Old Sheffield Plate Pounce Pot, ca. 1775
It's a inkstand that's been handed down in my family for several generations. My mother gave it to me.
It's been in your family for a very long time.
Yeah, probably six or seven generations.
It's not, strictly speaking, an inkstand. This is a pounce pot on the left here, and this is a nib wipe. So, it's part of a desk set, but strictly speaking there wouldn't have actually been any ink supported on this stand, it's a pounce pot. And pounce is actually the substance that they would've shaken over letters after they had written them to dry out the ink. It would've been a powder that was made out of a pumice or a ground up cuttlefish bone or something like that, they used various substances, but it was often used. Now, this particular piece is very, very dainty, it's very, very small, so it was likely that it was owned by a lady or used on a lady's writing desk, which fits in with your family history, which is quite nice, isn't it? And it's not silver, it's silver-plated. It's what we would now term Old Sheffield Plate, and it's very much Georgian in taste, isn't it, so it's probably dated from around 1770, 1780. But if you look at the elegance of the piece and this lovely open work around the rim, and the sort of the delicacy of it, I think it very much defines that sort of period. It's a lovely object. I think that, again, the market for Old Sheffield Plate isn't as strong as it perhaps used to be, the appreciation for it isn't amongst the younger collectors, necessarily, there quite as much, unfortunately. But notwithstanding, I think at auction it should be worth something, $600 to $800, something like that, yeah.
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