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InkWells and Other Desktop Items - Pendemonium!

Updated October 4, 2017

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Inkwells - Special Offer!  Vintage Inkpots!

Vintage blue and white glazed porcelain inkpots.  Each is about 1.75 inches tall and the opening is 1 5/8 inches.  Cobalt blue floral design.  Perfect for pouring out a little ink when you're using a dip or glass pen. Just the right size for mixing a small quantity of inks. Or you could fill with water to clean off your nib.  Just perfect for pen people! We know their original purpose in life was not as an Inkpot. Most likely they were sake cups, but others have suggested they might be small Chinese teacups.  Whatever they are, we do think they make great inkpots!

W993-1 $10  each

1 Inkpot 

 

W993-2 $7.50  each

2 or more Inkpots

Vintage Inkwells

W919 $425

Swedish Silver Plate Double Inkstand - This ca. 1920s footed double inkstand with brilliant blue glass inkwell and pounce pot was probably made in Sweden. I've referenced similar works by Nils Larson Meime although this particular piece is not marked. Beautiful openwork at the back of the inkstand forms a pen rest near the top. Lids are set on, metal collar on the inkwell, pierced and depressed inner lid on the pounce pot. Base measures 6 inches x 2.75 inches at widest points. Height to top of openwork is 4.25 inches. Inkwell and pounce pot are each 1 5/8 inches diameter where they fit into the base. We have gently polished the silver plated finish, but will leave more serious polishing to the person who purchases this lovely set. Unusual and very beautiful inkstand, a small work of art in itself. Very good condition.

W925 $80

Rock-Art Inkwell - ca. 1920s,. While this inkstand looks handmade and technically it is, these Rock-Art inkstands were actually produced in quantity, of course each one is a little different. Sunk into the middle of the rock shrine is a cut glass inkwell with hinged lid - the inkwell has faceted edges and there are hand painted bright colored flowers on the inside of the lid. There are two small metal pen rests extending from the back of the inkstand for a dip pen. The base measures 3.5 x 3.25 inches, rear height is 3.5 inches. Very good condition.

W928 $50

Saucer Style Inkwell Pastel Blue, ca. early 1900s, pastel blue glazed porcelain with hand painted yellow and brown flowers with green foliage. Inkwell is set to the rear of the ruffled edge saucer. Oval shaped inkwell is permanently attached to saucer. Hinged lid is just a tiny bit askew. Saucer measures 4 5/8 inches x 3 5/8 inches at widest points, height is 2 5/8 inches. Inkwell opening is very narrow, this will accommodate dip pens only. Probably French but no markings. Very good condition.

W943  $25

Stoneware Ink Pots - Ink Pots are glazed a very soft grey with subtle speckles.  Each is hand painted with a leaf motif in a brilliant bright blue.  Each one is slightly different.  Base measures 2.5 inches, height is 3.5 inches.  Perfect Condition.  These would work well for a single pen holder as the mouth is wide enough to accommodate most fountain pens or use as intended as a cool looking ink pot.  They are not brand new but not super old either, I'd think they were made in the past 20 years.  Several available at time of listing. 

 

 

W944 $95

Torquay Inkwell - Make Thyself at Home Inkwell. The inkwell was made by the Torquay (pronounced Tor-Key) Pottery in Devon, England. Torquay was not just one pottery, but a group of potteries that operated under the Torquay name and each had their own specialties and to complicate matters further each made some pretty similar items, too. Since this inkwell is made of red clay that helped narrow it down a little. The Scandy design as this was called also helped narrow down the range of potteries. The odd wording and the style of penmanship appears to be an old Yorkshire dialect. I believe there is a very good chance that this inkwell was made at Torquay's Longpark Factory which operated from 1883-1957. My best guess judging from style and materials and reading some of Torquay’s reference material is that this inkwell dates to the 1920s and was made for the English tourist market. It reads: Fra Eethla (For Eethla) on one side, the reverse side reads: Mak Thisen at Hooam (Make Thyself at Home). Background is a pale ivory glaze and the raised Skandy design is done in royal blue, dark green, light green, brown and yellow. The lettering is in brown. Measures 2 7/8 inches diameter, height is 2 inches. No lid, nor do these ever appear to have had lids. The wide and squat profile would prevent it from tipping over easily. This inkwell is in very good condition.

