Superb gilt bronze figural inkstand depicting a still pond afloat with water lilies. Separately cast lily pads float just above the surface of the bronze "water", three buds in various stages of development rise above the leaves, and the whole is topped off by a fabulous full-blown waterlily inkwell with a honeybee finial. One of the buds serves as a pen holder. The "pond" is raised on three feet cast in the form of salamanders so fully detailed that their coiled bodies are visible only when the inkstand is turned upside down.
Origin: probably English or French, c. 1870. Condition: excellent; some minor pitting from the corrosive inks; the glass insert is missing; some of the details show very nice green patination. Size: 12-1/2" x 8-1/2" x 3-1/2".