Both fun and exotic – that's the best way to describe this wonderful Chinese brass inkwell. It's shaped like a drum with a carved dragon flying up the front. The sides are also carved with a stylized design. The best part, in our minds, is that the hinge is made to look like one of the drum sticks, while the other drumstick rests below it. The lid hinges open to reveal the metal insert. Most of the "pins" around the side edges are actually cast or pushed out of the brass, but there are three on one side that are actual pins (we can feel the ends inside); these are copper rather than brass. This is a great inkwell made in China in the late 1800s for the European market. The figural shape makes it desirable, and quite unusual.
SIZE: The base measures 4" x 1 1/3". The "drum" measures 2" x 2 ½" and the inkwell to the top of the ring is about 3" high.
CONDITION: There are no dents or obvious damage to the metal. The hinge is in great shape. The drum is securely attached to the base, but it does move back and forth a bit; possibly this was done on purpose. There is a residue of ink built up in the front and in places on the edges which we believe can be cleaned. Doing so will remove the patina, so we are leaving that decision up to the new owner.