An Important and Rare Exquisetly Cast Bronze Inkwell in the Manner of Thomas Messenger. Cast in the form of a Scallop Shell, the lid revealing a single inkwell and supported by a Dolphin on its original well figured Sienna Marble square base.
First quarter of the Nineteenth Century.
Condition: Original condition with good surface patination.
Height: 6.75" (17.5cm). Width: (at base) 5.5" (14cm). Protrudence: 6.75" (17cm).
Shipped to Munich, Germany.
Provenance: Sold at Christies Fine English Furniture Sale. King Street, St. James's London. September 1999. The same auction house also sold a similar model from "The Coke Collection" Jenkyn Place, Hampshire, England on October 1996.
Thomas Messenger: The firm Thomas Messenger (1767-1832), began in 1797 with Thomas Phipson was to become the most important manufacturer of oil and gas lighting of the 19th-century. Listed initially as: “Brass Founders, Manufacturers of Church Candlesticks, Patent Lamps, etc” their successors were to survive into the 1920s. Their partnership lasted until 1823, the year after they opened a London office at 21 Grenville Street, Hatton Garden. For the next two years Thomas Messenger is listed in London city directories alone and then in 1828 with his son Samuel as “Thomas Messenger and Son” at the same address. After Thomas’ death in 1832, the firm became known as “Thomas Messenger and Sons” continuing at Hatton Garden, London and Broad Street, Birmingham into the 1860s.