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Need ID on This Ink Well - Source? Age?

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Inkwells4 of 194Antique French Made Great Dane Pen Wipe And French Ink BottleAntique Cold Painted Hare Inkwell
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    Posted 5 months ago

    (1 item)

    I bought this ink well at auction a few years ago, interested because it's an ink, has a turtle face, and additionally because the auctioneer was pushing it hard as an addition to the main event (it was not listed with other items to be auctioned). My sense is that it may be a fake or repro but I love it and would like to know more about it one way or the other.
    The metal lid and base look like bronze but I suspect they are brass with great patina. The hinge holding the lid on appears well-made and old. Like the outside, the inside of the "pot" is glazed, with a few inkstains inside, which do not appear to rise more than a half-inch or so up the sides. Around the lid, the pottery is lightly shaped and painted to look like a turtle's shell, and the brass lid has a lovely little scallop design, probably also meant to resemble the plates in a turtle shell. As pictured, the metal base is decorative, and the entire inkwell is weighted with some sort of plaster material -- unless the "plaster" is meant to serve some other purpose than weighting. I have a few other ink wells but they are primitive American -- nothing like this.
    All you knowledgeable folk, please give me some guidance as to what I bought!

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    1. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 5 months ago
      That green really looks like Awaji green from Awaji Island off the coast of Japan. They closed shop in 1939. To say definitely, we'd need to see the base, which is obscured by the cement or whatever was used to secure the brass. Thomas K. Libby might be able to say for sure whether it is Awaji or not. neat piece!
    2. barbara99 barbara99, 5 months ago
      Thanks for the observation on the ink well. I'm not familiar with Thomas K. Libby. Is that a person or a company? Can you elaborate?
      Thanks again!
    3. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 5 months ago
      it's both. he's a friend of mine from Connecticut and a well-known ceramics dealer/restorer and expert on Awaji. i've been friends w/ him and his wife for a few years now. good people!
    4. barbara99 barbara99, 5 months ago
      Thanks, I found his company on the Internet---so I may send an inquiry. Have looked at lots of Awaji green since you posted, and the surfaces are certainly very similar. Haven't found any other examples of Awaji using brass, which would be interesting to see, and perhaps help date this piece if it is Awaji.
    5. rhineisfine rhineisfine, 5 months ago
      To me this looks more "Japanesque" - export style - than Japanese, but that is just a feeling. (E.g. the design on the lid is seigaiha, an abstract wave pattern, but here it's upside-down from its usual position - however this could be to emphasize the resemblance to overlapping scales, or the tiles on a roof...)

      But I'm here mainly to say I love your gorgeous inkwell, irrespective of age and origin, and wanted to give this a bump :)

      Please let us know what you find out!
    6. barbara99 barbara99, 5 months ago
      Will do, thanks!

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