Ottoman penbox and inkwell

Product no.: 011376

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A vintage, possibly antique, Ottoman or Middle Eastern scribe’s brass combined pen box and inkwell, with hinged inkwell lid in the form of a shell. The sides of the box and inkwell are mainly plain, although there is a little engraving (see photographs). This inkwell and quill box is in the style of that carried by Qadis and used to record crime and sentence in their books of Record.

These portable brass containers were used to hold quills and ink during desert expeditions.

The box and inkwell have been lightly cleaned only in order to retain what patina there is (unfortunately it seems that it has been overcleaned before). Although structurally sound, and while the lid to the inkwell closes crisply, the lid to the pen box does not (see photographs).

The pen box measures approximately 8in long to the rim, and with the hinged lid and finial, measures around 9.25in. The box is just over 1.375in wide by about 0.5in deep. The integral inkwell measures just under 1.75in at its widest part and similar measurement for the depth to the top of the shell shaped lid.

Exact age unknown except research shows that these items have been produced from the early nineteenth century until the middle of last century.

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