This is a hard to find traveling inkwell from the late 1800s or possibly very early 1900s that was given away as an advertising premium. It is shaped like a bottle and advertises Johan Hoff’s Malt Extract. The hinged bottle has a spring loaded mechanism; it opens by pushing a button (which is cleverly hidden under the label). Inside is a glass ink bottle. The inside of the lid has a leather covering over the spring which also fits down onto the bottle to keep ink from spilling).
The bottle is embossed on the shoulder with JOHANN HOFF and BERLIN. There is a label around the neck which claims: Highest Award Columbian Exposition. The main label advertises the Malt Extract with Iron for a general tonic – for nursing mothers, general debility, anaemia, chlorosis & others. Directions call for drinking a wine glassfull with meals and at bedtime.
SIZE: The inkwell measures 1 7/8 inches tall. Diameter at the base is 1 1/4 inches.
CONDITION: The metal is in excellent condition with no dents or cracks. The labels are in very good condition. The neck label is complete. The main label was taped into place at some point and is mostly complete although there are a few small pieces missing along the top and bottom edges.
After so many years, the lid is a little hard to open. Push the button on the front, and then gently lift the lid. It's stuck on the clasp, but will open with a little "click".
This is a fun piece of history and an inkwell that should be in every collection.