Here is an appealing inkstand or standish that would sit proudly on a desk and hold liquid ink and quills—in this case, probably for the lady of the house. Bands of brown and gilt flowers in white bands stretch across the surface of the pink ground. There are three separate small containers, and each has a lid—the lids on the sides with circular finials and in the middle with a tiny seated angel as a finial. At back center the handle for carrying (but I don't think this was ever carried) is formed as the mouth of a sea creature or perhaps a serpent. This very attractive set is eight and three-quarters inches at its widest dimension. It is unmarked but it was made by the Chamberlain factory in Worcester. (Coalport made a similar but slightly less ornate version. ) This one shows no sign of use or any darkening from actually having ink in it. I expect most of these kinds of items were simply for show and were hardly ever used. Inkstands have small, easily broken pieces and few survive with everything intact. Here, there are several small repairs, all expertly done. Two lids have been reglued, and the new pink paint (covering the glue line) has faded almost to white. One of the ring finials has a crack. There is slight gilt wear to the edges, plus an unrepaired chip to one of the angel wings, as shown. The inserts for the containers are missing, but they would be invisible with the lids in place. The body of the base has no repairs. (Note: Under the now faded pink paint on the lids, I think the original pink ground is still there. It wouldn’t take much to do a repaint or a better repair, revealing the original pink.)

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Laureate Antiques

Antique Chamberlain Worcester Inkstand with Cupid Finial, c 1810-20.


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