This unusual and beautiful inkwell dates to the 19th Century. It is made of porcelain in the Kutani style, which is from Japan. It is trimmed and set on a gilt bronze base that appears to be French in origin. It was common in the mid to late 19th Century to import porcelain from the Orient and then fashion it into objects appealing to Westerners.
The piece has a hinged lid which opens to reveal a white porcelain inkwell. The inkwell may have been removable at one time but is now permanently affixed. The porcelain has the distinct orange, gold and white colors of Kutani and has hand painted designs of leaves and birds. The bronze mounts have a heavily embossed design.
The piece stands approximately 5 1/2" high to the top of the finial on the lid. The base measures 5 1/8" by 5 1/8". It is in fine antique condition.
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Antiques and whimsies from a gentler age.