Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Favorite Collection

Happy New Year!

Today is the 1st, and my friend,

Alison, @ The Polohouse

is hosting a new monthly party.

Favorites On The First

Alison asked us all to share a collection this month.

Just one, Alison?

Difficult to single one out here.

I seem to gather collections of many things.

Anyone else out there

find this to be true in your home?

Please tell me I'm not alone!

For me, one of the sad realities 

of the modern world of technology 

is that the hand written word is becoming scarce. 

 In this day of cell phones, text messages, emails, and tweets, 

many have abandoned the handwritten note or letter. 

 Students today often don't receive formal handwriting lessons 

to learn the appropriate strokes of beautiful script. 

 I grew up in the era of fountain pens; 

when one had to write out all assignments in long hand. 

 I loved the idea of putting ink on paper. 

 The fluid movement of the nib  

moving across the paper was like magic to me. 

 The rhythm of that writing sang 

as if it were a sweet melody. 

 My well used original 

Parker pen still sits on my desk.

I suppose it's no surprise that this love  

of writing with ink would naturally   

lead to an interest in and affection for ink wells. 

I'm a collector at heart and  

shopping antique markets is a favorite pastime. 

 Though I didn't set out to specifically collect inkwells, 

some of these little "wells" have followed me home.

This crystal inkwell with a plum top sits within

a pewter stand. It was made in France in recent years.

The larger of the three is this 

heavy crystal block with sterling lid. 

 Though it is clearly marked, 

I've not been able to date this piece.

The smallest of these is just an inch 

square and a little over an inch and a half tall. 

 Both this one and the larger one 

were found at local antique shows years ago.

This is a vintage traveling ink well that

was a purchase many years ago while

roaming a London antique market.

The leather case opens to reveal a

brass container in which to hold ink.

A group of Quimper ink wells gather

on another tray that moves about our home.

Each of these date to around 1920 - 1930.

The heart shaped one 

is the first piece of vintage Quimper I acquired. 

 It was a birthday gift from a group 

of friends given to me in the 1980s. 

 This little piece fueled my interest in 

the antique and vintage pieces of French faience.

A souvenir from a California vacation one summer,

this little faience charmer is new production from the 1980s.

It is simply marked France Decor Main.

It opens to this sweet little flower

shaped stopper covering the well.

More faience ink wells can be found

among books in a guest bedroom.

These three were produced by Alcide Chaumeil

and are known simply as CA faience because of the mark.

I first saw this square example in the

collection of a fellow QCI member.

I was fortunate to find 

this one for myself a year or so later.


It appealed to me because of the

mechanics of this box.

The ceramic lid pivots across to 

reveal the well for the ink.

I suspect this is a rare form.

Another rare form is this CA figural

of a Breton fisherman pulling in his catch.

The coiled rope is the lid to this

inkwell which I purchased in France.

A French market find, this rather 

large piece is unfortunately missing its lid. 

I found it laying in a box of 

assorted things at a weekend brocante. 

 The price was too good to pass it by, 

so it too resides among the others, 

sans hat as Debbie @ Confessions of a Plate Addict says. 

 You can read about her French ink well find here.

A sweet pair of bunnies were an eBay score.

One holds the quills and the other the ink well.

They are Desvres production.

A limited edition piece, this handsome 

ink stand was produced in 1990 by HB Henriot 

to commemorate the tricentennial of the faience of Quimper

 The hand painted scene depicts the 

city of Quimper and the Odet River. 

The soft blue glaze and the fine detailed 

painting make this a remarkable piece.

A documentation card provided with this piece

shows the other limited edition pieces

that were produced for this special occasion.

And lastly are these heavy ceramic Moroccan ink pots 

that I purchased in the souks of Marrakech. 

I found the rustic character with the vibrant 

turquoise and amber details irresistible.

There you have it. 

 Just one of my assorted collections.

Grab a glass of bubbly on your way over to visit

more collections shared for Favorites on the First.

Happy New Year!

All the best for each of you in 2012.

Many thanks for your friendships,

your visits, and your thoughtful comments.

Linking to


The summer we married, my husband was in graduate school, and I was employed as a teacher. We took a portion of our savings that summer and purchased a sailboat. We christened our Catalina 22, “Hyacinths For The Soul” after Saadi’s poem. Our "Hyacinths" provided years of pleasure.


