Antique silver capstan inkwell

Antique silver capstan inkwell


Hexagonal Edwardian silver inkwell with panelled sides and a hexagonal hinged lid. The clear glass liner for the ink is inside. The popular styling of this silver inkwell is based on a capstan, a 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 40 mm / 1 34"
Diameter 95 mm / 4"