clockwise which draws in the ink.

  8. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to eachan For This Useful Post:

    da vinci (December 20th, 2020), Detman101 (November 25th, 2020)

  9. #6
    Senior Member penwash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Dallas, as in the 80's TV Series
    Posts
    3,288
    Thanks
    2,549
    Thanked 4,934 Times in 1,661 Posts
    Rep Power
    11

    Default Re: A Big Swan

    Quote Originally Posted by eachan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by XYZZY View Post
    Neat looking pen. What's the filling mechanism? (I'm not a Swan person or even a vintage person, so pardon if the answer is obvious:-)

    From the overall shape of the nib I have to wonder if the Pelikan M1000 nib took some design hints from there.

    The second picture (i.e. the nib picture) makes it looks like plating is rubbing off. Is that just a trick of the light?
    The nib is 14 carat gold. It isn't plated. The filling system: the pen takes a much larger sac than a lever filler of that size, in this case a 22, filling the whole barrel. The turn button is rotated anticlockwise, turning the internal paddle which compresses the sac and expels the air. Immersed in the ink, the turn button is turned clockwise which draws in the ink.
    Eachan, that is an interesting filling mechanism. I've seen and worked on a turn-dial operated, sac-based filler before, but the ink is filled by twisting and untwisting the ink sac. In this case, how does the turning action get translated into compressing the sac?

    On the side, thank you for posting something that is *actually* relevant and interesting for a pen forum.
    - Will
    Unique and restored vintage pens: Redeem Pens

  10. #7
    Senior Member eachan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Location
    Highlands of Scotland
    Posts
    374
    Thanks
    911
    Thanked 627 Times in 246 Posts
    Rep Power
    2

    Default Re: A Big Swan

    Hi Will,
    I always find these things more difficult to explain than I imagine! The turn button is directly connected to a quite broad paddle. When it is turned anticlockwise it presses the sac against the barrel interior, squeezing all the air out. Does that help? The Leverless system has been adversely criticised in modern times, almost always because a repairer has installed too small a sac, which then slides past the paddle and does not fill well. With a large barrel-filling sac it's perfectly efficient. My own favourite pens are Leverlesses. I suppose it's possible that in warmer climates than where I live, it might suffer from the same problem of transfer of heat from the hand that ink-in-the-barrel pens do.

    I know the type of twist filler that you mention; I had an A A Waterman of that system some time ago. Very efficient but possibly hard on sacs and needing servicing more often than other sac fillers. A very different principle from the Leverless, of course, though appearing similar to the user.

    I should add, being of interest from one restorer to another, that re-saccing one of these pens is interestingly different from lever and button fillers. Because the sac is very large and must be pushed into the barrel with a slender dowel, the sac is shellacked to the section, left to cure fully, pushed into the barrel and the nib and feed are installed as the last operation in the repair. Some Leverlesses - I don't know why - have very small pegs for attaching the sac. The sac required is too large for the peg. Doubtless necked sacs were originally used but it is current practice to compress the sac onto the peg with thread until cured. It works very well.
    Last edited by eachan; November 25th, 2020 at 12:54 AM.

  11. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to eachan For This Useful Post:

    da vinci (December 20th, 2020), penwash (November 25th, 2020), Stands on Feet (November 25th, 2020)

  12. #8
    Senior Member Pterodactylus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Austria
    Posts
    3,046
    Thanks
    1,735
    Thanked 3,545 Times in 1,368 Posts
    Rep Power
    12

    Default Re: A Big Swan

    Actually mine performed always bad regarding filling.
    When I twist the sac with the button it grabs it a bit, but then released it again, meaning the button has no resistance anymore and turn further until it tries to grab it again... and again and again...

    So It was never possible to pull a greater amount of ink, together with the fact that it is a real gusher the writing sessions were never long.