  1. OH this is simply BEAUTIFUL DEAREST! MUCH LOVE TO YOU in the new year and always!!! THANK YOU for your kind words and comments. What fun it has been to visit THE WORLD! BISOUS, Anita

  2. I love the crystals but the faience is breathtaking! I've only owned one piece of Quimper, tho since sold it. Exciting pieces.

    Happy New Year, sweet friend ~
    TTFN ~

  3. Sarah,
    This collection of ink wells is amazing! So many different varities from so many different countries! Writing has become somewhat of a lost art, indeed! Thank you for posting about the fountain pens. How well I remember in fourth grade wearing most of my ink home on my dress! Ha!

  4. What a beautiful collection - Thanks for sharing it with us. If had to pick a favorite, it would be the crystal ones. I was thinking just recently how I miss getting hand written letters/notes in cards like we use to receive. A friend of mine still writes a very nice message/note in the cards she sends and I enjoy receiving them so much.
    Wishing you a Wonderful New Year!!

  5. Such a beautiful collection!
    I remember learning to write with a pen that had to be dipped in the ink well, as it had no reservoir built in. How excited it was to be given my own fountain pen, and how important it was not to loan it, as I was told that the nib would take on its shape according to my hand, and no other. I know that it makes me sound 150 years old, and it certainly feels like a memory from long ago.

  6. I adore your ink well collection! They are all so beautiful.

    Sending you wishes for the most fabulous New Year!

  7. What an amazing collection! Like you, I still enjoy using fine stationery, fountain pens, and good old fashioned snail mail. I remember writing in purple ink when I attended French elementary school many Christmases ago. Thank you for the memories. Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

  8. Now that is a collection! A fabulous collection! The crystal one with
    the sterling top, and the travel one are my favorites, but they all are so interesting and different. LOVE them. Wishing you a lovely New Year's Eve.

  9. This sounds like a wonderful party...I will have to remember it. Thanks, Sarah!

    I think your inkwell collection is lovely, especially the Quimper. Until I started blogging, I didn't have a clue what Quimper was!!

    Wishing you a wonderful and happy New Year filled with good health, happiness and peace! I love that I got to know you better this year!


  10. What aneat collection of ink wells, Sarah. I especially like the Quimpers. Happy New Year! Did you meet my grandbaby yet?...Christine

  11. Beautiful collection. Love the crystal ones with the silver lids.. May all your dreams come true in 2012. Happy New Year! xo marlis

  12. That's really a neat collection Sarah, I love the fisherman! Happy New Year:@)

  13. Fabulous collections! Wishing you a happy and blessed new year!!

    Susan and Bentley

  14. Sarah, what a beautiful collection of inkwells - I love each and every one, and they are beautifully displayed in your home.

    Loved receiving your e-mail and will reply soon.
    Meanwhile - more good wishes coming your way for this brand new year, may it be filled with many blessings for each of us.

    Love and hugs, Mary

  15. Oh Sarah. I have to admit I'm green with envy over your Quimper ink wells. Just incredible. Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving such a nice comment. I'm one of those people who tries to send a hand-written note as often as possible. I know I could do better though. Thanks for the inspiration. Happy New Year!

  16. Just gorgeous collections, Sarah!
    I love learning about the history of them also. They are probably the perfect thing to collect when travelling abroad also since they pack neatly into ones luggage!
    (I used to collect antique books and they were often so heavy they weighted my luggage to the point where I was mad at myself for buying them!)

    Such great and lovely things you have. (Wish they were still teaching cursive in school, that breaks my heart that they have stopped.)

    Happy New Years!
    Thanks so much for your friendship Sarah. Have a blessed new year.

  17. Just saw your comment on Alison's blog which I found through Ricki Jill!
    Don't know how I missed this post last week though?
    Love all your inkwells, especially the faience ones, surprise, surprise.
    Happy New Year to you and Mr A from the SP & Me!

  18. O, how I miss handwritten letters delivered thru the mail. Just almost a total thing of the past. I well remember having to fill my fountain pen often...and, at one time, before I got so olden, I had a beautiful handwriting....all learned thru school. I had no idea they have ceased to teach cursive writing. It seems all my grands, especially the girls, have pretty handwriting.

    You wells are awesome, Sarah. When you collect, you choose the best. That makes for a really nice collection.:)
    I am just learning of the Polo meme...I will try for next month. :)

  19. What a wonderful collection you have! All so beautiful! The two bunnies are adorable too!

    I'm a collector at heart as well, have many, too many!! I posted two today.

