The Swan Mabie Todd 2K, C-585, M2 fountain pen.

The Swan Mabie Todd. Engraved with the name ‘Robert Bishop’. Nib states Swan: 2K: C-585

Section and feed imprint of M2. Cannot read end of barrel numeration/lettering. 

A find on eBay. Bought 4 or 5 years ago. Not as yet sure of date of manufacture. Presents with a wet nib. Did spill out ink in early days but seems to have settled. The pen since bought has not been attended to at all. A service would probably bring a new lease of life. But, as with vintage, I have reluctance to separate the parts if they seem to be coping with frequent use. Fills okay, so will continue to work with what is currently fine. 

The pen cap has a wavy striating design. I do think of steroid use and possible effects on skin when mentioning striating (Striae Distensae=Stretched skin). The pen was obviously loved with the wearing off of barrel information. The Swan emblem and some lettering having faded/worn through constant handling. The nib has little feedback noise. Hardly any on smoother papers. Spider filigree crawls on this lining wall paper below. But performs really well on the Khadi hand made, various GSM cotton papers. 

Please tap on individual photos to enlarge.

This photograph example here below of Sheaffer ink on the Khadi paper was noticeably running out. Hence the look of ink starvation to paper. I refilled with Quink for use on the burnished deckle edged hand made paper of unknown make. There was extreme wetness seen on some words with a heavier presented pressure on the nib to this ‘unknown’ paper. This took 4 to 5 minutes to eventually dry.  Both papers held the ink well though. No spidery filigree crawl at all.

Please tap on individual photos to enlarge.

The more porous handmade Indian paper, in the Filofax, with the pressed in leaves, stalks and petals, ran small spidery lines from lettering. Akin to, but not as bad as, the written on lining wallpaper. 

All in all. I use the ‘Robert Bishop’ on Khadi papers most of the time. Performs well on most of Khadi’s GSM paper choices. Khadi do supply finishes that are specific for notebook writing, watercolour and sketching pads. So there is obviously different finishes affecting drying times and acceptance with/of different ink choices. I tend to use familiar, true and trusted inks with vintage pens. I like Parker Quink, Waterman and Sheaffer. On the look out for Pelikan and Aurora, which oddly I’ve never tried. Diamine, I have found, seems very gentle too. 

However, regarding the best colour choice to avoid contamination is something I have not considered. Blues? I am not a fan of, but should imagine they are more gentle with vintage systems than dark, rich black inks. I haven’t investigated at all though.

The nib/feed quality, how they sit against each other and overall design would be a worthwhile consideration too re: various inks’ presentation in dryness or wetness. I happen to find the nib/ink/paper trilogy of choice and subsequent effective/non-effective synergy a fascinating one.  

The Faber Castell Progress 55G Fountain Pen.

Just bought a little project pen yesterday. This Faber Castell Progress 55G medium nib. Dated around the 1960s. Has a bit of contamination to pen cap. The nib looks caked too. Although? Apparently quite difficult to find a Gold nib choice. Paid £12.99 and included are those fude nibs and ancient bottle too. The Progress 55G? I have seen, on YouTube, how the 55S (silver) nib performs. Looks awesome. So fingers crossed! 

Please tap on individual photos to enlarge.

2 thoughts on “The Swan Mabie Todd 2K, C-585, M2 fountain pen.”

  1. I think the writing from the Swan Mabie Todd is lovely. I find it interesting what you say about using black ink. I would always prefer blue. In the 80s, working for law firms, I was told to always sign with blue ink and I guess now, I just always use blue. Originally it was because it was more difficult to photocopy blue … how times have changed … we now scan and use our signatures electronically

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you re: the writing. Black ink is a nurse thing for files, etc. Blue is not a non-liked. I have used it. But only in cartridges. Never bought a bottle for fountain pens. But have bought a bottle of an India ink in turquoise for use with the dip nibs. Bit bright though! All the best.

      Liked by 1 person

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