W964 $70

French Souvenir Inkwell - ca. 1920s. Chrome plated double inkwell is marked: Made in France in four different spots on the underside of base. Two figural pieces in the center show the Notre Dame Cathedral of Reims and Joan of Arc. Souvenir de Reims is engraved beneath the cathedral figural. Hinged inkwell lids, recessed area is formed to serve as a single pen holder. Measures 5.5 x 2.5 inches at the widest base points. Height to the top of the cathedral is 2 5/8 inches. NOTE: Inkwell inserts and missing from this inkstand. Very good condition and nice detail on this souvenir inkwell.

 

W965 $40

Sengbusch Self Closing Inkstand Model No. 51, clear pressed glass cylindrical inkwell with starburst pattern pressed in base and embossed No. 51 in center of base. Measures 3 in diameter and 3 in in height. Black hard rubber lid nice and black as it should be. Lid embossed: Sengbusch Self-Closing Inkstand Co. Made in USA Milwaukee, WIS PAT Apr 21,03, Aug 23,04, Jam 15, 07. Comes with most of a silver metallic Sengbusch box and original instruction sheet. Self closing ink filling unit is missing. Inkwell is in very good condition. Box and instructions are very well worn.

W989  $75

Double Inkstand with Pen Rest across front, ca. 1940s, brown bakelite. Lids swivel to access inkwells below.  Double pen rest across the front.  Base measures 6.75 x 4 7/8 inches.  Height at rear is 1.5 inches  No maker marks, probably English.  Excellent condition.

W1001  $125

Hayne Suspended Inkwell, ca. 1897.  This very unusual looking inkwell was made by the Hayne Co in New York and the patent date was May 1897.  I was unable to dig up the patent, but I did find a long write up with illustrations from the Hardware Dealers’ Magazine dated 1899.  The inkwell was designed to be suspended from a shelf on a roll top desk.  Originally in between the two long and very practical inkwells with lids was a small square glass sponge cup used for moistening your stamps. There is a built in pen rest for two dip pens. This is the basic model and is nickel plated metal.  The front plate is marked:

  • Hayne Suspended Inkwell
  • Universal Specialty Co
  • 151 Chambers St New York
  • Pat May 18-97

This inkwell came in three different finishes and I gather from the illustrations in the Hardware Dealers’ Magazine that this was probably the basic model.  Measures 4.5 inches wide and 4 7/8 inches deep.  One inkwell lid is attached to the well with a chain, the other is attached with jute which I assume was used when the original chain broke many years ago.  As you can see in the photo, someone rudely tried to polish the nickel finish, we have gently cleaned the inkwell, but did no additional polishing.  Most unusual!  Overall it is in good condition and a most unusual and I might add creative piece from the late 1890s.   (1 avail) 

W1005 $75

Antique Portable Writing Stand, ca. early 1900s. Solid wood base with curved edge. Large pen rest across the front edge measures10 inches long. Silver plated large handle allows you to carry the writing stand from one desk to another. Includes two cut crystal inkwells with sterling silver bezels. Base measures 7.5 x 12.75 inches at widest points. Inkwells do not have lids. Excellent condition.

W1014  $50

Fount-o-Ink Inkstand with Dip Less Style Fountain Pen, ca. late 1940s – early 1950s. Lovely Art Deco styling. Metal base and inkwell lid are finished in a shiny dark silvery-grey color. Center section that holds an inverted ink bottle is brown bakelite. Original rectangular shaped bottle with most of original Fout-o-Ink label is inverted to feed the pen and housed beneath the brown center section. Original gold and black label on the back of the base reads: Fount-o-Ink Los Angeles California. Includes a Dip Less styled pen with mottled brown and black barrel and black taper. Gold plated nib is marked Iridium Tipping Made in USA Medium, there is some minor pitting to the gold plating on the nib, otherwise this set is in very good condition. 