    I love what you wrote about penmanship becoming a lost art, I agree. So sad.

    Happy New Year!


  20. Oh my, what a beautiful collection. How unique, I love the glass and silver ones.

  21. Thank you for your very sweet comment at my blog <3, and also... your inkwells are to die for... I have a few inkwells in teal glass that I just LOVE, but none are as pretty as yours!!!

  22. What a lovely collection. It is true about penmanship is a lost art.
    Your have truly shared a beautiful collection. Happy New year to you.

  23. What a great collection Sarah. My Mom just gifted me a writing desk, the little box portable type. It needs a little work. I'll have to see what I can do with it. I haven't ever tried to redo something like this. Have a great 2012!

  24. Oh Sarah...I love your collection. I have an old ink bottle...but no wells...and I agree about the hand written word....evidenced by the very few Christmas cards I got this year!

  25. When I was in high school I owned a beautiful Esterbrook pen of the most lovely green. I treasured it and often wonder what happened to it. I think I left it at home when I married which was 56 years ago.
    Your collection is just beautiful.
    I went on line tonight looking for a pen like the one I once owned. :) See what your post does to people? INSPIRES them..
    Love and hugs.

  26. Sarah, have so enjoyed looking at your collections. I especially liked your inkwells. They are beautiful!
    Thankyou for coming to my blog and commenting. I so appreciate it and having you visit. I am a new blogger of only six weeks and have meant so many delightful people like yourself. I am now a follower. Your blog is charming. I am so glad I came.


  27. Sarah, what a marvelous collection of inkwells! Thank you for showing it to us. I must confess I've never used a fountain pen, but do love cartridge pens. And you'll be glad to know that my third-grade granddaughter has learned beautiful cursive this year! I wasn't sure schools still taught cursive.

  28. Hi Sarah,
    what a great collection. As you may expected, I love the silver inkstands and was waiting for the Quimper ones. All are really lovely. You are right, handwriting is not common anymore and a beautiful script is seldom. I often use the computer to type letters, but some things like a Christmas or Birthday card will always be handwritten. I wish you and yours a wonderful new year, full of luck, love and inspirations.
    Best greetings, Johanna

  29. You have an impressive collection of ink wells. I had no idea that they came in so many interesting shapes and colors! My mom still has a few pens and I have one of my grandfather's pens in my desk drawer. I think I'll pull it out and look for an ink well the next time I'm antiquing. Have a wonderful 2012!

  30. I love your extensive collection of blue inkwells!

    Happy New Year & Happy Blue Monday, Sarah!

  31. What a wonderful collection of inkwells ! I would think these would be a little challenging to find these days.

    The crystal one are so pretty-

  32. Great collection! We recently inherited an ornate silver inkwell that we just can't bear to part with.

    Stopping by from The Polohouse,

    Lynette - Sweet Posy Dreams

  33. What a beautiful collection. I love the sterling and crystal one.It is sad that letter writing is a lost art, but with the troubles of the post office, I wonder if soon everything will have to be done online or electronically!

  34. Sarah your collection is wonderful I especially love the Quimper!

    Happy New Years to you and yours!

    Please come and enter my Giveaway from Serena & Lily.


    Art by Karena

  35. Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my dining room and decanter collection! I see you are a fellow hoarder (oops I mean collector)!! Can't wait to see what it's store! Thanks for following and following right back!

  36. Oh Sarah, I enjoyed this post so much. All of your ink wells are wonderful, but you know which ones made my heart stop. My favorite has to be that limited edition with the beautiful scene. What a special piece, but I also adore that fisherman figural ink well. And aside from loving the fiience, that travel ink well is so unique and special. I so agree with you about hand written notes. They are gone, and it is so sad. Wishing you a wonderful 2012! laurie

  37. What a lovely collection! I went to a very old elementary school, and they still had the old wooden desks with the ink wells in them. We didn't use them, as ballpoint had come along, but I always favored a fountain pen.

    I do not collect things other than dishes, flatware, napkins, linens, etc. Too many! I hope to purge this year, it is getting cluttered down stairs, and I don't enjoy carrying everything up and down anymore.
    All the best in 2012, dear Sarah! Perhaps this will be the year you make it to Southampton! :)

  38. Sarah; what a fabulous collection! Thanks for stopping by my blog and in regards to Commodore Perry cup: I'm not much on history; civil war perhaps? other side of cup shows sail ship with war guns and caption is "Bowed But Not Beaten"; no markings on the bottom of cup. Have a great and happy 2012!