    Recently as disassembled it and noticed that a quite small sack was installed (which already started to stick together, bought it some years ago as “full restored”).
    I read on Pendragons that a Size 23 x 2 1/2 Necked should be installed in a 4660 (the installed one was neither 23 nor necked and most likely too short).
    I will order a new sac now and see how it works with a proper one.

  13. The Following User Says Thank You to Pterodactylus For This Useful Post:

    eachan (November 25th, 2020)

  14. #9
    Senior Member eachan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Location
    Highlands of Scotland
    Posts
    374
    Thanks
    911
    Thanked 627 Times in 246 Posts
    Rep Power
    2

    Default Re: A Big Swan

    I think my edit caught up with the point you make I find the 22 adequate for that size of Leverless but it's a minor point.

  15. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Norwich UK
    Posts
    992
    Thanks
    2,014
    Thanked 678 Times in 376 Posts
    Rep Power
    10

    Default Re: A Big Swan

    Mighty pens. I particularly like the idea of a Pterodactyl owning a Swan - kind of like a pet :-)

  16. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to amk For This Useful Post:

    Detman101 (November 25th, 2020), eachan (November 25th, 2020), Schaumburg_Swan (November 25th, 2020), Yazeh (November 25th, 2020)

  17. #11
    Senior Member RobJohnson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Posts
    130
    Thanks
    88
    Thanked 166 Times in 84 Posts
    Rep Power
    2

    Default Re: A Big Swan




    An MT #8 for Big Blackbird, very little flex to this nib

  18. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to RobJohnson For This Useful Post:

    amk (November 26th, 2020), junglejim (November 25th, 2020), Pterodactylus (November 25th, 2020)

  19. #12
    Senior Member eachan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Location
    Highlands of Scotland
    Posts
    374
    Thanks
    911
    Thanked 627 Times in 246 Posts
    Rep Power
    2

    Default Re: A Big Swan

    I've never had one of those Big Blackbirds. I like mottled hard rubber which is becoming more expensive almost by the day.

  20. #13
    Senior Member penwash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Dallas, as in the 80's TV Series
    Posts
    3,288
    Thanks
    2,549
    Thanked 4,934 Times in 1,661 Posts
    Rep Power
    11

    Default Re: A Big Swan

    Quote Originally Posted by eachan View Post
    Hi Will,
    I always find these things more difficult to explain than I imagine! The turn button is directly connected to a quite broad paddle. When it is turned anticlockwise it presses the sac against the barrel interior, squeezing all the air out. Does that help? The Leverless system has been adversely criticised in modern times, almost always because a repairer has installed too small a sac, which then slides past the paddle and does not fill well. With a large barrel-filling sac it's perfectly efficient. My own favourite pens are Leverlesses. I suppose it's possible that in warmer climates than where I live, it might suffer from the same problem of transfer of heat from the hand that ink-in-the-barrel pens do.

    I know the type of twist filler that you mention; I had an A A Waterman of that system some time ago. Very efficient but possibly hard on sacs and needing servicing more often than other sac fillers. A very different principle from the Leverless, of course, though appearing similar to the user.

    I should add, being of interest from one restorer to another, that re-saccing one of these pens is interestingly different from lever and button fillers. Because the sac is very large and must be pushed into the barrel with a slender dowel, the sac is shellacked to the section, left to cure fully, pushed into the barrel and the nib and feed are installed as the last operation in the repair. Some Leverlesses - I don't know why - have very small pegs for attaching the sac. The sac required is too large for the peg. Doubtless necked sacs were originally used but it is current practice to compress the sac onto the peg with thread until cured. It works very well.
    Your explanation does help, but now I want to get a pen with the Leverless system if only to sketch the mechanism in my repair book (hahaha).

    The twist one, mine was an Ingersoll, is surprisingly effective. I was surprised when I saw the intake and expelling of water when I tested it. I guess the twisting of the sac more uniformly expel air than compressing with a bar or paddle. As for it being harder on the sac, I can see that, although I don't know if the rubber would wear out due to the twisting motion first or it would naturally harden first. I guess it also depends on the quality of the rubber.

