Inkwell used by Charles Dickens to write Great Expectations set to fetch £1,500

October 29, 2012 | by | 0 Comments

A distinctive inkwell believed to have been used by Charles Dickens when he penned Great Expectations is set to fetch up to £1500 at auction.

The glass and brass mounted oval walnut inkstand was originally sold with items from his former home, Gads Hill Place, in Kent, after the author’s death in 1870.

It was purchased from the sale and presented to Robert Ackrill Esq. from his friend H.M. Bateson.

The distinctive inkwell believed to have been used by Charles Dickens when he penned Great Expectations which is set to fetch up to £1500 at auction

The distinctive inkwell believed to have been used by Charles Dickens when he penned Great Expectations which is set to fetch up to £1500 at auction

Experts believe Dickens used the inkstand to when he wrote Great Expectations – first serialized in 1860 – as well as Our Mutual Friend, published between 1864-65.

A plaque on the inkstand features the inscription: “This Inkstand Belonging to the late Charles Dickens and bought at the Gads Hill Sale was presented to Robert Ackrill Esq. as a souvenir of the sincere regard of his friend H. M. Bateson”.

The inkstand will be auctioned at Dreweatts, Bristol on November 6 as part of a Victorian collection and is expected to fetch between £1000 and £1500.

Peter Rixton, associate director and expert in charge of Dreweatts said he expected there would be “great interest” in the item.

He said: “This unique personal piece has a wonderful literary association and it is bound to appeal to collectors of Dickens’ memorabilia all over the world, especially in Europe and the United States.”

Dickens – arguably Britain’s greatest 19th century author – bought Gads Hill Place in Kent in 1856 in £1,760 and moved in four days later.

The glass and brass mounted oval walnut inkstand was originally sold with items from his former home

The glass and brass mounted oval walnut inkstand was originally sold with items from his former home

He died there in 1870 from a stroke while on his couch in the dining room.

Many of Dickens’ items were auctioned off by his family after his death, including the inkstand.

It will feature at Dreweatts on November 6 as part of The Lenygon Collection: Queen Victoria and the British Empire, Selected Textiles etc.

A spokesman for Dreweatts added: “The Lenygon Collection represents one man’s patriotic obsession with the Victorian era.

“It’s rare today to come across a single collection which so completely embraces this period, covering everything from photograph albums of the British Raj, medals and royal and political busts to needlework, silverware, regimental mess dinner plates and even Charles Dickens’ inkstand.”

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