  39. Oh Sarah, what a beautiful collection of ink wells. They all have such wonderful personalities and character!

  40. Wow Sarah, such a fabulous collection of ink wells. Some of them are so unique. I didn't know there were so many different kinds. I totally enjoyed seeing them. Thanks for joining TTT. Hugs, Marty

  41. Love the Polohouse idea for a link party. I'm now a fan. Your collection of ink wells is lovely. What a unique and beautiful group. Thanks, CJ

  42. Sarah, This is a beautiful collection of ink wells. I love them all but my favorites are the Quimper and Faience ones. Thank you for sharing this wonderful collection at the Open House Party.

  43. Hi Sarah! What a beautiful collection! Your Quimper pieces are so gorgeous!
    Happy New Year, Dear One!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  44. Sarah,
    I enjoyed seeing your fabulous collection of inkwells! As a former teacher, I hate the demise of penmanship. I have dabbled in calligraphy, and I even taught it to a few interested students. Even 10 year olds can admire beautiful penmanship.

  45. Sarah:

    Your collections never cease to amaze me. What gorgeous ink wells.

    Happy New Year!

    - The Tablescaper

  46. Dear Sarah,

    What a wonderful collection...I can only imagine what stories these wells could tell, but I love it that they chronicle your travels and that you remember where you found each one...and I can imagine that your handwriting is beautiful. All the best to you and yours in 2012!


  47. Those are cool collections..

    Visiting fro BM! Here's my share- hope you can visit too:)

  48. Thanks for all of your work on this web page. I am looking forward to reading more of your posts in the future.

  49. Beautiful collections Sarah!

    I need to make a note to remember Alison's party.

  50. I Love, Love, LOVE your ink well collection!!! Fabulous...and from all over the world, no less!@ I'm a believer in the handwritten note and love wonderful stationery. Sadly, my handwriting is poor, but I try so hard! I'm trying to teach my kids the art of a good thank you note to perpetuate the gracious gesture! Thank you for sharing such a truly beautiful collection!

  51. Your collection of inkwells is remarkable, Sarah! Just stunning. I also learned to write using a fountian pen and I remember being required to practice the Palmer alphabet in penmanship books. I had beautiful penmanship when I was younger but I have to admit it has deteriorated soemwhat as I've gotten older.

  52. What an amazing collection. I knew that there were crystal inwells, but the variety that you have collected is marvelous.

  53. Sarah, you and I share the same problem, to single out a favorite collection. You are certainly sharing a breathtaking collection of ink wells. Your crystal pieces look so elegant on the lovely tray. I find the traveling ink well so interesting, and wouldn't you love to know the history behind it? Of course your Quimper ink wells make a stunning display on the tray. I see how you choose this collection to share at Alison's party. Thanks for sharing it with all of us……….

    The French Hutch

  54. Wow! Your inkwell collection is simply AMAZING! I agree, the art of writing letters is potentially one of those things that will be lost! My neighbor's handwriting is fantastic. His aunts taught him the old fashioned script writing. They made him practice every day rewriting the front page of the newspaper! I am thrilled you shared this post with my first Home and Garden Thursday!
    God Bless,

  55. Oh they're so lovely!!! What a gorgeous collection! I'm so glad that you decided to share them with us for Pearls and Lace Thursday!!! Thank you so much for coming over!
    Blessings, Doni

  56. What an amazingly different collection, Sarah~ love them all! I can remember using a fountain pen in fifth grade, I think. I made such a mess with the ink, but it was such fun to write with. I was one of those who was never taught penmanship. My mother tried to teach me what the nuns had shown her, but I didn't have the wrist movement and flow. No wonder my hand still tires when I write for a long period of time! LOL

  57. What a neat idea for a collection! Our 12 year old daughter asked for a quill pen and ink for Christmas this year so we got her a neat set with a well and some fancy paper from Victorian Trading Company. She just loves it and has her desk set up all nice and neat now with her fancy things. She's such an old soul! :)

    I'd love for you to come link up with my Homemaking Link-Up Weekend! You can link any homemaking post---and as many as you want!

    Have a great weekend!

  58. Thank you for linking your lovely collection to Potpourri Friday!

  59. Dearest Sarah,
    What a lovely collection of ink wells you got!


Thank you to each of you who take the time to leave a comment. I read and appreciate each and every one and will respond to any questions. Your notes are the only way I know who has stopped in for a visit.