Incredbile Studded Antique Inkwell


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THE STORY - I confess that this little inkwell has perplexed my poor brain as it fights to marry the incredible simple but startling design of the piece with its obvious age. As I look at the inkwell with its beautiful domed wooden body, studded with those eight spikes, I feel like it is something that could have been made in the 1960's, but this apparently is not so, it is indeed made I understand in the late 1800's, possibly into the turn of the 1900's and I still find that incredible. But it is an incredible little inkwell. The shape of it is domed with the body turned from a wood of such a beautiful rich colour, which has acquired over the years a wonderful patina which shines so beautifully. The lid of the inkwell is brass, almost dish shaped and it covers inside a little glass liner for the ink which sits snuggly within but can easily be taken in and out. And then in contrast to the soft curves of the wooden body and the brass lid we have those eight spiked studs placed around the body of the inkwell, in two alternate rows 4 on the top and 4 on the bottom. I have seen another example of this inkwell where it has been described as looking like a Mace, which I do understand, but somehow I don't think this is a figurative piece, I think it is about beauty and not about novelty so I do wonder if this possibly could have been made under the umbrella of the Aesthetic Movement which was popular in the late 1800s, with their belief that decorative Art should not only be useful, but should very much be beautiful.

AGE - Circa 1890

CONDITION - The inkwell is in good condition. There are wonderfully no splits or scratches to the wood. The glass liner has no signs of old ink, it has a little chip to the top rim and it looks like the sides have I think little scratches although they could be dirt. The liner does fit perfectly in the body of the inkwell so I think it is the original one, although I cannot be certain. I am more than slightly annoyed with myself as when I photographed the inkwell, I thought there was a little scuff on the top of the lid, as I write this piece I have just discovered it is just some remnants of old glue which I have rubbed away. The hinge although strong is slightly loose where is is nailed on to the body and it simply sits on top not clicking into a locked position, whether it ever did lock shut I am not sure, but I don't think was made to be a travelling inkwell, so it may not have mattered.

DIMENSIONS (Approx) - Height 2&1/4" / 6cm, Diameter at Base 2&1/2" / 6.5cm, Diameter at Top 1" / 2.5cm

So there is the little inkwell that has perplexed my brain so greatly and what a great quality for it to wear, but it wears it along side its simple but impactful beauty. And I do wonder if today it maybe just that little more beautiful than the day it was made because today we now have that beautiful patina of time that shines so gloriously over it.

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