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InkWells and Other Desktop Items - Pendemonium!

Updated April 19, 2018

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Inkwells - Special Offer!  Vintage Inkpots!

Vintage blue and white glazed porcelain inkpots.  Each is about 1.75 inches tall and the opening is 1 5/8 inches.  Cobalt blue floral design.  Perfect for pouring out a little ink when you're using a dip or glass pen. Just the right size for mixing a small quantity of inks. Or you could fill with water to clean off your nib.  Just perfect for pen people! We know their original purpose in life was not as an Inkpot. Most likely they were sake cups, but others have suggested they might be small Chinese teacups.  Whatever they are, we do think they make great inkpots!

W993-1 $10  each

1 Inkpot 


W993-2 $7.50  each

2 or more Inkpots

Vintage Inkwells

W919 $425

Swedish Silver Plate Double Inkstand - This ca. 1920s footed double inkstand with brilliant blue glass inkwell and pounce pot was probably made in Sweden. I've referenced similar works by Nils Larson Meime although this particular piece is not marked. Beautiful openwork at the back of the inkstand forms a pen rest near the top. Lids are set on, metal collar on the inkwell, pierced and depressed inner lid on the pounce pot. Base measures 6 inches x 2.75 inches at widest points. Height to top of openwork is 4.25 inches. Inkwell and pounce pot are each 1 5/8 inches diameter where they fit into the base. We have gently polished the silver plated finish, but will leave more serious polishing to the person who purchases this lovely set. Unusual and very beautiful inkstand, a small work of art in itself. Very good condition.

W928 $50

Saucer Style Inkwell Pastel Blue, ca. early 1900s, pastel blue glazed porcelain with hand painted yellow and brown flowers with green foliage. Inkwell is set to the rear of the ruffled edge saucer. Oval shaped inkwell is permanently attached to saucer. Hinged lid is just a tiny bit askew. Saucer measures 4 5/8 inches x 3 5/8 inches at widest points, height is 2 5/8 inches. Inkwell opening is very narrow, this will accommodate dip pens only. Probably French but no markings. Very good condition.

W943  $25

Stoneware Ink Pots - Ink Pots are glazed a very soft grey with subtle speckles.  Each is hand painted with a leaf motif in a brilliant bright blue.  Each one is slightly different.  Base measures 2.5 inches, height is 3.5 inches.  Perfect Condition.  These would work well for a single pen holder as the mouth is wide enough to accommodate most fountain pens or use as intended as a cool looking ink pot.  They are not brand new but not super old either, I'd think they were made in the past 20 years.  Several available at time of listing. 



W944 $95

Torquay Inkwell - Make Thyself at Home Inkwell. The inkwell was made by the Torquay (pronounced Tor-Key) Pottery in Devon, England. Torquay was not just one pottery, but a group of potteries that operated under the Torquay name and each had their own specialties and to complicate matters further each made some pretty similar items, too. Since this inkwell is made of red clay that helped narrow it down a little. The Scandy design as this was called also helped narrow down the range of potteries. The odd wording and the style of penmanship appears to be an old Yorkshire dialect. I believe there is a very good chance that this inkwell was made at Torquay's Longpark Factory which operated from 1883-1957. My best guess judging from style and materials and reading some of Torquay’s reference material is that this inkwell dates to the 1920s and was made for the English tourist market. It reads: Fra Eethla (For Eethla) on one side, the reverse side reads: Mak Thisen at Hooam (Make Thyself at Home). Background is a pale ivory glaze and the raised Skandy design is done in royal blue, dark green, light green, brown and yellow. The lettering is in brown. Measures 2 7/8 inches diameter, height is 2 inches. No lid, nor do these ever appear to have had lids. The wide and squat profile would prevent it from tipping over easily. This inkwell is in very good condition.

