This is a truly superb and rare antique French sterling silver inkstand, with double wells and outstanding figural decoration. The center of the inkwell features a woman standing with upraised arms in flowing classic garb. She wears a tiara, two bracelets on her upper arms and a jeweled belt around her hips. Two statuesque female busts adorn the lids of each inkwell, with guilloche engraving on the urn shaped bodies and lids. The standing figure and inkwells rest upon a stand, also guilloche engraved, features strapped panels, depressions for desk related paraphernalia such as stamps or paper clips, wax seal (sceau) decorated with rocailles engraving. The stand rests on four 'feet'. Two display cartouches with space for a monograms surrounded by graceful rocailles and lamberkins. The other two feet decorated with grotesque mascarons encased in finely chased acanthus, beads and strapped rolled feet. At the back side of the stand is an ornate raised pen holder, boasting a wonderful wild-cat's head, which in effect peeks over the pen when a pen rests upon the extended arms. The design work is very intricate and words will not suffice to include all of the masterful strokes employed in the inkwells' creation. The piece is elegant and intricate; the work excellent. There are .950 sterling silver guarantees, the head of Mercury indicating the piece was made for export, placed in numerous places; the body of the stand, the wells, the lids of the wells, and more! This remarkable, masterly crafted inkstand is attributed to renowned Parisian silversmith Veyrat Fils, and dates to the late 1800s.
Dimensions: 12.5" wide, 8" front to back, and 8.75" high. Weight at least 750 grams.
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