We always love inkwells that serve dual purposes. This one is fun in that it not only includes a thermometer, but it's also a great figural inkwell in the shape of a light house. It is made of brass, and is very nicely detailed. We are not quite sure of the date. The thermometer is interesting in that it uses the Farenheit and Reamur scale rather than Centigrade. The Reamur scale had widespread use in Europe during the 1700s and was discontinued in France in 1790. We aren't sure how long it may have been used in Britain or other countries. Lighthouses of this basic shape have been around since at least the early 1800s, so this could date back to early in the 19th century. It is also possible that it depicts a specific lighthouse, although we haven't found one that matches.
The insert, which sits behind the cutout windows at the top, is made of frosted glass. This gives an impression of glass windows. The thermometer back is made of bone or possibly ivory. The thermometer still has mercury in it, although it doesn't appear to be very accurately telling the temperature anymore!
The entire inkwell comes apart into three pieces, possibly for ease of cleaning. Each of the four posts on the bottom also screw on and off.
SIZE: Diameter at the base is 4 1/4" and height is about 8".
CONDITION: Two (possibly three) of the rings on the base appear to have been soldered back on at some point. We don't see any significant dings or dents in the brass. The insert is in good shape (we aren't quite sure how it would be replaced if it were damaged). The thermometer is also in very nice condition, with some staining of the background.
This is a terrific and quite rare inkwell!