Wonderfully Crazy Black Forest Inkwell carved in the form of a Cat Stuck in a Boot


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THE STORY - Now I am an owner of three cats and I can honestly say I completely recognise that expression on this dear cat's face, it is the same expression my cats show when they have inadvertently got themselves stuck and could do with a helping hand, so obviously my heart was sold on this wonderful inkwell. The inkwell is a lovely example of Black Forest Carving and would date I imagine to the turn of the last century circa 1900. It is finely carved with so many charming details such as the hole in the toe of the shoe, the nails and the crack in the sole of the shoe and the two laces hanging down from his paws. The colour of the wood is light almost the colour of honey and is most likely either Linden or Walnut as these were the two woods most commonly used for these carvings. And then of course we have the wonderful carving of that cat's face giving it such a great expression, in fact when I looked at my photos it almost looks like he has a little tongue poking out, but he doesn't but what he does have is those two gorgeous glass eyes staring imploringly up at you. To access the inkwell you have to lift the top of the shoe with the cat's head and there in the well is a white ceramic inkwell, which I am pretty certain is the original one as it fits so perfectly. Of course I did research this inkwell and did come across a few similar examples but each one unique, even one with the cat wearing an eye patch and every time it seemed that the shoes were in different states of disrepair

AGE - Circa 1900

CONDITION - This inkwell is in very good condition. The hinge is still strong with just a small bit of movement and I believe it to be original. There is as I hope you can see in the second photo and interesting hole in the shoe at the side, now I am not certain if it is meant to be there or if it is a knot in the wood which has come out, certainly the hole is old and from looking at other examples the boots do have faults, but it is impossible for me to be certain. The eyes am certain are the original ones. The ceramic inkwell does have a chip in underside of its rim which you can just see in the sixth photo and there are signs of blue ink that once upon a time was stored within.

DIMENSIONS (Approx) - Height 3&3/4" / 9.5cm, Width 5" / 13cm, Depth 2" / 5cm

I refuse to believe that whoever carved this wonderful inkwell was not an experienced cat owner and lover as the look they have captured in that cat's face is priceless and instantly recognisable to me as a cat lover. It really is quite incredible that they have created this from a piece of wood and a pair of glass eyes, but I am very pleased they have and so I think did those who owned this beautiful inkwell in the past as they have helped with their touch over the many years to give this inkwell a beautiful and soft patina. He is glorious.

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