W964 $70

French Souvenir Inkwell - ca. 1920s. Chrome plated double inkwell is marked: Made in France in four different spots on the underside of base. Two figural pieces in the center show the Notre Dame Cathedral of Reims and Joan of Arc. Souvenir de Reims is engraved beneath the cathedral figural. Hinged inkwell lids, recessed area is formed to serve as a single pen holder. Measures 5.5 x 2.5 inches at the widest base points. Height to the top of the cathedral is 2 5/8 inches. NOTE: Inkwell inserts and missing from this inkstand. Very good condition and nice detail on this souvenir inkwell.


W965 $40

Sengbusch Self Closing Inkstand Model No. 51, clear pressed glass cylindrical inkwell with starburst pattern pressed in base and embossed No. 51 in center of base. Measures 3 in diameter and 3 in in height. Black hard rubber lid nice and black as it should be. Lid embossed: Sengbusch Self-Closing Inkstand Co. Made in USA Milwaukee, WIS PAT Apr 21,03, Aug 23,04, Jam 15, 07. Comes with most of a silver metallic Sengbusch box and original instruction sheet. Self closing ink filling unit is missing. Inkwell is in very good condition. Box and instructions are very well worn.

W1001  $125

Hayne Suspended Inkwell, ca. 1897.  This very unusual looking inkwell was made by the Hayne Co in New York and the patent date was May 1897.  I was unable to dig up the patent, but I did find a long write up with illustrations from the Hardware Dealers’ Magazine dated 1899.  The inkwell was designed to be suspended from a shelf on a roll top desk.  Originally in between the two long and very practical inkwells with lids was a small square glass sponge cup used for moistening your stamps. There is a built in pen rest for two dip pens. This is the basic model and is nickel plated metal.  The front plate is marked:

  • Hayne Suspended Inkwell
  • Universal Specialty Co
  • 151 Chambers St New York
  • Pat May 18-97

This inkwell came in three different finishes and I gather from the illustrations in the Hardware Dealers’ Magazine that this was probably the basic model.  Measures 4.5 inches wide and 4 7/8 inches deep.  One inkwell lid is attached to the well with a chain, the other is attached with jute which I assume was used when the original chain broke many years ago.  As you can see in the photo, someone rudely tried to polish the nickel finish, we have gently cleaned the inkwell, but did no additional polishing.  Most unusual!  Overall it is in good condition and a most unusual and I might add creative piece from the late 1890s.   (1 avail) 

W1035 $60

Double Inkstand - Antiqued Brass finished double inkstand.  Marked GLS. GLSCH, on the underside of base.  Double pen rests, one on each side.  Hinged lid opens to reveal two small white porcelain inkwells.  One inkwell is white porcelain with a gilded border on the lip, one is plain white porcelain.  Depth of each inkwell insert is 1.5 inches. Base measures 5.75 x 6 inches at widest points, height is 1.75 inches.  Pretty embossed half moon shaped floral pattern on each side of inkstand.  Very good condition. 


W1039 $25

Vintage Ink Pot, ca. 1940s, clear glass inkpot holds about one ounce of ink.  Screw on black bakelite lid has an ink funnel beneath to draw ink up into the reservoir.  Measures 1 5/8 in diameter, height is 1.75 inches. This inkwell is suitable for dips pens or fountain pens with smaller sized nibs.  Large sized nibs will probably not fit down into the opening to draw ink properly.  Mint condition, I detect no signs of use!  

W1044  $45

Crystal Inkwell with Silverplated Lid, recent production, late 1990s-early 2000s.  Beautiful deeply pressed starburst pattern on the bottom.  Silverplated screw on lid is embossed on the top with a laurel wreath and a script letter “L” in the center, sides of the lid are ribbed.  Measures 2 inches in diameter at widest center point, height to top of lid is 1.75 inches.  Comes with original plain white box which does show some minor shop wear.  No signs of use at all, this elegant inkwell is in in mint condition. 

Desk Top Items - Desk Top Accessories

Keep scrolling down!

In addition to inkwells, we search the world for interesting vintage desk top accessories.