W1025 $40

US Navy Inkwell, ca. 1940s, clear ribbed glass, black bakelite screw on lid. These are sometimes called beehive inkwells because of their shape. Made during WWII under contract to Stott's Stationery in Washington DC. Many of these saw duty on Navy ships during WWII. Measures 2.75 inches across base, lid is 1.75 diameter and about 1.75 in tall. Excellent condition.

W1035 $60

Double Inkstand - Antiqued Brass finished double inkstand.  Marked GLS. GLSCH, on the underside of base.  Double pen rests, one on each side.  Hinged lid opens to reveal two small white porcelain inkwells.  One inkwell is white porcelain with a gilded border on the lip, one is plain white porcelain.  Depth of each inkwell insert is 1.5 inches. Base measures 5.75 x 6 inches at widest points, height is 1.75 inches.  Pretty embossed half moon shaped floral pattern on each side of inkstand.  Very good condition. 

  

W1036   $45

Jacobus Inkwell, ca. late 1890s-early 1900s.  Clear glass with screw on white metal lid, small lever on top of lid allows access to an internal spout which is mounted into the top of lid to dip into ink.  Front of inkwell is embossed:  Jacobus Pat. Nov 10 96  Aug 11 1903.  Measures 1.5 inches at base, 1.75 inches across top of lid, 1.75 inches in height.  Old fashioned thick glass.  The lid and lever to spout all function properly.  There is aging and very old ink stains on portions of the lid.  It screws on and off easily. Not so easy to find these days, a nice example of an early American inkwell.  Overall very good condition. 

W1037  $45  

Common Sense Inkwell, clear glass, ground base, drain hole with cork in the bottom of inkwell.  This particular Common Sense inkwell is a little squattier than some, making it even more practical if that's possible - great design makes these very difficult to tip over.  Height is 2 in, base is 2 5/8 in diameter.  Very good condition.

W1039 $25

Vintage Ink Pot, ca. 1940s, clear glass inkpot holds about one ounce of ink.  Screw on black bakelite lid has an ink funnel beneath to draw ink up into the reservoir.  Measures 1 5/8 in diameter, height is 1.75 inches. This inkwell is suitable for dips pens or fountain pens with smaller sized nibs.  Large sized nibs will probably not fit down into the opening to draw ink properly.  Mint condition, I detect no signs of use!  

W1042  $60

Common Sense Inkwell, exceptionally large size in clear glass, ground base, drain hole with cork in the bottom of inkwell.  Great design makes these very difficult to tip over.  Height is 2 7/8 in, base is 2.5 in diameter.  Excellent condition and exceptional clarity. 

Desk Top Items - Desk Top Accessories

Keep scrolling down!

In addition to inkwells, we search the world for interesting vintage desk top accessories.

No, we're not talking about the desktop you might be reading this on, we're talking about your good old fashioned desk top, the one where you sit down to write letters with pen and ink.

Knife Handle Letter Openers - A Pendemonium Exclusive!

These beautiful letter openers were all made from vintage knives. The handles are just amazing and there is a wide range of patterns from the very old traditional designs to more recent Mid-Century Modern patterns. Handles range from Sterling Silver to Silver Plate to Stainless Steel. They are all in a minimum of very good condition, some letters openers show normal wear to the handles, after all, in days gone by someone used these to eat their dinner with! Each knife was individually hand ground and polished by a local metal craftsman into a letter opener blade. This gent does amazing specialty work, these letter openers will not disappoint you!

LO-17 $15

Stainless Steel Letter Opener, Mid-Century Modern single Starburst pattern, no markings at all. Measures 8.25 inches long.

LO-18 $15

Stainless Steel Letter Opener, Contemporary look of "paisley" shapes on edges of handle, no markings at all. Measures 8 5/8 inches long.

MM469 $15

Bill Spindle - Very contemporary modern look, probably dates to the late 1950s. Ivory metal base measures 2.75 inches diameter, overall height is 4 3/8 inches. Very good condition.

MM489 $30

Tatum Victorian Harp Spindle - ca. late 1890s - early 1900s Tatum cast iron harp shaped wall spindle. Long curved spindle could hold a lot of bills or you could use this to drape other object over in the curved base end - ties, scarves, necklaces - use your imagination! Embossed Tatum on the backside. High quality cast iron. Very good condition, just a few high points missing a bit of black paint.

