The silver core of this inkwell has been covered in gold leaf.
This enamel inkstand takes the fanciful form of a pleasure boat, linking the composing of poetry and the writing of calligraphy to the amusement of the senses. The luxurious materials and elegant form also indicate that scribal activities require a certain level of refinement. Cleverly, the enamelist placed a lotus design on the bottom of the vessel; as a flower that floats on water, the bloom represents both the water imaginatively splashing against the underside of the boat and the actual ink swishing inside the bilge.
This inkstand was purchased by Cleveland Museum of Art founder Jeptha Homer Wade II (1857–1926) and his wife Ellen Garretson Wade (1857–1917) as they made a tour of India on their own pleasure boat, the Wadena.
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