Inkstand, 1757-1758

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A rectangular silver open inkstand on four scroll feet, with low fretwork walls that have flat-gadrooned upper and lower rims. The interior is divided widthwise by fretwork walls into one long compartment and three shorter ones. Two of those, square, are at the ends; each contains a squat square bottle or jar with a wide round aperture reinforced by a silver neck ring. Each opening is covered by a removable disc-shaped silver cap. One of the bottles, for ink, has a cover pierced with a central hole, and can be covered by a removable glass knob. The other, for sand, has a cover pierced overall with cutwork ornamentation. On the floor of the long compartment is engraved the following, in script: "The Gift of Benjamin Franklin L.L.D. F.R.S. to Mary Stevenson." The floor of the utensil is a sheet of silver that can be removed for polishing. Its underside is marked by London silversmiths Edward Aldridge and John Stamper, and bears London hallmarks for 1757/8.
Connection to Franklin
Given by Frankllin to Mary (Polly) Stevenson Hewson Terms of Use Credits