We recently purchased from a private estate a collection of rare and unique Victorian inkwells. This example is signed Jennings Bros. The Jennings Brothers began their metalwork foundry in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1891 and remained open until the early 1950s. Jennings Brothers produced some of the most finely crafted art metal pieces that exist to this day. Their product line ranged from bookends to candlesticks to animal figurines, etc. Their methods of production required meticulous techniques which did not lend themselves to machine-directed mass production, but rather depended upon the handiwork of expert artists, sculptors and metal craftsman. Jennings Brothers metalwork is highly prized and their distinctive "JB" mark, which marked all of their products, is highly sought after by collectors world-wide. Jennings employed many new immigrants to the U.S. and their designs had an international flair. There is no other major metalwork foundry from this era with finishes as durable as Jennings Bros. and the complexity of their designs is highly prized. This is an exceptional example of their work. It is a Victorian inkwell in the shape of an English Pug dog. This whimsical piece is a pug with glass eyes. His head is hinged and tips back to reveal the inkwell with the original glass insert in perfect condition. He has a beautiful bronze patina over a base metal and is signed and numbered on the bottom, J.B. 683. One glass eye has an age line and the bronze finish shows normal wear for the age of the piece, please refer to photos. It measures 3 5/8 inches to the top of the ear and 5 ½ inches deep by 5 ¼ inches at the widest point and weighs 2 lbs. This is absolutely adorable and would be the centerpiece of a vintage inkwell collection.
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