Chinese Carved Agate Desk Censer mounted with Sterling as an Inkwell by Eleder-Hickok Co. , NYC, c. 1920's
The body of this rare and exquisite inkwell is made from carved jade and agate of varying tones of grey with reddish gold striations. The spectacular carved handles are Foo Dogs with rings.
A full figured agate Foo Dog surmounts the domed lid which is fitted into a hinged sterling cover. The underside of the cover is decorated with a traditional Asian design. The interior is fitted with a silver inkwell bordered with a decorative band. It retains the possibly original glass liner.
The jade base is a wonderful carved, light spinach-green representation of a cloud.
This rare inkwell is marked underneath with the mark used by the Eleder-Hickok Company, formerly Lebkuecher & Company. It is also marked 'STERLING/ 04502-149/ YAMANAKA'. It measures 4.75 inches wide by 2.75 inches deep by 5.50 inches high and is in excellent antique condition with a small, unobtrusive original imperfection to the stone cover which one can see just above the silver band in the last picture.
Yamanaka & Co. was a famous exporter and retailer of Asian goods with offices in Yokohama, New York City, Boston and London. They ran auctions and retail stores. This piece would have been a collaborative effort between Yamanaka, who imported the Asian hard stones, Eleder-Hickok who mounted them and formed them into the inkwell and then Yamanaka who sold the inkwell.