No, we're not talking about the desktop you might be reading this on, we're talking about your good old fashioned desk top, the one where you sit down to write letters with pen and ink.

Knife Handle Letter Openers - A Pendemonium Exclusive!

These beautiful letter openers were all made from vintage knives. The handles are just amazing and there is a wide range of patterns from the very old traditional designs to more recent Mid-Century Modern patterns. Handles range from Sterling Silver to Silver Plate to Stainless Steel. They are all in a minimum of very good condition, some letters openers show normal wear to the handles, after all, in days gone by someone used these to eat their dinner with! Each knife was individually hand ground and polished by a local metal craftsman into a letter opener blade. This gent does amazing specialty work, these letter openers will not disappoint you!

LO-17 $15

Stainless Steel Letter Opener, Mid-Century Modern single Starburst pattern, no markings at all. Measures 8.25 inches long.

LO-18 $15

Stainless Steel Letter Opener, Contemporary look of "paisley" shapes on edges of handle, no markings at all. Measures 8 5/8 inches long.

MM469 $15

Bill Spindle - Very contemporary modern look, probably dates to the late 1950s. Ivory metal base measures 2.75 inches diameter, overall height is 4 3/8 inches. Very good condition.

MM489 $30

Tatum Victorian Harp Spindle - ca. late 1890s - early 1900s Tatum cast iron harp shaped wall spindle. Long curved spindle could hold a lot of bills or you could use this to drape other object over in the curved base end - ties, scarves, necklaces - use your imagination! Embossed Tatum on the backside. High quality cast iron. Very good condition, just a few high points missing a bit of black paint.

MM570 $15

Antique Cast Iron Bill Spike is made of heavy iron and has a bit of a coppery looking patina to it. Base diameter is 2.25 inches, height is 5 inches. The spike leans a tiny bit to one side, but is straight. Fill it up with bills or notes and letters, great little vintage desk accessory.

PW-035 $35

Lasercraft Solid Walnut Paperweight, beveled edges, laser engraved oak leaf and acorn design. Measures 3 x 5 inches. Original labels all intact on the bottom. Excellent condition.

PW-050 $25

Custom Paperweight - Features a Waterman black and white advertisement with fountain pen and Ben Franklin illustration from May 3, 1919. Clear glass oval antique paperweight measures 4 x 2 7/8 inches. Black felt on base. Excellent condition.

PW-051 $25

Custom Paperweight - Features Sheaffer early Skrip bottle in full color from May 24, 1937 advertisement. Clear round domed antique paperweight with pressed beading measures 3 1/8 inches diameter. Black felt on base. Excellent condition.

PW-056 $10

Custom Paperweight - Features Sheaffer Lifetime Nib in full color from 1931. Clear round domed antique paperweight with pressed beading measures 3 1/8 inches diameter. Black felt on base. There is an internal fracture on this paperweight, does not interfere with the picture, nor does is look like it will expand further, otherwise very good condition.

PW-061  $10

Custom Paperweight - Features a 1950s Sheaffer Snorkel illustration from an original advertisement in full color.  Magnified under the domed inkwell is a black Sheaffer cap with white dot and fingers encircling it. Antique paperweight measures 3 inches diameter. Grey felt on base protects your desk. There are some very light scuff marks on the dome, otherwise very good condition.  

PW065 $20

Antique Clear Glass Paperweight fit with an early Black and White Carter Pen Original Advertisement.  Rectangular paperweight measures 4.25 x 2.75 inches. Felt on base to protect your desk. Excellent condition. 



PW066  $20

Antique Clear Glass Paperweight fit with Carter’s Kitten Original Advertisement.  Rectangular paperweight measures 4 1/8 x 2.75 inches. Felt on base to protect your desk.  Excellent condition.  

