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Inkstand Surprise

Silver inkstand
Johann Christian Sick, Silver gilt, parcel gilt and gold inkstand ©

This ornate boat-shaped silver inkstand dating from the early nineteenth century once belonged to Queen Mary, Consort of King George V. This beautiful object was used not only for royal correspondence – it also contains a fascinating surprise.

Take a close look at the inkstand. Can you guess what its concealed secret might be?

Notice the prominent height of the seal in the centre, which is elevated above the two circular pots at either side. During conservation, the seal was found to be heavier than expected.

Can you guess what might affect the weight of the seal?

Watch the film below to learn about the surprise our conservation team discovered hidden inside


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Johann Christian Sick (1766-1824)

Inkstand c. 1810