MM544 $45

Perpetual Calendar - Lusterware figural perpetual calendar has a figural lion on the front edge in lion colors with a cute little black hat. Pearly Lusterware blue frame holds the original cards so you always have the right date. Hand painted. Base is black. Base measures 2.5 x 1.75 inches, height is 2.5 inches. Art Deco steps on left side of calendar. Marked on base both in a black circular stamp and embossed on the porcelain: Japan. Very unusual and in great condition.

MM570 $15

Antique Cast Iron Bill Spike is made of heavy iron and has a bit of a coppery looking patina to it. Base diameter is 2.25 inches, height is 5 inches. The spike leans a tiny bit to one side, but is straight. Fill it up with bills or notes and letters, great little vintage desk accessory.

MM581 $45

Vintage Streamline Design Desk Lamp - Great metal lamp in a shimmery champagne colored finish with ribbed bright gold plated trim around the single pedestal. Push the little push button on the base to turn on and off. Uses a single 18 inch fluorescent tube. Store your pens in the wide pen groove across the front of the base. Weighted base measures 5.5 x 4.5 inches, shade is 18.5 inches long. Height is 12 inches. Just a hint of wear to the finish on lower front edge of base, this lamp is in very good condition and it works!

PW-035 $35

Lasercraft Solid Walnut Paperweight, beveled edges, laser engraved oak leaf and acorn design. Measures 3 x 5 inches. Original labels all intact on the bottom. Excellent condition.

PW-050 $25

Custom Paperweight - Features a Waterman black and white advertisement with fountain pen and Ben Franklin illustration from May 3, 1919. Clear glass oval antique paperweight measures 4 x 2 7/8 inches. Black felt on base. Excellent condition.

PW-051 $25

Custom Paperweight - Features Sheaffer early Skrip bottle in full color from May 24, 1937 advertisement. Clear round domed antique paperweight with pressed beading measures 3 1/8 inches diameter. Black felt on base. Excellent condition.

PW-056 $10

Custom Paperweight - Features Sheaffer Lifetime Nib in full color from 1931. Clear round domed antique paperweight with pressed beading measures 3 1/8 inches diameter. Black felt on base. There is an internal fracture on this paperweight, does not interfere with the picture, nor does is look like it will expand further, otherwise very good condition.

PW-061  $10

Custom Paperweight - Features a 1950s Sheaffer Snorkel illustration from an original advertisement in full color.  Magnified under the domed inkwell is a black Sheaffer cap with white dot and fingers encircling it. Antique paperweight measures 3 inches diameter. Grey felt on base protects your desk. There are some very light scuff marks on the dome, otherwise very good condition.  

PW065 $20

Antique Clear Glass Paperweight fit with an early Black and White Carter Pen Original Advertisement.  Rectangular paperweight measures 4.25 x 2.75 inches. Felt on base to protect your desk. Excellent condition. 

 

 

PW066  $20

Antique Clear Glass Paperweight fit with Carter’s Kitten Original Advertisement.  Rectangular paperweight measures 4 1/8 x 2.75 inches. Felt on base to protect your desk.  Excellent condition.  

MM630  $30

Double Stamp Box with Double Pen Rests, dark finished wood. Lids open outward on brass hinges to access your postage stamps. Single pen rest on each long side of the Stamp Box. I’m sure the center section must have once held something, perhaps a calendar or small memo pad, there are two half moon shaped pieces of metal on each end which don’t seem big enough to have held anything. Measures 5.5 x 4 inches at base. Height is 1.5 inches. Very good condition. (1 avail) 

MM638 $35

Popek Dual Use Stapler, Czechoskavakia, ca. 1940s, bright chrome finish. This is a most interesting stapler - It can be used as a desk stapler as well as a hand stapler. The stapler pulls off of the desk base and can be used in the hand. Note that it is very tight, as you would want it to be, you must pull up firmly to separate the hand stapler from the desk base. Base measures 5.25 x 1.5 inches, height to top of stapler is 3 inches. Marked on top of stapler: Popek Made in Czechosla P.O. with two little engraved stick people. Filled with staples and appears to use standard staples. Works very well. Very good condition, there is one speck of corrosion on base near the rear.

