This charming encrier, or inkwell, is made from silvered brass and gilt bronze. A central gilded figure holding a shepherd’s crook stands on top of a hexagonal pedestal with supporting brackets made of curled leaves. Flanking the vivid shepherdess and her dog (or sheep) are two cut circles that house the silver topped crystal inkwells. A row of small palmettes encircle each inkwell and extends in front of the shepherdess.
The recessed center tray, where the pens would lay when not in use, is adorned with a raised molding that mirrors the unique shape of the tray. Etched floral and foliate elements run along the inside of the molding. The tray sits on two distinct sets of feet. The back feet are angular plinths adorned with curled leaves. The front feet are monopodial espagnolettes. Not to be confused with the locking mechanism of the same name, an espagnolette is an ornamentation that depicts the bust of a woman. In this case, the bust is a sphinx, which is a mythical creature with the upper body of a woman and the lower body of a lion, as represented by the single paw foot. Between the sphinxes is a heart-shaped cartouche surrounded by curled leaves and a water leaf. In the center of the heart is a stylish monogram with the two letters “J” and “D”.
Our unique circa 1900 silvered brass and gilt encrier would make a fantastic addition to any office or library.
CONDITION: Wear commensurate to age and use with minor scratches to brass. Buildup to gilding. One inkwell has been replaced.