The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Inkstand
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • France
  • c. 1762
  • Oak, Sèvres soft-paste porcelain plaques and gilt bronze
  • Object size: 11 x 30.1 x 19.3 cm
  • Inscription: 'F. Feser July 1928 / J.B. 1965'
  • F286
  • Oval Drawing Room
Further Reading
  • This inkstand is mounted with twelve soft-paste Sèvres porcelain plaques (museum numbers C498 a-l), all decorated with flowers and a green ground. We know that the plaques were bought by the dealer Philippe Poirier between October and December 1762, which suggests that this is probably the earliest example of Poirier mounting an inkstand like this. From 1764 these plaques were known at Sèvres as 'plaques d'ecritoire', when the practice of mounting inkstands was more widespread. The date for the design of this one means that it is also an early example of a fully neo-classical shape.
    The design was also copied in the nineteenth century, with hard-paste porcelain plaques.
    The inkstand contains a gilt-bronze pen tray with reeded edges and a shorter tray (probably for a sponge for blotting ink) as well as an inkwell and a sand box (sand was also used to blot ink).