This is a highly collectable silver-plated & copper and large disc-shaped Victorian inkwell which was made by Elkington & Co in Birmingham.
Elkington & Co. were one of the most important names in English silver and silver plate. The company was founded in Birmingham as a company of silversmiths in 1836,
In the 1830s they started experimenting with gilding techniques and creating patinas on metalwares. This led to their development of a new patent for electroplating different metals onto a variety of metal surfaces (as we can see on my inkwell). Their metalwares were never cheap and the company was given the Royal Warranty to design pieces for Queen Victoria and subsequent rulers.
This is a very fine piece of Victorian metalwork / electroplate. It has has a very busy Neoclassical decoration all over the outer rim which features intricate images of Gods and Goddesses. The central image on the lid features Aurora who is shown driving the four horses pulling the chariot of the dawn.
It dates to around the 1850s - and the base is marked Elkington and has the impressed pattern number 941
It is 19.5 cm in diameter and has a height of 4 cm.
CONDITION REPORT: It is in excellent condition with no damages. The design is in two tones - with the figures in relief picked out in a rich copper colour and other areas are silver plate. It has a hinged lid which is nice and secure - and amazingly it has its original fluted glass liner - which is a very attractive clear glass one, as photographed. The main outer upper rim has all the details picked out with a burnished copper tone - the dipped ring band in the centre around the inkwell is a silver-tone and the lid is also predominately more silver. I don't think that the plate has been rubbed off on the decoration - but rather that Elkington are using different colours of metal to produce contrast to the design and a two-tone patina to the metal - there are no patchy singular areas (which would suggest wear) - and there are certainly no signs of confined areas of wear or rubbing to smaller specific areas. The back of the inkwell - has its original patina of age - as photographed.
My inkwell - is certainly in fantastic antique condition and will make a fine addition to your Victorian calligraphy collectables.
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