A Dutch silver inkstand
Adriaen Havelaar, Den Haag, 1718 and 1722
1246 gram; 24,7 x 17,8 cm; 15 cm high including bell
Solid silver inkstands like this one were not only functional objects but also served as status symbols. In many 17th and 18th century portraits and group portraits the sitters were depicted with a silver inkstand on the desk or table in order to stress literacy and wealth.
The shape of this inkstand is derived from 17th century French examples, which were very much en vogue with early 18th century silversmiths, active in the main silversmithing centres in Europe. Especially in The Hague, where foreign diplomats and dignitaries frequently visited the court, the Parisian influence was visible.
Many Hague aristocrats had their coats-of-arms or monograms engraved on their commissioned silver objects. The unidentified mirror monogram on this inkstand displays a lowercase q, that might refer to the Latin word ‘quaestor’, which means treasurer.
A similar inkstand from 1713/1714, made by the Hague silversmith Jacques Tuiller, is described and depicted in ‘Haags goud en zilver’ and is now in the collection of the Kunstmuseum in The Hague. Its bell was hallmarked a year later than the inkstand.
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– E. Voet Jr., Merken van Haagsche Goud- en Zilversmeden, Den Haag, 1941
– Jet Pijzel-Dommisse, Haags goud en zilver, Zwolle/Den Haag, 2005