MM649  $65

Vintage Inlaid Wood Bookends – Solid wood bookends are well made and feature a beautiful diamond shaped pattern of contrasting inlaid woods on the front side of each. Stepped bases.  Height of each bookend is 5.75 inches, base of each bookend measures 2.5 x 7 3/8 inches. The bottom of each bookend is stamped:  Patent Applied For. A handsome pair of bookends! Very good condition. Books shown in photos not included. 

MM675 $35

Meow!  Figural Kitty Letter and Pen Holder, ca. 1960s, Japan, glossy black ceramic with brass letter holder.  The small cup in between Kitty’s paws originally held a small sponge for moistening envelopes, it can also be used as an inkpot.  The small hole where kitty’s tail should be is the perfect size for a dip pen or other small diameter writing instruments.  Pretty green eyes and a pink nose and tongue.  Red accents.  Measures 6.75 inches long, height to ears is 3.25 inches.  Little bit of paint loss to ears and the nose, otherwise in excellent condition. 

MM679 $75

Allied Deluxe 401 Portable Typewriter, ca. 1964-1964.  A most unusual portable typewriter and I was unable to dig up a lot of information on it.  My theory is that is was sold through mail order catalogues and intended to be used by students. I found the following advertisement in the Reading Eagle Publication dated October 9, 1963. Allied TW AD

It makes sense to me that the price would appeal to the student market and the extras included might entice buyers.  Medium grey and white plastic outer case, inside is a sturdy metal frame, plastic keys, metal and plastic mechanics under the cover. Original ribbon spools intact, the ribbon has a little oomph left in it but you will need to re-spool a fresh ribbon in the near future. The part I find most interesting is the white cylindrical keys. There are some interesting keys that you don’t usually find on even high end typewriters:  ¼, cent figure, 1/8 and ¾. Plus there are 4 keys with 3 different figures per key, you type the third figure by holding down the FIG. key.  Sort of like the CAP key, except…well…just not something I’ve seen before!   There is no tab or margin key, which seems a little strange since there are these other 3 figure keys! The mechanics are all in very good working order and the sturdy plastic case is in excellent condition.  Measures 11.5 in across the front and rear, 12 inches deep and the height at rear is 5 inches. Of course the added paper, envelopes and other goodies are long gone, but most of you have those anyway! There is no case and I don’t believe there ever was one since there are no places on the bottom on the typewriter to latch into a case, but I could be wrong on that! As I suspected, but it took awhile to find the faint mark, the Allied was made in Japan and it is faintly embossed on the front. This fits in with the time frame when so many US TW manufacturers were moving production to Japan. Overall very good condition and a most unusual model with what have been a very sleek modern look back in the day, especially with the cool cylindrical keys!  

  

MM681 $20

Punch-o-Dex Two Hole Adjustable Paper Punch from the makers of Autodex, Rolodex and Clipodex-Zephyr American Corporation had all the "o-Dexes" covered! Ca. 1950s. Original label on the base indicates this was a product of Zephyr American Corp in L.I. City, NY. Steel construction, light grey finish, adjustable metal guide is released and then locked into place with the bright red Guide button. The receptacle below that catches the paper holes is accessed by pushing the bright red button at the rear marked Waste. Measures 4 inches at widest width, 7 inches deep. Sharp cutters turn out perfect holes. Punch is in excellent condition.

MM688 $15

Letter Opener, ornate handle with repouse art nouveau styling, the letter opener blade is marked stainless.  Measures 8 inches long. Looks to be fairly recent production, not an old knife handle, but certainly not brand new either.  From an old table silverplate (not marked) table knife.  Very good condition.  

