Tiffany and Co. Antique Sterling Silver, Enamel and Glass Inkwell, NYC, NY, c. 1887
A tour de force and magnificent work of art, this unique inkwell is in the form of a stylized octopus with eight arms stretching across the pierced platform. Stunning floral and foliate enamels of various colors and hues, executed with intricate details, adorn the cover, platform, and spreading pedestal base. In a central opening rests the original carved rock crystal inkpot, embellished underneath with flowers and a stylized 'S' initial. This 'S' monogram is also incorporated into the elaborate hinge to the lid. Combining sea and land life, this playful inkwell also makes the visual pun of an octopus containing ink.
Tiffany always amazes us when we see objects decorated in areas that people would rarely see. The gilt interior of the cover is chased with flowers around the opening and the underside of the swirling art nouveau arms are engraved with floral scenes.