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Ink Wells
Ink was kept in an ink well on the desk. The pen was dipped into the ink, a process that had to be repeated every two or three words of writing.
Ink wells varied from very ornate to very plain. These are expensive desk models.
Sourced from Tinakori Antiques.

 
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Late Georgian glass inkwell (approx. 1820 – 1830)
An inkwell made from hand blown glass with a brass snap lid from the late Georgian period. The rise of commerce and trade, the increase in education (created by commerce) lead to the growth of writing.  Penmanship was important and this lead to the rise of ink and inkwells. Glass was the most common material for inkwell production. However, many inkwells were also made of ceramics, waterproof porcelain or glazed pottery, stone, wood, metals and brass but also silver and gold and many other materials.  They ranged from very ordinate, to very simple, with models for the traveller, the desk, at work, for the lady of the house etc.  Ink wells were common item in schools and business up to the 1950's when fountain pens and "roller point pens" (biros) became common.  Inkwells are very collectable.

 
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School Ink well
Ink wells in schools were usually made of porcelain.
Each school desk had a round hole to allow an ink well to be dropped into it and to hold it securely.
Pupils used dip pens (this was before ball point pens were invented!!)
Sourced from Tinakori Antiques.

 
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Accountants Ink Well desk set
The oak well holder contains three ink wells, one for each colour ink, and trays to hold the dip pens. In the days when ledgers were filled in by hand, different lines were done in different coloured ink to signify what they represented. For example, if you were in debt, the column or line was written in red ink. The three inks were “copying” ‘red” and “black.” The middle piece of the top slides to reveal the third (middle) ink well.
The lids are to prevent contamination from dust, and evaporation. The ink wells disappeared with the introduction of the fountain pen.
Item supplied by Tinakori Antiques.

 
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Ink Blotters
Ink was very slow to dry and so to avoid smudging, was “blotted” with blotting paper (a thick absorbent type of paper) which absorbed the surplus ink to allow it to dry more quickly.
Blotting paper was used in many different ways ie many sheets together to form a desk pad, or as in this photo was placed on a wooden (semi-circular) block which was rolled over the fresh ink.
Sourced from Tinakori Antiques.

 
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