Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Elementary Gift

Most pen fanatics are familiar with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the famed author of the Sherlock Holmes stories, having once been an advertising spokesman for the Parker Duofold. However, that was at the end of his life.

This Swan eyedropper was once a gift from mystery writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his wife to James Holmes during the Christmas of 1910.

Before there was such a thing as a Parker Duofold, one can speculate about what pens he would have used. Well, if what he gave as decadent gifts are any clue, it might have been Swan pens!

As I have said many times before, one of my favorite parts about owning this business is meeting tons of awesome people from around the world. This past week I was contacted by Sharon in the UK, and she had a spectacular pen to share.

Here is the tail imprint on this Swan pen from 1910.

It was a Christmas gift her great grandfather, a coincidentally named James Holmes, received from “Sir Arthur and Lady Conan Doyle” in 1910. It appears to be a rolled gold Swan eyedropper with a hammered finish!

She is having it appraised by a famous auction house in London, but she also was hoping we might be able to come up with a reasonable figure. While I could come up with a reasonable number for such a pen without a famous inscription, I felt pretty confident a pen from the creator of Sherlock Holmes took it to the next level.

Any thoughts, Loyal Readers?

This shows the heavily worn section and nib of this Swan eyedropper given by the creator of Sherlock Holmes.

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