A Gilt & Silver Plated Roman Lamp Inkwell on Stand
A Gilt & Silver Plated Roman Lamp Inkwell on Stand
A Gilt & Silver Plated Roman Lamp Inkwell on Stand

ELKINGTON & CO LTD (worked from c.1829)

A Gilt & Silver Plated Roman Lamp Inkwell on Stand

c. 1845 England

Offered by Adrian Alan

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A Gilt & Silver Plated Roman Lamp Inkwell on Stand, by Elkington & Co.

This unusual inkwell and taper holder is modelled as a stylised Roman lamp formed as a foot with sandal. The foot, mounted upon an oval dish formed base, with fruiting vine decoration.

The design for this inkwell was among the first to be supplied to Elkington & Co by the eccentric Danish designer Benjamin Schlick (1796-1872). Elkington & Co registered the design in October 1844 and over the next few years the firm produced various items, including inkstands based on Schlick’s idea.

The inkwell was one of Elkington’s most celebrated models, and was the gift chosen by Queen Victoria for Prince Albert to mark their tenth wedding anniversary in 1850. The inkwell in the Royal Collection is now preserved in the Queens sitting room at Osborne House, (Royal Collection RCIN 34067).

Schlick may have been aware of an original bronze Roman lamp of this form; his passion for archaeology taking him to Pompeii to study artefacts first hand. Or perhaps inspired by the drawings and etchings of artists such as Giovanni Battista Piranesi. An Italian drawing dating from the seventeenth century illustrating an almost identical antique form is in the Royal Collection (RCIN 910252).

A Danish nobleman, Benjamin Schlick lived in France was made a Chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur by King Charles X, in 1828, recognition of his architectural work in Paris. He studied architecture and archaeology in Copenhagen and Paris and counted among his patrons Frederick VI of Denmark, Charles X of France, Leopold, Grand Duke of Baden, Prince Torlonia in Rome and Prince Nicolai of Russia. He became Chamberlain to the Dukes of Lucca, and whilst in Italy he studied the excavations at Pompeii.

He first appeared at the English court, as a guest at one of the royal balls in 1842 and met George Elkington later that year. His first models were patented by Elkington in 1844 and he was to go on to supply numerous designs to the firm, seizing on the potential of electrotyping to reproduce important works of art, until finally parting company with the firm in 1851.
Height 16.00 cm (6.30 inches)
Width 32.00 cm (12.60 inches)
Depth 24.00 cm (9.45 inches)
Stock Code
Adrian Alan

Adrian Alan
66/67 South Audley Street

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