This listing is for a lovely 19th Century French Paris Exposition souvenir double inkwell stand decorated with three eglomise medallions depicting famous Paris tourist attractions with the Palais d'Eau and Trocadero in the center. The medallions are all set in brass bezels surrounded with a gilt brass design with a hook on each side to hold a ladies pearl handle nib pen. On each side of the caddy is a reticulated brass holder supporting a beautifully panel-cut clear glass ink bottle that was most likely made by Baccarat. Each ink bottle has an engraved brass lid that is attached to the base with a small chain. Between the inkwells is a lovely white opaline glass accessory tray. The inkwell stand is supported in the front with two twisted brass curved legs ending with ball feet and two unadorned legs in the back.
Dimensions: 5 1/8" high, 7" wide (at bottles) and 2 1/2" deep. Center tray measures 4" long. Ink bottles are 1 3/8" high and 1 1/2" wide. Weighs 10.7 ounces.
Condition: This unusual souvenir double inkwell is in very good to excellent Estate condition with no noted flaws other than minor wear commensurate with age. The eglomise medallions are in very good shape with clean views and no damage to the glass and the brass frame reflects naturally aged patina.
Novelty items such as this ink stand were popular at shops on the Palais Royal when wealthy travelers visited Paris during the Grand Tour era and were often purchased as souvenirs. Many eglomise items haven't survived in good condition and nice examples are getting hard to find. Eglomise is a French term referring to the process of applying a design and gilding onto the back of a glass panel to produce a mirror finish. However, the technique of reverse painting on glass actually dates back to pre-Roman eras. Over time, the term eglomise has come to be used to describe nearly any process that involves reverse painting on glass.