    Back to the Big Swan, that's a neat trick to secure the rubber to the peg using threads in the absence of properly sized necked sac. It's nice to be able to talk about the minutiae of restoration with another restorer.
    - Will
    Unique and restored vintage pens: Redeem Pens

  21. The Following User Says Thank You to penwash For This Useful Post:

    eachan (November 25th, 2020)

  22. #14
    Senior Member eachan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Location
    Highlands of Scotland
    Posts
    374
    Thanks
    911
    Thanked 627 Times in 246 Posts
    Rep Power
    2

    Default Re: A Big Swan

    Likewise!

  23. #15
    Member Schaumburg_Swan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Posts
    49
    Thanks
    180
    Thanked 48 Times in 18 Posts
    Rep Power
    0

    Default Re: A Big Swan

    Dear Eachan,

    nice presentation of a timeless beauty!
    Looks even younger than most pens sold today...

    Thank you and best wishes
    Jens

    Quote Originally Posted by eachan View Post


    This is one of the bigger Swans, made around 1948, so during the last hurrah of the fountain pen before the ballpoint took over.

    The nib is quite a chunk of 14 carat gold. Many of these large Swans have "Eternal" nibs which are invariably firm.

    This isn't the biggest Swan. There's one with a No 8 nib, a mighty beast indeed. We had one a few years ago but they are very uncommon and becoming very expensive when they do appear. The one we had was in an earlier style. I'm not even certain they made a No 8 in this later, torpedo style.

    They used to say that the best of the Conway Stewarts was the doctor's pen, the Swan was the bank manager's pen and the Onoto was the lawyer's pen. But they'll say anything...
    Schaumburg_Swan aka SchaumburgSwan
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/136145166@N02/albums

  24. #16
    Senior Member eachan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Location
    Highlands of Scotland
    Posts
    374
    Thanks
    911
    Thanked 627 Times in 246 Posts
    Rep Power
    2

    Default Re: A Big Swan

    Thank you kindly, Jens

  25. #17
    Senior Member Cyril's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    504
    Thanks
    857
    Thanked 263 Times in 158 Posts
    Rep Power
    5

    Default Re: A Big Swan

    This looks a very nice piece of Sawn.
    I never had this flex in any of my Swans I have. I am still on the hunt for just one pen then I stop widening my flock of Swans.

  26. #18
    Senior Member FredRydr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Carlisle, Pennsylvania USA
    Posts
    4,019
    Thanks
    1,031
    Thanked 4,718 Times in 1,999 Posts
    Rep Power
    15

    Default Re: A Big Swan

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
    ...my flock of Swans.
    If you want to impress, you have a bevy of swans. Or a wedge of swans if you toss them into the air.

  27. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to FredRydr For This Useful Post:

    eachan (December 21st, 2020), Schaumburg_Swan (December 21st, 2020)

  28. #19
    Senior Member eachan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Location
    Highlands of Scotland
    Posts
    374
    Thanks
    911
    Thanked 627 Times in 246 Posts
    Rep Power
    2

    Default Re: A Big Swan

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
    This looks a very nice piece of Sawn.
    I never had this flex in any of my Swans I have. I am still on the hunt for just one pen then I stop widening my flock of Swans.
    You'll get lucky one of these days. There are many flexible Swans around, though Ptero's one is exceptional.

  29. #20
    Member Schaumburg_Swan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Posts
    49
    Thanks
    180
    Thanked 48 Times in 18 Posts
    Rep Power
    0

    Default Re: A Big Swan

    Quote Originally Posted by FredRydr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
    ...my flock of Swans.
    If you want to impress, you have a bevy of swans. Or a wedge of swans if you toss them into the air.
    Interesting,

    so some have a flock of Pelican's or a bevy of Swan's...

    Thank You
    Jens
    Schaumburg_Swan aka SchaumburgSwan
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/136145166@N02/albums

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •