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19th century portable brass inkwell

Date: 19th Century
Overall: 63 x 60 x 50 mm, 120.9 g
Medium: Brass, leather
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Tools and equipment
Object Name: Inkwell
Object No: 00048003

User Terms

    Keeping journals and writing letters was an integral part of the colonial experience and maintained an important link between colonists and the home country. Portable inkwells such as this brass one encased in a miniature leather hat box were essential accoutrements brought by settlers to the Australian colonies during the 19th century.
    SignificanceFollowing the era of exploration in the 18th century, the 19th century saw an unprecedented growth in population movement as Europeans left their familial countries to seek better lives in colonial settlements all around the world. This 19th century portable inkwell is an example of travel goods carried by travellers and emigrants to Australia during the colonial era.
    HistoryInkwells are the reservoirs used to hold ink for dipping a pen, whereas inkstands, contain an inkwell plus other objects. These might include a wafer box to hold wafers used for sealing letters and a pot of fine powder used to stop ink from bleeding, plus pen rests and quill holders. While such writing sets were useful, they were also cumbersome, and many travellers settled for the simplicity of an inkwell and pen. Inkwells began to disappear with the invention of the fountain pen in 1884

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