This is a magnificent antique French ormolu inkwell, circa 1880 in date.
This stunning inkwell features a delightful cherub who is gracefully painting an urn. The angelic being is standing with the palette in one hand and the paintbrush in the other hand.
The urn is of classical style, it features two mythical beasts and comes with its ceramic liner to hold the ink.
It is raised on a beautiful moulded marble base of rectangular shape, which adds that extra touch of elegance to this wonderful item.
It is a very fine piece which will look beautiful wherever placed.
In excellent condition, please see photos for confirmation.
Dimensions in cm:
Height 15.5 x Width 12 x Depth 8
Dimensions in inches:
Height 6.1 x Width 4.7 x Depth 3.1
Ormolu – (from French ‘or moulu’, signifying ground or pounded gold) is an 18th-century English term for applying finely ground, high-carat gold in a mercury amalgam to an object of bronze.The mercury is driven off in a kiln leaving behind a gold-coloured veneer known as ‘gilt bronze’.
The manufacture of true ormolu employs a process known as mercury-gilding or fire-gilding, in which a solution of nitrate of mercury is applied to a piece of copper, brass, or bronze, followed by the application of an amalgam of gold and mercury. The item was then exposed to extreme heat until the mercury burned off and the gold remained, adhered to the metal object.
After around 1830 because legislation had outlawed the use of mercury other techniques were used instead. Electroplating is the most common modern technique. Ormolu techniques are essentially the same as those used on silver, to produce silver-gilt.
Our reference: 09733