Although traveling inkwells were created to be practical, they were often made to be fun novelty items as well. This one is a great example of such a novelty inkwell, most likely made for the gentleman traveler of the late 1800s into the early 1900s. It is shaped like a rugby ball, complete with laces on the top. It is made of brass with a thin leather or faux leather material covering it. It has a spring loaded mechanism that shuts tightly and opens with the press of the button in the front. The main lid opens to reveal another spring loaded lid. This one opens by pushing the clasp to the side. The underside of this lid has leather covering the spring that allows the lid to securely cover the ink bottle, keeping ink from spilling.
SIZE: This inkwell measures about 2 1/8 inches by 1 5/8 inches, and is about 1 5/8 inches high.
CONDITION: The inkwell appears to have gotten wet at some point. Apparently, the glue became wet and lost its adhesiveness. The leather top slides off. Please look at the last two pictures. We decided not to glue the cover back on—leaving that to the new owner. If this is just to be displayed we wouldn’t do anything to the lid.
There is staining on the leather covering, and some tarnishing on the brass inside. The ink bottle itself does not appear to have been used. There are no ink stains in the bottle or on the leather covering the inner lid. Both clasps work well; both spring loaded mechanisms also are working well.