A rare black-glazed earthenware inkwell, in a very low dome shape. This unusual and attractive shape is known as a ‘coop’ after the Chinese form. It is decorated with printed border patterns in a reddish-brown enamel, as well as some gold gilding lines above foot, on shoulder, and around lid and lid finial.
The base is flat and fully glazed, with three trivit point scars. It appears to be wheel thrown and is heavy enough to possibly also serve as a paperweight. There are no maker’s marks.
There has been much research and speculation about these wares in recent years. The attribution to Dudson has been shown to be false. Another contender is Ridgways, Bedford Works, Shelton, Hanley (1879-1920). They used fractional number marks on their wares, which is absent from this piece. Another possibility that has been suggested is Samuel Alcock & Co., Cobridge (1830-1859). But these fine ‘Jackfield’ type, or ‘Jet ware’, or ‘Ebony’ wares (because a few pieces marked EBONY have been found), were made in many potteries.
Pot ID: AP/1372
Dimensions: 57 mm high (to top of finial). 127mm wide.
Net Weight (grams): 502
Tiny glaze chip on rim top. Some wear to gold gilding decoration.