MM649  $65

Vintage Inlaid Wood Bookends – Solid wood bookends are well made and feature a beautiful diamond shaped pattern of contrasting inlaid woods on the front side of each. Stepped bases.  Height of each bookend is 5.75 inches, base of each bookend measures 2.5 x 7 3/8 inches. The bottom of each bookend is stamped:  Patent Applied For. A handsome pair of bookends! Very good condition. Books shown in photos not included. 

MM675 $35

Meow!  Figural Kitty Letter and Pen Holder, ca. 1960s, Japan, glossy black ceramic with brass letter holder.  The small cup in between Kitty’s paws originally held a small sponge for moistening envelopes, it can also be used as an inkpot.  The small hole where kitty’s tail should be is the perfect size for a dip pen or other small diameter writing instruments.  Pretty green eyes and a pink nose and tongue.  Red accents.  Measures 6.75 inches long, height to ears is 3.25 inches.  Little bit of paint loss to ears and the nose, otherwise in excellent condition. 

MM681 $20

Punch-o-Dex Two Hole Adjustable Paper Punch from the makers of Autodex, Rolodex and Clipodex-Zephyr American Corporation had all the "o-Dexes" covered! Ca. 1950s. Original label on the base indicates this was a product of Zephyr American Corp in L.I. City, NY. Steel construction, light grey finish, adjustable metal guide is released and then locked into place with the bright red Guide button. The receptacle below that catches the paper holes is accessed by pushing the bright red button at the rear marked Waste. Measures 4 inches at widest width, 7 inches deep. Sharp cutters turn out perfect holes. Punch is in excellent condition.

MM688 $15

Letter Opener, ornate handle with repouse art nouveau styling, the letter opener blade is marked stainless.  Measures 8 inches long. Looks to be fairly recent production, not an old knife handle, but certainly not brand new either.  From an old table silverplate (not marked) table knife.  Very good condition.  

MM690  $75

Industrial Lamp Corp. metal single pedestal desk lamp with two pen grooves across the front of base. Push button turns 18 inch fluorescent tube on and off, the tube is in working order.  Dark brown metal. Original Underwriters Laboratories label on back of lamp. Base measures 10 x 5.5 inches at widest points. Shade is 20 inches long. Height is 11 inches. This antique desk lamp is in excellent condition. 

MM709  $20

Antique Bill Spindle, beautiful bronze finish, design is sort of an Art Nouveau style with four leaves coming out from the center and resting on a base with a aquare cross, lots of details on this base.  Measures 4.75 inches tall.  Very striking design and in excellent condition. 

MM714  $35

Bostitch Model B5 Full Size Stapler, solid steel, black crinkle finish, measures 7 x 2.25 inches at base, height is 3.25 inches. Finish is very good, just a little wear on the front two base corners and oddly a couple chips to the smooth part of the handle where you push down on the UNDERside. Filled with staples and ready to go to work. Very good condition. 

MM716  $25

Arrow No. 105 Half Size Stapler, bright chrome abounds! Great design. Measures 5 inches long, height is 2.25 inches.  Filled with staples and ready to go to work. Just a hint of surface wear, otherwise Very Good condition.

MM719  $30

Ace Pilot No. No. 402 Stapler, heavy chrome finish abounds and great industrial design.  Measures 6.5 x 2 inches, height is 3.25 inches. Patents date to 1936.  Filled with staples and ready to go to work.  Filled with staples and ready to go to work. Very good condition. (Several available at time of listing)

MM721  $20

Markwell Model RTP Full Size Stapler. New York USA. Very unusual design and very spiffy chrome abounds!  Measures 8 1/8 inches long, height is 4.5 inches. A small latch opens the door to access staple channel at the front of the stapler, there is an adjustable chrome disk as the stapler plate, you can move back and forth to change where the stapler with staple. Lots of hyperbole engraved on the bottom of the base:  Markwell Mfg Co, Inc. New York, NY, Made in USA, Trademark Parent no. 1887731 Others Pending,  Markwell Reg US Pat Off Guaranteed 10 Years If Only Markwell Size RF Staples Are Used. The stapler is in very good condition, however there is one glitch – there are only FOUR Markwell RF staples in the stapler and we have not found any other staples that will fit properly.  Therefore, you will have to initiate an intense staple search OR enjoy this one for it’s fine industrial design.

