Dutch silver inkstand
Johannes d’ Hoy, Middelburg, 1769
416 grams 8,4 cm high, 21,7 cm long
Two melon-shaped inkwells with hinged lids are flanking the foliate candleholder, which is raised on three twigs. The three items are placed on a stand, shaped and engraved in the form of a leaf, with a twig grip. Fully marked at the reverse and displaying assay stripes. Also marked with an assay mark of 1795 for Middelburg.
This inkstand is rather special because of its shape. Its asymmetrical lines and naturalistic elements are typical for the Louis XV (Rococo) style, which became fashionable in the Netherlands circa 1750. Seven similar inkstands have been preserved, all made in the province of Zeeland during the second half of the 18th century. Especially in Middelburg silversmiths were inspired by their Hague colleagues for their designs. Melons and pumpkins and other naturalistic ornaments were frequently used at that time.
This inkstand from 1769 by Johannes d’Hoy is depicted in Zeeuw Zilver, as is a similar inkstand made by his fellow guild member Philippus Prié in 1771.
Johannes D’ Hoy became a master silversmith and was admitted to the Middelburg guild in 1766. It is only known that he had been a pupil of Chr. Rijkert from November 1750 till January 1751. We do know, though, that he had an extensive oeuvre, consisting of liturgical silver as well as profane silver, such as tobacco jars, cruets, trays, candlesticks and flatware. This inkstand was made three years after d’ Hoy had become a master silversmith.