This is an extremely rare inkwell.
I have been unable to find another one quite like it.
It must date to the late 19th century or very early 20th century.
It is unmarked with the maker's details but as you can see in my photographs - it is certainly a high-quality antique example.
There is no loss to the plate - and this seems to resemble other items made of Britannia Silver Plate. It might even be Continental in origin - as the model appears to be a little Austrian or perhaps Bavarian boy wearing a traditional hat with a big flouncy feather on the side - and little cord tassels details. Remarkably, the very delicate upright feather has survived over 100 years with no damages. There appears to be a little maker's mark on the base - but I am unable to decipher it.
The hat of the little boy is hinged at the back and tips back to reveal its original fitted metal inkwell - this can be removed. The inkwell is not solid metal but is hollow made of thick cast metal.
I have decided not to polish it - and it retains a slightly darkened patina to the metal - which is commensurate with age - the patina is not applied to a modern piece to simulate age - the antique finish is authentic to the pieces of this date.
I have taken lots of images for your inspection - and from these, you should be able to most easily assess the exceptional condition and the detailing of this most unusual inkwell.
I just love the crisp casting of the wee boy's curly hair, the folds of the little cravat tied around his neck - and of course - all the little flumes and quills on his big feather.
It is just stunning - probably an item for the more specialist collector. I am sure that they will be able to identify this well fellow quite readily and want to add him to their collection.
Dimensions: The height to the top of his feather is 4 1/4 inches. The diameter of his hat is about 3 1/2 inches. The width of the base is 3 3/4 inches.
The weight unpacked is 600 grams.
Sadly, I will be unable at present to post this item to EU countries. I apologize for this.
Postage here is quoted for Special Next Day Delivery Service in the UK - which will come in at around £10.