The charm of this French faience inkwell lies in the hand painted decor and its unique shape.
The central medallion depicts a person rowing a boat towards a chateau surrounded by woods on the edge of the body of water. Flanking this scene are two capped inkwells that sit inside a slot decorated with a shell motif. The wells, which are adorned with floral and foliate elements, can be removed from the slots to refill them. Directly underneath the medallion is a shallow dish that is about 8 inches long. This was probably used as a resting place for dip pens when they were not in use. The main motif of the dish is a delicate floral rinceau that traverses the entire length of it. Other elements of the inkwell set include triangular shaped latticework, more floral and foliate motifs, and other hand painted decor.
The shape of the inkwell set is rather unique. With a tilted crest and undulating frontage, this desk accessory is quite shapely. The painted inkwell slots also have an upward slope to them that mirror the crest. The base has concave beveling that travels all the way around the inkwell and is decorated with flowers and vines.
This French faience inkwell from the late 1800’s or very early 1900s can be used in the intended fashion as an ink set on a desk or it can function as a small storage compartment for everyday items such as keys, money clip or loose change. In French, we call this a “vide-poche”. The sought after blue and white coloration is sometimes referred to as Delftware.
CONDITION: Very good condition with minor fleabites and slight craquelure of paint.