The brilliant French blue color and the lavish enameling give this combination inkwell and bowl a commanding presence. It originates from Paris and dates from 1850-1860.
The base is of gilded bronze. There are four feet in the form of double arabesques. The porcelain bowl is set onto a gilded bronze platform. The platform has a wide decorative band. There is a gilded bronze mount placed around the outside edge of the bowl. The enamel and hand painted gilt design is extravagent, with a scalloped outer frame layered on top of a hand painted black and silver point and scallop frame. The scallops are filled by tiny dots of white enamel. At each point of the scallop are red enamel flowers alternating with double facing enamel hearts of red and navy. There is a black and gilt zig-zag frame at the bottom above the center bowl. An elaborate pattern of hand painted gilt flowers accented by red and navy enamel forms the central medallion.
The inkwell has a charming shape. It sits on a fancy gilded bronze platform with a stylized foot. The gilt and enamel design repeats from the bowl; with white, red and navy enamel with design elements of hearts, flowers and scallops. The inkwell has gilded bronze mounts and a fancy gilded bronze finial. The inkpot is of white porcelain. There is a wooden/metal ink pen which sits into the gilded bronze holders.
The measurements are: 7" across. 5 1/4" back to front at widest point, the porcelain bowl 1 1/4" tall, the inkwell measures 4" tall, the inkpot measures 1 1/4" deep. It survived in very good antique condition with no noticeable missing areas to the enamel design. The inkpot has no cracks or chips. The porcelain well and bowl have no cracks or chips.
It is an exceptional example from a beloved period of opulence and fine workmanship in French accessory design.