A late 18thc/early 19thc finely carved coquilla nut inkwell, possibly French. There is no evidence that this has ever been used for ink as there is no staining to the ink liner.
The lid has an acorn finial leading down to a foliage design with a rope twist decoration.
The main section has a liner for the ink & the decoration depicts three rams heads with a pireced acanthus carved design between them.
This leads down to a turned & carved, pierced base with leaf & flower decoration, supported by more acanthus foliage inside a rope twist moulding.
This sits on a square base which has a veneer of coquilla applied to a piece of oak, the sides of this being finely carved with scroll leaf & flower designs. This carved base is sitting on four carved animal paw feet.
This piece has some small areas of damage: a small piece missing from acorn finial, a small piece of acanthus missing from main body, a small piece missiing from a horn from one rams head. However, this piece is rare and of exceptional quality (Museum quality).
The coquilla nut is a thick shelled seed from the Brazilian feather-leaved palm (Attalea funifera), which is then carved or turned & polished.
Much of this finely produced work was being done between 1700-1900 particularly in France.
Height: 18cm / 7''
Width: 9cm / 3.5''
Depth: 9cm / 3.5''