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  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Inkwell; beaten brass, double inkwell of rectangular form, flaring out towards the base, the wells fitted with domed hinged lids having a scrolling thumb-piece formed of a strip of brass in one piece with the lid.

  • Producer name

  • Date

    • 1901-1903 (designed)
    • 1904-1910 (made between)
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 25 centimetres
    • Width: 15 centimetres
    • Height: 7.8 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        maker's mark
      • Inscription Position

      • Inscription Content

        JB Co
      • Inscription Comment

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Position

      • Inscription Content

      • Inscription Comment

        Model number.
  • Curator's comments

    Text from J. Rudoe, 'Decorative Arts 1850-1950. A catalogue of the British Museum collection'. 2nd ed. no. 300.
    The double inkwell was exhibited alongside the pen tray (see Decorative Arts 1850-1950, Cat. 299) at the Arts & Crafts Exhibition Society's exhibition of 1903; it was made by Rathbone& Company and cost £1 12s. 6d. with stand {Catalogue of the Seventh Exhibition, 1903, 151, 394 gg). For contemporary illustrations, see The Studio 28, London 1903, 28 and Kunst & Kunsthandwerk, vi, Vienna 1903, 73. It is likely that both inkwell and pen tray were designed at the same time for Voysey's own house. Items illustrated in contemporary views of The Orchard were often used in Voysey's later houses.
    This design was also used for a single inkwell, see Brighton 1978, Royal Pavillion Art Gallery and Museum, 'C.F.A. Voysey: architect and designer 1857-1941', exhibition catalogue, J. Brandon-Jones et al, E 7 (private collection); for an example of the double version with its own stand in the form of a pen tray, see London 1986, Fischer Fine Art, 'Truth, Beauty and Design. Victorian, Edwardian and Later Decorative Art', no. 141.
    The inkwell was initially produced by the Birmingham arts and crafts metalworking business of R. LL. B. Rathbone, part of which was taken over by the Faulkner Bronze Company in 1902; the latter was reconstituted as Jesson, Birkett & Co., in 1904.     This new company took over more of Rathbone's business, but was liquidated in 1910. This inkwell can therefore be dated securely to 1904-10. For the history of the various Birmingham workshops, see Birmingham 1984, City Museum and Art Gallery, 'By Hammer and by Hand. The Arts & Crafts Movement in Birmingham', ed. A. Crawford, 113.


  • Bibliography

    • Rudoe 1994 300 bibliographic details
    • Rudoe 1991 300 bibliographic details
  • Location


  • Associated places

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number


Inkwell; beaten brass, double inkwell of rectangular form, flaring out towards the base, the wells fitted with domed hinged lids having a scrolling thumb-piece formed of a strip of brass in one piece with the lid.

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Object reference number: MCT9487

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