Silver, partially gilded, decorated in champlevé, basse-taille, and cloisonné enamels, with cut out base supported on four cast turtles, enameled with geometric patterns, naturalistic scenes, and facsimile prints surrounding a sea with carp. Fitted with a drawer etched and parcel-gilt in three colors. Base supports four shaped letter racks in geometric patterns flanked by two rolling blotters topped with "shi-shi" dogs holding brocade balls. Removable central section has a vase-shaped pen holder deocrated with female figures, plants, and field mice in kimonos, flanked by nesting boxes enameled in landcape and geometric motifs. Removable lids topped by a beetle and a wasp in gold and basse-taille enamel.
The form and decoration of this inkstand whimsically imitate Japanese art, and it is a vivid illustration of the work of Parisian goldsmiths at the height of the craze for things Japanese. The inkpots resemble stacked porcelain bowls, whereas the penholder at center mimics a flaring bronze vase. The highly decorative colored enamels reproduce more than thirty Japanese ornamental patterns borrowed from lacquer, ceramics, prints, fans, and textiles.
- French (Paris), 1876
- Retailed by Frédéric Boucheron, French (Paris), 1858–present
- [Role] Paul Legrand, 1840–1910
- Possibly made by Crossville and Glachant, French (Paris), founded in 1861
- 23.4 x 33.6 cm (9 3/16 x 13 1/4 in.)
- Medium or Technique
- Silver, partial gilt, champlevé, basse-taille, cloisonné enamels
- Accession Number
- OUT ON LOANOn display at Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, TN, January 31, 2014 – May 11, 2014