These interesting inkwells were crafted in Britain between the Victorian period and early-mid 20th Century.
The works have been created from horse hooves, applied with sterling silver mounts. Each hoof has been set onto a silver horseshoe and features a silver top and lid. Two of the tops have been engraved to imitate real horse hair, while the third is more simple, with banded ornament. All three have been given covers, two of which feature commemorative inscriptions. One lid states, ‘The Grey/1907-1917’ — presumably the name of the favourite racehorse, whose hoof this is — and another reads, ‘Mavourneen/ Died June 29th / Aged 53’. ‘Mavourneen’ is an Irish Gaelic word meaning ‘my beloved’. The dedicatee’s age of 53 implies that they were a human, perhaps a jokey, or racehorse owner. The lids open up onto a silver-lined interior, intended to be used for storing ink as part of a desk arrangement. The inkwells are stamped, on their underside, with silver hallmarks and maker’s marks, ‘J.T.’ and ‘C & CS’.
This set of three horse hoof inkwells will be perfect for any collector of equestrian antiques, or for those with an interest in Victorian curiosities.
The size of each individual inkwell is as follows:
Inkwell 1 (‘Mavourneen’)- Height 8cm, width 8cm, depth 13.5cm
Inkwell 2 (‘The Grey’)- Height 5.5cm, width 8cm, depth 11cm
Inkwell 3 (no inscription)- Height 9cm, width 12cm, depth 16cm