Antique silver capstan inkwell

Antique silver capstan inkwell


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Smart late-Victorian silver inkwell in the form of a capstan with applied rope mount. This piece is better quality than most in that the body is all silver and is of a superior gauge of silver.

A capstan is a most frequently nautical machine for moving or raising heavy weights that consists of a vertical drum which can be rotated and around which cable is turned.

In 16th century Europe writing was considered to be a lowly task, and the aristocracy and upper classes would employ the services of a scribe or scrivener to write on their behalf using a quill pen and ink.

From the 17th century onwards, as the gentry began to undertake writing themselves, inkwells and inkstands became an essential accessory in every upper-class household. Silver, often combined with glass or crystal, was the most popular material used for inkstands and as well as having a practical use, some became more imposing and elaborate, often turning into decorative pieces in their own right.


Height 75 mm / 3 332"
Diameter 65 mm / 2 1316"
Weight 119 g (3.83 troy ozs)