Offering for sale a very rare signed Jennens & Bettridge mid-19th Century inkstand or Standish of papier mache with the decorations only Jennens & Bettridge did so well., This piece is of black background lacquer over the papier mache, on which are beautiful inlaid mother of pearl or abalone pearl accents and gold gilt highlights. The decoration in the center is sort of a pond or waterside scene, notice the delicate inlay of pearl and gold painting in the "water" inside the pen stand ! What I really love about their workmanship was the selection of the mother of pearl in slightly differing shades or tones for different areas, not sure if this was a natural selection or if they gently hand colored the pearl to achieve this effect. This set consists of the one piece pen stand with stamp box attached and a removable glass inkwell. The inkwell is of very thick fine glass, it does have a small area on the underside chipped off on a corner and several tiny chips, none of which affects the usability of the well. The well has a lovely design with deep decorative grooves on all sides. The original cap is gone, it was probably a simple brass, and replacements should be available. The stamp box is just precious, permanently attached to the stand with the top removable and decorated with a lovely winged creature we think is a dragonfly in lovely shades of gold. Inside the stamp box are some old pen nibs and two old stamps. On each of the four "corners" a lovely decorative circle of more inlaid mother of pearl surrounded with gold gilt decorations; these each are over the round white feet underneath the stand. The papier or paper mache is in very good condition, we do not see any significant damage and only minor wear. This piece is a lot prettier than the photos, it is a delicate balance to photograph these inlaid paper mache with enough flash to show off the decorations without putting too much shine on the black background. The red color you see when looking at the glass well is the red felt that is glued inside the well holder, the glass is crystal clear. We also have not cleaned either the papier mache or the glass for these photos, we will leave any cleaning or restoration to the new owner. In researching this piece, there are very few signed Jennens ink or pen stands available, we found a similar one to this a while back, slightly larger, at over seventeen hundred, so this one is a real bargain for the fine Jennens & Bettridge collector. This beauty is 8 & 1/4" long, 5 & 1/4" deep, and 2" tall measured at the stamp box.
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