1911 Cornish silver inkwell priced £4-6k
1911 Cornish silver inkwell priced 4-6k
'Newlyn silver is almost unknown... I would love to find out why this piece was made,' says local of the mysterious 1911 piece
Auctioneers selling a rare 1911 inkwell made of Newlyn silver say they hope it will return to the county of Cornwall, UK, where it was made.
1911 Newlyn Silver Inkwell
It is expected to bring between 4,000-6,000 at sale later today. Cornish museums have been told about it, according to Campbells auctions who are handling the sale.
The inkwell is thought to have been made to commemorate a new building for the Royal National Mission for Deep See Fishermen being opened in the port.
It is hallmarked "RTD, Newlyn", known to be the mark of Newlyn-based Reginald T Dick, a painter and metalworker who was recorded as maker of jewellery, finger bowls and napkin rings.
The item is distinctly inscribed with "The Ship Institute" along its base, is decorated with fishes and shells and measures 7.5 inches square and 3.25 inches high.
The unique piece measures 7.5 inches (19cm) square and 3.25 inches (8cm) high and is decorated with scenes of fishes and shells.
It is being sold by a private individual who has owned it for more than 50 years, according to the BBC.
"The piece is decorated in an Arts and Crafts-inspired style, which is typical of Newlyn copper, but Newlyn silver is almost unknown," said Paul Campbell of the Ship Institute to the BBC.
"I would love to find out why this piece was made and if it was commissioned by the institute or was it presented to it."
He hopes that a Cornish museum would be able to buy the inkwell, or that at least the piece could be "brought home."
"That's by biggest wish. The county's museums are all aware, but it's my fear that a museum cannot afford it," he said.
"I'm hoping there's a private individual who would come along, pay what it is worth and return it to the mission."
The Ship Institute building still exists today, and continues to be a mission centre in Newlyn.