Maker: De La Rue & Co.
Category: Other Travel Items
Subcategory: Desk Items
A shagreen Ransome Patent Travel Inkwell.
The Ransome's Patent inkwell folds flat to pack to a relatively small size. To use it you push where indicated on the metal body and slide the inkwell on its frame until it locks at a right angle. The lid is opened by depressing a flush button to the inkwell to reveal a small glass well. The lid interior has a sprung rubber pad to seal the bottle when closed.
The inkwell is stamped Ransome's Patent above De La Rue & Co. to one side. Thomas De La Rue were a well established company that are still in existence. They would have bought the rights to make the inkwell design.
The inkwell is a great space saver as well as being a practical design. The Army & Navy store advertised the inkwell in various sizes as one of the photos illustrates. Not only is this inkwell a large size compared to most Ransome's available but the use of shagreen to decorate the frame in unusual. We have seen metal, mahogany and leather before but this is the first in shagreen we have had. Late 19th Century.
The size closed is given.