MM689  $200

The Royal Portable Typewriter, made for one year in 1930 in a snazzy dark green finish. Spool covers are built as part of the top cover and they flip out to the sides of the typewriter.  Glass keys are white with black characters.  Oval shaped black space bar. Measurements:  Front edge 10 inches, Rear edge 10.25 inches, Depth 11 inches.  Height at Rear 5 inches, Height at Front 1.25 inches.  This model was Royal’s first portable typewriter and has the very simple official name of “The Royal Portable Typewriter”!   This model was originally made with red finish or green finish, the red one rarely turns up and the finish is almost always well rusted.  The green finish survives much better, but there are still a few specks of rust on the upper left corner and the finish is worn to silvery metal on a small edge area on the upper left – I’m guessing that the worn silvery area would be from a hand resting there to move the carriage lever – it is just the right spot.  Both the front and back edge Royal decals are in excellent condition.  Nice action on the keys, the ribbon currently installed has a lot of oomph left in it and types a very dark black mark.  This typewriter came to us in an old typewriter case, the typewriter fits in it, but it is not original to this typewriter, the case is in very poor condition, but we will use it to ship this typewriter to it’s new owner.  We have printed out a copy of the original Directions for the Royal Portable.  Overall very good condition and a not oft seen typewriter. 

 

MM690  $75

Industrial Lamp Corp. metal single pedestal desk lamp with two pen grooves across the front of base. Push button turns 18 inch fluorescent tube on and off, the tube is in working order.  Dark brown metal. Original Underwriters Laboratories label on back of lamp. Base measures 10 x 5.5 inches at widest points. Shade is 20 inches long. Height is 11 inches. This antique desk lamp is in excellent condition. 

 

 

MM696  $125

Royal Dart Portable Typewriter, ca. 1959-1960.  Original label on the rear of TW indicates this machine was “Manufactured in The Netherlands Royal McBee Nederland N.V.  It was sold in the U.S. through the Montgomery Ward catalog.  All metal case with textured finish is a deep gray – almost black, but not quite!  White keys with sharp black characters.  This TW has an unusual ribbon cover that lifts off entirely from the front edge, most ribbon covers are hinged at the front edge.  Measures at the front edge:  12.5 in, rear edge: 10.5 in and the depth is 11.5 in.  Compact size makes it easy to carry along with you.  Comes with a very nice saddle colored leather case with dual handles and small brass lock.  The zipper has been well used, it does work, but you do need to carefully zip and unzip when opening and closing the case.  I was unable to locate a copy of the original Royal Dart Manual, but I think it will be quite self-explanatory!   Ribbon has a little ink left, but you’ll need to replace it in the near future.  TW ribbons are easily found online and can be re-wound on the spools, just order the same width currently on the machine.  Nice design and ready to carry down the street to your favorite coffee shop!   Very good condition.

 

   

 

Looking for items to hold, store and display your pens?

We carry an ever changing selection of vintage pen trays, pen stands and other unusual desk top holders for your pens on our Pen Storage page.

Looking for replacement inkwell inserts?

Richard Vacca of Rich-Beau-Tiques has a wide selection or porcelain and glass inserts available. Email: rtvacca@gmail.com

Corning Museum of Glass

By sheer luck, we ended up in Corning, New York in May 2005 on the trip back from the New England Pen Show. We found a motel for the night, got settled in and then went off to take a drive around town and see Corning. We were in awe of the Corning Museum of Glass just from looking at the outside, so we knew that we would be off to a late start the next morning because a tour of this museum was surely a must-do!

Amongst stunning glass creations, throughout the museum we found beautiful glass inkwells. Some were grouped with like glass and style, others were grouped as inkwell examples. We were very pleased to discover the inkwells, a nice unexpected diversion on a long road trip.

It was difficult to photograph the inkwells because of the lighting and glass, but I can assure you, they're well worth the trip to Corning. There are many, many more on display, the inkwells below are just a small sampling, not to mention the ones where the photos came out pretty well!

There were fewer ink bottles to gaze at, but we did see this early Hill's Ink bottle out of Philadelphia with an unknown cone ink bottle in the foreground.

We also sat in on a short demonstration on the art of glass making.

The glass exhibits at the Corning Museum were well done, the museum is a pleasant experience and no chance to get bored because there is something unusual around every corner. There is also a lovely gift shop and a large cafe with fresh and delicious food - not things all museums can have bragging rights to! Whether it's just down the block or thousands of miles away, the Corning Museum of Glass is well worth the visit!

http://www.cmog.org

 

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