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Author Topic: Antique engraved inkwell  (Read 368 times)

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Offline mhgcgolfclub

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Antique engraved inkwell
« on: February 12, 2013, 08:22:05 PM »
I bought this old inkwell this morning . It was not until I got home and had a good look could I see the full quality of the glass and engraving.

Hand made and I am pretty sure hand engraved.

Measures 3.75" square or 10cm.

Weight 740 gm.

No markers mark or signature.

All help much appreciated.

Thanks Roy


Offline Paul S.

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Re: Antique engraved inkwell
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2013, 10:29:40 PM »
very nice Roy.          I'd suggest that, aside from the beveling around the base, all of the decoration has been wheel engraved, part of which looks rather like the early C19 egg and dart pattern (the elongated ovals below the swags).
What is the colour of the glass - are there any seeds/stones  -  is the base flat, or star cut  -  and what is the extent of wear.
Unfortunately, can't really help with positive date or origin.          What do you think the dog is holding in its mouth??


Offline mhgcgolfclub

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Re: Antique engraved inkwell
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2013, 11:30:38 PM »
Thanks Paul

The glass is very clear and bright , high lead content ?. I would agree with early C19 .

I have added a picture of the base which is flat and does not show that much ware but does not always means lack of age. The whole inkwell is near perfect. If you look at the base the whole inkwell is not symmetrically perfect and reminds me of early some C19 glass salts that I have had .

The dog is holding a hoop I believe.

Thanks Roy


Offline Paul S.

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Re: Antique engraved inkwell
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2013, 09:21:53 AM »
thanks Roy  -  lead glass from that period should have a distinctive greyish hue - I don't believe it should appear bright as with C20 lead crystal - try comparing the colour with anything you might have from the Georgian period  -  you should see the difference.
When you think of the working life of a 150 - 200 year old inkwell, my opinion is that it wouldn't be looking quite this good  -  and anything with sharp corners/edges is going to suffer, and you'd expect to see some edge wear/damage.         It's true about base wear though, so that's not necessarily a reliable indicator, but I'm a big fan of wear, and get worried if I can't find what I think I should be seeing.
I'm just a tad worried that, as you say, it's too 'near perfect'.

I had a notion that flat bases were possibly an indication of Continental manufacture - and this might tie in with the colour i.e. meaning that this could well be soda glass.                   I assume there wasn't any residue of dried ink  - and is that a separate liner I can see?          There is a considerable amount of work gone into this piece - although possibly it may not have the age we first thought. :)

I'd hoped others might comment - my thoughts could be very wrong. :)



Offline mhgcgolfclub

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Re: Antique engraved inkwell
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2013, 08:51:20 PM »
Thanks Paul

I keep looking at this inkwell and I am going to stick my head on the block and say 99.9% sure C19 . It's just got that feel and look to it and I do not think it would be easy or any real need to replicate that C19 look  , there is no doubt in my mind that its quite new .

I understand and agree with ware on such items which you may expect but there must be some exceptions. There are a couple of nicks to the corners and no residue of any ink so may never have been used as such .

I have tested it under my UV light and it does glow a soft yellow / green.

Thanks Roy 


Offline Paul S.

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Re: Antique engraved inkwell
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2013, 09:06:13 PM »
quote..................."there is no doubt in my mind that its quite new" . .....             or 'not' as the case may be ;D

As you have this in your hands Roy, and can tell more accurately, am sure you're correct, and it's just me being over-cautious. :)



Offline mhgcgolfclub

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Re: Antique engraved inkwell
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2013, 09:19:51 PM »
Paul I think your right to be cautious  ;D as I know it not easy making a judgment from pictures alone without handling an item.

I going to try and do some more research on this one I think.

Roy


Offline mhgcgolfclub

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Re: Antique engraved inkwell
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2013, 05:59:19 AM »
I have search the web and looked at hundreds of images but cannot find anything that similar to my inkwell.
Paul there are a couple of seeds / stones in the glass in the base.

Roy


Offline Paul S.

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Re: Antique engraved inkwell
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2013, 09:31:51 AM »
Inkwells are 100% not my area either Roy......about the only thing I can say is that I seem to recall seeing examples where the lid was hinged to the body with some sort of brass connection, but to what extent hinged sorts outweigh your stoppered pattern I've no idea.        Maybe hinged sorts came from a later period - and it's just possible that your example might have been contained within an 'inkstand' - which may account for the lack of wear.         As I say, the brightness of the glass is a bit worrying, and would dissuade me from thinking early C19.
I'm a big fan of seeds, although from experience I know that these can be found in glass made in the C20, so don't think that particular point - on it's own - is reliable guide to age, and the manganese fluorescence is of absolutely no help - been used for centuries as a decolouriser - although don't know for how long in the C20 it was used.
If pushed I might suggest the latter part of the C19 in date, but that is really an uneducated guess.       Anyway, best of luck with your research. :)

Life's a bummer, isn't there just always something you know nothing about.     Fill it with ink  -  ditch the pc  - and start writing letters, again  ;D


Offline Ohio

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Re: Antique engraved inkwell
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2013, 02:53:24 PM »
I am not much up on inkwells, but if I had found it over here I would have thought it was from the Corning NY area...turn of the century, 1895-1915 & one of the finest executed free standing inkwells I've ever seen...along the lines of Hawkes or Sinclaire. 

 

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