This large Bois Durci ink stand features an intricately moulded base, upon which sit two glass inkwells and a central urn shaped container. The glass inkwells are fitted with bois durci tops set into silver plated mounts and collars. The urn shaped container has been gilded and the lid and handles are inset with a duck egg blue enamel. The manufacture of Bois Durci was patented in Paris in 1856 by Francois Lepage and was achieved by mixing a very fine sawdust-usually ebony or rosewood-with albumen-the sticky substance found in blood or eggs- and combining the two in a steel mould under heat and pressure. The steel mould produced a highly polished surface. This piece is 320mm long, 212mm wide and stands 150mm to the top of the urn finial and rests on four feet. It is in very good condition. C1880.