Featured bronze/brass inkwell please help

Discussion in 'Antique Discussion' started by m3ltdown, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. m3ltdown

    m3ltdown Active Member


    Everyone as you know i rent 2 antique cabinets and have an online ebay shop and buy and sell everyday i setup my small business with £1,000 and i am trying to raise £15,000 for drama school in 2019

    I purchased this recently and would like some more information on it, I am assuming its brass? could it be bronze? whats the difference? what country is it from? what year? any additional information would be great and i just need to continue to learn about antiques and collectables and my main goal is to raise capital some items i have lost £5 on and others i have made £20-£40 profits on.

    Should i clean it? whats the best productions to use? i heard vinegar, flour,salt together works, can anyone recommend anything?

    its actually in better condition then the photos show it just needs a very good clean.

    7iWxxBEz.jpg 7iWxxBEz.jpg rfshibsp.jpg UFLR3kpu.jpg HtFVc_hg.jpg el2eaC5-.jpg

    Attached Files:

  2. m3ltdown

    m3ltdown Active Member

    additional photo.

    AJefferson and judy like this.
  3. Shangas

    Shangas Underage Antiques Collector and Historian

    Looks like gilt brass. Early 20th century. 1890-1915-ish. Possibly a BIT older, but I doubt any newer. Possibly (almost certainly) missing the milk-glass or porcelain inkwell liner that would've sat inside. Very common for those to go missing. I've seen people try to sell these for a few hundred bucks, but they can be hard to shift...
  4. sabre123

    sabre123 Well-Known Member

    It does have the appearance of being gilded.

    If you put that in a vinegar / baking soda slurry, you'll more than likely destroy the finish. There's a lot of bad advice on the internet regarding this topic. I'm no expert, so I can't really say what can work, or if you should even try something else.
  5. giulissa

    giulissa Member

    Bronwen likes this.
  6. giulissa

    giulissa Member

    The item looks like gilded brass and not bronze. Careful not to do too radical cleaning (vinegar, soda, lemon) that would destroy its patina. I'm crazy about cleanliness but I also did some good disasters! Hello.
    judy, Bronwen, i need help and 3 others like this.
  7. Ownedbybear

    Ownedbybear Well-Known Member

    Leave it alone. Wipe it with a soft old cloth, and if you must, a gentle rub with a Sunshine Cloth.
  8. m3ltdown

    m3ltdown Active Member


    Thank you for all your information.

    Should i clean it? what should i use?
    what country was it made in?
    whats an estimated value? or what could i get for the item?

    from your experiences is in an higher end ink well or lower end?
    do you see anything unique or different about this particular one?

    I paid £10 for it.
    pearlsnblume and Bronwen like this.
  9. Ownedbybear

    Ownedbybear Well-Known Member

    No cleaning, other than what I said. Might be French. Middling quality. Stick £50 on it in a cabinet and see what happens.
    Bronwen, judy, Bakersgma and 2 others like this.
  10. kyratango

    kyratango Bug jewellery addiction!

    I would leave it as is if you are going to sell, the grime shows its age, and any wrong cleaning method will destroy the patina! Leave it to the buyer... (I HATE to receive cleaned pieces, my pleasure is to do the job as I want:joyful:)

    If it was mine, I'd (eventually) only wash it in soapy luke warm water and thoroughly dry it.
  11. Fid

    Fid Well-Known Member

    sorry to say, but I do not see French quality in casting - not to speak of the guilding which is for me a would-be fire guilding.
    I see a value of not more than 25 to 50 €.
    Bronwen and judy like this.
  12. i need help

    i need help Well-Known Member

  13. m3ltdown

    m3ltdown Active Member

    @speechless that's exactly the same as mine? it looks the same, that one has the lid broken but mine is still attached.

    Yes i believe £30-£50 is a suitable price with a view to getting £25 its still profit once i sell it.

    thank you everyone so much for your help once again.
    pearlsnblume, Bronwen, judy and 2 others like this.
  14. kyratango

    kyratango Bug jewellery addiction!

    Absolutely, the same:jawdrop:! I still think yours looks way better/older in its uncleaned state.
  15. Ownedbybear

    Ownedbybear Well-Known Member

    So do I. And anything over £25 is a result. ;)
  16. giulissa

    giulissa Member

    I think if you want to give a light cleaning without making it brilliant you can use one of the many products on the market like SIDOL (I do not know the name in English) that a liquid suitable for all metals without scratching and a little 'elbow grease. For sale if you want to do it on e-bay you can make an announcement "buy it now" at £ 50 and wait for some proposal. Usually it offers a figure lower than 15-20% of the request.
    The prices of Etsy and Pinterest are out of any logic and in fact there are many items that remain unsold especially if you put a reserve price.
    I hope you have a good deal.
    i need help, kyratango and Bronwen like this.
  17. Lecollectionneur

    Lecollectionneur Well-Known Member

    No more to say than my predecessors, just a technical precision, this is an overcast item, it was in a past time an original inkwell of good quality, Napoleon III in taste(no traces for an older system like holes for natural pens), and somebody at the first quarter oof the 20th century makes a copy, not by an electrical process which gives the best results, no wax copy, but a cheaper sand casting process, and after gilding less as possible, your inkwell is born…
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  18. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    With only the photos to go by, that was my thought too, a very gentle, superficial cleaning with simple soap & water to remove whatever comes away easily, so it still looks vintage without looking abused. Some of the black could be dried ink.

    As OP has already noted, the hinge on that one is broken &, if there was ever a glass or porcelain liner for the well, that one is missing it too.
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  19. Ownedbybear

    Ownedbybear Well-Known Member

    I buy odd liners whenever I see them cheap. Comes in very handy.
    komokwa, i need help and Bronwen like this.
  20. m3ltdown

    m3ltdown Active Member

    Thank you again for all your inputs.

    I noticed some writing on the bottom of the inkwell base doesn't anyone have any ideas?

    i currently decided to list it in one of my cabinets for £70 with 20% off.

    pearlsnblume likes this.
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