This fun and very functional traveling inkwell was made on November 19, 1858, based on the impressed registration number. It is made of heavy brass, and is shaped like a weight so the base is wider than the top, allowing it to be very sturdy when set down. A ring on top acts as a handle. “2 lb” is etched into the front. Above that is a button which opens the lid when pressed. When it’s closed, the lid is tight so ink will not leak. To ensure no leakage, the inside of the lid has a leather (or possibly hard rubber) “plug” that fits into the ink bottle top when closed. The bottle is glass with a metal top. There is no base; we are not sure if there ever was one as the bottom of the side is nicely finished and doesn’t appear to have anything attached to it. This inkwell is quite heavy considering its size.
The registration mark is impressed or etched on the back under the hinge.
SIZE: This inkwell measures about 2 5/8” high with the ring down. The ring adds about 1 1/4” when raised. Diameter at the base is 2 1/4”.
CONDITION: Condition of this little beauty is very good. The body of the inkwell has no dents or cracks in the metal. The ring has some separation where the edges were connected. The hinge is in excellent condition, as is the opening and closing mechanism. The ink bottle is also in excellent condition, with no cracks or chips in the glass or dents in the brass top.
Note: We did not clean this inkwell, for fear of removing the patina.
This is a wonderful example of a mid 19th century traveling inkwell; a fine addition to any inkwell collection.