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Author Topic: Rd 483568 - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Inkwell  (Read 393 times)

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Offline neilh

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Rd 483568 - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Inkwell
« on: February 03, 2017, 06:31:04 PM »
We've had this family heirloom for about 100 years. Back in WW1 my great-grandfather and his brother did their training at Crowborough in Sussex. Conan Doyle lived in the town. He was well known for supporting the local soldiery and often used to gift items from his house. My great-grandfather's younger brother was a talented artist, and we think this may have led to Conan Doyle gifting him this particular object, which we have kept ever since.

It was only earlier this week I noticed it had a registration number on it: 483568, which is July 1906. It has an EPNS stamp for Sheffield, company of Harrison Fisher. The base is electroplate and bears the registration number, yet the ink well is unmarked. It has a brass top with a mirror on the underside.

So I'm unclear what is the subject of the registration here - surely not the electrotat plate. The glass? The glass and plate in combo? Is it common for the registration for these inkwells to be marked on the accompanying plate? Seems odd to me. Paul if you get the chance to look this up at Kew I would be very grateful, I can't see this reg mentioned elsewhere. Then we could see who produced an item that caught Conan Doyle's eye!

Offline Paul S.

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Re: Rd 483568 - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Inkwell
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2017, 06:54:35 PM »
hi Neil  -  can well imagine an author as renowned as Doyle having something more than just an ordinary ink well.

When the British Board of Trade commenced their system of Registrations back in 1842, they created no less than 13 separate CLASSES to accommodate the various materials which were being used for domestic and industrial designs, and metal was in fact CLASS I, so obviously considered an important material at the time  -  perhaps now it might be plastic (which they then didn't obviously have a CLASS for).

My feeling is that your glass inkwell design doesn't form part of this Registration, which is almost certainly for the metalwork only.        There are, as we've seen previously on the Board, some designs which have been Registered as a shape to be produced in both glass (CLASS III) and ceramic (CLASS IV), and as a consequence carry a single Reg. No. for both CLASSES, but in those instance the protection is for a design, and other features, that are intended to be identical.

Will have a look at your No. when next I visit in a week or two's time, and post some pix for you to see  -  a very nice item.

Offline Paul S.

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Re: Rd 483568 - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Inkwell
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2017, 09:51:30 PM »
Not all the information I wanted, unfortunately, so will have to wait to the next visit to verify the Registrant's name/address  -  amazing how easy it is to come away minus some piece of info you wanted! -  it may well be that the Registrant was in fact Harrison Fisher, but not 100% sure yet.

In view of the description this item may well have been made simply as a general purpose tray or waiter as is suggested in the Register, since the factory sepia photo doesn't include the central hole.           The outer decoration has an art nouveau look about it - curves and natural forms etc.              But it doesn't appear that there was an intention to specifically Register an ink well tray..........   so maybe more commercially viable to simply make a tray which could be used for a variety of purposes, although always possible the sellers catalogue included this item shown being available for multiple purposes  -  an ink well tray being one of them.          We'll probably never know the full answer.

Offline neilh

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Re: Rd 483568 - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Inkwell
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2017, 10:26:22 PM »
Thanks for looking Paul, so more to do with the tray. 100 years on it looks a lot tattier than the one in the photo!

 

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