Palais Royal Mother of Pearl and Ormolu Ink well Antique French Grand Tour 1880
A beautiful antique French Palais Royal octagonal shaped glass inkwell mounted in a mother of pearl and ormolu stand. The stand has three oval shaped cut shells each mounted in a metal frame and forming the legs of the stand. There is a central grapevine embossed straight sided ring (or short tube) in which the glass ink well sits. Attached to this ring are three ornate pressed ormolu shell design scroll spacers that could be described as stylised butterflies in shape. The whole is soldered together to form a roughly triangular shaped stand.
The short generally mushroom shaped glass inkwell has a cylindrical stem below the hexagonal shaped shoulder. There is a short cylindrical hollow stem above the shoulder to which fits a lid. The small domed ormolu lid is decorated with a engraved floral petal pattern, topped with an applied ball knob or finial. The lid has a small ring soldered to one side on to which a short yellow metal chain is attached, the other end of the chain is fastened to one of the butterfly scroll spacers.
This item is typical of those retailed in the shopping arcades under the colonnades of the Palais Royal in Paris in France. It is possibly a small memento of the Grand Tour. The inkwell dates to the latter half of the 19th century circa 1880.
The inkstand is approximately 2 3/8 inches or 5.9 cm high and the base is 3 3/4 inches or 9.5 cm wide. It weighs 98 grammes unpacked.
The ink stand is in good usable antique condition. One of the shells looks slightly different from the other two. Each of the shell frames has some glue underneath, whether this is the original method of fastening as they are naturally different sizes and shapes or old repairs we do not know. The top rim of the glass inkwell has some small chips, but these are covered by the lid.
This is a very decorative antique Grand Tour memento from the Palais Royal and is suitable both for display and use and would be a great gift for a dip pen aficionado or calligrapher.