Friday, December 9, 2011

A beautiful Worcester Inkwell

A Flight & Barr Worcester Sea Shell Decorated Inkwell,
Shell painting by Samuel Smith,
Circa 1800-05

The circular inkwell is decorated with a Barr's orange ground and gilding. To the front is a rectangular panel painted with sea shells, coral and seaweed, the seaweed with dendritic sprigs in purple, a style now associated with Samuel Smith based on signed pieces given to the Dyson Perrins Museum in Worcester in 1976 by descendants.
The gilding on the reverse has three panels. The two outer panels depict a palm leaf and the centre one a face surrounded by plumage, possibly depicting a Native American something I have never seen before.
Mark: scratch B on base.
Dimensions: 2 3/4 inches (6.5cm); diameter: 2 7/8 inches (7.5cm)

Early painted inkwells are considered rare.

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