Small but Incredible Antique Limoges Sweet Chestnut Inkwell


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THE STORY - So there wasn't too much research needed to find out where this incredible little inkwell was made as it helpfully tells us on the nut, but for some reason I was surprised that I could find no other example of such an inkwell and I have to say I did originally think it was a Horse Chestnut Conker, but when researching Limoges I discovered it was famous for it's Sweet Chestnuts indeed there is a lake called Chestnut Lake which is situated 20 miles North of Limoges and I wonder if this little inkwell was indeed a tourist piece from that area. As I have said I was unable to find any other like inkwells but my instinct tells me that it would date to the turn of the 1900s. It is I think made of Spelter which has been painted and it's detail is glorious, it looks so life like, with even the size of it being what one would expect, and I absolutely love the slightly browning leaves which one would expect with an autumn fruit. Inside there is a tiny little glass inkwell which has left in the bottom of it the remnants of some red ink and I do believe it was the original glass pot as it fits so perfectly within it. And yes this inkwell has been used it was obviously a much appreciated gift, as I hope you can see from my photos when you open it up some paint from both the nut and the inside of the shell has come off.

DATE - Circa 1905

CONDITION - The inkwell is in good condition, considering it's age, it does as I have already have paint missing mainly from the nut and inside the lid which I hope you can see from the photographs. The hinge is still strong and in I would say very good order and the little glass pot has no chips or cracks that I can see.

DIMENSIONS (Approx) - Length 3&3/4" / 9cm, Height 1&1/4" / 3cm, Depth 1&3/4" / 4.5cm

I love looking at this inkwell from all directions, as it really is so very life like and it touches me with the sweetness of the design, a little tiny ink pot within a Nut, it must of looked amazing on the desk it originally sat on, and I cannot help but wonder whether when the original owner used their inkwell did they have memories hopefully very happy ones of that trip to Limoges. It would make a wonderful addition to any collection of Inkwells, but trust me it is so decorative in it's own right it would look wonderful in any display.

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