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19th Century Grand Tour Fancy Brass Opaline Encrier/Inkwell
This is such a pretty and delicately crafted little inkwell! It dates from the late nineteenth century.
It was produced during the time period which was known as the "Grand Tour", a time when wealthy Europeans traveled extensively. Artisans endeavored to create different and unusual items to sell to these affluent travelers. These items were considered important enough to be exhibited at the Great Expositions in Paris and London alongside items made by the great Parisian workshops (such as Lalique).
This little beauty features a picture of the Pantheon, in Paris, which is set underneath a round glass. This picture is fascinating, as the Pantheon is standing alone with very few buildings around it (unlike today). This picture is framed by a wide (1/2") brass circle which has scalloped edges. The opaline inkwell is held into place by the most delicate of brass scroll work. Two "C" shaped handles, with flowers at the top extend out from the sides. The base is a wonderful combination of scrolls and leaves (finely detailed).
This item is in very good condition. The Pantheon picture is sharp and clear with original coloring. There is a tiny portion at the very bottom of the picture where the brown color has been lost, but it is hardly noticeable when looking at the whole picture. The brass is in excellent condition (no soldering found). We have chosen to not polish it, leaving this to the discretion of the buyer. The lid opens and closes properly, the hinge is in good working order. There are traces of ink in the inkwell (which we feel adds to the charm of the inkwell).
The dimensions are: 2 1/4" tall, 3 5/8" wide; the bottom base 2 1/8" in diameter, the round glass enclosed picture 1" in diameter.
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