MM722  $30

Arrow Model 203 Half Size Stapler, dark silvery grey crinkle finish on the base which comes to a point at front, sort of reminiscent of an Arrow, chrome upright with raised details on the front, black knib is embossed: Use Only Genuine Arrow 203 Staples. Measures 6 7/8 inches long and is 3 inches in height.  Excellent condition.

MM723  $25

Markwell RX Handi-Clip Plier Stapler with original green and white box. Hand held stapler for traditional stapling plus tacking items to a flat surface, like a bulletin board.  Grey crinkle finish.  Measures 5 x 2.5 inches at widest points.  Loaded with staples, plus it comes with ¾ of a box of MZD Markwell staples.  The stapler box is well worn, but the box of staples and the stapler itself are in excellent condition.

S1006  $40

Three Piece Desk Set includes Memo Holder for Paper, Letter Note Rack and Pen Tray. Ceramic panels over linen covered heavy paperboard. The ceramic panels feature a beautiful blue and white botanical pattern. Pen Tray measures 9.25 x 2.25 inches, easily accommodates fountain or dip pens. Letter Note Rack measures 1 5/8 x 5.5 inches at base, height is 3 inches. Memo holder measures 3.5 x 5.25 inches at base, height is 1 inch and will hold about 100 sheets of paper measuring 3.5 x 5 inches. The paper shown in the photo will NOT be included. However, we will include about 100 sheets of Champion 100% Cotton 24LB bright white paper cut to proper size. Light scuff marks on the bottom of the linen covered pieces, no chips or nicks, overall all pieces are in very good condition.


MM729  $20

Solari Envelope Moistener, ca. 1960s, Beige plastic receptacle with white porcelain roller. Measures 3.75 in diameter at base, height is 1 7/8 inches, top diameter is 3.25 inches. Roller measures 2 1/8 inches. Pull off the top to refill the receptacle with water, run your envelope flap over the roller to moisten and then seal. Perfect for those of you who hate licking envelopes. Very good condition.


Looking for items to hold, store and display your pens?

We carry an ever changing selection of vintage pen trays, pen stands and other unusual desk top holders for your pens on our Pen Storage page.

Looking for replacement inkwell inserts?

Richard Vacca of Rich-Beau-Tiques has a wide selection or porcelain and glass inserts available. Email:

Corning Museum of Glass

By sheer luck, we ended up in Corning, New York in May 2005 on the trip back from the New England Pen Show. We found a motel for the night, got settled in and then went off to take a drive around town and see Corning. We were in awe of the Corning Museum of Glass just from looking at the outside, so we knew that we would be off to a late start the next morning because a tour of this museum was surely a must-do!

Amongst stunning glass creations, throughout the museum we found beautiful glass inkwells. Some were grouped with like glass and style, others were grouped as inkwell examples. We were very pleased to discover the inkwells, a nice unexpected diversion on a long road trip.

It was difficult to photograph the inkwells because of the lighting and glass, but I can assure you, they're well worth the trip to Corning. There are many, many more on display, the inkwells below are just a small sampling, not to mention the ones where the photos came out pretty well!

There were fewer ink bottles to gaze at, but we did see this early Hill's Ink bottle out of Philadelphia with an unknown cone ink bottle in the foreground.

We also sat in on a short demonstration on the art of glass making.

The glass exhibits at the Corning Museum were well done, the museum is a pleasant experience and no chance to get bored because there is something unusual around every corner. There is also a lovely gift shop and a large cafe with fresh and delicious food - not things all museums can have bragging rights to! Whether it's just down the block or thousands of miles away, the Corning Museum of Glass is well worth the visit!


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