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Ink stand: C.2065 & A-D-1928

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Production: Unidentified Westerwald pottery




Grey salt-glazed stoneware double-sided inkstand with four inkwells, decorated with figures of musicians, and panels pierced with ornamental patterns

Grey salt-glazed stoneware, hand-built with moulded, stamped, impressed, and pierced parts, and salt-glaze. The inkstand has a rectangular base supported on six fluted ball feet applied to the underside, which as two circular rolls of clay, one above the other, in the middle. Round the outer edge there is a border of two rows of impressed wave motifs. In the middle of the top of of the base there is an erection of openwork with two tiers, topped by two parrots. Applied to its right and left ends there is a narrow openwork panel and below it a rectangular panel with two birds perching on an inverted openwork heart. In front of the structure, on both sides, there are two cylindrical open trelliswork containers with flat tops, pierced by circular holes to hold the two ink pots, and three smaller holes for pens. At the back of the tops, on each side, there are three vertical projections, resembling a small building with columns on two levels. In front of the wells, in the middle, there is an openwork medallion, and on each side of the central structure a half openwork medallion. On one side, the upper level has two standing musicians playing a horn and a hurdy-gurdy, and on the lower level, three playing a ?, a hurdy-gurdy and a horn. On the other side, the upper level has on the left, man with a large garland of fruit and flowers draped across his body, and on the right, a man playing bagpipes, and on the lower level, a man playing a horn, and another playing a ?; the third figure, playing a hurdy-gurdy has been detached. All the men are wearing boots, knee-length breeches decorated with a scale pattern, and close-fitting jackets with buttons and frogging. Five of them wear tricorne hats and the rest, hats with tall crowns and broad brims.


History note: Max and Maurice Rosenheim Collection; sold Sotheby's, 3-4 May 1923, Catalogue of the collection of porcelain & pottery formed by the late Max Rosenheim Esq. F.S.A. and Maurice Rosenheim Esq. F.S.A. (sold by order of the executors), on 2nd day, lot 175; purchased for £7.10s. 0d., by Dr J.W.L. Glaisher, FRS, Trinity College, Cambridge.

Legal notes

Dr J. W. L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 37.2 cm

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1928-12-07) by Glaisher, J. W. L., Dr


18th Century-19th Century#
Circa 1750 - 1850


The inkstand was dated to the first half of the 18th century by Rackham (1935), but its extraordinarily ornate design suggests that it is more likely to have been made in the 19th century

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Surface composed of salt-glaze
Base Depth 22 cm Width 17.5 cm
Ink Well Diameter 4.8 cm Height 4.5 cm Height 4.7 cm Height 5.3 cm

Materials used in production

grey Stoneware

Techniques used in production

Hand building

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.2065 & A-D-1928
Primary reference Number: 73065
Old object number: 4424
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 25 October 2022 Last processed: Tuesday 22 August 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Ink stand" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-10-04 02:43:48

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